That’s a four-letter word in our home. I mean, I guess it’s technically a four-letter word in every home but, in ours, it’s a dirty four-letter word. Though, not really for my husband. He loves his job and he enjoys the structure and stability that the 8-5 life provides.
Me, on the other hand…?
Yea, I struggle. Not with the verb form of the word, necessarily, but with the noun form. The noun “work” gets in the way of everything else I’d rather be doing. And I want out.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy my job and love the university where I work. My struggle has nothing to do with either of them. I don’t mind working, I just don’t want to have to go to work (for someone else). I’d rather work be more integrated with who I am, how I spend my downtime, where my passions are and on my own terms. I want more freedom in deciding how my days are spent instead of eight+ hours of it automatically being obligated to someone else’s agenda.
So, I’m taking steps toward making that happen. Three steps, in particular:
- First, together with my husband, I’m working toward getting my finances in order to allow me to leave full-time, outside-of-the-home, work.
- Second, on my own, I’m searching within myself to determine what I might want to do in place of the “job” and then putting one foot in front of the other and being more intentional about trying to make that (those?) thing(s) a viable replacement. Writing is one of those things. Photography, personal finance coaching, the nonprofit Scott and I run on the side and/or something else entirely are other things on the “viability” radar.
- Third, and probably most important, I am praying. I cannot do this on my own. As you can see, I could go one of a handful of different ways in what I pursue in place of an 8-5 job. I don’t pretend to have a clue about which one(s) to really focus on. That’s part of why I’m still stuck in 8-5. There are so many options, I’ve been paralyzed in choosing which one(s) make the most sense. That’s where intentional conversations with the Lord come into play. He must be the One guiding those decisions because I’ve proven that I cannot do it myself.
In the meantime, I’ll keep going to work. I’ll also make more of an effort to not let “work” get the best of me while I’m taking the steps to change the type of work that I do.