How life looks after an unexpected resignation leads to an early retirement and a re-invented lifestyle. #earlyretirement


My husband and I always joked about how flattering it would be to have someone phone and offer you a job based on all the good things they’d heard about you. In 2015 that exact scenario happened to me when I received an out of the blue call from the wife (and Practice Manager) of a surgeon who had rooms in the same hospital as the Specialist I was working for.

She offered me the “Perfect Job” – great hours, amazing pay rate, lovely small team to work with etc etc. I was understandably excited and jumped at the opportunity. The first few months on the new job were pretty good, but then the wheels started falling off left, right and centre. It turned out I was working for a self-confessed narcissist who had enormous emotional issues that overflowed all over me and it literally did my head in. So, three years after I started in the “dream job” I admitted to myself that I’d reached breaking point, handed in my resignation and left while I still had a shred of sanity remaining.


I left the job in February last year and immediately started thinking about all the “What’s Next?” questions – “Where to from here?” was a big one for me because I’d worked for the last 40 years and assumed I needed to keep working at least part-time (as I had been previously). I started looking for jobs to apply for, but my heart wasn’t in it. I’d lost my trust in what the available jobs were offering – how would I know that I wouldn’t be dealing with another crazy person, or a lazy person, or a control freak? I felt like I’d hit my limit with what I was prepared to put up with to earn the almighty dollar.

This is what i thought i was supposed to do chase the career, chase the kids, chase the Joneses

I just didn’t know what to do – and that was a very strange feeling for someone who normally had their life planned out and was very routine driven. My husband (a Family Counsellor) suggested I do a Core Values exercise and it had a really interesting result. It turns out that the driving values for me at this age and stage are “Flexibility”, “Authenticity” and “Freedom”. The next step my husband said was to apply these values to the “What’s Next?” question for direction: e.g. - Could I return to the horrible job and be true to those values? – answer: No! Could I work in a job with long hours, or demanding people, or lack of autonomy and be true to them? – answer: No! That simple exercise brought with it a lot of clarity and insight.


As time has gone on, I’ve discovered that I REALLY don’t want to work anymore. That was a huge rattle of my “work until you die” cage, and one that I had to gradually come to terms with. I had all the anxiety of how we would make ends meet on my husband’s part-time income, and what I would fill my days with if I wasn’t heading off to the office. Slowly over the ensuing months, as I recovered my resilience (that had been crushed under the uncertainty and stress of working with an extremely difficult person), I came to see that maybe it was the right time to step back and re-direct my life.

We were in the process of meeting with a Financial Planner for the first time, and he was gung-ho on wanting us to work, and invest, and make more money. But the meetings with him had the opposite effect, we looked at our income and assets and realized we’d done well over the years of scrimping and saving. We were debt free and had built a nice little nest egg that would see us through for the next decade or more, and then we’d qualify for the Age Pension if we needed more funds. So, I didn’t need to find another job, we were just fine as we were; our bank balance was staying stable and the wolf wasn’t about to start knocking at our door.


Taking a breath, slowing down, allowing myself to get my head back together, trusting the journey, and refusing to be influenced by the Go-Getters, has allowed me to take a step back and look at what I want instead of what I think everyone else wants from me. It’s an amazing feeling to let go of all the expectations you’ve placed on yourself and to just “be”. To stop chasing your tail and jumping through hoops that you’ve put in place for yourself. To have the freedom and flexibility to be your authentic self. I’d never had the opportunity to really ask myself “What do I want?” because I’d been too busy worrying about what everyone else in my life needed or wanted.

Start counting your blessings instead of counting dollars or pounds

This is what I’ve discovered...I want a quiet life, I want peace and pleasantness, I want to live simply and slowly. I don’t want all the “stuff” that the world tells me I should have. I don’t want to work for another ten years to buy more “stuff” or to have more in my bank account for the next big thing that I’m supposed to be lusting after. I’m content with what I have. I’m loved by my family and friends (and the ones who matter are thrilled that I’ve stepped off the hamster wheel of working the 9-5 grind), I have my blogging, I volunteer, I’m free to help out when needed, I’m relaxed, and I laugh…a lot! What more could I ask for at this stage of life? Resignation turned out to be the best risk I’ve taken in a very long time.


Three years after I chose to honour my self-respect and I walked out the door of that horrible job, I discovered that life had a little surprise for me. I answered a small job advert for a one day a week position and was successful. I now work for a lovely female doctor who respects what I bring to the table. I don't know how long I'll be here for - but it's brought me full circle and will finish my working life on a positive note - how fantastic is that? God is good.


How life looks after an unexpected resignation leads to an early retirement and a re-invented lifestyle. #earlyretirement

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive