Yup that’s right, I quit! I quit a company that provided me a lot of opportunity, a lot of security, a lot of vacation time, and a lot of money – let’s just say when the restaurant reviews showed $$$$ that didn’t scare me – I wont share what I actually made, as that is considered declassee in polite society, but let’s put a pin, for now, on the fact that not sharing our salaries only helps the companies we serve to continue being non transparent… Back to me… so yes I quit a job and company that many of us in that organization humorously refer to all the massive benefits and security as the “golden handcuffs.” That is hilarious! Oh wait… think on that for a second… unless you’re into S&M (for the record I am not), I am not sure I want to be handcuffed.

What was the reaction? Well it depended on who I spoke to…”sounds like you are giving up,” “I am sure this is all part of your master plan,” “I don’t think you will be okay without buying new handbags,” “I am sure you and your husband have discussed this”… that one was probably the most insulting, although the handbag one was a close second.

The good news is at 40 I have wisely surrounded myself with wonderful, inspiring, positive people whose reaction was what I focused on. “I am proud of you,” “you are brave,” “I am jealous” (yes I do think many people would make the break if they could), “I can’t wait to see what you do,” “you are inspiring.” Now these are the voices we all need to listen to. If you don’t have a few champions in your corner, call me! I think you are fabulous! We all need the positive ones to be louder, closer, and more frequent than the negative ones. It would be great if we can give that to ourselves. Sometimes I can, but I sure do appreciate the reinforcements. The negative ones have a tendency to stay in my head much longer, so I am working on flipping that narrative. Appreciating Therapy Since 1994.

How do I free myself of the “golden handcuffs?” What was funny at first, the great justifications, “I can retire at 55,” “I get to take all these great trips,” was now becoming a chasm as my dissonance grew. I have another 15-20 years to work! You know what “they” say, when the discomfort is great enough, you will make a change. Little by little I started to chip away that my career wasn’t about the “path of least resistance,” it was about the path that was sure not to fail. I was making a choice about my career because I was afraid. Afraid to be bold, afraid to put trust in myself, afraid to fail on my own. Fear is a powerful motivator. We do things both in our best interest and not, because of fear. The hard part is figuring which one is which. As the dissonance grew I had no other choice than to try. So here I am, giving it a try. “Face the fear and do it anyway.” I am trying to live my life with the mantra of “I want to regret the things I did, not what I didn’t do.” That mantra may have started while I was in college being more promiscuous than necessary, so no regrets….right….I’ll ask my college friends to write a post on that Arizona State scene someday. I don’t regret skydiving either, but I don’t need to do it again.

It’s been 8 weeks since I made the decision, not long in dog years, but the outpouring of support has been amazing. My husband quickly got over the fact that “he was suppose to be retiring” not me, which I reminded him I am taking a sabbatical, not retiring. 15 years ago when Andrew and I hitched our wagons together, I assured him I did not want children and my focus was all on travel and aspiring to a glamorous career. Whoops! Good thing he is open to change and understands our desires from life change over time, and that is what makes life interesting.

My mom tried to teach my sister and I, “do what you love, and the money will follow.” Let’s hope she is right. To date I have done what I am good at, it paid the bills. Here’s to all of us doing what we love, and paying the bills. In case you don’t have this song in your “feel good” playlist it is a goodie to keep on trying and take those risks.

Oh and for those of you wondering, “sure easy for her to say, her husband will support her.”.. incorrect. I am Ross from Friends, circa 1999, 25 cents of every paycheck goes into savings. This is my rainy day fund time. Or better put, my sunny day fund time to enjoy, listen, learn, decide, and take risks. One of the many amazing gifts being partnered with someone 26 years my senior, is I recognized early on in our relationship that we would not be in our 80s swinging on porch swing together sipping lemonade, or in our case tinto de veranos. No waiting for retirement to enjoy our life together. That isn’t my plug to spend all your money and don’t save for retirement, no, no, no, but it is my plug to not wait and slog through the days with the dream of a glorious retirement. This isn’t a dress rehearsal.

Published by rachaelsarahgass

Working mom, wife, friend, sister, organizational psychologist, learner, coach. Kindness Counts. People First. Integrity Always.

19 thoughts on “YOU DID WHAT??!!*$%

  1. So many important reminders Rachael. Love you and your candor. BTW-reading this while on hold with IT Help Desk. Do you miss that staticky music that repeats and repeats and drives you mad?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are savage and I am so proud of you! I have know you for a long time (pre “golden handcuffs”) and I know you are going to do great things! Kick some ass for me friend.


  3. Thanks Rachel! I too just quit my job and am using my sunny day funds to find what I want to do in the next chapter. I loved reading this parallel insight, including my husband Andrew getting on board and happy to find a happier me. All the best!


  4. Rachael, I have been in awe of the decisions and risks you have taken your whole life! No doubt this will be a time of fun, adventures (to Seattle?!) and full of support from your friends!! Much love!


  5. Crap – you had me trying to remember which response bin I was in – the derogatory or the supportive/jealous one.


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