Leaving A Perfectly Good Job
In late March I handed in my notice. I kissed $700 (give or take) a week farewell. I don’t start my new job next week, because I don’t have a new job. Nor have I looked for one. I am temporarily retired.
A few times in life the universe is out to get you and it sets you a challenge so big that you realise that you can’t do it all. Something has to give and you have to decide what that ‘something’ is going to be. This is the third occasion the universe has done this to me so it is getting a little easier each time to find the right path.
This time not just one but both of my parents have become seriously ill. Call it a double whammy if you like. To add to the complexity they both live two hours away from me. I have four siblings but they live four hours, 10 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours away respectively. The instant I heard that there was an ambulance up my parents driveway I was off to catch up with it. First priority was my family, close second was work.
Over the next week my siblings arrived and we shared the workload. My absence from work was approved and I was told to take all the time I needed. I should have clarified ALL. Because this turned out to be about four days before I was being gently asked when I would return. It quickly became apparent that my parents would not be snapping back to good health within the week and also that the company I worked for had a business to run. What to do?
Stress is a terrible thing, as is indecision. Stress sucks the life out of you and your indecision to do anything about it doubles the effect. I was faced with two choices:
- Hope that my family and other health services could help out my parents, or
- Quit my job and help sort it out myself
Of course I had to choose the latter and pressing ‘send’ on my resignation letter brought both relief and a touch of panic about letting down my colleagues and employers whom had always been great to work with. By letting go I was making it easier for them to move on quickly and replace me. It was also like ticking a major stress point off my To Do list and getting on with the job at hand.
But the one thing that didn’t weigh heavy on my mind was “how the heck are we going to pay the bills?” With my husband and I both working part time (25 - 30 hours a week each) we are now down to one part time job. He’s amazing and has been accepting extra work, so he is sacrificing a lot. Already his long bike rides are a thing of the past... And he is the rock for me to lean on who said the moment this kicked off back in March “resign from your job, we will be fine”. When writing this blog I write about ME and I but the reality is that although it is generally me who comes up with investment ideas it is WE who decide on whether to invest or not. We are a very good team.
So, now that I’m over four months into this extremely stressful journey of a cancer diagnosis for my Mum and awful Alzheimers for my Dad I’ve stolen a week back at home to be grateful for the following:
My husband and daughter
Gold! (I think it always looks better with an exclamation mark)
Savings Accounts etc
Magical, Wonderful, Amazing Cumulative Interest.
During this time, for my own sanity, I helped out a friend in their business for a few short weeks whilst they took a well earned holiday and I received remuneration for that (they thought I was doing them a favour but actually it was the other way around as it really took my mind off my own troubles for a time). But that has been my only income during this time.
By saving the pennies the pounds have been building themselves over all our years of steady saving. Whilst I am not working, our money still is. They talk about the magic of cumulative interest and they are so right. My outgoings have increased with all the travel back and forth and I’ve been away from my own family a lot but what I still find incredible is that when I track our net worth, despite my earnings ceasing, its still keeps tracking up. Albeit slower, but still up. My only regret is that I was not more aggressive in our saving which would have put us on an even better financial footing, but we are doing okay. When the wheels fall off they tend to do so without warning, that is why you need to prepare as best you can so you can cope better when the s**t hits the fan.
I do look forward to going back to paid work in time (I have NO idea what that work will be and I find that kind of exciting) but at the moment I am so relieved that during these important times I get to focus on what is more important, my family. I’m finding the positive in amongst the negatives and at the moment that is helping the parents who have always helped me and reconnecting with siblings who have lived far away for far too long.
Lots of tears and lots of giggles as well.
So, today I’m reflecting on good decisions made over the years, to work hard and live in the moment, BUT to also plan hard for a future event that may inevitably hit. Why did I do it? I thought I was saving for our retirement but I was actually saving for a rainy day. Over the last few months it has been pouring down! What ‘rainy day’ has hit you that you could have been financially better prepared for?