What a day! We are finally off work!
It started in the early hours of the morning, as we tossed and turned, and lay awake. Partly it was because we had our farewell drinks from the office last night, and the alcohol was keeping us awake, but mostly it was the stress of final preparations and excitement as we faced our final working day.
For me the alarm was set for 5.30am until I realised that that would have had me in the office before the office even opened, so I had a little lie-in until 6. Daniel woke at 9, and ran through the A to Z of possible ailments trying to recall one he hadn’t used as the reason for a sick leave recently. Upon reaching “yellow fever” he paused, before realising you can’t catch it in HK, and so, out of options, off to work he went.
I had a crazy day, one of those days with barely enough time to go to the bathroom. My desk IS a good 3 minute walk from the toilets! I had a number of things I had promised to finish before leaving, and i knew it would take a really full and productive day to grind it out. So I sat and typed, and typed some more, and got a coffee and typed some more and hardly left my chair all day. The intensity of the day kept me focused on the task in hand, rather than the big picture of my last day at work. But many times throughout the day tears flowed as people stopped by to wish me well on my travels, or to say goodbye and I realised how emotional this day is. Excited though I am to be heading off, I still found it difficult to say goodbye to all the friends and colleagues from the many shared experiences over the past 6 years. By the time I walked out of there tonight, I was in a bit of a daze, and even now I haven’t really realised or digested the fact that I am on holidays. Hmmn, I am on holidays, as of now. I am on holidays. As of NOW. That feels good … it feels ….. YOO HOO! I’M ON HOLIDAYS!!!!!!
Daniel needless to say, had a chilled out day, similar to most days in recent weeks. In fact, his day was marked more by what he accomplished outside the office than inside. (That list includes some things we had procrastinated over, such as wrapping and preparing for shipment a large photo that has dogged us for months, and finding a local seamstress that could do some last minute stitching on his backpack). All in all, he had an easy day in the office, but as he sat at his desk at 5pm deleting files from his computer (various USDA spreadsheets, NZ trail maps and the like), and wiping his blackberry, the enormity of what we are doing started to hit him and he broke down and cried. Well, no, not really, he just shifted a bit in his chair and carried on deleting.
We now have no phone. NO PHONE. No way to sms anyone or check Bloomberg while out. We each left our blackberries behind at the office today and spent the next hour or so tapping our pockets looking for it. I really felt like I was missing something, or had left something behind and given I no longer had my office access card, I had no way to retrieve whatever it was that I was missing. Daniel had the same feeling, and when he arrived home (a few hours before me), said that once he went to sms me, only to realise he couldn’t. Then a few minutes later he did it again, and then again …. Not a fast learner, Daniel 🙂 It seems it takes a while to lose such ingrained habits. As an aside, apart from having no blackberry, we now have no watch, and no alarm clock (as our blackberry was doubling up). Quite an uncomfortable feeling, but one I hope we will get used to.
Finally, the most common refrain we heard today was “oh, its your last day” or “this is the end”, but as Daniel said, today is not about the end, but really about the beginning…