I’m a free wo(man)!

[√] Free from guilt (from not spending enough time with my family when I’m working and not working when I’m spending time with them)
[√] Free from stress (OK…life is never stress-free, but the stress levels have gone down a LOT more)
[√] Free from chasing never-ending deadlines
[√] Free from burning midnight oil seven days a week
[√] Free from prolonged tiredness

The decision has been made: I chose my family over work. It’s a really easy choice to make but difficult to walk out from. Yesterday was my last day at work. Today I woke up feeling lost and directionless. For the past months, I have been working non-stop, so much so it has become a daily routine. Now, with so much free time in my hands, I just don’t know where to start. As I switched on my laptop this morning, I kept reminding myself “Don’t click on the Windows Live Mail icon, don’t log in the magazine’s general email….don’t. It’s none of your business already.” It’s tough but I’m holding up so far and opted to blog instead 🙂

If you don’t already know, I love this job a lot. It started out really rosy and seemed like the perfect match: a flexible-hour writing job which pays full-time! An ex-colleague told me that the excitement usually occurs at the beginning only and will usually die off once reality sets in. Another friend said that it’s hard to balance work-life when it’s a flexible working arrangement. I took their tips lightly and only saw the truth a month ago. Well, we all learn from mistakes. The blessing is, I further understand what makes me happy.

BabyTalk has been a one-man show since its inception. It seemed possible at the beginning but as time passed with more events to attend, more expectations to meet and more workload added by ‘someone’ (including roles that are not in the scopes) without the intention of hiring a full-time help, it began to feel daunting. My emotions ran amok. What started out as a true passion suddenly turned into something I dread. I became disorganised, forgetful, had trouble falling and staying asleep, and felt my life is ‘all over the place’. My health deteriorated too. The stress overwhelmed me; I snapped at the littlest thing, lived ‘out of my body’ most of the time thinking of the pending tasks (ask my husband and he will agree) and am gradually transforming into someone I don’t know, someone I dislike. ‘Nasty and angry’ describe it best. Symptoms of stress.

The moment I handed in my resignation, I felt ‘released’ and light, as if a burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t want to hide the truth – I’m still grieving over leaving my ‘second baby’ behind, handing it to a new person whom I’m unsure could bring it to the next level, or at the very least, maintain its glory. She’s sporting the excitement I first had too. It’s really not my part to worry, but I just can’t help it.

It is without any doubt that this job has taught me a LOT more than I could ask for, and opened up my eyes in various ways. I did not regret taking it up at all. In fact, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity because I gained many new friends and a newfound confidence through this job.

Unhealthy stress really does bad to the body, more than an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. My husband’s colleague’s wife was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She’s holding a high position in the banking industry. They have been trying for a second child for ages, and found out about the disease after a failed IVF procedure. High-flying jobs are packaged with high levels of stress too. As much as I cherish BabyTalk, I know that it’s a sign I can’t ignore when I fell sick at least twice a month. That’s rare for someone who only saw the doctor once throughout her tenure as a stay-at-home mum.

I still want a second child. I want to live long and healthy to see Ewan grow up, become a handsome chap, get married and make beautiful grandchildren for us. I’m in the pursuit of happyness! 🙂

Moving forward, I will be taking a good break before hopefully, a job in a good environment comes a-knocking soon. Meantime, I’ll just focus on decluttering my home, go bicycle riding, take up reading again and most of all, spend time with my husband, son and furkid.

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12 thoughts on “I’m a free wo(man)!

  1. BQ Lim

    Joey, I love the ‘…am gradually transforming into someone I don’t know, someone I dislike. ‘Nasty and angry’ describe it best. Symptoms of stress.’

    Indeed, I dislike myself sometimes.

    hmm, Guess it’s my turn soon. Another 2months, I’ll free from the stress too 🙂

  2. Pingback: Blessing in disguise « It Ain't That Hard

  3. Pingback: Blessing in disguise | My Blog

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