Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Too often we get so busy with daily living, impossible to-do lists, raising children, and working long hours that we end up putting ourselves last.  That does not mean we are suffering from a martyr complex, but it does mean that we need to re-order our priorities.  Not only do we need to schedule time for ourselves on our calendars, but we need to take time to stop and think.

I used to be one of those people who did not take time for myself, and I was at the point of being totally burned out without realizing it.  Then one day my boss's brother asked me, "Are you happy?"  It was a question I never had asked myself or given any thought to the answer.  The real answer hit me like a bucket of cold water thrown at me.  I was definitely not happy, and I realized that the unhappiness was coloring every aspect of my life.  I recognized that my unhappiness had to be negatively affecting all of my subordinates whom I was fond of and who were all too loyal and kind to tell tell me.

Within the next week I submitted my resignation giving ample notice. My boss tried very hard to persuade me to stay, to take a leave of absence if I needed it, but I knew that I needed a complete change.  I had no idea what I was going to do next or what I wanted to do.  Financially I could ill afford to not work.  Having started working at a very young age, I had always had a job so waking up in the morning not having to be anywhere was a new and sort of scary experience.  Some days I found myself second-guessing my decision to resign, but then those feelings would pass.

During the next six months I did free-lance work for three different non-profits, a sector in which I had never been employed.  At the beginning of the new year I accepted a full-time position at one of them and enjoyed the next four years there.  It was interesting work, and I had no subordinates which was a relief after having previously had as many as 250 employees with whom to be concerned.  I was thoroughly happy both at work and outside of work.

I chose to retire after that position.  I moved to the desert, and soon after I launched an Internet business selling handmade clothing and accessories for babies and toddlers.  None of these things would have happened had that young man not asked me if I was happy.  Now I ask myself that question periodically, and I am still very happy.

So do yourself a favor, and from time to time


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