For 18 years, I worked in PR and marketing for Kaiser Permanente. For 11 of those years, I was also writing a book a year (not all of them got published) and parenting. (And trying to exercise, floss, and keep the house sort of clean.)
For a lot of those years I was discouraged. Sure, I was making money writing, but it wasn't quitting money. It was vacation money. Furniture money. Once, car money. But never quitting money.
And I longed to quit. I was happy every time I read about someone who had successfully quit and upset when I read advice that said authors should never quit their day jobs. I wanted to reclaim my life. I didn't want to have a manager any more. During one four-month period, 13 people from my department were let go. I kept hoping I would join them (severance package!) but instead I was told to "channel" the CEO's vision. And then the next CEO's.
So I quit.
I quit before we had even signed the contract.
Now it's nearly four years later. And here's what I've learned in the last four years:
Money that you counted on sometimes doesn't happen.
Money that you didn't know about sometimes does.
And it all basically works out. And I am so much happier, especially if I let go and don't stress about exactly how it will all work out.
Here are two things that help me stay grounded and grateful.
Every night before I go to sleep, I think of three things I am grateful for that day. They can be really small, like a passage that turned out well or a cheerful conversation I had at the gym.
And for the bigger things, I keep a gratitude journal. If I see a blue heron, I write it down. If Girl, Stolen is the number one best seller for Scholastic Book Clubs in the month of October (which it was), I write that down.
Do you have any ways you use to keep your gratitude muscle exercised?