It’s Monday, the 6th of November 2017 and I’m now exactly 9 days into my retirement. Although it took me a couple of days, I’m finally starting to enjoy my life as a pensioner.
I’m looking out the window at the not too distant sea after enjoying a nice breakfast. This Monday morning is not like all the other Monday mornings before and it won’t be anything like Monday next week or the Monday thereafter. In fact, the name of the day does not matter anymore at all, because I am no longer bound to this social construct called “the week” consisting of 7 days, 5 of which I must spend in a place I don’t want to be, doing things I don’t want to do, in order to gain something (money) of which I will spend a major share in financing a car, that serves me only to get there again in order to make more money…
Surely I’m not the only one seeing this paradox as, over the past year, I have met several people who have given up their well- or more than well-paid corporate jobs for something they were passionate about and their lives changed for the better. Some of them will probably be reading this here, so thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.
One day, a few months ago, I went into the office and walking past the customer service desks, I saw something handwritten to a board:
Motivational quote of the day – Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion!
And suddenly it struck me like lightning: “What the hell am I still doing here”?
Isn’t it ironic how you get your hints from everywhere, if you’re just accepting them as such…
The following few months were a roller coaster ride between many “I’ll resign today”s and “Just a few more weeks to have some cash on the side”s until, some time in early September, it had to be an anxiety attack whilst working from home on the last day before a holiday that finally made me find my seemingly long-lost balls and I said “NO MORE”!
Since I had promised to stay on until the end of the year, in order to assure a smooth transition to my successor, I found it incredibly hard to go back on that promise and I would have rather vanished off the face of the earth than to face my manager and tell him that my health is more important to me than his fraud stats.
Again, I don’t seem to be the only one here as I am constantly seeing people who, although having paid sick days, are coming to work sick. When being asked why, the answer is that it is not well seen by management to take sick days. Well, first of all… No shit, Sherlock!! And secondly, I believe it says a lot about the state of a society, if any fuckin thing and especially work (money) has to come above your own health!
In a society where it is frowned upon to be a happy and healthy person and everything we do is a “must”, we don’t have to wonder why pretty much all the goods produced or services provided are utter crap!
It took me many years of my life to finally decide that being miserable just isn’t good enough for me and that my physical and mental health come first. I’m starting to feel comfortable making decisions based on my heart’s wishes rather than my mind’s commands.
The first thing I was told after retiring was: “You do know that simply resigning from a job does not mean you’re retired, right”? Well… No! Because I surely won’t be going back to working my ass off for something I don’t care about and create the same stress for me again. From now on going forward I will only do what I am passionate about and that, in my opinion, cannot be referred to as work.
For the past few years I was a Fraud Analyst and a bloody good one at that, but tomorrow I could be a writer, an artist or a singer and be as good, if I put all my heart into it. And even if, according to public opinion, I would not be particularly good at it, who cares as long as I enjoy doing it? If you do, that’s your problem, not mine.
I hope I can inspire more people to quit the treadmill and re-introduce some passion into their lives. The passion we all had as children and have lost somewhere along the way.