Adapting to the jobless life

Somehow I’m already in my third week since quitting work! Part of me still can’t believe I actually left. I’m proud of myself for prioritizing my own health and happiness, and thankful that my husband makes enough that it was possible.

I am still wrapping my head around not having a day job.

It’s different to let myself not be busy every moment. It is a challenge to let go of that compulsion “I should be busy doing something,” even knowing that’s a capitalist trap. This will be good practice for me - I’ve deeply internalized the drive for efficiency and productivity, and have a hard time relaxing. I’ve been working on separating my self worth from my productivity for a while now, but that shit runs deep. Doctor’s orders are to rest and do restorative activities - now I’ve got the space to do so, I can work on the next step of letting myself do it.

Even as I’m exploring freelance work, I expect to spend less time working, and anticipate cooking and cleaning more. (Also hoping to fit in more creative work but haven’t figured that out yet.) Our society values paid labor more than domestic work, and although I know that’s BS it’s still a mental adjustment to find myself in that role after fourteen years of working for someone else. It feels more heteronormative than I’m comfortable with to rely on my husband’s income while I do household management - but then again, I’ve always done more of our household work since I’m in charge of the food and finances and furnishings, so if I can get away with not having a full “second shift” then why not let myself have fewer obligations on my time? We now can see the “you can have it all” line was a scam that got women to work and manage their household and have kids without offering societal support - and just because I’m childfree doesn’t mean it’s not still a lot of work to keep a house running and feed two humans three times a day.

And speaking practically, his salary dwarfs mine - after taxes and insurance and retirement contributions the amount that made it to our banking account was only 25% of our take-home income 🤷‍♀️ So not unnoticeable, but less than we were setting aside in savings. I don’t know how this will work out in the long run, but I don’t see the need to run myself ragged anymore for not that much more money.

Tracy Durnell @tracydurnell