Synonyms: leave, go, give notice, step down, bow out, call it a day, vacate, give up, quit.
Resign is not a word I’ve used much in my life, and resigning from anything has been heretofore a rarity for me. Perhaps it’s those last two synonyms – “give up” and “quit” – that keep me locked into things, often longer than I care to be, way past the point that I derive any satisfaction from my involvement. I’m most definitely not a quitter and I rarely give up. I’m a joiner, a doer, and I persevere.
And I’ll admit, I have a very hard time saying no to requests for my time and help.
At the end of 2019, I was a member of three invitation-only professional organizations. Proud to have been admitted, I was actively engaged in all of them, and served in many leadership positions, ranging from membership chair and website designer to governance chair and chapter president.
I was also heavily involved as a volunteer in three other nonprofits, teaching and advocating for one, cooking for another, and raising awareness and funds for a third. I’ve served as an advisory council chair and ambassador for one and currently serve as the development director for another.
Beyond my philanthropic work, I’m a small business owner who has worked for the past fourteen years as a cooking teacher, recipe developer, food photographer, caterer, cookbook author, memoirist, blogger, travel guide, and sommelier.
Then 2020 arrived – and with it the pandemic we are slogging our way through with no end in sight. Nearly every activity I’ve listed above has been shelved during this time, and instead I’ve committed myself to babysitting my grandson four days a week, and then spending the other three days recovering and getting caught up. The forced hiatus from these organizations has given me time to consider my overly packed schedule and to analyze my need to be busy all the time.
The reality is, I don’t miss two of the three professional organizations at all, even though I was so honored to join them. So, with a short and simple email, I recently resigned from them. It didn’t feel like quitting or giving up – it felt like acknowledging that these organizations simply didn’t bring value or pleasure to me, so it was time to bow out. It felt so good that at first I was tempted to just quit every single thing I’m involved in. But I know that’s irrational, and that once I come up for air, once I’m freed from the isolation of 2020, I’m going to want, and need, some activities in my life.
So instead of resigning across the board, I’m focusing on those roles I had that I really miss, and navigating my way back to those, and only those, positions. There’s a quote floating around the internet that goes something like this. “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider what parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” I’m continuing that sort of reflection while we hunker down just a little longer, and invite you to do the same.