Seems like a Pretty Simple Question; Money or Happiness?

Seems like a Pretty Simple Question; Money or Happiness?
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Seems like a pretty simple question, but for years I unknowingly chose the financial aspect of my life over my entire well-being. Acting as Executive Director for the society has always been a part time gig, ringing me in at two days a week where I felt I had to work another job to supplement my income. I work in Policy for the BC government and there are perks – the pay, the people, and the benefits.

I work 3 days a week in a cubicle and I have concluded as of late that it no longer serves me. I may get a third day from the society later this month but the uncertainty around it has been causing me sleepless nights. Today I made the decision that I am leaving the government after having had a 6 year career with them. I feel trepidation while I look for a part-time job (2 days) to supplement my society income.

The most shocking aspect of all of this is I fear potential employers judging me negatively because I have bipolar disorder. Even though I am the 2013 National Council Mentor of the Year, will employers be comfortable having me work with children? I am the Bipolar Babe and there is no running from that and then I remind myself I would never work for an employer that doesn’t support my mental wellness and part of that is being upfront and honest about my condition.

Working for the society actually entails a lot more than two days a week and it is my dream job and it encompasses most of my days. Yes, I will lose a significant portion of my income, but I am learning that happiness trumps money. I have learned that there are numerous ways to tell if you should consider leaving your job. Perhaps consider:

• Are you arriving last minute each day barely making it on time?

• Do you lose sleep thinking about the duties of your job and all that you have to get done?

• Are you stressed about your work negatively stigmatizing you?

• Do you feel dread and sadness while at work?

• Do you constantly scan the Internet for new job prospects but do nothing about it?

• You like your boss and your team mates but the work they give you is too unchallenging?

• Do you find great pleasure in doing other work and wish you were doing another position full-time?

• Do you feel a sense of anxiety about going to work?

• Do you constantly mention that you need the money but you hate your job?

We are never stuck, but yes we find ourselves in tough situations, bills, kids, mortgages, but consider being creative when it comes to taking the plunge and leaving the job that you despise. We often see barriers but I am taking a significant financial loss and will simply have to cut down my careless spending and adhere to a budget that works for my new situation. Too often we are held back by our own constraints and we fail to see the power in our decisions. It dawned on me, the trite statement that ‘we only live once’ repeats in my mind. Shall I wallow in anxiety, fear, dread, and boredom, now instead I am choosing opportunity, doors opening, the unknown, embracing my entrepreneurial spirit and trusting that things will unfold as they should. Most importantly, I trust in my decision making abilities and I listen to that little voice inside my head that tells me everything is going to be ok and that I am on the right path.

Trusting yourself is the key to knowing if something isn’t serving you anymore and it is vitally important to listen to that voice. As I forge ahead to a new adventure of thriving in my role as Executive Director for the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC, I feel a bit of trepidation and anxiety but that is simply fear of the unknown and I will not let it hold me back any longer. I choose happiness.