happiness

Step #1 Towards a Happy Life: Quit My Job.

Just to clarify: I’m not unhappy – but I know I’m not perfectly happy. I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking lately and decided to evaluate everything I do, say, purchase, etc. to find a way to maximize experiences that make me happy, peaceful, and minimalist while reducing ‘unhappiness clutter.’ (Whew! That was a long sentence.) I’ve taken many small steps in the past few months (reusable containers/products, reducing the size of my wardrobe (twice!) and donating articles of clothing, getting rid of objects I don’t need) but I decided it was time for a bigger step.

I’m talking about my part-time job.

Last year, shortly before Thanksgiving, I was hired as a seasonal employee in the Juniors (teenage girls/young women) section of a department store of a mall that is currently being rebuilt. I resisted becoming an employee here for months because I despise retail, but I needed a little extra money over the holiday season and it was an easy job. The holiday season came and went and they kept me on the payroll. I stayed because who doesn’t need a little extra spending money for movies or bills? The past couple months, I’ve become really tired of the job. I have so many things on my plate (and more that I want to find time for) that my days are ‘go, go, go’ without ‘sit and rest.’ This job was taking up the space of ‘sit and rest.’

My endless thinking came down to this:

  • I already have a full-time job that is enough to live off of. During the holiday season, the part-time job was twenty hours a week but now it was only on average five to nine hours a week at $8.something an hour. That added up to about $90 or so every paycheck. That $90 would just pay for the gas it took me to get to work, as well as the meals I purchased on my breaks. Any extra money would be spent. The money from the job wasn’t being saved. So what was the point of staying? I could do with a little less money – it would just mean I’d spend less!
  • My classes are three nights a week. Axis group is two nights a week. I work five days a week. My only free time is part of the weekend and I need that for homework, errands, relationships, rest.
  • I dislike shopping. I despise consumerism. Why keep working in a place that isn’t me?
  • Being in the Juniors department also meant I would occasionally drool over and desire certain articles of clothing that I wouldn’t have known to exist if I wasn’t in the store. If I don’t know they exist, I won’t want them, and I will continue to be OK with the clothing I already own. I don’t need more clothes.
  • The lights in the store dry my eyes out (as well as my skin, and leaves me thirsty). Televisions were just added that play videos of loud pop music – which are distracting and cause me a headache. Getting out of that place would give me back my sanity and soft skin.
  • At the end of the work day there, I didn’t feel gratified when I left. I like leaving a job feeling like I made a difference. This didn’t do it for me.
  • I just need to make more time in my life for the things that really matter!

The only reason I was holding on to the job for so long was to have a place to work in the Spring of 2011 when I need to resign from my full-time job to do my student teaching internship. That, and I’m not a quitter. But I just decided enough was enough. I’d figure that out when the time comes.

Last Friday evening, I talked to my supervisor and told her I needed to leave for aforementioned reasons. She was amazingly understanding and supportive of my decision (I had been a bit nervous because the grand re-opening of the store was in two weeks and she previously told me she really needed me around)!! We had a long talk that ended with a hug, and I walked out of her office feeling a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! I’m so grateful. Saturday was my last day there.

As for the period of complete unemployment that will arrive in the spring along with ‘working for free’ and still trying to pay my bills somehow? Kyle has been amazingly supportive with that aspect (his job is also treating him well, financially). If for some reason he is unable to cover my half of our bills, I’ll find something. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the past couple years, it’s that everything always works out. No matter what happens, everything is OK. That’s all I need.

Now I have time to breathe, reflect, read, cook a meal, do homework, and continue to shift my lifestyle. I’m very excited about how my life is going! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Step #1 Towards a Happy Life: Quit My Job.

  1. For the most part, yes! But don’t expect me to be shelling out money to go out often! I’m hoping to spend most of the time relaxing and doing homework. 🙂

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