When I got my first job everything was euphoric, first salary, first award, first promotion and… first stressful incident. The emphasis here is not on the incident but on the stress and repeated stress.
So there I was, many years of corporate life, frequently falling sick, indiscriminately popping Crocin, Combiflam pills. Sometimes sacrificing precious events of my children for the job, and sometimes silently ignoring the boss’s instructions for kid’s tennis class. Balancing, running, tripping… running… and more running.
Fatigue sets in by increasing demands in the job as you grow senior and the family as you grow older, the euphoria diminishes and the question arises. Why this rat-race?
After long discussions with the inner conscience, even longer with the outer one (the better-half), I left my job, even though the pros and cons were equally balanced.
It has been one and half years. So the lessons learned.
It’s not easy, no matter what: It is tough to leave hard-earned professional success. Initial couple of months are like honeymoon period with the new status. I caught on with sleep, watched movies, made favorite food for my kids, laughed at people going for work in the morning (a tiny sadist part of my soul).
But this doesn’t last, one misses the challenge, importance, authority and financial independence. The higher the position and number of years at work, higher the feeling of desolation. No matter how much thinking and mental preparation one has done, it’s not easy to leave behind the professional high.
But it’s okay. After all, the same would have been the case when one retires due to age. Focus on the positives. Have a ‘Quitting Plan’ to mentally occupy yourself. The solution here is to do something positive and meaningful rather than just being at home.
One cannot turn into super-homemaker overnight: Don’t have high expectation with yourself. For instance, if you had planned to surprise everyone, every day with your culinary talent and you are unable to do so or it doesn’t hold your interest, it’s fine. Don’t feel like a failure.
You are you. One can’t change one’s basic nature, habits and preferences with a snap of their fingers. So if you don’t feel mentally challenged by plan A, have a plan B. Learn a language. If reading interests, join a Book Review group. Teach on-line. Join an NGO. Start blogging. Follow your hobbies. Re-plan your ‘Quitting’ plan.
Drying of a source of income pinches: No matter how financially secure one is, the lack of money, to spend, always hurts. This would ease over a period of time. There is no quick-fix solution to this. Maybe the spouse gets a stupendous bonus/ raise or a long-lost aunt bequeaths a fortune, J then it’s a different story.
Last but not the least
Be polite and firm with people who start taking you for granted now that you are, supposedly, free: Do what you had planned to do as per your ‘Quitting’ plan. Keep yourself mentally agile. Exercise daily.
Human beings are creature of habits, as time passes we adapt to our situation and conditions. So just hang out there folks and this would seem like a passing phase which you would start to enjoy by doing things you never had time to do. Remember, everyone’s not so lucky to have this choice!
About Ruchi Singh
Ruchi Singh writes in English and is a voracious reader. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and is a freelance Quality Consultant. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.
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