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I Quit My Job

I quit my job.

There’s such a stigma attached to those words, isn’t there? Especially in this economy where you’re lucky if you have a job at all. Conventional wisdom says to protect your livelihood at all costs in times like these.

But I just upped and quit in the middle of the Great Recession. I walked away from a career so that we could move to the Adirondacks.

Whenever someone asks if I’m from around here, I feel compelled to launch into the whole song and dance about how my husband and I just moved here from Boston, blah, blah, blah. And then they ALWAYS ask what I do for a living.

Jobs are scarce in these parts. People are curious about how we get by.

It’s easy to explain Dave’s situation. “Well, my husband kept his job back in Boston and telecommutes for the most part. He goes back to the city a couple of times a month for meetings and such.” And then they inevitably react with, “Wow, good for him! What a great situation to be in.” And they’re right. It IS a great situation to be in.

But then they want to know about me. “Well, I quit my job so we could move here.” They stare, confused. “But I’m doing some consulting work… ” Oh, ok. Then they understand.

Yep, I’m mooching off my husband.

Now, I know I’m making a lot of it up. My own insecurities cause me to read into the subtle reactions of strangers. People don’t really give a flying you-know-what if I do or do not have a full-time a job. They’re just curious and trying to make conversation. (Right?)

Meanwhile, Dave is working harder than ever. Sometimes I wonder how I can do that to him. Put the burden all on him. Be a “stay-at-home-wife” with no kids, just a cat.

And how dare I occasionally complain that all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, dump-going, etc. falls on me? That’s my job now, afterall.

Money is definitely tighter. And as the bean counter in our household, I obsess over our budget and bank accounts. Always have, that’s not a new thing. But now that I don’t have a job, what right do I have? That’s not MY paycheck being reliably deposited in our checking account on the 1st and 15th of each month. So who am I to say, “Sorry, honey, we can’t afford that right now”?

But Dave doesn’t care. I think he might get mildly annoyed every once in a while when I announce, “No more eating out for the month!” Or when I call him when he’s on a work trip and haltingly ask him to curb his spending. But he trusts me. And he’s fine with letting me manage the finances. In fact, he wants nothing to do with it.

So what’s my hang-up? I enjoy being at home. Working when I have work. Hiking when I want to hike. Cooking. Even cleaning. Spending time with Dave and my cat. Thinking about what I’m going to write about each day for this website.

I’m not bored. I’m not lazy. We are far from destitute.

And my husband supports me. (Oh, what a loaded sentence!) He’s behind every decision I make, as long as it makes me happy. And I AM happy.

So WHAT is my hang-up?


  1. Caryl

    You go girl. You have a Hornbeck and the Adirondacks. Everything will take care of itself. others have taken this route very successfully. Success in the fullest sense of the word, not narrowly defined.

    “I quit my job.” Wonderful words.

    All the best

    • Jessica

      Thanks for the kind words. 🙂 I think you hit the nail on the head with this: “Success in the fullest sense of the word, not narrowly defined.” It’s been an adjustment to let go of the usual definition of success, even though I know the life I’ve chosen is much more fulfilling for me.

  2. Leanne C
    Leanne C04-13-2010

    Um, your “job” is to give me blog posts to read! No pressure.

    • Jessica

      Ha! If only it paid the bills. I’m totally going to run out of material one of these days and then what will I do? Post about our cat? Oh, wait…

      • Leanne C
        Leanne C04-14-2010

        You’ll just have to have a kid. Then you’ll have a whole new set of things to post about! Again, no pressure.

        • Jessica

          If you can provide a written guarantee that our kid will be as cute and good-natured as Olive is, and that we’ll adjust to parenting as well as you two have, I might give it some thought. For now you guys are stuck reading about Foster. 🙂

          • Dave

            I would need that guarantee in writing, with some sort of a monetary reimbursement if conditions aren’t met. Especially the parts about our kid being good-natured and about us adjusting well… 🙂

          • Jessica

            See, and I would prioritize cuteness over good-natured and us adjusting well. We’re at a crossroads already.

  3. Linnea

    Once you’ve finished reviewing every mountain, every trail, every wood stove dealership, every brewery, and every luge track, THEN you can just start reviewing people. For instance, “If you’re trying to keep a good mood, I’d avoid the cranky-pants who runs the cash register down at the gas station.”

    And then you could start reviewing your friends — that would be fun!

  4. Joann

    Congratulations Jessica! I’ve been so wrapped up in the move, etc., that I have lost touch a bit. I am very happy for you and how quickly and easily you’ve slipped into your Adirondack existence. Way to go and welcome!

  5. Phill

    Oh, this all sounds very familiar. Especially the mooching off your partner part. LOL The local non-profit nursery I mentioned is the Hot House – near the school in Saranac Lake. I seem to remember it being 33 Petrova. NorthStar runs it- one of their programs. It’s awesome.

    • Jessica

      Ah, Hot House. Someone else suggested it to me the other day, but I didn’t realize it was a non-profit. Very cool – can’t wait to check it out!

  6. Jan

    Oops, now I feel bad about asking what you guys do for work! Great web site, and nice meeting you two today. See you around town.


    • Jessica

      Ha! No worries, Jan. I was being a big baby the day I wrote that. Nice to meet you, too! We’ll see you around.

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