Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm Free

Today is my free day, it's fitting it's on my favorite holiday. I celebrate it every year by leaving my desk midday, just because I can. Nine years ago today, I walked away from a minimum $50,000 a year job, 4 weeks vacation, 9 paid holidays, 3 personal days, 12 sick days a year, relatively inexpensive full healthcare for me and my husband, 401K and the financial ability to stop at a travel agent on a whim and walk out with tickets to anywhere for the weekend. I also walked away from a 40 minute commute, gray pod walls that surrounded my gray desk, an online timeclock that would drive anyone mad, an environment that told me when I could eat, what I could have at my desk to drink, what I could decorate my pod walls with, the pressure of making quotas, a job that was turning the creative side of my brain to mush, the need to wear a nightguard every night because I was grinding my teeth so hard I would literally break them off in my sleep (I lost 2) and a prescription for anxiety and depression.I walked into the most amazing world where I learn something new everyday meeting interesting people. How can I forget the day when I got to wear a lab coat, booties and hair net to watch fertility specialists actually create human life in a petri dish? Or, the night we spent in Jesse James’ boyhood home in hopes of catching his ghost (my husband even got to come with me on that one!) I have the ability to take a day if I need to without a doctor's excuse and a brand new life in our dream house on a mountain because I can do my job from virtually anywhere. Instead of corporate awards, my first paid published piece still hangs on my wall with the copy of the $25 check I got for it (yes, I cashed the actual check and paid about 3 times that to have it framed). But it is my reminder that money doesn't always buy happiness and if you're not happy doing what you do, it will never buy you peace of mind.


Blogger Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Great post. It made me start the day with a nice smile.

7:12 AM CDT  
Blogger Jeanene S. Dunn said...

Keri, thank you for keeping it real. It is not all about the money, but happiness and sanity. I know it was a great day when you tossed those anxiety and depression pills. You go girl!!

8:26 AM CDT  
Blogger Judy Stock said...

Good for you.You did it and continue to do it. Happiness isn't highly overrated, its mandatory.


10:59 AM CDT  
Blogger Lori said...

Amen, Kerri. You made the best choice and now have personal fulfillment over lots of replaceable perks. Feels great, doesn't it? :) I'm very glad to be part of your community.

3:50 PM CDT  
Blogger Maryn McKenna said...

The day that I gave notice at my last newspaper job was the first day in two years that I slept through the night. Then I eloped with my sweetie, packed the computer, packed the cats, moved 1,000 miles north to an island in the middle of a river in the middle of a downtown, and began working for myself. I don't make as much money (yet - but closing in!). I am so much happier.

11:20 PM CST  

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