How I Decided to Own My Time
Three weeks ago, we asked our community to share their stories about quitting with intention.
We were instantly moved and inspired by your personal stories of quitting the very thing that is preventing you from creating a space for more positive ways to contribute to the world.
Here is one of your stories…
By: Richard Whitehead
Serving 20 years in the military during two major conflicts had taken a toll on my family and me and I decided to hang up my military career/retire to be home with my family. After getting all the necessary retirement documents approved, my retirement date was March 1, 2017. Three months prior to retirement I secured a position working with a government agency auditing seafood establishments ensuring these establishments were in compliance with all federal safety guidelines. I spent four hours both ways driving to and from work which was not ideal so, after seven months I resigned from that position due to the commute.
I decided to look for something close to my residence and found a supervisor position at a local manufacturing plant roughly 15 minutes away from where I lived. I worked as a production supervisor for seven months until a management position became available and I applied, interviewed, and was hired for the position. Initially everything was going well until I noticed that this job wasn’t a great fit for me.
This manufacturing plant was a 24-hour operation and priorities could shift at any moment based on the needs of the customer. This meant that I could get calls anytime of the day, night, or weekend. In my eyes failure wasn’t an option, so after a 12-hour workday I was taking work home to complete. Long hours and time away from my family was the main reason that I had given up my military career, but here I was almost two years later right back in that situation in the current position. I had given up so much while serving in the military, missing birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I decided that I wanted to own my time and not be limited to societal norms. In order to do this I had to make a decision that would impact the future of my life and the well-being of my family.
On Friday, September 27, 2019, I went to work, sat down in my office chair, opened my laptop, and thought long and hard. I asked myself, “Is this something you enjoy?” and without any hesitation I closed my laptop, notified my boss thanking him for the opportunity, placed the company laptop and cell phone on his desk, and I said, “Today, this is my last day working here,” he asked why and I simply stated, “I wanted to own my time,” and the rest is history.
Do you own your own time?