Seven years ago, I left a job that I loved at a day shelter for men experiencing homelessness. More than any other job I have ever had, that one opened my mind and heart in countless ways, and it felt like home. The decision to leave was so difficult, but it was necessary.
When I accepted the position, I was married with two young daughters, but then, things changed following my divorce. I needed a job with a higher salary and greater flexibility to be home more, which were two things that my position could not offer. Putting my family first was the right decision, but that did not make it any easier.
After I tearfully tendered my resignation, my incredible boss said to me, This isn’t permanent. You are doing what is best for your family right now, but this is not forever. As usual, she was right. I have thought about her words many times, as they have been applicable to other transitions that I have made since then. Ending relationships. Moving. Shifting careers.
The words she shared with me actually were part of another quest to make a decision that is best for my family right now, as things have changed yet again. I now am remarried, and we have seven children between us in two different states. Also, as if that is not enough to keep us hopping, my husband is an airline pilot. So, his work schedule changes every month, while I have a job with normal business hours.
We made these arrangements work during our three years of dating and have made it work since getting married earlier this year, and it definitely is a work in progress. Part of that work is re-evaluating what is working well and what could be working better. We quickly determined that our conflicting work schedules were not working as well as we needed them to, and we did not want to continue being two ships, or planes, as the case may be, passing in the night or any other time of day.
It didn’t take long to come up with a solution, but it did take me awhile to make it happen, even though I knew it was the right decision all along. It was time, the right time, to resign from my current job to pursue another opportunity that would allow me to have more time to spend with our family and to continue to do meaningful work in another capacity. Despite knowing in my heart of hearts that this was the best choice to make, it was not as easy as it should have been.
Sometimes, I will stay in situations or relationships way past their expiration date, due to a sense of loyalty or the fear of leaving something familiar. My default setting when something is not working is to double down to try to mold myself to fit the situation or vice versa, but eventually, I come to the realization that it’s time to break the mold and break free. This time was no exception.
So, today, I spent my last day in my current role, and I have been fielding questions about what is next. I am excited, and a bit nervous, to tell the rest of the story, but stay tuned, because it’s coming. Part two of this three-part series, actually is about the right decision that I made a bit ago that led to my choice to resign.