Many of you have asked me to report back on how my life has changed since leaving my full-time job almost two weeks ago. It’s hard to say for sure how much different things will be just yet, but a few things from my first week free from full-time employment stand out:
- I was able to take my two and half year old son to the zoo one morning last week. We packed a lunch and headed out first thing in the morning. It’s hard to describe the excitement on my little boy’s face as he entered the petting zoo and had the opportunity to brush some sunbathing goats. This was something we could have never done before. My parents give us a season pass to the Columbus Zoo each year, but with my previous work schedule we rarely had a chance to visit.
- My two and a half year old is now signed up for his first ever class. He and I will go one morning each week to a fun place called “Buckeye Bounce” where he’ll jump on trampolines and dive into a foam pit with other kids his age.
- I’ve been working on fun projects with people I love to work with. My work hours have been sporadic. I’ve been working from late morning into the afternoon and then again in the evening. As I get a better feel for how I want my days to look, my schedule will change accordingly.
- The most important change I’ve enjoyed is not being glued to my laptop for ten or more hours each day. I’m much freer to respond to emails in a timely — but not immediate — manner. I’ve even been turning my email off as I work to avoid the distraction of new messages coming through. This has been the most freeing part of freelance life so far.
But enough about me, let’s talk about you. What makes you feel the most restricted or trapped in your life? What could you do this week to take a step in a direction that offers more of what you seek?
Is it debt that keeps you stuck? How could you work towards eliminating one debt? Do you need to start with a simple budget?
Is it fear that holds you back? What specifically are you afraid of? What is the best and worst case outcome of moving in a new direction? What do you need to do to reduce the fear you’re feeling?
Is it the opinion of your spouse/parents/friends/neighbors/coworkers that keeps you complacent? What if you stop listening to them and started listening to your own heart? While our friends and loved ones usually have our best interests in mind, they may be seeing things from a place of fear and compliance. Only youknow what is best for you.
Maybe leaving a full-time job isn’t what you’re looking for. Perhaps you’re looking to stop serving on so many committees, find a job that allows you to work less hours, do work you love or travel more. Or maybe you’re just trying to avoid running out of money before your next paycheck.
The truth is, there are countless reasons to design a lifestyle that parallels what you value and want from this life. What would you do with your newfound freedom if you could create more space to do what you want?