We’ve all heard the cliché saying: “Money isn’t all that matters.” But, how many people really believe this true?
For some reason, people aren’t supposed to talk about money. It’s tacky, inappropriate, too personal. (Sidebar: If money really doesn’t matter, how can this be true?) I am going to break this rule, and talk about money because it is a key component of today’s Ah-hah! Moment.
I took a massive pay-cut when I changed jobs this month. I’m not being dramatic. It was over 30%. Voluntarily.
Before making my decision, I asked myself how much money matters over and over and over again. I repeatedly told myself – and was repeatedly reminded by my uber-supportive husband – that as much as money matters, other things in life matter more. Like . . . enjoying my work and having time for my family, friends, and all the other things I value in life. Convinced that this was correct, I took the leap of faith.
Yesterday, my conviction was officially tested.
Yesterday was pay day.
I had crunched the numbers every which way, so I knew exactly what my check would look like. I still freaked out. I attempted to re-focus on what really matters, but, still, a little voice in my head wondered whether I had royally screwed up.
When I arrived at my building this morning, pressed the elevator button, and waited for the doors to open, something magical happened. (I know. How sad is it that I have magical moments in office buildings? Bear with me, here.)
I couldn’t help but smile as I was overcome with a sense of contentment.
So much so that even as I write this at the end of a long, surprisingly stressful, work day, I can still recall all of the thoughts that evoked this feeling…
I was happy to be going to work. I have interesting work – and lots of it. I like and respect all of the people with whom I am working. Although I still have plenty of learning to do, I finally feel like I am settling in to the new digs.
I was happy with how I’ve been spending my newfound time. I’ve cooked dinner at least twice a week all month. I’m actually reading the magazines that pile up on the sofa. I’m becoming a better cyclist. I’m taking a photography workshop this weekend. I’m catching up with old friends. I don’t have every day of the week planned before the week even begins; instead, I’m just doing what sounds like fun one day at a time.
I was happy with life at home. Brad and I have put a priority on spending quality time together. I suspect some people think we spend too much time together, but we have a LOT of catching up to do. Like all things, this will certainly ebb and flow over time. But, we are finding things we like to do together, making time to do them, and having fun catching up after doing things apart.
Somehow, I feel like me again.
I have no doubt that there will be more moments where my conviction is tested. Moments where I get frustrated because life gets busy and my schedule is jam-packed again. Moments where I feel like we’re right back where we started and nothing has changed. But, today, for at least a moment, I knew it would all be okay.
When I first started marathon training last year, I mentioned my general job dissatisfaction during one our long runs. But, I said, “I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place because I’ll never make as much money at another firm.” To which one of my fellow runners, we’ll call him Mr. D, responded, “Do what makes you happy, and everything else will work itself out.” Mr. D is now a good friend with whom I often co-coach. I don’t think he has any idea how much this meant to me, but I hope he knows how right he was.
You simply can’t put a price on these intangibles. So, thank you to everyone who encouraged me to stop trying and just go for it.