Sometime in the next 4 weeks I am moving from a sleepy village tagged on to a market town, to a big city about 215 miles away. I have a job waiting for me, but to be honest, the move is more about wanting a fresh start.
For the last 6 years or so, I’ve had some great job roles. Administration Manager, Office Manager, Operations Manager… Roles that scream responsibility, and that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve unwittingly ended up working for some unscrupulous employers though, which coupled with my eagerness to work harder than expected, and to put in long hours, led to these things being expected constantly, and ultimately, the work/life balance was badly skewed.
Even though this pattern has repeated several times, I still have always sought out this type of role, and have snubbed more menial jobs as being “below me”. Don’t get me wrong, I have done my share of non-office roles: I worked in a supermarket for a decade, and also several smaller shops, coffee shops, and leisure centres.
In my mind, I had paid my dues. I had earned my place in busy offices.
But now, on the cusp of my new life, the job waiting for me is waitressing in a busy restaurant chain. And I can’t wait.
I’ve freed myself from the pressure and stress of deadlines, print runs, and publication dates. No more taking work home, and working long into the night. No more worrying about work whenever I’m not there. I can simply go in, work like a demon, then go home. I can relax and enjoy my free time with my daughter.
Until a couple of weeks ago I was looking at this all wrong: I felt I was taking a step backwards. But the truth is, the life I was living wasn’t really working for me.
The positives of pulling out of the rat race by far exceed the negatives. Our quality of life will improve so much. I’ll be a lot more relaxed in my free time, which hopefully means I’ll be able to make more things, read more, and be more inclined to write.
Life isn’t just about work. I’ve been living to work for far too long. It’s time I started working to live.