Ten years ago I took on a 'stop-gap' job with the company I had been temping with. Yesterday, ten years and two months later, I finally handed in my notice.
Our childcare situation was becoming increasingly precarious, the office increasingly toxic - it was time to go. I don't have another position to go to, though I have already begun applying. I'm lucky that I could take this step without it financially ruining us, and that it was voluntary.
I've done this before, this isn't going to be much different to being on maternity leave, but it still fills me with a little panic. I lived through a financially precarious childhood; and I think its those stomach churning memories that have kept me in my 'safe' job for so long, when everyone else was moving on up and out.
Income is of course only one part of the equation. After a certain level of income that pays for the basics, time really is money. I've been surrounded by people in dual income households who spend almost one whole wage on childcare, transportation, the cleaning lady and convenience foods. They don't have time to shop around for value and quality, and they have certain external 'standards' that they have to maintain to play the part. I'm free of all that.
From here on in, or at least until I find other employment, I will be applying those extra 30 hours a week to squeezing the pennies until they squeal. I'm going to do some volunteering to build my CV; and I'm going to look for more satisfactory employment. I might even blog a bit more frequently too!