Calling it Quits: Tipping the Scale in a Different Direction

So I did it. Handed in my resignation notice. After six years and three months, I am leaving my current employer to go do my own thing...which for the next couple of months, I am hoping will consist mainly of being Mom to Boo, but will also mean starting two businesses on my own. I am incredibly excited to grow and experience life in a different capacity than I have these past few years; I relish change, embrace it, and learn most from it. While being pregnant and giving birth and raising a baby for the first time in my life has been a big change, quitting my full-time job somehow seems to be more for me to take in and get used to, but I know it is for the best.

I've written a lot over the past year about the myth that one can achieve balance between work life and home life, between your time and the time you spend giving to others. I believe there is no balance - just a scale that is sometimes up on one side but then must be down on the other. The scale moves as you guide it to and as life demands, but it is rarely, if ever, dead even. This is how life is, and I believe if we embrace the fact that we honestly cannot juggle all of our responsibilities evenly, at 110% all the time, then we will live a much happier and healthier life. We do what we can. Right now, what will make me and my family happier and healthier is if I tip the scale to spend more time with them, and just as importantly, with me. I love what I do for work; I just need to do it in a way that works better for me and my needs right now.

We all need change in order to be who we are, and to learn who we can become. I truly believe that we control our own happiness, and that if we are unhappy, then no matter what the circumstances are, we can change that. If you do what you love, the money will follow. If you are true to yourself - your core values, your life philosophy, your moral and ethical standards - then you will do more than just survive, you will thrive. Some people call this naive thinking, but it's my way of life and so far, it's worked out pretty well. Sure there are always struggles, but they make me stronger and I learn from them. Yes there are obstacles, but they challenge me to rethink my direction and simply find the right path.

As a parent, it is obvious to me each day that I really have to do as I say. I have these tiny eyes watching every move I make, everything I say, mimicking my words, my motions, my expressions. I am no longer just living my life, I am teaching him how to live his. Which means I damn well had better live mine the way I would hope he lives his.

So off I go, to start new adventures. One of my friends sent me a nice email today saying that she realizes this means I will still be super busy, because I am really just quitting one job out of the three or four I really do. One of my friends said I was crazy, because it will be even harder doing what I plan on doing than what I currently do for work now, but that she believed in me. Sure, what I plan on doing now will take even more hours and more juggling, but it's a different type of juggling and a different type of workload. We all have many jobs in life at the same time. Some we get paid for monetarily, some we get paid for in hugs, smiles, kisses, thank you notes, appreciative nods. We all work hard. In the end, what matters most to me, is knowing I believe in what I do, and believing it will make me a better person and will provide a good example for Boo.

It is always weird to say goodbye to something that has been such a huge part of your life for many years. But it's a great chance to say hello to so many new people and experiences that will help me become the me I need to be at this stage of my life.


betty said...

Wow! Good luck on your new ventures!

This was a wonderful post that really resonated with me. And, I especially loved your description of the "scale" and your thought..."I am incredibly excited to grow and experience life in a different capacity than I have these past few years."

All of it captures concisely everything that I've been feeling myself these past few years and the struggles I have had balancing a stressful and demanding job and family life with 2 kids. Basically, it was impossible and I felt like I needed to get off this super-fast work/family train before it became completely derailed.

Well, I had the chance to do that when we moved here. I resigned from my job last month, and I feel so much more relaxed and able to focus on the immediate needs of my family. At first I felt incredibly guilty for no longer wanting to work at a job that for many years I actually truly enjoyed because it was challenging and intellectually stimulating, but I (and my DH) feel that the "scale" is now finally tipped in the right direction...at least for this current stage in my life. It's taking me a while to adjust to being a SAHM, but I'm going to take advantage of this time at home for as long as we decide that it's right for our family...whether it's for 2 months, 6 months, 1 years, or 2 years... :)

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Mama M said...

Hooray for you and your new "scale" direction, Betty! I hope all is going well so far and that your family is enjoying living in PDX!

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