Yesterday I ran into someone at the hospital and told her I was planning to leave. She asked kindly, "Is this too much?" I smiled and realized for the first time that wasn't the case at all. I told her, "No, actually, it's not enough. I'm just ready for more."
The best comparison I have for all of this is a turtle. I have been staying in my protective shell -- safe from the outside world for the most part. Because of the people I work with at the hospital, I feel very protected and safe. I haven't had to take any risks at all. They have taken care of me since Maggie died and allowed me to be part of the world while still protected.
Right now I guess I'm ready to come out of my shell. I'm sticking my head out and looking around, but know I can retreat right back into the shell if need be. With the encouragement and ideas coming from all of you I don't feel that's necessary.
Note the rather shocked look on the face here. That's exactly how I feel. Please do feel free to keep those ideas coming. It's energizing, even at a turtle's pace.
I do like the turtle metaphor. It also allows me to take this slow. And you know what they say about slow and steady....