My dear friend Pamela is my guest writer today. She blogged about her extremely liberating experience of quitting her 9-5 job. It’s inspiring to read her insights and how she found her path once she let go of the old. Congrats Pamela and thanks for allowing me to share this with our readers!
Some of us think that we are obligated to work 9-5 as a measure of our success in society. That programming is difficult to ignore and the material goods that accompany a steady pay check are enticing.
Some of us just are not cut out for that lifestyle. We try to conform to the system. We do our job knowing that we are not part of that system and here is the result: We spend most of our waking hours with people we would not normally associate with. Maybe there are some co-workers we strongly dislike yet we are forced into a small, crowded office with them. We get caught in office politics that we do not care about, with people we don’t like, for a job that may be meaningless in the greater scheme of things. We come home tired, angry, frustrated, stressed.
Our true vocation is on hold. There is no energy left after the 9-5 brain drain. We wake up in the middle of the night agonizing over a stupid power play from the office (Why are these people in our bed?). Morning comes and we are already stressed. The night’s sleep didn’t erase the daily grind. Now we have to rush to get ready for work, walk the dog, drink the coffee, drive to the office, find parking, clock in, and face the music again. The weekend comes and it is run to the grocery store, the dry cleaners, rush through basic housekeeping chores, rush, rush, rush. If you have kids, the rushing becomes exponentially more insane. Multiply your daily to-dos by 1,000.
This was my life for 6 years. I sidestepped a life of creativity and spirituality, my two most important values, so I could pay bills. It seemed like the easy way out. I was tired of hustling my talents to make a living. So I bought into the 9-5. My boss was a micromanaging freak with a huge chip on her shoulder. Three years of hell and I landed a job in the arts at a very progressive place promising growth, opportunity, camaraderie, and enjoyment ! What a concept! A 9-5 that is a fun place to work…until it is not.
The economy shifted, the balance of power shifted, and with it came a truckload of stress. And then my body started to react. Everything I put up with at work I swallowed whole and my body was not happy. My stomach hurt. My teeth hurt. I had bags and circles under my eyes. Acupuncture helped but…without changing the situation that was causing the bodily ailments, the discomfort continued. I eat organics, take vitamins, practice Reiki, do Pilates and shun medications but my poor little body was bombarded with negativity and couldn’t process it. No wonder so many Americans succumb to the myriad of medications promoted so heavily in the media. And no wonder they are so overweight. They drown their misery in chemically laden, over processed factory food, which compounds the stress imbalance of 9-5.
I ask you – can you simplify your life? Slow down? Reconnect to your values?
I did. I left my job to rediscover my true self, so I could reinvent my future. The first week I was home I found myself caught in the habit of rushing. I forgot how to do anything at a leisurely pace. I had to retrain myself to enjoy the process of whatever it was I was doing and to be grateful for everything. Everything is a gift! Then I began to engage in things that bring me pleasure: cooking delicious food, sharing a meal with family and friends, decorating for the holidays, baking cookies, gardening, long walks with my dog. Best of all, after weeks of reconnecting to my soul, I reconnected to my inner artist and got back into my studio. I am a weaver. I need to weave, to create with fabric, yarn and threads. It keeps me grounded, balanced, connected to a higher power and appreciative of my talents as god-given gifts. I go in my studio and create something every day and ask myself – “why am I making this?” And the answer is always “because I can!” Sometimes “because I can” is enough. Who else do I know who is doing what I do? No one. I’m it. And that makes me feel good. I’m it. I’m here to share my talents – gifts from the universe, given to me, to create things that can be given to others, to bring joy. If I can’t bring joy into this world then what am I here for? Certainly not the 9-5 grind. Did that bring me joy? At first I thought it did and I learned a lot (rationalizations here) but I did it bring joy? No. It did not. Did I sell my soul to the 9-5?
So now I have been home for three months. My body has normalized. I have slowed down. I give thanks every day for all that I have. I am using Ana’s coaching/visualization techniques to reinvent myself, to create my future. I am more focused on doing Reiki and meditating. With no expectations. I give back to society. I create. Coincidences keep occurring. And opportunities are presenting. I must be doing something right!
Thanks, Ana, for your friendship and your moral support and for your excellence in coaching me to my new reality.