Friday, March 29, 2013

Change is Good?

So I've mentioned for a while now that changes are in the air, that I'm sorting things out, that something big is going to happen.

This is it.

As of today, a Very Good Friday, I gave 2 weeks' notice at work.  This is a very good thing.

I do not have another job lined up.  (I do have a resume, and I'm not afraid to use it, but it's nowhere right now but on my computer).

I need air.  I need space.  I need to clean out my head and see what's left in there once I scrub out the taste of lawyers and the detritus left behind from 30 years in a cubicle.

Sounds like a prison sentence.  I'm beginning to think it was, I just didn't notice it at first.  But you know what?  When you realize you're in a hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging.

This must have been percolating in the back of my mind for some time, because when the idea hit me in January that I just couldn't take it anymore, I couldn't be responsible for keeping myself this unhappy just to keep the mortgage paid and the lights on, I took a look at my finances and realized that by being my generally thrifty self, by not buying much fabric, by cooking from scratch and happily eating in most of the time, and by refusing to give in to the urge for retail therapy, I actually had enough money put by to carry me through at least half a year of voluntary unemployment.

Or even a longer period, if I chose to do something that paid less but didn't suck my soul out through my pores every single freaking day.

Are you getting the idea yet of how much I've grown to hate my job?  It's not even that particular place, per se.  Okay, well, it is.  They were the straw that broke me.  But I've worked in one law firm or another since 1982, and in all those long years, I've never had more than a one week vacation at a time, and never more than a week between jobs.  Usually the jobs were back to back, with a weekend in between to decompress.

What was I doing that for?  Do I want to turn into an old woman like my aunt, applying for food stamps in her last months while she had nearly a quarter mil in the bank, so worried about not having money that she couldn't see reality?  (None of that came to me, by the way; if this damsel in distress was going to get rescued, she was going to do it her damn self.  And she did).

Long story short.  Or long, looking at how much I've already written.  I'm too old to be this miserable at a job, and young enough to still do something about it.  I'm not proud; I'll do whatever I feel like I need to do to get by, but for a while I just want to . . . be.

I've given my daylight hours to someone else for 30 years in service of their dreams.  It would help just a little if they seemed the slightest bit happier than I am, but I don't think they are.

Not everyone can do this.  Not everyone would want to.  This is my experiment, and I'm looking forward to it like you cannot believe.

38 comments:

Karen in VA said...

Karen -

I did the same thing a couple of years ago. I realized that my job was not only sucking out my soul, but ruining my health also. I ended up starting my own business and it was wonderful. I'm working p/t for an accounting firm now (needed health insurance) but still have my own clients, working less hours and enjoying life more. I am not making as much money as I used to, but it is worth it to enjoy life. Good luck!!!

gMarie said...

Oh Karen, I'm so happy for you. I decided in December that I had to get out of where I was. I got laid off 3 weeks ago. But before that happened I accepted a new job at a place that seems to actually like and value their assistant. I will not be working with lawyers any longer but still have a chance to wear the nice clothes I enjoy making. I've spent the last 3 weeks being - and it was good. I wish you joy and happiness as you work through this.

by the way - my being ends Monday. :) g

Sheila said...

Wishing you the best in your new venture.

Dawn said...

Wow, good for you. Some days I think, "Only 11 years, nine weeks, and four more minute until I retire." Siiiiiiighhhhh.

Far said...

All the very best to you!!! :)

Mary Beth said...

Good luck, Karen! It is amazing the service you've given all these years and it definitely sounds like time to move on. Congratulations for taking the plunge. Be good to yourself.

Rosie said...

Karen, you had to make the decision that was right for you. I am happy that you are able to do this. Things will work out the way they are supposed to. I hope your crafting takes off and is successful!!! Always on your side sistah!! XOXO

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Congratulations. You'll do great at whatever you choose to do now. Claudine

SEWN said...

Yippee!!!!! I'm so happy for you. I know this was a long time coming. Let yourself decompress. Don't rush into any activity. You need time to breath. Ask me how I know. ;) Good luck my friend. And congrats. I want to hear how that conversation went too. Call me!!!

ConnieB said...

Good on you my friend! A lot of thought and careful deliberation went into this decision, and I know that Mario has your back. Hugs!

KayoticSewing said...

Good luck Karen.. I'm glad you did the thing that was right for you!! You go, girl!

Kathie said...

Congratulations, Karen!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Congratulations! I understand how you feel but since I only have a few years until retirement, I'm gonna hang in there because in a minute I won't have to do this at all! Take your time, breathe and figure out what you want to do next.

Kathi Rank said...

Karen, good for you ... it takes courage to make a move and step into the great unknown. A few weeks of R&R should clear your head and you can figure out what you want to do. The right position will materialize. Good luck and enjoy your time off.

Lorinda said...

Good Luck and Peace of Mind to You! I am sure you will create something wonderful when the time is right.

KathleenS said...

Good luck with your new life Karen! It's a bold step but it sounds like it's the right thing for you to do.

Elaray said...

Boy, do I know how you feel!! It's a terrible thing to have to go to a job you hate. I admire your courage in taking this step Good luck. And call me -- we can do lunch!.

ashley0107 said...

Congratulations, and good luck with whatever you decide to do :)

Heather said...

Always make the move that is positive for you. I hope you get some good time to do whatever you would like to do, enjoy the next few months, and be lucky. Great time of the year not to be working, Spring around the corner and all that. Written as the snow is falling in Newark, UK!

Graca said...

Karen, congratulations on the bold and brave step you took, enjoy the time to breathe and relax for a bit. I can't wait to read about what new adventures await...

judidarling said...

Congratulations and Brava! After years of teaching, I looked around my classroom one day and knew this part of my life was over. Never regretted the decision, never looked back. First things first--BREATHE.

Linda T said...

All the best in your new adventures!

Erzulimojo said...

Brava and I wish you all the best as you explore your new options. Keep blogging!

Jodie said...

You GO girl! I admire you and count myself lucky that I've only ever had summer jobs (as a uni student) that I considered soul sucking. Enjoy your time to just BE and rejuvinate yourself.
Best to you!

cidell said...

You are my hero. Good for you!

Vicki said...

Wow, good for you!! I understand how you feel and can sense your relief in being free at last.

Rose said...

Enjoy your experiment! I've been there, done that, never looked back, and never regretted it. I wish the same for you.

deep1084 said...

One year ago this weekend, I did this same thing. I spent the last year getting my head back to where it should be. this year I am focusing on my body. I was too spent to do both at the same time. This has probably been the best year of my life, and I wish you the same! I was 34 years in a profession I loved and a job that I hated. I feel like I am finally becoming "me". Good luck to you! why do we do this to ourselves??

deep1084 said...
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Becky said...

Life is definitely too short to spend so many hours of the day at a job that sucks the joy out of you. Wishing you the best of luck, and much creativity, as you look for whatever's next!

DawnSSL said...

Wishing you the best in the next chapter of your life! I am excited for you.Takes courage and a true desire to be happy.

Valerie said...

I'm about at my tipping point at my current job. Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors--I know you'll be successful!

Dana said...

In one way or another I've been there too. I think what you're doing is fantastic and wish you luck finding the magic "I love my job" formula!

AuntieAllyn said...

Echoing so many of the other comments, good luck to you! That's a very tough and brave a decision you've made, and you should be very proud that you've done so. Life is way too short to spend 8-10-12 hours a day working at a job you hate!!

Lisa and Robin said...

I'm about to do the same thing! And for exactly the same reason. I wish us both luck.

Nancy K said...

Good luck to you! Echoing other sentiments life really is too short to be that unhappy in your job. Who knows what you'll do next but I hope that it makes you much happier than your current job.

Barbara said...

Hi! I just saw your post - and after more than 40 years working in the legal field - BOY - I HEAR YA!! Wishing you all the best of luck with your new future. I have no doubt it was a good decision!

SoSoLili said...

I did something similar, although a layoff was the trigger. I have been working for 30 years and the last ten as a working mom. Wow, I had no idea how deep a hole I had dug until I was out of the office. Whew. I am a compulsive craft and sewing project creator. I realized that I had not really accomplished much craft-wise while I was working and had not added much value to my family beyond the basics.

The opportunity to not work has been life changing for me and my family. I wish you an amazing time.