When I tell people I’ve stopped working, these are the typical questions:
Why did you quit your job?
I quit my job because I hated it. I worked at the same company for 11 years. It used to be great, but it became miserable. It became chaotic. I couldn’t get anything done and I was losing sleep trying to figure out a problem I could never solve. The culture had shifted. It felt like people worked there to collect a paycheck and not because they cared about accomplishing something. I wanted to love my job, and create something of value. So I jumped.
Can you make this work? (Translation: Can you afford it?)
I don’t know! I keep joking that I want Todd to make me his trophy wife. Wouldn’t it be nice if every morning when he puts on his Carhartts and heads to his shop, I put on my tennis skirt and head to the club? But the reality is that Todd is still building his business and we need two incomes. And as fun as tennis is, I need to find my calling.
What are you going to do?
Right now I am spending the summer with my kids. I didn’t sign them up for a string of 8am-4pm camps to fill the entire summer. We’re having lazy days, swim lessons, play dates, and other adventures. We’re trying out the not-too-scheduled lifestyle. It’s a big change.
When school starts in the fall, I plan to help my husband and his partner with their business. While they are incredible iron fabricators, they aren’t so incredible at leveraging technology or creating a web site for themselves. (No offense.) So I’m going to help them with that.
I will also to try to find work I am passionate about, figure out ways to live frugally, indulge my creative side, spend more time with my children, and blog. Can I find fulfillment and pay the bills?
What about health insurance?
This part is a total drag. We went from full coverage to a high deductible individual family plan. I pay $500 a month, just in case something catastrophic happens to any of us. It feels like we are paying a lot for nothing. But I guess I’d feel differently if something tragic and expensive happened.
Now that you’re unemployed, are you going to be a total mooch?
Not a frequently asked question – asked just once – but a valid one none-the-less.
Well, I certainly hope not. But if you show up at my house with all kinds of yummy food and drink, or want to go out dancing and booze me up, I won’t turn you away. But I will find some way to reciprocate.
Aren’t you a little old to be taking a risk like this?
Nobody has asked me this question. It’s one that I ask myself. And it’s a stupid question (yes there are stupid questions) because, as the saying goes, ‘It’s never too late.’
I’m 45, and while this seems impossible to me, it’s not so bad. I’m not that excited about blurry vision and the arrival of ‘old body’ (what the heck is happening to my neck?), but I love that I want less and appreciate more. I love the people in my life, feeling inspired all the time, and savoring the little things. What a mush I’ve become…