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Now What?

October 2, 2009 Fear, Friends No Comments

I am unemployed.

Have no fear, this was a calculated move. It is no secret to anyone (including my boss) that I have been unhappy for a long time. I am pleased that he and I were able to come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial for both of us. I was being paid more than the company was able to afford right now, and less than I am worth. I basically took a voluntary separation package to save the company money and am, therefore, eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits.

The dole.

I have no ego about this. Sure, I will be paid less than half of what I was making, but I gain so much in peace of mind. I purposely live a very frugal lifestyle because I never want to be a slave to a paycheck. I drive a car that is 14 years old. I do my own house cleaning and gardening. We only eat dinner out once a week. I sport a low-maintenance haircut that requires a touch-up every 3-4 months. I don’t do fake nails. Sure, there will be less money for frivolous things that come up… but I accounted for that when I made this decision.

For me, I get to figure out What’s Next. It has been a long time since I have allowed myself to dream about what my passion is. The reality is that I have been working since fourth grade. My first job was a local paper route that I shared with my best friend Megan. When we got into junior high and busy with extra-curricular activities, we quit the paper route and I began babysitting and mowing — steady jobs with set families each week. In high school, I worked at the local nursing home every weekend and most holidays in addition to my babysitting and mowing gigs. During college, I worked every day after classes in the business school’s Marketing Department helping with administrative tasks. My college summers were spent mowing and cleaning beaches at Lake Okoboji, as well as bartending/waitressing at night. These jobs were in addition to taking courses so I could graduate early and start making real money.

For your reference, Iowans refer to this as a Work Ethic.

So, here I am at 34 years old without work for the first time in almost 25 years. As beneficial as fear can be, I can’t tell you how great it feels to be at peace with this and FEEL NO FEAR AT ALL. I am liberated! I am so grateful to have a supportive (and gainfully employed) husband, no debt, and a deep savings account that I’ve been racking up since fourth grade.

I know I’ll go back to work at some point. In the meantime, I intend to take some time for myself to just “be” and then I’ll get to the business of figuring out What’s Next.

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