A couple of months ago, I had a VERY exciting phone call. From a VERY exciting company. Asking me to go for an interview with them.
A real, live, PROPER job. With a salary, and everything.
It wasn’t like I’d been looking for a job, but this one kind of fell out of the sky at me, and it actually sounded ideal. Mostly work from home, good package, doing pretty much what I do anyway…
The day of the interview arrived, and I was a we-e-eny bit afeared. I had to actually think hard to the last job interview I had. 11 years ago. ELEVEN (how am I old enough for that number?)!
But the interview went well (if you discount me getting lost, falling off my heels in the middle of Oxford Street, and arriving hot and flustered with a bare 2 minutes to spare), and I allowed myself to start actually thinking the “what if’s”.
What if I actually landed this job?
How amazing would that be?
No more monthly worry at the erratic income to pay the achingly-regular bills. No more hateful responsibility for it all – someone else would pay the mortgage, even if I took a two week holiday. And the sheer kudos for working for such a great company. Oooo-weee, I got excited.
And I *may* have mentally spent the first 3 months salary.
What a feeling that was.
It wouldn’t go away.
That “what if I actually GET the job” thinkings thing.
Once I got past the giddy thrill of a salary… what else would I get? More importantly, what would I NOT get?
The giddy thrill of working for an exciting company? Pffft. WAY too long in the tooth to care about that for more than 5 minutes. A job’s a job.
More importantly, I’d have a boss again. That pretty salary would come with handcuffs.
I’d be explaining the way I spent my time to the salary payer. I’d be answerable to someone else if I chose to take the morning off to bake cakes. I’d have to check in when expected, instead of when I was ready to.
I’d have to travel – a bit is exciting, but regularly committing would mean time away from home.
10 years ago I made the decision that never again would I be answerable to someone else’s schedule.
I would be in charge of my own destiny while I watched my children grow.
Never again did I want to pay someone else to see more of my children than I did.
Never again did I want to go cap in hand and ask permission to take a four day weekend, to justify the request when it was simply a just because.
Never again did I want to feel powerless if I needed to earn more money, or work less hours.
Never again did I want to feel that impotent frustrated “I could do this SO much better if they’d let me do it my way”
Never again did I want to greet a poorly child with an “Oh no, I simply CAN’T TODAY!” thought.
Never again did I want to get up and get that hideous sinking “Oh. I have to go to work”
Never again did I want to spend the week counting down to the rare glory of a weekend with my family.
In the dazzling shine of the golden salary ticket being waved in front of me, I had forgotten all the reasons that I LOVE working for myself.
All the really good, valid, solid reasons that led me to leave a well paid job 10 years ago.
And I started to worry not about what if I didn’t get the job – but more about what if I DID?
In the end, I didn’t get the job.
And that was okay.
It was actually more than okay.
It was A Good Thing.
I’ve realised how incredibly lucky I am – just to be happy with my life. Genuinely, deep down, contented with my life balances.
Poor, yes. *nods furiously*
Why would I think about messing with that?
(admittedly, my wardrobe now hates me, and mutters as I pass. I had promised it all SORTS of lovelies to look after with that shiny golden salary ticket… )