Living a Life of Intention

Several months ago, I left my job in the insurance/financial industry.  I won’t get into the reasons of why I left.  I am not even sure if I have a concrete reason for why I left.  I guess it was a lot little reasons.  In a nutshell, I was not happy.  I had been there for 4 years and had spent 3 years, 9 months trying to find a reason to leave.  Instead of finding a reason to leave, I had a million reasons for why I needed to stay.  My husband had been encouraging me to leave for a couple of years, knowing that I was not happy and that my health, both physical and mental were suffering.  So, with Eric’s encouragement, I put in my 2 week notice and left my former company on February 28th without a job lined up.  I had posted my resume online requesting NO INSURANCE inquiries.

I had been in the insurance industry since before I graduated college.  In fact, I worked at an insurance company in high school and worked at that same company for summer vacations.  When I graduated college, I naturally found a job at another insurance company.  When my kids were born, I stayed home with them and worked in retail part-time for several years.  That was strictly spending money, 15 hours per week at Yankee Candle does not pay the bills, but it was a fun place to work and I was happy.  When I decided to go back to work 9 years ago, my resume only attracted insurance companies, so back I went.  Knowing with 100% certainty that I was going to hate the industry, the job and for the most part, my 8am to 5pm existence.  Boy was I right!

When I took the job I recently quit, it came with a 50% pay increase, better benefits and more security.  It seemed like a no brainer, but when I accepted, my stomach sank and for 4 years I survived on Tums.  I did not listen to my inner voice, that was a huge mistake.  For 4 years I went to work, dreading the day ahead of me.  Every Sunday night depressed me and I lived for the weekends. When I had a day off, it was like Christmas for me.  A coworker once remarked that I loved days off more than anyone she knew.  I was more than a little embarrassed, but she spoke the truth.   I used to mark every day off of my desk calendar because it marked the end of another day of being there.  I told my coworker who asked why I did that, that I marked the days off so that I knew what the date was immediately if asked.  It seemed plausible.  When I told my kids I left my job, I told them to never stay at a job that makes you so unhappy that you are excited to mark off the days of your life, which is what I was doing.  In a nutshell, I was living in a soul sucking environment, I never should have stayed with it as long as I did.

When I think about my departure, the phrase “death by a thousand papercuts” seems like the perfect description.  Like I said, I can’t think of one instance, other than the one that finally set me free, that made me so unhappy.  There was just a lot of little things, that is no way to live.  I would encourage anyone who is reading this that if they feel like this, reexamine your life.  We only get one trip on this planet, make it worth it.

I knew I had to find a job that allowed me to live a life that made me happy and allowed me to live my values.  I value my family, friends,  community,  the environment, a free exchange of ideas and living a life with intention.  With those ideas in mind, I felt like I hit the jackpot when I saw a job opening at my local library.  I will spare the boring details of how I got the job, but I did get the job.  I have not had heartburn since March 1st.  Seriously, it immediately disappeared when I left.  I no longer dread Sunday nights.  Yes, I have to work Monday morning, but I enjoy my job and truly enjoy everyone I work with.  I am working in my community.  What says community more than a local library in a sleepy suburb? I work with people who share the same values I do and we talk about it.  I no longer have to pretend I am something I am not or keep my mouth shut so I don’t offend.  I have time to pursue the things I want to do.  My hours are reduced and while they do not conform to the normal 8-5 workday, I am able to sleep in a bit and spend time with my husband and daughter in the mornings.  I have also lost weight.  I have more time to exercise and spend a lot more time moving.  Being chained to a desk all day is a recipe for weight gain no matter how well take care of yourself.  Simply stated, I am happy.




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