Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Pursuit of Happiness

This is it. My quit-the-rat-race date has been set. 8 months from now.

I have a Plan A, B, C and D for what I will be doing to support myself, but almost all plans include one fundamental item: autonomy. Except for plan D. Because if it all fails, I can always get another job (Plan D). Considering that my original plan was to take a year off, the fact that I am now thinking about being my own boss is pretty amazing.

This year has been especially hard on us. My hubby could have been seriously hurt in an accident and almost lost his job, we lost both our senior fur babies, we saw a close family acquaintance pass in her early 50s and 3 months later her son suddenly passed, only 1 week after turning 40. My anxiety has gotten beyond control. 

I look at my life and recognize my mortality is an absolute certainty. Therefore, how do I want to exit it?

At first, I really thought I was going through a mid-life crisis (you know, soon turning 40 and all). I was missing my teens and the feelings I had then. 

I felt I was becoming the most boring adult. But what I was really going through was a shift of how I saw the world. How I saw success, career, money, consumer goods, health and expectations. And I realized in all this turmoil, the one thing I wanted was time. Time to live, time to do nothing, time to choose, time that was on my terms and my choices. 

I had to re-evaluate my concept of success and failure. I had to accept that my most important decisions came out of, not incessant research or preparations, but instinct. 

Now, now, instinct does not mean I have not looked at the risks, pro and cons and if this all absolutely fails or if I have to change my target date (life does tend to happen with little consideration for our plans). 

In the past 7 years, I have diligently saved money and paid off my debt. I have a low expense lifestyle. I have a spouse who shares similar views and desires (it is easier to change things as a team). I have saved about 2 years worth of expenses. 

I try not to think about it too much. Otherwise, I will tell myself how absolutely insane it is too leave a good paying job. But recently, when I was listening to a CD about our Declaration of Independence, that this feeling really hit me. The most unalienable rights I can grant myself are exactly the ones I feel and want in my heart:"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".  I want to live life to that standard, because otherwise, why bother?


jinxxxygirl said...

Good for you! I'm glad you will be making this happen for you!! And that your hubby is on board... Curious though how you will handle health insurance.........I'm sure you have all that worked out... i just think that would be one of my concerns of not working........ Hugs! deb

Caffeine Girl said...

I'm so glad to see you moving forward -- partly for selfish reasons! I am trying to set my own quit-date. It is SO scary. But I have had a number of acquaintances and one friend die in the last month -- reminding me of how precious each day is. Have courage, my friend, and I'm traveling down the same road.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

You must do what it best for you.. Only YOU know that... Everything else will fall into place... Even insurance, as the previous comment has mentioned.

CraftyHope said...

Wow! It definitely sounds like you've thought and prepped quite a bit for this life change. I wish you all the best as you move forward. It sounds a little scary, but exciting at the same same time. Wishing you all the best!!

Jeanie said...

Three cheers, Ana. Yes, you will always have Plan D. But I have a feeling you aren't going to go that far. That you'll find the right things to do and be so you can have your happiness from the inside out. You're right -- life is short and often unexpected. Grab it now and cherish!

Sketchbook Wandering said...

I so appreciate reading your reflections, not to mention that egg shell blah blah blah drawing, I so relate! I too congratulate you for your courage and your practical way of going about this. I just met a woman, in her maybe 30's or 40's who gave up a stressful job in corporate work (even though it was meaningful work) and she now has this sweet little shop on a main street in a sweet Maine tourist town. I loved chatting with her and experiencing her happiness and serenity...there is a new "introvert book" out: Something about "The Introvert hangover", something like that...
In French I would say to you, "Bon courage!"

Magic Love Crow said...

Good for you! I am very proud of you!!! I understand totally everything you are going through!!! I know you and your hubby are going to do great! Big Hugs!

Shaharoh said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, life is too short and there is not a second to waste to have the freedom to choose. When you finally leave that job, the quiet of mind, the blank canvas and slowing of the clock will be benevolent. xoxo!