Today, I used my orange purse.

Big deal, right?  Well, actually, yes.

18 months ago, I decided I needed a change from where I was working.  I could feel my attitude towards my job changing, and I found myself under an incredible amount of stress.  I actually woke up with night terrors from the pressure.

I left the company at the end of January 2015, taking a higher level, better paying job with a smaller firm.  This new job added more pressure for performance, but at least I had more control and ability to implement the changes needed.  I found myself working long hours, and soon purchased a briefcase so I could take my laptop home with me every night and weekend just in case I needed it.

I also began to travel for my job – something I enjoyed but that often exhausted me.  My health, which was already suffering, became worse. The plantar fibromatosis has grown increasingly more painful, and treatment only cured things temporarily. And even though my work environment was better, the weighty aspects of my job continued to wear on me.

With my wedding in May of 2016, I felt like I couldn’t make any major changes before then – but I also realized that with all the cost-saving budgeting we had been doing to afford our nuptials, I could afford to take a pay cut if it meant finding a job that gave me a better quality of life.

Within 2 weeks of returning from my honeymoon, I accepted a new job with a small but solid digital marketing firm. The changes to my work life were immediate.  But I still couldn’t break the habit of bringing my briefcase every day just in case.

My new boss, however, did not expect us to work nights or weekends.  “We are not curing cancer here, there is no reason to work past 5 PM.”  And she often will be the one shooing us out the door at 5:01.

A few months ago, a friend told me about a sale on laptops, and we snagged one on the last day of the sale. And even though I’ve not used it for work, it’s there if I ever did really need it.

This week, my boss called me in to the office and gave me a 5-minute, highly positive review and a raise.  It was official, I had found my new work home.

And that was it.  My last reason for carrying around the briefcase, and the significance attached to it, was gone.

So today, I pulled my well-loved orange purse down from my closet shelf, transferred over my few personal belongings from my briefcase, and left the house.

Big deal, right?  Yes, yes it is.