27 February 2014

unemployment

I quit my job and my last day was three weeks ago tomorrow. That seems crazy to me because my life has felt like this since then: recovering from the serious disaster that I let our apartment deteriorate into (because I was quitting soon), going to Seattle, and then being sick.

I'm not sure if I feel like I have adjusted to our new normal yet.

I think I should have written about the experience of quitting more when it was actually happening, because it no longer feels like a big deal anymore. The whole process did feel kind of huge when it was happening. I mean, I was at that job for just shy of four and half years (4.38 if we want to be exact). So that's kind of a long time, right? I don't really expect to be missed much, though, partially because I took advantage of organizational transition to peace out. This means that my departure was administrated by a manager who I had virtually no relationship with before quitting. But he was actually really kind about the whole thing, and helped coordinate an effort to get me a zoo pass as a going-away gift. I will remember that.

People have asked me what I will do now that I'm not working. I guess I could have said I'm now doing freelance editing, because I am hoping to have a somewhat regular supply of freelance editing work. But I took a more vague approach (I haven't really gotten many freelance projects yet) and usually said "I don't know" while thinking in my head, "Maybe pay attention to my child?" Because the biggest reason I decided to quit was because it was so stressful to me to feel this pressure to be a good mom and a good employee at the same time, while working from home, and those pressures were converging all too often. Several of my coworkers, and lots of people in general, seem to be able to work it out. I honestly don't know how! I was always wondering "How do they do it?" And kudos to those for whom it works, but for me it seemed unsustainable.

I guess I used to care about accomplishing stuff and doing things and whatever, but the older I get, the more I think that my life philosophy should be to simplify, have less, do less, slow down, and reduce stress.

I've made good headway in this regard by wearing the same clothes every day, never washing my hair, not shaving my legs, not washing my face, not wearing make-up. That's kind of a joke, but it's kind of shamefully true, too.




2 comments:

Britney said...

Hahaha...ohhhh that last paragraph was great. The other ones were exciting - fun times to come!

Amanda said...

I loved this. I, too, felt a lot of stress while trying to work out the mommy/work balance, and I did it for a shorter time with less success than I imagine you were able to attain.

I also like your philosophies. I read this great article the other day about a mom whose family was so over-scheduled. She discussed some basic things they did that made a huge difference (having their kids pick one extracurricular activity per season, scheduling all of their out-of-home activities on two days per week, not talking on the phone in the car, saying no to volunteer opportunities more often, and scheduling things like checking email). The thing that stood out to me was that her kids were so, so much happier on the days when they didn't have activities scheduled—those were their favorite days. I've been feeling a lot of pressure lately to start A in all sorts of things—gymnastics, soccer, etc. I find myself thinking, "Am I neglecting her development?" And then I think about that story and decide that we should instead delight in the simplicity that is a three-year-old's life.

I also relate to the no make-up thing. I confess that at the end of the day if I realized I didn't ever put my eye make-up on I feel like I've pulled some great coup because that means I've eliminated a step from the get-ready-for-bed routine. Before Claire started sleeping through the night I would sometimes intentionally opt out on the mascara because that meant I wouldn't have to take it off that night. In some ways it seemed like a strategic choice for efficiency. :)