A few weeks ago I put in my resignation at the Aquarium. For all of those who read my post "Tools of my Aquarist trade" you might be surprised. This is a job I love and have wanted since I was about three years old. I mean, where else can you get paid to play with jellyfish? Go SCUBA diving on work time? Care for endangered shorebirds? Be a superstar to little kids as they see you swim with sharks and barracudas?
You can imagine it was one of the hardest decisions of my entire life. I have worked there for twelve years, the animals I feed I care about almost as much as my dear cat. My coworkers are my second family. When our Head Vet heard the news of my resignation he approvingly made this cartoon for me and emailed it to the entire institution. The other "creatures" are my fellow West Wing Gallery co-workers.
There are many many reasons why I am leaving my career. Each one of them I could probably deal with and manage to work through. But when you add them all up anyone would say "wait, WHY are you working?"
The biggest reason is I work Sundays and I want them back. My husband, my little girl and I have one day all together, Saturday, and that's just not enough. Then there's the issue that we want to give Lizzie a sibling, and soon. She was a preemie and my pregnancies are high risk because I have Crohn's Disease, my doctors have gently suggested that I don't work through a second pregnancy. And then there's the issue that I work for a non-profit. Basically I'd be working just to cover day care.
The obvious solution is to take some time off from my career and be a mom, which is a noble profession in itself. And, I can tell you, a day at home with Lizzie is much more exhausting than spending a day hauling gravel in and out of the bird exhibit and carrying large animals up and down the stairs.
A funny side note is what happened when I told my bosses. Before I even managed to tell them why they both immediately went into a discussion of how they can keep me on payroll as a per diem worker. Then I could come back if I changed my mind, or temp a day here and there. I am flattered, but come on, can't I just quit? I mean, look at this face, this alone should be my one and only reason:
I would much rather spend my Sundays teaching my child about the ocean world that I love so much.
They grow so fast, there will be time one day to go back to work and pick up where I left off.
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