Tag Archives: Joy

Why I Left

Almost ten years ago, I worked at a pharmaceutical company. It wasn’t the dream job I had imagined when I was young, though it very much was a dream job for me during most of my tenure there.

I started off on the ground floor, taking a position at a lower level than I was working previously in order to get into the company. I had recently been laid off, yet another victim of sorts of the 9/11 tragedy. This company was growing and offered a lot of opportunity.

The company went into launch mode six months after I joined, hiring like crazy. I got a promotion, and several others in the next few years, with all the trappings of the so-called “American Dream”. I worked well outside of my job description and loved every minute of it.

It was heady and exciting to be a part of something that felt so significant. I was learning a lot, testing myself and developing new skills, and felt like I was tremendously valued and appreciated while being part of a family of sorts.

Then things changed.

I was now one of 2,000 employees. And worst of all, I got caught up in a political turf war and was uninvited to the launch meeting along with several of my peers. I was crushed. It was as if all the hard work and sacrifice were thrown in my face, and now that the rewards of my work were realized, I was no longer valued.

I was then given the task of doing the same thing in half the time with half the resources– not very inspiring.

I was making more money than I ever thought possible and working in a job that I formerly loved, however, my prior joy was now sucked out. I felt so insulted, and didn’t see the opportunity for growth that I previously enjoyed. After a rough weekend of soul searching, I determined my next step.

Credit to: Stephanie Staples, www.nursetogether.com

Credit to: Stephanie Staples, http://www.nursetogether.com

I resigned.

I was offered a lot more money, but that wasn’t really the point. I just didn’t feel it anymore and money wasn’t going to bring back the joy I once had. People were shocked when they found out I was quitting without a job, and I’ll admit that I felt a little smug about it.

I have never made the money I made while working at that company, nor have I enjoyed any job as much since. However, I’ve never once regretted my decision to leave when the job no longer served me. I’ve always felt that the $1,500 the company saved for my travel to that meeting wasn’t worth the insult to me, nor to my peers, who all left shortly after I did.

I may not find a job I am as passionate about, however, I will no longer sacrifice myself so much for any company. It was a painful lesson learned but a good one, and though I do continue to struggle with my work-life balance at times, thinking back to this time certainly puts things into perspective.

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Ok, Universe. Here It Is!

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As you all know, I’ve been doing a lot of work over the last couple of years to find me: what makes me happy, what I want out of life, and what work I want to do.

I’ve learned the importance during this process of setting intentions. In addition to setting long-term goals, this also includes choosing to be happy in every moment, regardless if I’m doing something I enjoy or not.

I don’t love the paid work that I do, however, I find something every single day that I can do that I draw enjoyment from. This could be anything from taking a few minutes to talk to a coworker to help them with an issue or to achieve a professional goal.

Most important, I’ve found, is to choose happiness. I feel so much lighter now and freed of the burden of the things that don’t bring me joy by finding things that do bring me joy.

Every single day. 

I’m still evolving and working through decisions that will frame out my life. Instead of being overwhelmed by the fact that the decisions I make now will impact my upcoming years, I focus on making sure that the many small decisions that I make regularly are in alignment with what I really want.

One of my priorities in my life is my nephews and I wrote about them not too long ago. I had considered moving to Colorado to live near them a while back, and decided not to for many reasons.

I’ve now decided what I want to put out to the Universe, the intention that I want to set: within the next two years, I want to find a way that I can live in Colorado part of the year. I want to be a regular part of my nephews’ lives, but I just don’t want to do winters in Colorado. After growing up in the Boston area, I know what that’s like all too well. So, this to me is the perfect compromise.

The mountains are a place of solace for me. I love hiking for the exercise, the views and clearing head. Being in Colorado makes sense, and spending time with my precious nephews brings me joy.

It seems a perfect match.

Ok, so it’s now out there! It’s official. Now is the fun part: I need to act on that intention with every decision that I make going forward.

 

 

Inspiration

I recently went for a hike, after not going for a couple of weeks as life got in the way and I was too busy. I love hiking. It’s one of the few exercises that I really lose myself in: I follow the trail into the desert and the world just seems to fall away, along with my stress and worries. The subtle green waves of desert plants and ripples of color from blooms take my breath away in their beauty. I get to the top and feel a real sense of accomplishment and adventure.

What do you do that you lose yourself in? What do you enjoy so much that time seems to still when you’re doing it?Image

 

Living with Joy

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Lao Tzu

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I caught an interview on the today show with a remarkable woman afflicted with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis). At the time of the interview she was in the advanced stages of the degenerative disease, unable to clearly talk for herself so her husband translated her mumblings. 

She wrote a book called, “Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy,” about her experiences. When she discovered that she had a fatal disease, she decided to truly live for her remaining days, focusing on the joy she had with her family and friends instead of the regular new limitations her body imposed on her. She wrote the book on an ipad, and later an iphone, with a single finger, as that was all that she was able to use. 

In the interview, her husband likened the disease’s impact on the muscles as driving a car with a tank of gas. If you drive slowly, you might be able to drive longer but if you drive fast, the gas will be used up sooner. Susan decided that she would drive with her foot to the floor, enjoying life and as many memories as she could create for her friends and family as she could in the time she had remaining. She always wanted to see the Northern Lights, so she did. Then she proceeded to take trips with her sister, husband, and each of her children to create golden memories for the years to come. 

What an amazing and truly inspiring book. It didn’t gloss over what she was going through, but instead, approached it with acceptance. She acknowledged the loss of her future with her friends and family, but willingly put that aside to enjoy the now. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this book and the lesson within. My biggest take-away is to plan for the future but to live in the now. I’ve always been very careful to save for the future, and while I don’t want that to change, I do think I could make some changes in my master plan to better accommodate my life now without sacrificing so much for an unknown future. 

Thank you Susan Spencer-Wendell. Thank you for your amazing spirit, thank you for sharing your experiences in your wonderful book, and thank you so much for making me think and helping me to grow and learn. 

http://susanspencerwendel.com/

Note: I receive nothing from sharing this site and have no relationship with the author beyond a great appreciation for her and her book.