The First Day, and my list

Yep, this is the first official day as a result of my leap of faith. I am no longer employed. I can’t say I was completely relaxed today as there were moments of slight panic attacks, but after 30 years of working that’s to be expected.

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that one of our purposes in life is to learn lessons, and this leap of faith has been a culmination of me learning/accepting one of these lessons. What would that be? Simply put, trust.

 

Growing up my Grandma and I did good, but when my mother moved back in and produced 3 more siblings, we were poor. Electricity got turned off at times as well as the water, we went without food, repairs weren’t made because there wasn’t any money, etc. Many, many people have experienced this. I quickly learned that money meant independence, the ability to live life the way you want…it meant power. You’re bringing in the dough, you call the shots. I worked summer jobs from the time I was 13 along with babysitting in between. I picked up my first permanent job at 17 and stayed with that for 26-1/2 years. I married at 19—not my brightest move. I stuck with it for 8 years despite the fact he spent money like water, would continue to write checks on an overdrawn account, didn’t pay bills on time, if at all, etc. When I gave birth to my son and abusive behavior began to be directed at him, I got a divorce. Robbed Peter to pay Paul, but I didn’t file bankruptcy and I barely managed not to pay anything late. Years later when I met my current husband, he was the first person I had ever been with who earned more than myself. Yes, it was a slight adjustment, but it was cool—he wasn’t threatened by my job or what I was earning.

 

When my job was shipped to India I went into a total panic attack. Even though hubby showed me we would be fine on his paycheck, there was more to it than that. It was the independence aspect that was kicked in the nuts. I ended up going part-time with another company, and finally got used to not pulling in enough to cover everything. Fast forward 3-1/2 years. Hubby has been promoted, gotten raises, etc. He makes more than enough to cover our expenses. He’s also listened to me bitch at the doctors nightly who learned English as a second (third, or fourth) language and I tried to decipher what they were saying. Or the doctors who were born and raised in America but should have been auctioneers, or thought it was a good idea to eat their meal while dictating, or just didn’t give a damn. Since I was paid by the line, it could get stressful trying to figure out what was being said. There were a couple of psychiatrists that drove me NUTS. I can’t even imagine having a mental health issue, or a meltdown, and having an Indian/Russian/Czechoslovakian descent psychiatrist walk in and try to talk to me with an accent that obliterates any English pronunciation and have no understanding as to sentence structure. It was bad enough trying to type their reports. Hubby knows I’d be happier, not to mention more relaxed, not having to deal with that anymore. So we commence with having several conversations about retirement, taking a break, looking at what others have done and if they were happy with the results, etc.

 

Look—it’s not that I don’t trust my husband. It’s not that at all. It’s all the history I have behind me, all the experiences that made me hang in there with the job as long as I did. Hubby’s trying to tell me to relax, he’s got this, but I keep seeing my Grandma struggling through no fault of her own in my head, me struggling to raise a child after getting rid of a toxic influence, watching others struggle, etc. After consulting some financial advisers he sat me down and we crunched the numbers. I compared me stopping working now versus continuing on until retirement age—it only made a difference of $30 dollars a month in Social Security (and that’s even if it’s still around when I retire). I have a modest retirement account that’s being managed by a financial institution which is making decent money. Hubby’s retirement pension covers me, also. That along with some bonds and policies fund a modest, comfortable retirement. One that I can live with.

 

Still, it came down to putting my trust into someone else, letting someone else take the reins, be the breadwinner. I would be a homemaker, a wife and mother. I still contribute to the household by searching for bargains, managing a lean budget, growing food and doing repairs within my realm of expertise instead of calling a repairman. I did that today with a clogged bathroom sink—after usual remedies failed I took it apart and manually removed the clog before putting everything back together. Considering a bill for a plumber would have been more than I earned in a day, we’ll call today a done deal. 😉

 

So, after some encouragement from hubby I took the leap and resigned. My manager called me and we had a very nice conversation. She said she’d miss me, and if I ever wanted to come back I had her number and email—all I needed to do was contact her. She also congratulated me on choosing to spend time with my family instead of splitting my time with work, and that she wished she had been brave enough to make that choice years ago. It was another little sign for me that I had made the right decision.

 

To solidify my decision, I made the following con/pro list. It’s funny, I keep adding to the pro side, but am struggling to find more cons. For now, I’m going to work at making the adjustment of NOT being employed. That’s not to say I’ll stay unemployed, but I’m definitely going to take a break for a while. It’ll give me time for my hobbies, as well as lending a helping hand to friends with their projects. We’ll see what Fate brings my way. Until then, here’s my list:

Cons:

  • Losing the extra money.

  • Having to watch the budget closer. (Not that this will be too difficult—I grew up learning how to make Lincoln scream).

  • I’ll miss doing Dr. R’s dictation—he sounded EXACTLY like Count Dracula—always put a smile on my face.

  • …well…ummmm…I would have sworn there were more cons, but I can’t think of any at the moment.

Pros:

  • I won’t have to stay up until 1 AM typing—hallelujah!

  • I won’t have to do Dr. O’s or Dr. B’s dictation anymore—woohoo!

  • I won’t have to figure out what ANY foreign doctor is trying to say.

  • I won’t have to beg to try to get time off for the holidays.

  • I can plan things during the holidays and have time to do them.

  • I won’t have to work on a holiday. Didn’t matter if there was no work, you still had to sign on and check back “just in case”. Which means no more checking on ham in the oven while transcribing a colonoscopy.

  • I have Father’s Day off.

  • I have Mother’s Day off.

  • I have Easter off. (My schedule had me working every Sunday).

  • I can actually go on vacation and not have to worry about getting back after a couple of days. (Since I was part-time I didn’t get any vacation time, and was only allowed 10 hours of unpaid leave a year).

  • I can do a better job of keeping the house clean.

  • I can devote as much time as I want to for gardening.

  • I have the time to cook as much as I want to (cooking for me is a passion and a creative outlet, like writing is to an author or painting is to an artist).

  • I can chauffeur the munchkin around to anything she needs to go to (she’s taking athletics this year).

  • I can volunteer at the school for different activities.

  • If someone gets sick I can take care of them instead of trying to juggle that and typing.

  • I won’t have to push to try to get enough lines in to meet my quota.

  • I won’t have to worry about making up time because work ran out of work.

  • When a norther is blowing in, I can make a fire in the fireplace, put on a pot of gumbo and work on a loaf of homemade bread without checking the clock to see if I have to type yet.

  • After working nonstop for 30 years (except for a 4-week break for maternity leave), I can relax.

  • I can focus on things I’d like to do, try different things, and take time to just smell the roses.

We’ll see how things go, but I think I might enjoy this…

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