I have worked at the University of Oregon for 31 years. After 30 years of service, a state employee (me) can retire with full benefits. However, I had 75% of my retirement fund in the variable annuity and, in 2008, I lost 48% of that 75%. I simply can’t afford to retire now. The job, though, has become so incredibly stressful, that I am thinking of leaving anyway. If I were to quit and get a part time job, I could survive financially, and I might actually get my health back. I have to weigh the costs and benefits here. I’ve worked in this job without much reward for years. I do get good benefits, but the salary sucks. The administration of the UO continues to ‘decentralize,’ which means they keep giving me more stuff to do for no extra money. I’m nearing the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Is this why I can’t bear to quilt anymore? I basically have no joy in anything. At what point do you decide that enough is enough?
I’m not ancient. I still feel I have a lot to offer. I just want to do something that is fun to do. I don’t want to handle peoples’ BS every day. I don’t mind problem solving. I just don’t want to have other people make their problems mine. So, I’m going to think about down-sizing. Finding something I love to do. Finding a way to get by on less. I feel a thrill of joy inside just thinking about it.