Long overdue but also a bit scary: today was Marco's last day at work. We are trading time for $ and comfort.
He worked so hard for the last 12 years in one of the most demanding and fast paced work environments imaginable.
In the 12 years we also got really comfortable, constantly raising our life standard and being able to afford most of the things we needed. Like a perfect brag book we finally acquired a townhouse, 3 cars, a trailer and a boat. All was used and reasonable priced, but still. But all the stuff also meant to be even more part of the rat race. To keep up with all of the expenses he needed to keep up work and deliver. He dragged himself basically all year and it was really painful to watch.
Out of my very happy, funny, caring partner became an easily irritated, stressed and hard to inspire grouch.
I instantly knew I would trade everything we gathered at that point to have his old self back: The one that loved to try new things, be social, play with the kids, offering his help to anyone who would need it. The one starting a new hobby like trying taek wondo, going on a long bike ride with his son or letting others judge about his singing ability online. The playful adventurer. The funny German guy with the awesome shirts.
I was secretly hoping he could stay put for a couple more months til I figured out how to make enough money to provide for the family and he wouldn't have to keep working for much longer unless he wanted to, but unfortunately I am just not there yet with all my business ventures I started over the last 3 years - after finally getting my US work permit in 2012. I told him to demand a 3 months leave of absence (which he did not get) or a 4 day week or some kind of relieve. But we were running out of time noticing his lack of energy, not able to do anything after work, his moodiness and declining health.
We were lucky we had a long summer break showing us a glimpse of what happiness for us as a family and couple usually looks like. We had a good time traveling, exploring, not thinking or talking about work, unplugged in the nature, in good company and getting ready and experiencing the Burning Man festival. Life was about so much more and to be lived and not sacrificed for a greedy big corporation. He was still part of the system and indoctrinated by the companies mission, but our trip opened his eyes for some change, possible change.
We needed to take the plunge. We needed to do it fast. And we did. So, today is the day. Today is the day we start restoring his old self. Or his new self but bringing out all the old awesomeness. Today we start getting a bit less comfortable, a bit more mindful over time vs. money, we'll let go of the unneeded to make room for more us and happiness.
Optimistic, curious, human bee.