Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The month of May has been a struggle. I haven't been keeping up as well with many of the good habits I developed in April. I believe I will fall short on most of my May goals.
I have been doing some soul searching to try to understand why May was so tough. In an earlier post, I said that the reason I wanted to lose weight was to make my outsides match my insides. That I didn't want to be kept in my place anymore. What I realized as I thought about that motivation is that it's more than my weight that's keeping me in my place. A big part of the reason I lack motivation and am stuck is my job.
I feel guilty even putting this out there, because by most people's standards, I have a pretty sweet deal. I am paid well, have flexibility with my hours or to work from home if necessary, have good benefits and get 4 weeks vacation plus the days between Christmas and New Year's off, and I work with some really nice, really smart people. To complain about that seems pretty crazy. The thing is though, I have no passion for the job anymore. Haven't had any since last September. Prior to that, I loved what I did. But things changed in September and I had little to no control over where I ended up. The company that I work for went from being the market definer and leader in our industry to struggling for survival. Layoffs and cutbacks are everywhere and it isn't much of a fun place to be. I'm actively looking for work elsewhere, but I'm not sure that finding a job at another company is going to solve the problem.
Here's what I want. I want a job that pays what I'm paid now (actually, ideally more since I had to take a fairly significant pay cut in September to stay employed) but gives me even more flexibility. I want to be able to work a 4 day week if I want to, or take a couple of months a year off. I want to have more time for myself and my family, without having to sacrifice our lifestyle. Not that we live an extravagant lifestyle -- we don't. I want to do work that I feel some passion for. I want to help people make their work lives (and maybe personal lives) better. I want to be my own boss. I want to decide what projects I work on and what projects I turn down. I want to feel as though the work I do makes a difference to somebody. None of that is true for me today.
I don't know whether what I want is possible. Maybe I'm just being a crazy dreamer and need to be thankful for what I have and get over it. And even if it is possible, I don't know how to achieve it. My financial situation does not allow me to quit my job and pursue setting up my own business. I am the only source of support for my family. Lately, I live in fear of getting laid off. I haven't been at this company long enough to get a very good severance package and if I did get laid off I would have to find another job very quickly. Maybe that should be incentive for me to find a way to not be at the mercy of someone else to make my living.
This problem isn't going away on its own. I need to figure out a path forward. Not sure yet what that is.