I work for a small nonprofit and their finances are an open book. The writing has been on the wall for some time, that it was highly likely that my hours would be cut. This week it happened. I am now working three-quarter time. In spite of it all when it finally happened it sucked, at least it did for a bit. I am the age where I am working for retirement and loosing 25% of your income, well that isn’t good.
Now none of this was under my control. Life was happening this way and nothing I was going to do could change this. After sleeping on this for a couple of days I found one of my driving principles in life that I had somehow lost during all of this again. Here it is: You can not change much of what happens in your life. You can’t make someone like you, give you a job, buy your stuff or be happy. The only thing you can control is how you react to life.
I like who I work for and I find my job/work interesting and satisfying. I am lucky that even working 3/4 time I can meet all my financial obligations. So bottom line unless I want to I don’t have to go out and find another job. This change did mean though that I am going to likely need to postpone my target retirement date. Woe is me. Or maybe not.
Here lies my moment of enlightenment. I was not suffering from a work cutback; I retired early. Ok, the caveat is that I am a part-time retiree, not full-time. That may not sound so good, but listen to this and tell me if it does not sound pretty darn good. I no longer work eight-hour days. I work 7.5 hour days. I no longer work five days a week. I have every Friday off. I have time for the lunch-time yoga on Monday. I can take off on Friday and get things done that used take up my weekend. I have time to cultivate friendships that I put on the back burner. I have more time to cook because I love to. I have time to volunteer more. I have time to spend being creative in my studio space. I have time to make gifts for Christmas. I feel like blogging, because I am no longer mentally spent at the end of the day. I have more time to bike, hike, read and anything else I decide to do. I gained time every day and have a day just to myself every seven days. This is the first of many retiree Fridays.
Now what was that about a job cutback?