Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer of my Discontent

The unintended consequences of May's PR Weekend (aside from fun, friendship, fabric and wine) were a total and complete discontent with my work life as it currently exists. After listening to both Kenneth King and Diana Rupp talk about how they started their businesses, and how they could just no longer work for other people when what they wanted to do was what they loved, well, I have to say I found that the most inspiring part of an already inspiring workshop day.

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to go about liberating myself from desks and lawyers and 9-5 responsibilities, but it will happen. I'm 48 now. I'm giving myself until my 50th birthday (unless I can achieve it sooner) to transition from office to workroom doing something that I love.

Right now I'm spinning with ideas, none of which I think will make me enough money to get by. And because I'm not 20-something, like Kenneth and Diana were when they started out, I can't just stop what I'm doing and throw myself at it head on. Much as I'd like to. I have 10 cats, 2 chickens, a mortgage and a man who understands a lot but who might not understand suddenly carrying all the bills while I go merrily off to follow my bliss.

But I've been thinking, and I know how much I need to make to live comfortably, and it's less than I'm making now. This is combat pay, money to keep me semi-content and glued to my chair doing something that means less and less every single day. No one in my office is happy with their work, and I'm tired of being part of that crowd.

I'm looking into sewing lessons in my neighborhood, placing more items at the local craft/consignment store, stepping up the Etsy shop (there's still a mountain more family stuff to offload), and dancing as fast as I can to find something that isn't what I'm currently doing.

(And I admit, more than a small part of me would like to get out of the city, move us to a smaller house with enough ground for me to have chickens and goats and plant everything that it strikes me to plant, and see what comes of that, but that's a dream for another day.  I think.)

It's amazing that just setting that 50 or bust deadline made me smile at work for the first time in ages.

And it scared them, seeing me smile.

I like that.

18 comments:

Valerie said...

Go for it! I chose my 50th year to change my entire life---and I did. Now as I approach 60 (where did the time go?) I'm ready for another sea change. I, too, detest my job, and where I live there aren't many other options. But I think just saying it out loud starts something moving in the Universe to help you reach your goals. Good luck!

Karen in VA said...

Your post made me smile. I turned 50 last June and that's when I made the leap into self-employment...I just couldn't take working for someone anymore and figured if I didn't do it then, I'd chicken out and never do it....After one year, I'm still thrilled with my decision. I like having some control over my life, even though some days it is just an illusion. I didn't stray far from what I know - have been in accounting my entire career - just on my own now. It is nice to be able to choose who I do work for - mostly accounting for nonprofits and some small businesses, very little tax work (hate it). Also thinking about moving (live just outside DC now) - to the Shenandoah Valley area. To do what I do only need computer and an internet connection...I've decided to get out of the rat race, I conceed the race to the rats... It is scary some days - I'm single with a mortgage, but it is definitely one of my better life decisions...

annie said...

When I was 50, I took a job that was not particularly exciting but I recognized it as a path to get both my husband and I out of a tension-filled life style. I have LOTS of education but that's not necessarily where money or happiness can be found. At 60, I took a really mindless job that I absolutely loved. Lots of interpersonal contact and no responsibility after I put in my 32 hrs/wk. I loved that job more than I can say. Now we live in the Shenandoah Valley. We are so happy here and together. In some ways I regret that when we were 20 and 25 we didn't have time to get to know one another as a married couple; dived right into it. Now I am so grateful that the later years of our life are full of the connection and quality that time and wisdom provide. We are not wealthy; we have what we need in that way. But we are so rich in so many other ways. I encourage you to find the place for you.

Irene said...

Just remember that one step at a time gets you to your destination. The biggest step (I think) is making "the decision". Hope you get to where you want to be soon!

gMarie said...

I think that's my goal too. JB and I would love to own a B&B. 2 things have to be done first - agree on a location. I want to be on the East Coast and JB wants to stay on this one. And b - find the perfect B&B to own. Nothing will happen while I still have dogs - I cannot list my house with 3 hound dogs sharing it with me. :) I know with 10 cats you understand.

I'm in the same boat you are with work. I had a total meltdown at my desk on Tuesday. I've been off since then, and I'm dreading Monday already.

g

Silknmore said...

Good luck in your decision making. Am sure you will land in a place that's good for you.

StephC said...

Awesome! I like that- "dancing". :) It's what you got to do sometimes.

Karen in VA said...

Annie - Can you email me at krncpa@gmail.com? Would like to hear about your journey to the Shenandoah Valley and some hints about where to look for a house...Karen-you obviously touched a chord here.... :)

renee said...

Good for you, Karen! I'll watch your progress with delight. Oh, and keep those co-workers off balance with your happiness.

US Webbing Supplier said...

I started my own business at 50 and now it's taking off! You just have to take risks and have a good idea to sweep it all away with. Good luck, milady.

Dana said...

Well, if I weren't so happy with my teaching job I'd definitely be looking into something like this http://www.etsy.com/shop/porshesplace?section_id=6388760. She takes vintage patterns and makes custom garments from them. I only noticed her because she had a store-front for about a year in my neighborhood. Not sure if she closed the shop because of too much work or too little, but it sure sounds like a fun sewing business to me. Good luck with your adventure!

Kyle said...

Go for it! Go for all your dreams. You can move out of the city and have the job you want. The thoughts you think today are creating your future--so tell the universe what you want several times a day! (I just recently discovered Louise Hay...).
Beautiful rose, and I love those flower balls, I know their name but can't recall right now...

scormeny said...

Karen, I am excited for you! I would also suggest going to your local public library and to the Small Business Association office, any Women's Business Center, and/or any local jurisdiction small business/entrepreneur organization to start gathering information and making friends. There is a great community of entrepreneurs out there in all sorts of businesses, and it can be very helpful to reach out to them as you think about getting started!

Becky said...

Best wishes to you! Even though it won't be easy, I think it will be much more fulfilling for you to have a career that you love rather than a job that you have to have.

JoEllen said...

Good for you. I wish I had your guts. I thought about starting a sewing business about 15 yrs. ago but chickened out. Worried about paying for healthcare,etc. I know you can get it done. Keep us posted.

Michele said...

50 seems to be the year of the epiphany. I just rolled over to 5-0 and, like you, was feeling such discontent when I had my "Aha!" moment...or as I call it, my "Dorothy in the Emerald City" moment. I have been wearing the ruby slippers all along. So, Karen, just click your heels together three times and start the process in motion. I gave myself a year to put in place an exit strategy. I have no doubt you will get to where you are meant to be.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Sounds scary and exciting! Best wishes!

Marjie said...

Hooray for smiling! I hope you can find something you really love, so you'll smile all the time!