Today, I quit my job.
No, I don’t have another one.
I gave my boss four weeks notice. Was it too much? Too little? Should I have held out another month, or maybe until Thanksgiving, to collect a few more paychecks?
It’s not like I will be penniless. My husband and I still have his income and a small amount of savings. But in today’s world, knowing that your household income is about to drop by many thousands of dollars while your expenses will rise as you now must pay for your own health insurance, well, it is no small concern.
But nevertheless, I have throw caution to the wind and quit a job that most people, myself included, would find creative, challenging, and fun. Yep, that’s right. I quit a job that I liked. And I imagine that applicants will be beating down the doors to step into my shoes. Oh, it wasn’t perfect. But compared to most jobs, it was pretty close.
But even when you love what you are doing, doing too much of what you love can ruin a good thing. Over the years my job grew to be much too big to fit inside a 40 hour schedule. It slowly crept out of my lovely private office with the large picture window that overlooks a pretty, little garden. Some of that was the result of my growing health issues and my inability to get things done during the day. Some of it was my desire to try too many new things and ideas. But whatever the cause, the work crept slowly at first, slipping and slinking its way into the notebook I carry home at night, riding in the front seat of my car and following me into the house where, at first, it spent most of its nights sleeping unobtrusively on a dining room chair until I picked it up the next morning and drove it back to the office. But as time went on it became bolder and more comfortable and I often found it plopping itself down right smack in the middle of my living room. It sucked away it’s first evening before I knew it. And then another. And another. It stole a whole Saturday. And then a Sunday afternoon. I didn’t watch TV anymore. I worked while the TV played in the background. I missed doing fall clean-up in my outdoor gardens. Suddenly the snow was flying and the roses had never been pruned.
“But it’s only October.”
“No. It’s January.”
My husband began doing all of the grocery shopping.
“But I enjoy grocery shopping.”
“No time for grocery shopping.”
My free time dwindled away, stolen by the unwelcome house guest. If I wanted to sew or paint or have dinner with friends I had to give up cooking or reading books. Do I sew in my few spare hours or do I clean the basement? Do I paint or do I mop the kitchen floor? We all know which of those activities is going to win the game. But when the chores lose out time after time because there is no time…well, your house starts to need a shovel more than it needs a broom.
And I love my house, slanting floors, crooked walls, and all. It was in need of major renovation when we bought it. I spent hours and days and weeks choosing just the right paint colors and wallpaper patterns, laying flooring, hanging light fixtures, restoring old kitchen cabinets and hanging new ones. I put my heart into my little cottage home remaking and restoring every surface. Unmopped floors and cluttered kitchen countertops don’t cut it with me. I hate an unmade bed.
I also love spending hours with my husband, my family. I love lingering over long lunches with my friends. I love to read books. I love to hike in the parks and walk on the beach in search of washed up beach glass and polished stones. I love to sit and drink tea while petting the cat. The unwanted house guest has interfered with those things too often and for too long. And so, he’s being kicked to the curb.
I’ll have less money but I’ll have more time. And ~ here’s a revelation. I’ve just this very minute realized that all of those things I have just listed as my “loves” cost almost nothing. They cost nothing but time which is soon to be a sum I can afford.