One year ago today, on December 13. 2013, in a mass “reorganization” of senior level people, I was let go from the company I had worked for and dedicated my life to for 17 years. I was shocked, and angry, and hurt. And, with the exception of my husband and my daughter, it was the absolute best thing that ever happened to me.
I was the Vice President of Merchandising and Design for an apparel company. It was a privately owned company and from the day I started there in 1997 (yes, 1997), I always considered the owners and the people I worked with family. I loved what I did and the industry. But the company had been changing, and not for the better, over the years. It was heartbreaking to me because I always took ownership of the company as if it was my own and truly loved it. Not only was the company becoming increasingly more difficult to work for, salaries were being cut, and benefits were being taken away, but my job was becoming increasingly more demanding and difficult for me to do the job the way I knew it needed to be done. I was traveling constantly and everyday I was coming up against obstacles that prevented me from getting my job done. We were losing customers and business. The environment and everything else that I had loved about this company was gone. I was miserable and it was effecting everything in my life. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to how being unhappy at work impacts the rest of your life. I knew I needed a change. But, I needed more than just to get a different job. I needed a life change. I was tired of being miserable and at the mercy of someone else’s strategy of the day. I wanted to live a life that I designed. I wanted more flexibility and to be able to spend more time with my family. I didn’t want to explain to someone why I couldn’t miss my daughter’s first day of school or her holiday concert. I had achieved all I wanted to in this business. I was no longer passionate or inspired. I was 43 years old and I had had about enough. I was tired and I was ready and desperate for a change.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided to partner with the Shaklee Corporation and start a part-time home business. It quickly grew and I loved it. I found a passion that I didn’t know I had. It felt so good to be able to actually be able to help people. Whether it was to help them to make their homes greener and non toxic or to help them stop the sickness cycle in their kids, or to help other families be able to create a business like we had. it was amazing. This path I found myself on led me to make positive changes in my life and the life of my family, like healthier cleaner eating, better nutrition, and being conscious of the products I used in my home and environment. And, most recently, I started this blog as another way to share with other moms and families how they can do the same. And just how easy it can be.
I had two choices. I could easily go get another senior level job in the fashion industry. Start over in another company, but I was obviously wary of doing that if there was no loyalty after 17 years somewhere. Or I could work for myself. Continue to do something that I was passionate about, on my own terms. To be more of a presence in my daughter’s life. There was no question which I would choose. I was finally free and I was never going back.
So, today, one year later, I would like to say thank you to my old boss. Though I was sad and disappointed that our relationship ended the way it did after 17 years, I thank you. The past year has been the happiest of my life. And today instead of getting on a plane to some meeting or stressing out over some life or death situation at the office, I will be going to my Daughter’s Holiday Concert with a clear head. And that makes me happy.