Almost four years ago, I wrote a heartfelt post titled, “Freedom Fridays”, about my decision to go part-time. It remains one of the most popular entries on my blog. It was written 3 years after my breast cancer diagnosis. When I wrote it, I was completely burnt-out. I realized that I had returned to the life and conditions that created sickness in my body and it scared the hell out of me.
For the years that followed, I dove into my advocacy work while I remained in my part-time job. Most people were envious of my 3-day workweek/4-day weekends and I cherished the little things like dropping off and picking up my daughters from school. While the hours in the office were reduced, the workload remained the same and it made me feel overworked and resentful. It was physically and emotionally debilitating because I felt completely out of alignment. I was anxious because I knew exactly what I wanted to do and impatient because I was not doing it.
With my salary being reduced by 30%, I was forced to rely on my savings to pay my bills. I was so laser-focused on helping others that when my entire savings account disappeared, I hardly noticed. I was living less than paycheck-to-paycheck and was forced to contemplate returning to full-time work. Do I ask to go back to full-time in a job that I had been in for over 15 years and had totally outgrown? Do I look for another one? I was in a fog and remained this way for some time.
Then the phone call came…