Breaking the Clock

I woke up one day and realized I was not happy. I looked around my home office where the piles had fallen and everything in my personal world was caving in on me. I was a slave to that damn alarm clock. ‘Work’ was overwhelming me. Management in healthcare was where I had landed in life. But I was drowning in it. My purpose had been replaced by someone else’s purpose.

“I’m not happy if I’m not writing!”

My ‘job’ in management began to take over my life. And I would hear their excuses that it was just what everyone had to do. I didn’t buy that. Taking calls all day and night was ridiculous. I had very few mental breaks. I was heading for a real breakdown.

I realized my problem with my employer was not their fault. It was my fault for settling into the routine chaos of their expectations. I would not do it anymore. I began to set boundaries. If I was ever going to climb out of this pit I would have to.

But even the meager success I had in this was still too little a reward for making such a tiresome effort. I would try writing but I would usually get interrupted. For every goal I achieved in my personal life, I had to complete about 50 goals for work.

This is not a way to live. In my opinion, work is a means to an end. Quality of Life should be the reason we work. If my whole career is maintained just so I can have a place to sleep when I am not at work; what’s the point?

So I quit.

I didn’t leave right away. It took me about a year to work up the courage. But the more I struggled with the unacceptable results in my personal goals, the more I realized I was not happy. It further occurred to me that I was not being effective in a job that was meant to help people. I could not be useful in that state of mind. And that made me more angry at myself.

So here I am today. I write and I blog. I do work on the side to earn some money while I focus on the career I really enjoy. Someday I hope it will really pay off. In the meantime, I am much happier than I have been in a long time. My mind is clear. I can apply myself to my creative processes and excel like I never have before.

This is the beginning of my experiment. What’s more important in life? Is it the pursuit of money or the pursuit of happiness? And are they one and the same or not? Can my personal happiness help me succeed (no matter how long that takes) better than my desire to settle for a temporary happiness?

Even if I have to live small for the time being; I think it will be worth it to take pride in my work again. Oh and… if I want to… I can actually sleep at night now. That makes everything in my life better.

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