It seems that I have taken an unintentional hiatus from blogging.  A lot of life has been happening over here.

Most notably, I quit my job.

This is not as crazy as it sounds.  My job was horrible.  My boss was a tyrant.  I tried not to discuss these things on the blog because it is probably unwise to rage on your boss over the internets, as well-deserved and true as it all may be.  For the past year I have not liked my job.  That is fine to a certain extent, but things were really crossing a line.  Starting in January, my workload increased even more, and I began having serious stress-related stomach issues.  I had to see my doctor, and start taking prescription stomach meds 3-4 times per day.  I’m already unhappy that I have to take thyroid meds one time every day, so you can imagine how much this cramped my style.  Plus, they were only marginally effective, and my stomach issues continued to interrupt my life, especially running.  If you run, you know how stomach problems are the nail in the coffin of any run. 

So, I had big plans for spring training that did not happen.  I felt depressed and burnt out all the time.  I saw some ugly sides of the practice of law that I do not know if I will recover from.  I didn’t feel like myself, and I didn’t even feel like blogging.  Besides, what would I blog about?  I don’t want the blog to be a negative place, and all my thoughts were negative.

At that point, I had been looking for a new job for awhile.  I had been to interviews, but there had been no offers.  Mike and I decided that I would quit my job regardless, and focus on finding a new job full-time.  When I was unemployed, I would have never imagined that I would do this.  But, sometimes you have to take responsibility for your happiness, even when things are not going your way.  Even if you are choosing between a rock and a hard place, there is a choice.  When you are laid off from your job, you feel like everything is happening to you.  Now, in the opposite position, I was able to feel how empowering it is to push back a little.

From Meditations From the MatAt the very heart of our practice we need one thing: a mature willingness to no longer be in pain.  This willingness is pratyahara.  It comes from experience, it comes from the decision to learn from experience, it comes from acknowledging that we are of God but not God, and it comes from the belief that we can be free.  The action we must take contains a paradox.  We must acknowledge powerlessness as our essential condition–after all, we do not even control the beating of our own hearts–and yet, at the same time, we must acknowledge our absolute responsibility for our actions.  Adrift on a sea not of our making, we must acknowledge that we are defined by the choices we make.  So good.

So I chose to be a person who wants to be happy, even if that might mean more unemployment.  I am so lucky to have so many friends and colleagues that looked after me throughout this entire ordeal.  I followed a job lead from my friend Jillian (thank you!!), and 10 days after I put my notice in, I got a job offer.  I start next week.

Rarely have things worked out so perfectly career-wise for me in the past few years, and I am so full of gratititude.  I am looking forward to my new job, which involves work that I care about, and taking a break from practicing law and having clients.  Maybe I will find my way back to it one day.  Or, maybe the “great recession” has sent my career spiraling down a completely unexpected path.  I don’t know.  For the first time since I graduated high school, I have no career plan.  My plan is to be happy.

I am so happy to report that I have not taken any of my prescription stomach meds since I quit my job.  I’m feeling healthier and lighter, like the world has been lifted from my shoulders.  The take-home messages?

1. It turns out that unemployment is NOT the worst thing that can happen to you. Irooooony.

2. Money will not buy you happiness.  I know that we all know this, but I feel like I KNOW this now.

3. Your friends are your biggest asset.  Someday your plan will fall apart and you will need help.  I had a lot of help.  And, even though this job was the pits, I was lucky enough to make many new friends that were just as miserable as me.  Friendships last a lot longer than bad employment situations. 

I plan to resume normal blogging now.  My staycation project is building a garden and raking up enormous amounts of pine needles.  Life is good!