Career Decisions

Choosing to leave a career path (yes, I consider retail a career) that one has done for 12 years isn’t an easy task. It burdened my mind with What If’s and feelings of guilt. I constantly reminded myself that any decision I make affects my family for better or worse. Regardless of what desires I have, I still am responsible for my share of the bills! A steady salary means predictability. Following my dreams could be a turbulent road, and how dare I put the stability of my family at risk! Right?

Well it turns out that stability isn’t all I thought it was cracked up to be. First, the hours affected my relationship with my kids! After saying goodnight to my kids over the phone for the third time one week, even my boss was tearing up because I was missing out on life. I also had no clue what my kids were doing at school anymore. When I was off after my daughter was born, I felt so involved in my son’s school, and cherished the relationships made with other parents. Having steady income seemed to equal living life through Facebook only. Kudos to all the parents that have figured out how to do this with a career!

My steady income job also meant I got to gas up the car at inflated rates. What a joy to watch my money disappear into the gas tank. Only a few months ago I was in tears because I didn’t even have enough left after paying the bills to buy gas to get to work so I could earn money to pay the bills!

It just wasn’t adding up – financially and emotionally.

Eventually I had to put happiness into the equation and see if income can join it. The problem is, you see, I get crazy ideas all the time, and over-excited at the possibilities of a different, magical life. For example, I once told him “Since you want to go to the Caribbean so much, why don’t we move there! Look, here’s a job site, ooh look! You can do tech support in Hawaii. Or Bahamas! What do you think?”  My hubby then looks at me as though I am from another planet when I tell him these wondrous things, and I begin to doubt myself. I realized even if I believe in my ideas they would only happen with the support of my family. For over a year I have debated on starting a Daycare in my home to meet these emotional and financial needs, but Hubby wasn’t sure if that career choice would meet his emotional needs. For example, after a long day at work how would he feel coming home to many kids running around his house? What about having our house look more like a playroom than a home? After many ‘discussions’ he has come to say “If it makes you happy, and it will pay the bills, go for it.”

Woohoo!! …. But what will make me happy?

I defined my Happiness by asking myself a few questions:

  • I feel happiest at work when…
  • I feel happiest at home when…
  • What is more important? A career (A.K.A.  adult time), or time with kids?

Simple, really. Kind of dumb, but I needed to define them… the hard part was that I tend to think too far ahead into the future. Say, 10 years. What if by deciding to stay at home with my kids damages a future career? What if I won’t be worth enough money to pay our bills? Will I regret it?

But if I am missing out on the kid’s lives that much because of work, won’t I regret that more?

Yes. Yes I would.

The funny thing is I couldn’t decide until I told myself to forget about the future and do what makes me happy NOW. Say we only had 7 years left to do that bucket list, and do what we value most. For me it would be exploring the world around us with my kids. I want to share and teach them – and others! I feel fulfilled when their faces light up with excitement through discovery! I feel loved! In 7 years if I stayed in the career, I could only experience that on weekends. Somehow there is never the time to explore the world between breakfast and school, or homework and dinner.

I guess when it comes down to it a career is only a title, and by allowing a title to define who I am I lose who I am when the title is taken away. Not sure if that made sense, but let’s put it this way. If you allow your work to define who you are, what happens when you get fired? Who are you then? Are you nobody? Of course not. You are a system of values. I think what I am realizing is that the career was merely a title and reward system that doesn’t always reward my core values. If I think of fulfilling my core values, then it is no longer work and I am happy. I don’t need a title to define that.

So who am I now that I have decided to quit my corporate retail title?

I am happy. I am loving. I am free. I am teaching. I am exploring. I am living in the moment, and I don’t want to stop! By opening my home to other children in a Daycare setting, I can be all of these things and still afford to pay our bills.

I am happy!

 

May you discover more to love today,

Barb

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A Lofty Goal

I remember my grade two teacher asking us to draw a picture of what our wish would be if we only had one. I wished everyone in the world could be happy! I was heartbroken when my teacher told me that it wasn’t possible.

Today I find purpose in life helping make someone’s day, remembering the good stuff and craving a better tomorrow. My goal is simple, yet hard to get – Be Happy! Yet the more I work towards it the more I find it is the simple stuff that does it.

For me Nourish My Brain means anything that lifts my spirits and gives me hope. It means my lessons learned from starting my Childcare and Scanning businesses. It means nourish my body, mind and spirit! I am not perfect by any means, but I am human, and if you would like to learn with me, I would love to share with you!

Blessings to all,
Barb

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