Earlier this week, annual budget meetings took place in Yokneam and Megiddo in Israel. The Jewish Federations of St. Louis and Atlanta go to their “Partnership Region” to review the results and impact achieved this year through the funding of specific programs and projects. In turn, the two municipalities and their partners share strategies, justifications, and requests for future funding. If all goes well, and if the Federations actually raise enough funds, the budgets are likely to be approved for the next fiscal year.

I wasn’t at the table. After five Februarys in a row, the “new guy” was there in my place. And, while I truly wish him well and am confident he’ll be great in the role, I can’t seem to get over the fact that I wasn’t there this week. The people I worked with and the people we helped are real; they never were “just my job.” They became my friends, my extended family, and I feel as though I abandoned them. More importantly, I miss them and the way we all worked together to help others. Either way, they all know how much I truly love them.

To be clear, it was my decision to quit my job. (The work in Israel was only twenty percent of my overall responsibilities.) It was my choice – and yearning – to try my hand at something new. It was time, after five years, for a change. But, no matter how logical and unemotional I want to be about the situation, I simply could not control the tightness I felt in my chest or the welling up of tears, when I saw the various Facebook posts or received the private text messages. As my daughter would say, I am suffering from serious FOMO (a.k.a. Fear of Missing Out).

Despite all that, Week Three on the new job was great! Wearing my new – and very glamorous – satin PJs and high-heeled slippers, I plunged into developing new client relationships, expanding existing ones, lining up meetings at conferences, and learning more about the industry. I’ve started networking anywhere and anyway possible. I feel energized, focused, and excited by meeting new people and accomplishing new things. I feel thankful and grateful for this new opportunity to take individuals and groups on trips (all kinds of cool and different experiences) to Israel. I may not be a millennial, but I’m having fun and getting sh*t done.

Starting over…moving on…is hard. It takes time to adjust and find one’s place. It’s nice to make new friends, but I’m going to work hard to keep my “old” friends too.

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