Above my desk and on the door at work I have the following quote from Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day,
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.
I’ve thought on that line a lot lately. That line, the verbal kick to the ass my friend Trish gave me a few weeks back (thank you Trish), but mostly the following interaction with Bean when I was upset one evening. She stroked my face, wiped the tears away, and said, “It’ll be okay Mummy. We’re not going to die. We’re going to exercise and eat healthy and we’re going to be okay.”
Dear God. What did she hear? She saw that I was upset. That I was worried, but wow, she was putting stuff together. I think this was the final straw.
I resigned from my job last week. A job that in essence I loved, but that has, for a variety of reasons, become stressful and all time consuming. The emotional drain of some aspects of work coupled with niggling health worries*, and a recognition that there are things** in life that I, that we, want to do and that we aren’t doing because there is this huge time/emotional energy suck is pushing this decision. These factors are having a negative impact on my health, and on our quality of life. Frankly, I’m also fed up of feeling like I need to defend the fact that work isn’t my number one priority. This I realize is my response to society’s pressure and some of my colleagues’ feelings and not my boss’s directive, who has always been supportive of my attempts to find a work-life balance.
Still, making this move feels reckless. I’ve always worked. Like many of us, my sense of who I am is tied up in my employment. There are obviously going to have to be some fairly significant adjustments to our spending habits, but we can do it (Trish, K and Monica, I need your help). There are ideas already fermenting as to next job moves, but we’ve made a firm agreement that there are some basics must be addressed first. I know how very fortunate I am to be able to make this choice. I am extremely grateful for the support that I feel from my partner, my family and my friends. Thank you.
*I’ll probably say more about this, nothing serious, but with my history it maybe isn’t really a surprise that I jump to worrying
** more quality time with Bean, adoption paperwork, unrushed time with each other being primary, exercising & eating healthy, gardening, HAMO, fixing up house, local community involvement, science stuff