I took a long hard look at the calendar recently, and realized that I was coming to a major turning point in my career.
Seven years back, I was injured on the job. It was a knee injury (completely torn ACL), and not diagnosed properly for years... by the time they realized what the problem was and I had surgery to fix it all up as best they could, my knee was permanently damaged from the years of internal instability. They thought at the time I should heal properly and be back to full duties in a year.
It's now been almost three years since the surgery, and I have still not recovered full function. I have come to the conclusion that I am as good as I'm going to get, and I had better adjust accordingly. I cannot meet the physical requirements of my job any longer.
They are deciding whether to release me as a result of my decreased abilities. However, even if they decide to keep me around, I know what my limits are and I know that this career and I are so over. I've been making plans to fulfill a life-long dream of obtaining a university degree.
If they don't release me and I have to quit, I need to give six month's notice. Six months to September is (holy crap!) March.
The deadline began breathing down my neck in a huge fashion once I realized how close it really was. Last night, I did a hugely exciting thing: began my application to university. As much as I've talked and planned, actually filling in the application online suddenly made it up-close and personal. I am very excited and of course nervous... what a huge thing to go to university 20 years after high school! Not to mention the the massive change in my annual income. Interesting times ahead.
I am willing to quit in order to get to where I need to go, but there's huge advantages to being released medically, not the least of which are educational benefits. I will know within the next month what that decision is... keep yer fingers crossed for me that I am released.