Shannons Free Fallin Into Freedom
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Quitting job

Want to Quit your Job? Change your perspective and you can change your life

By May 19, 2017 Quitting job

First of all I want to apologize, my plan was not to be absent from the blog all week!   In the mean time the idea for this post on changing perspective has been jumping out at me.

I have been feeling unsure of what to post about this week.  So I have been doing lots of research on blogging, from SEO to how long the posts should be. I guess I would call it regrouping!  SEO = Search engine optimization, and apparently it’s a big deal.

I digress, so why have I been feeling unsure….I think because I have been applying to a job, yes thats right a job, only one job, but it has been consuming all of my time.  This one job has been filling up my brain, so I have been updating my resume and wrangling up references.  But this has left me feeling a little guilty about the blog, like I’m cheating on it!  If you want to hear about the job let me know!

I was at an Epicure cooking class and I saw a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, she mentioned that she wants to do what I’m doing and quit her job!  When I think about others I think well of course they could easily do what I am doing.  This made me think back to when I first considered quitting my job and it made me realize just how much my thinking and perspective has changed.  Which inspired me to write this post!

How does your perspective have to change for you to quit your job?

Prioritize what is important to you

Maybe it’s having a nice house, that’s ok!

What are you looking for out of life? How important is money to you, is your honking SUV your status symbol, do you absolutely love your cottage at the beach? Seriously, think long and hard about it, is money a tool that you use to make your life more convenient or is it something that you need to allow you to sleep at night?  Are you in debt up to your eyeballs…if that is the case i hate to break it to you, the best thing would be to deal with the debt first.

What makes you happy?

To be honest with you I used money both ways I used it to make life more convenient all of the time.  Why not, I was making a pretty penny, and i wanted to use my free time to be free, not shovel the driveway, build fences, or weed my flower beds.

I needed money to sleep at night, or I thought I did.  When I actually crunched the numbers I realized how much money I could actually get by on, I found that I needed a lot less money to be able to sleep.  Which leads us into looking at your budget.

Look at your budget realistically

Budget Realistically

Be honest here, it’s okay if you have never done it.  But DO IT NOW, you really can’t assess you life financially unless you know how much money is coming in and how much is going out.  Once you have your budget figured out then you can look at what can change.  For me the magic monthly number is around $2300 per month.  This affords me:

  • a vehicle, including insurance, maintenance, gas and government licensing fees
  • a roof over my head (all things included ie. internet, phone, heat, hydro, water)
  • two dogs to take care of
  • food
  • entertainment budget

Huge warning sign ahead, no budget for savings!  This is what i consider to be my “I can sleep at night” amount of money.  Ideally I need to make at least $500 per month extra for savings.  Savings for things like emergencies, maintenance and retirement.  But all in all this is what I consider to be a fairly comfortable budget aside from the fact that vacations are not accounted for.  These will have to be special budget items.

Listen to your instincts

Trust your instincts

The mantra at my old job was “it’s all pensionable time”.   It’s true pensions are amazing to have and I’m pretty sure they are are going the way of the dodo bird (a saying which I’m sure is dating me, and is possibly not relevant any more :-o).   What this saying meant to me was that in order to retire and be free, I had to live this unauthentic life, that, quite frankly, had started to really piss me off.  This made me sad, angry and depressed

In 2014 both my personal trainer and therapist were asking me if I had considered quitting my job.  It seemed like a crazy impossible dream.  The answer was no!  Things were supposed to be temporary at work, just needed to push through and get task ABC done.  First real lesson learned about the capitalistic structure, the more work you can get done, the more work you will have to do, and this seems to be relative.

In the years that followed nothing got better, I started to feel like i was doing the doggy paddle in the middle of the ocean.  Eventually I started to sink, it was like a switch had flipped, my body turned on survival mode.  It got really bad, so when I say listen to your instincts, I am no expert! My instincts were slapping me in the face constantly.  The more I listened the stronger they got, and the more clear everything became.

Instincts may just be seeing what you don’t want to

My doctor, his nurse, my new therapist, everyone was telling me.  I’m stubborn though and I wanted to perservere.  When I really paid attention my body was telling me too, I couldn’t sleep, I had gained weight, I couldn’t breathe, I cried all of time, nausea and headaches were the norm.

Eventually it became too much and I knew I had to get out.  The job was killing me, I didn’t choose it this way, it just was.  I did my very best to hang in there.  My body and brain took over with instincts, these seemed to be to eat, cry and most importantly to protect myself.

Have a little faith

Have a little faith!

Since I haven’t been working I feel much more relaxed, I have all the time in the world, and it feels amazing!  I actually enjoy shovelling the driveway, fixing up the house, and working on DIY projects.  I can focus on these things fully because I have no time contstraints.  This in turn allows me to save money!

I now have the time to shop around for bargains and build things for myself.  My mind used to lead me to buying something i wanted, now it leads to how can I make this thing for myself?

I’m even applying to a job, I might not get it, and I might not want it either!  The key is that my mind is now much more open to the universe. It might sound “airy fairy” but some things in life are bigger than what I can comprehend.  I keep an eye out on the job market just to see what’s out there.  This always makes me feel better.  There are a ton of jobs out there right now, even in my area of Grey and Bruce Counties.  I could easily get a job that would get me close to my monthly budget.

This is a type of short term, make me feel better thinking.  This seems to free my brain up to more exciting things, like starting a retreat centre, blogging and/or being some type of entreprener.  Not to mention the idea of passive income.  Thanks to Pinterest, for making it so easy to find uselful articles!

Faith in Yourself

So have some faith that everything will be okay, the world will not fall apart, you will still be safe and sound!  If you are reading this, you have fighter in you!  Fighters are survivors!  You are not going to let your life go to shit.  We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.

How Has My Thinking Changed?

Lightbulb!

I went from “OMG I have to live like this for another 15-20 years” to “hey life is long, surely I can make a living doing something that I am passionate about”.  I spent a lot of time on Pinterest searching for ways to make money, side hustles, blogging.  It all came down to money, once I changed my mind about money, it seemed easier from there.  This took me over 2 years!  The money was my cushion, I’ve built up a little cushion and now I can sit on it for a while and figure out the next steps are going to be.

I have learned many things about myself during this journey,  having lots of money was not more important than my health.  Doing something that I didn’t feel was authentic was also very important.  My journey has led me down a path were I now feel like I will always be in control of my destiny.

Does this mean I will close myself off to the world, NO!  It means I will be more careful with who I trust and with what I trust them with.  I feel this has allowed me to be more open minded with people because I am not judging them by their faults.  I am expecting them to have faults, it is how they handle those faults that matter.

If you are considering quitting your job please don’t give up on your dream! If I can do it, anyone can, and that is just the sad ass truth.  Don’t tell me you can’t because it’s all lies!  The world is huge and life is long, don’t wait to live it!

Shannon

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Pros and Cons of NOT having a job

By May 4, 2017 Quitting job, Uncategorized

I have made a pro and con list of NOT having a job, probably should have done this before I quit huh?! Better late than never is one of my favourite sayings!

PROS of NOT Having a Job

  • No set hours, I can work when I’m productive
  • No Boss 🙂
  • As many vacation/sick/personal days as you need
  • Making less $ means paying less tax (accountants, please confirm;-)
  • Get to stay at home with the dogs all day
  • Not associated with a company
  • Choose your own challenges
  • More free time

CONS of NOT Having a Job

  • No guaranteed income 🙁
  • No benefits like health insurance, pension, etc.
  • No paid vacation or sick days
  • Don’t have to leave the house (sometimes I can be a homebody)
  • Some one else chooses your challenges
  • Work harder for less $, maybe

As you can see, I think I made the right choice…..hopefully.  I need to point out that I am a very driven person, sort of.  I’m one of these people who has a hard time finding balance, I’m either guns blazing or very sloth like, lol.  When I lose focus or get tired I have a hard time moving forward.

This is also why I put “don’t have to leave the house on the con list, although I like to push myself, I also like the warm cocoon that is staying at home.  Now if you are like me you will totally understand that statement, if you are not then, whoosh.  I am what Gretchen Rubin refers to in the four tendencies as an obliger.  For a better explanation go check her out, but I will give it the old college try.  An obliger is someone who easily meets outer expectations while struggling to meet inner expectations.  I believe this is why I find it hard to leave the house unless I have a reason to do so.  I need some outer force pushing me.  For me I suspect it will be the threatening of my savings and not being able to pay the bills!

One thing that I took a long hard look at was my family history.  On the McNabb side of the family everyone is in business for themselves, I always thought it was because we could be so difficult that we couldn’t work for someone else, lol, don’t tell my dad my theory!  Now I realize that we have very strong morals and it is easier to work for ourselves than it is to compromise our beliefs.  Or maybe we are control freak perfectionists who think we are the only ones who can do things right! No comment, and don’t talk to my partner 😉

I guess what I’m trying to say is that in the end I look up to and know a lot of people who went out on their own and made it. I know that I can sell myself a lot easier than I could sell anything else!

Cheers,

Shannon

 

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Unemployment fun!

By April 30, 2017 Quitting job

What does day 5 of unemployment bring to me? Yesterday was a banger day, as my mom asked me if I have any job prospects, ouch talk about a slap in the face. Especially since I had secured a part time gig with her doing her flowerbeds, or I thought I had. Don’t get me wrong I love my mother and in some ways idolize her, but she is still my mom and I’m sure she’s kind of scared, I’m her baby, literally I am the youngest child. Imagine you put your kid through school, she has a nice secure government job, and then she just throws it all away.

Needless to say it was not what I needed to hear yesterday. After that I had to drive my niece to hockey practice, only a 2 hour drive, 4 round trip. My niece will be 16 next month and is already an accomplished hockey player, playing rep hockey, hoping to get a scholarship for hockey. For some reason I couldn’t bare to tell her that I quit my job. I felt like such a loser on that drive, just wanting to crawl into a hole and die. The drive was pretty quiet, but my niece can be quiet and plus she must be exhausted, she goes to school all day, comes home travels four hours round trip for a hockey practice, we got home around 11pm, but the night before she had a game in the same place. It makes me exhausted just thinking about it, but its her passion and it drives her, and that is really what life is about.

One plus about this trip was that I got to go to my all time favourite store Costco! Which usually makes me feel better, funny how no job sorta changes all that! I had forgotten my phone so then I got lost and couldn’t find my way back to the arena.  I spent 45 minutes driving in circles on and off the expressways. Finally I went to a convenience store and everyone in that store was willing to help me, it was amazing. One customer in the store pulled out a map book and started trying to help me figure it out, then one of the cashiers used her phone and google mapped it for me, I was 9 minutes away! I want to highlight how helpful these people were and nice, helps me keep my faith in humanity.
I arrived home at night and my partner was asleep on the couch, I have been very distant and somewhat depressed the last couple of days so he picked up on it and was worried I was upset with him. It’s pretty hard for me to explain to him that I’m depressed because I got rid of my job, this wasn’t exactly an impromptu decision so in his mind he has already dealt with it, but somehow I haven’t. The last 10 months have been shrouded in depression and anxiety for me and it has been a long haul, for everyone, not just me. Now that I have actually jumped off the roof, so to speak I now feel like I’m free falling without any slats to catch me this time. I have been hiding behind a union and now its time to blossom. What the heck is my flower going to look like, will it die, will I be able to have more than one? Every time I start scolding myself, think internal dialogue “what the f did you do that for, you are never going to make it on your own, life will never be as easy as it was…..etc.” I think wait a second, life has been no picnic, and now you are in charge.
I slept for 12 hours last night, mostly because I didn’t want to get up and face the day. I woke up around noon and starting thinking once again about my mom’s comment…job prospects, why did that bother me so much? I realize because I don’t want a job, I want to make money doing things that I like doing. Hence the blog, I have been wanting to do this for a long time, what better time than now, even if I fail and no one reads it I am still putting it out there. That’s how I want to live my life, according to my own morals, be myself, let it all (ok, not all, some things should be kept private) hang out there. In the words of  Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project  “be Gretchen” I want to “be Shannon”and use my strengths and weaknesses to my advantage.

Shannon

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What the BLEEP did I just do?

By April 28, 2017 Quitting job

What the f$!# did I just do? I quit a good paying job to do what? Hmmm not sure yet, oops, everything you read and everything people tell you is to have a job before quitting your job….excuse me but I have a super cute bulldog pawing at me who obviously needs more attention!

Georgia the cuddle bunny!

Okay, where was I? Well on a tangent of a tangent, a good coping tool is to be easily distracted by things that make you happy, ie. a super cute bulldogge named Georgia.

Number one, have another job, or source of income before you quit your job.  So… this venture seems like it’s off to a rocky start. Luckily that last few years have been rocky working in a job that made me miserable, hmm who would have thought I would think that was lucky!?

So back to the task at hand, money, why does everything always come down to money? Gah, life is so frustrating, I am feeling so down on myself today. Here is the picture, I have not been at work as a public health inspector since November 2016 and I officially resigned April 22, 2017.  Something inside of me has changed, I was tired of enforcing things I didn’t always agree with and just all of the bullshit that is involved in a job, we all know it; the backstabbing, the incompetent people who always seem to have power over you, the getting up and doing something that you just don’t believe in anymore.  If you haven’t feel thankful and tell your employer! It didn’t help that I allowed myself to be run ragged for the last three years. I have some perfectionist tendencies (as I write this I can hear my partner scoffing :-)), okay I like to do things right, or what I perceive to be right, I like lists and checking things off, so long as I can get everything done.

Unfortunately the more work that I did the more I received and at some point I gave up.  I was exhausted all the time and felt like I was doggy paddling in lake, water splashing up over my head all of the time.  I got tired of the work that I didn’t understand the reason why behind it (I call it “make work projects”).  I didn’t feel I had enough time to do the job the way the public deserves it to be done. I worked at it for 9 years straight, and I had planned on working there until retirement but it started to feel like a death sentence.  I suffered from depression and anxiety, got asthma (weird I know, I was a runner) and gained weight.  Which brings me to today, the beginning of the rest of my life.
So what is my dream job?!? I have no idea, I like dogs, being outside and being active, and I hate bullshit, I want to do something real. What if I don’t have a dream job?! What if I just don’t want to work, this scares this shit out of me, I’m 34,  have bills to pay and two dogs to care for, not to mention an entire life ahead of me. Here I am what if I just don’t want to work, so now I have to win the lottery, great plan Shannon! Excuse me while I hyperventilate.
You know what gives me comfort, is looking at the jobs that are available in the area, don’t get me wrong they aren’t good jobs, relative to my old job, but they pay money, which is all that matters for now. I am so tempted to apply, or beg for some of these jobs, which seems really counter intuitive to all the reasons why I quit my job in the first place.

One thing is true I am in the drivers seat! It is hard for me to swallow my pride and realize that I may fall on my face, and I’m sure there will be people out there who will be waiting for it. I quit because I felt there was more to life and bigger or better things out there, the only person who is in the way of that now is me.

Shannon

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Hello world!

By April 27, 2017 hiking, Introduction, Quitting job

hiking out of the cave with my pal Sydney

Wow super exciting, my very first blog post!  It seems so simple, powerful and vulnerable all at once!  My name is Shannon and I live in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, it is a lovely little place with access to Georgian Bay, the Bruce Trail, numerous other hiking trails with great views from the Niagara escarpment.  In the winter great past times include shovelling snow ;-), snowshoeing and cross country skiing.  Spring, summer and fall bring great hiking, cycling, kayaking, fishing, I could really go on all day.  I like the outdoors, my goal is to increase my hiking, I used to be a runner, but asthma made it too difficult.  One day I want to hike the entire Bruce Trail from Niagara to Tobermory!  For now I will settle with a weekend hike and camp overnight.

Hmm, excuse me while I pull myself back to reality, I just quit my job. I should probably focus on cash flow, as my dad would call it.  How do I get cash flowing in without going out and getting a job?  I am a public health inspector (PHI) by trade, I gave it up, I was good at it, but the saying that comes to mind is “you don’t quit your job, you quit your employer”.  The thing is as a PHI I worked for the government, the next closest place where I can get a job doing something similar would be a minimum of an hour commute, not really something I want to spend my time doing.

So what are my plans?  Well I started this blog I think there are many people out there like me with “golden handcuffs”, a well paying job with benefits, vacation, sick days that you hate, where people above you are incompetent and feel the need to exert any tiny ounce of power over you they can. Somehow I wrangled out of my golden handcuffs, with no real plan as to what I was going to do.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t and isn’t easy, I feel very vulnerable. I feel like my personality has divided, I see money as a security blanket, but another part of me refuses (picture heels dragging) to go out and get a job, to allow myself to be hurt again, to be at the mercy of people who only care about themselves.

For now I am going to allow myself to be inspired by the 30 day blog challenge, http://30dayblogchallenge.com and just take things one day at a time.

Shannon

 

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