Aug
18
2011
My Parachute is the Color of Apathy*

What’s My Motivation?

Tomorrow I will celebrate 15 years with my employer.

The good news: this milestone brings increased vacation time.

The bad news: after 15 years I need more vacation time like you wouldn’t believe. My enthusiasm for most of my tasks has waned considerably. And don’t even get me started on my soul-sucking commute.

I’m a good employee (so ixnay on the iringfay), but over time my motivation has come less and less from interest in the substance of the work itself. I’m a perfectionist. It’s simply not my way to do anything but a good job.

So what would I have said I wanted to be when I grew up?

Independently wealthy? Big picture questions have always baffled me. It was easier for me to identify what I didn’t want to be. My Mom was a nurse, and people would always ask me if I wanted to be a nurse too. The more people asked me that, the more annoyed I got. Soon my “I don’t think so” turned into “I would not be a nurse if it were the last profession on Earth.” Dealing with people, sick people at that, and blood. Please, sign me up.

If pressed, I probably would’ve said I wanted to be a singer. I also went through an astronomy phase prior to knowing it required an understanding of physics. Too bad I was never able to find a single celestial object through the telescope I got one Christmas. Dude, it was hard.

My Parents’ Generation Was Not So Concerned with the Color of the Parachute

My parents were born during the tail end of the Great Depression. The message I received from them was informed by their own parents’ quest for financial security, with additional stress on the importance of education from my Mom.

Work hard, do well in school, go to college. All of this was for the purpose of getting a good job, where good job = secure, decent pay, good benefits.

My older brother took an aptitude test in high school. The results pointed to farming, which amused us greatly. He did not become a farmer. Ironically, working in his garden is one of his favorite things to do now.

I received no career guidance. I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do when I chose my major. I still had no dream job in mind when I entered graduate school.

Generation Y Wants to Own the Parachute

I’ve recently come across a number of “lifestyle design” blogs advocating against the traditional 9 to 5, and for taking risks to follow one’s dreams. They take many of the arguments I have used for staying put and rebut them passionately. Most of them I’ve seen are about a decade younger than me. These 20-somethings are the young, the fearless, the entrepreneurial. Their blogs scream: Quit your job and start an online business! Free yourself! Live the life you want! Get paid to do what you love! 

Stuck in the Middle (Stuck Being the Operative Word)

I feel stuck in the middle of these two generations and neither way of thinking resonates with me completely.

When I complain about my job to my Mother on the phone, I can almost hear her eyes rolling. She worked her ass off for over 40 years and earned the retirement she’s enjoying so much right now. She knows how much I make, and really does not feel bad about my lack of “passion.” She thinks I’m ridiculously lucky and should shut it.

I’m not sure she’s wrong. I do earn a good living. My job is in my field. Although I sort of fell into “my field,” it’s a good fit for my personality and I’m really quite good at it. As far as 9 to 5 jobs go, I have a pretty flexible schedule, great benefits, a fair and supportive boss, and great coworkers.

I feel pretty guilty complaining actually. Yet…am I going to be satisfied doing this day-in and day-out for 5, or 10, or 19 (but who’s counting?) more years?

Do I have to answer that? I’m the first to admit my not-really-ironic goal of retirement as a 37-year old is sort of lame. As my father-in-law says, “Don’t look forward to retirement, because that’s looking forward to being old.” Well, I’m hoping to retire early, but still. He has a point.

It Comes Down to This

Some of the lifestyle design bloggers I read are still in the process of breaking free from the 9 to 5. Others have already done so and earn a living at least partially helping others do it too. The bulk of what I’ve read is about encouraging people to take risks and laying out the steps to making the dream a reality. The having a dream part seems to be assumed.

But presumably the first step is identifying your dream, so let’s take a moment for me to get in touch with that, shall we?

Once again, it’s easier for me to identify things that are not my dream. And the entrepreneurial calling eludes me.

Being an entrepreneur sounds horrifying. Assuming I could identify something marketable, which is a big if, I would still have to market it. I am decidedly not a people person, not exactly a good trait for running a business.

Also after 15 years, I’m also wondering if I’m not just getting a little tired of working. Starting my own business sounds like more work. I would love to have more freedom and flexibility to spend my time how I want, and thus I think I’m looking to do less work.

Perhaps most importantly, I’d be the boss from hell. I would be extremely demanding, and as we’ve already seen, I have no vision. What a great combination.

Now What?

As I see it, I have a couple of options worth pursuing in the coming weeks and months. I plan to write about both in more detail in future posts.

1.  Design Something New.

Maybe there’s a dream, besides early retirement, lurking deep inside somewhere waiting to be uncovered with enough thought. I read a suggestion somewhere to think about what you would be willing to do even if you didn’t get paid for it. This made me laugh out loud because none of the first ten things that came to mind seemed to be marketable in the least. I’ll probably share my list of these ideas in the next few days, so you can laugh at me.

2.  Remodel the Old Place.

This runs the gamut from sprucing up my attitude, which is pretty poor at present, to making other changes around the edges of the current job, like exploring more telework.

How are you feeling about your job at the moment? 

*I would say the most accurate description for the color of my parachute at the moment is sepia, which according to Crayola is “not at all frivolous, dependable, and comfortable.” 15 years, people.

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220 Responses to “My Parachute is the Color of Apathy*”

  1. jo@beautifulmess
    Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    i worry that i will never be satisfied….. i could literally go on and on. i have the “perfect” scenario right now and i still complain. i too am a raging perfectionist- maybe that is the problem– seeking perfection sucks! good luck to us 😉 and happy almost-friday!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

      I’m trying to be a “recovering perfectionist.” I should change my bio to say that and maybe it will come true!

  2. Mikalee Byerman
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I have friends who call me out constantly for taking the “safe” path — I’m a freelance writer, have a fun and successful blog and a book in me DYING to get out. But I also have a 9-5 job that is safe. As a single mom, that’s the best and most important kind of security blanket.

    But it’s also a blanket that keeps me down, and hiding under it prevents me from reaching for what I know is out there.

    So what do we do?

    ????

    Best of luck to you as you try to find your answers as well. It’s a conundrum. Or a dilemma. Or both…

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

      Hi Mikalee, I can really relate to this. I guess replace “single mom” with “double-income-size mortgage payer” and there I am. I like the blanket analogy. Look forward to checking out your blog.

  3. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    I recently watched a video series with a group of people on generational differences. It was fascinating to learn what drove my parents, the boomers, versus me, at the end of the x gen and beginning of the y gen. It made a lot of sense and took the pressure off of having to do things the way the generation above did.

    It’s been a while since I’ve taken the aptitude tests, but I loved the story of your brother fitting into the farming world. I wonder how they determined it?

    Great post, and hope things work out for you.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      I’m a Gen X’er and I’m too restless for 30 or 40 years of the same job but apparently too risk averse to up and quit. I wish I knew how the test did it too…I wish my high school had given me an aptitude test.

  4. PCC Advantage
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Well, to be honest, I LOVE my job! There has never been a day when I woke up thinking, “Huh…I don’t feel like going to work today”. I think that it has a lot to do with the people I work with and for…they’re amazing. But, I think that I’ve also been given the freedom to do what I love and what I’m passionate about, so…

    Awesome Bosses + Freedom to Follow Passion = Me Loving My Job. :)

    I think that you have to have a balance between the possibly dull day-in-day-out kind of thing and doing something that you love. I think that when you find your niche, you need to explore jobs out there that will fulfill you in more ways that just benefits, job security, and a good salary.

    But, I dunno…maybe I’m just one of those twenty-somethings that thinks you should just live the dream. 😉

    Fantastic post! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      I definitely think you youngsters (ha, cause I’m such a grandma!) are onto something. Congrats on loving your job. I believe that is rare.

  5. Leah
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    This is a great blog post! I feel as if I could have written it myself. I’ll be almost 15 years at my current workplace as well (although I’ve had various positions). But like you, I feel my motivation is more for doing the work well. I’m a Gen X, so I’m in between that generation of my parents that said you get a good job, work hard, earn money and never leave. Yet I also feel myself wanting to do something I’m passionate about and enjoy, even if money is not the motivator.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

      I think I may end up working until I can “retire” to do something more satisfying (and presumably less well-paying). Good luck to you!

  6. Lakia Gordon
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    I think it’s great that you’ve been with your employer for that long. Now days you don’t really see that amongst my generation–we job hop!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Thanks. When a new friend of mine said “That’s great!” in response to my telling her about my upcoming 15 year anniversary, it surprised me. Great…huh? Then I realized maybe it’s just my attitude that needs tweaking!

  7. daitexas
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I hear you. I’m one of those 20-somethings you referenced who has no desire to spend the next 40 years of my life working 9-5 for someone else. What makes me different from the like of Tim Ferriss, et al, is that I’m married, have a kid and am paying a mortgage. Most of the gurus you read about have nothing to “tie them down” as it were (not that I am complaining about my family or situation AT ALL, I know that I am lucky), but for someone such as myself (and I’m guessing you) it’s not that simple to just take a risk and make do with less by moving to Thailand for a year while your online business’ profits grow. So I am searching for a middle way to free myself form the rat race and spend more time with my family. The most likely option seems to be to set up my own small business or else go freelance, but I haven’t taken any solid steps towards either of these possibilities as of yet. One lucky thing for me is that my current employer is unable to offer health benefits, so I already pay for a personal plan. I imagine that alone will make it easier to eventually take the leap once I have my landing plan all figured out. Good luck to you!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

      My Mom was quick to correct my post…she worked for 50 years, not 40. OMG. I can in theory retire with full benefits after 34 years in my position. So not even halfway done if I try to stick it out. I definitely think the brainstorming will continue. I hope you find a way to spend more time with your family.

  8. Kim from Wonderings of a twenty-something
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I feel like I am the twenty something job hopper. I had a great job right out of college but my husband’s path took us out of state and away from that job. Since moving, I have had two not so great employment opportunities while I wait to head back to school (when the checkbook says I can). I read all of these blogs of people my age quitting and doing “fun” things but I haven’t made the leap yet. Wish I could quit most of the time but it isn’t my reality. Not yet anyway!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

      It’s so hard to avoid comparing our lives with other people’s but I think it’s the only way to stay sane! I remember feeling like hot shit the first few years out of school with my professional job in my field. But then everyone caught up and I think it’s possible that the people in my high school cohort who were a little behind actually made better choices–choices that were a better fit for them.

  9. needtotaste
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    This is all well-said. I feel some of your cramps–most familiarly the not having a vision and never really having a dream job, and most definitely the “tired of working.” And I’m one of those twenty-somethings! Currently jobless, by choice mainly. Wondering if that magically satisfying job even exists… Good luck to us all!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

      I’m cynical by nature, so a key reason I’ve stayed put is that I have a feeling the “satisfying” job is mythical.

  10. Michele
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Love the post. I’m one of those in between the “chuck it all and do what you love” and “get a solid, secure job” generations as well. And, wow can I understand what you mean by not exactly knowing what your dream is. I remember once being asked by a guy at a social event “What is your dream?” (a really lame pickup line, but that’s another story). I distinctly remember thinking, “I have no effing idea,” and I have often thought about that fact that I absolutely could not articulate a “dream” for my life. I couldn’t then, and I can’t now. So: I want to live each daily fully and graciously, I want the world to be a little better because I have been her, and I want, most importantly, to do no harm. Not very dreamy, but rather lofty anyway.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      Hi Michele! I always feel so dumb when I can’t answer these dream questions (my dream place to live, my dream job, my dream vacation…). If a guy used one of those questions on me as a pickup line, I’d probably roll my eyes so hard they’d stick like that! I think your stated goals are lovely. I feel the same way, I think it’s turning that into concrete actions that is the challenge.

  11. mrbricksworld
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    A great post thanks for sharing. I on the other hand ended up on my career plane at 10,000 feet and then realized I forgot to pack my parachute. I am what they say, just winging it! No paid vacations and no benefits.

    I must like the feeling of not knowing where (or if) I am going to land.

    Have a great day.

    Mr. Bricks

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      I am most definitely a parachute girl. I’d probably need a back up parachute too. Maybe you can loan me yours since you aren’t using it? Thanks for extending the metaphor!

  12. Eva McCane
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    great blog! i want to own the parachute…can’t help it. and it want it to be the best parachute too. thanks for sharing!

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

      Good luck, hope you get the best parachute!

  13. natasiarose
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    I was working in the corporate world as an event planner and when my company shut down I tried to follow my dreams and failed miserably. Yay! I like my new corporate job and I’m very glad to have it.

    You should design something new for yourself! There’s a great sense of satisfaction that comes from that which could help with your attitude at work as well.

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      I’m glad you found a new job you like. Designing something new is a great idea. That’s sort of why I started this blog. I like having the outlet to express myself.

  14. Dana Harris
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Hah, you took the words, all of the words, out of my mouth. I could write an identical post. Let’s blame Pennsyltucky, shall we? I grew up in the nothingness between Erie and Pittsburgh, ‘nough said. Maybe one of these days I’ll get un-lazy enough to write a post about how I up and quit my job (in manufacturing, during the highest-unemployment-rate-days the US has ever known, without having another job lined up– brilliant!!), took a month off, freelanced for a month before my mother INSISTED I accept a ‘real job,’ and now I dream every day of doing the same thing alllll over again. Longest run-on sentence ever, but if I write it, you’ll be the first to see it. :-) Good luck!

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

      Hi Dana! It sounds like we are career angst and hometown twins! One summer during college, I got a telemarketing job in Erie and I loathed it. My Mom insisted I not quit, but one day I got so fed up, I walked out on my lunch break and didn’t go back. I sat at the beach the rest of the afternoon working up the courage to go tell my Mom I had quit. I’d love to read more about your experience.

  15. politeandparanoid
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    Thank you for this post!! It gave me hope. Hunny has a dead end, minimal pay, soul sucking job he hates. You have a “great” job, and you aren’t satisfied with it. It doesn’t matter what your job is, if it isn’t what you enjoy or are passionate about, you’ll be unhappy. I hope you find what you love & are passionate about & do it!

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

      Thanks! This is a nice summary and I appreciate the good thoughts.

      Sometimes I think the job is only soul sucking because I let it be, but it’s definitely worth some more thinking about what to do.

  16. TJ Johnston
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    “Perhaps most importantly, I’d be the boss from hell. I would be extremely demanding, and as we’ve already seen, I have no vision.”

    Gotta love it! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

      Thanks! I had been toying with writing about my career angst for a while, and quite frankly I only decided to do it for sure when I came up with these lines.

  17. Kathryn McCullough
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    My partner is 50 and in your position–trying to figure this all out. She works in international disaster response, of all things. At any rate, the title of this post is brilliantl. I absolutely love it.
    And congrats on FPed. Hang on for the ride! It will be wild one, I promise!
    Kathy

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

      Thanks Kathryn. Sometimes I build entire posts out of clever (in my opinion anyway) titles or lines. I was so taken aback by the Freshly Pressed thing, what a nice (and crazy) surprise! Your partner’s career sounds fascinating, but probably really stressful too.

  18. 300hikes
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I love the title of the post.

    Also, soul-draining work makes me sad. Maybe it won’t always be that way…

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

      Thanks! I hear you on the soul-draining work. Feeling like I’m at a crossroads…

  19. zoesays
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    It feels so serendipitous that this post is on Freshly Pressed for me to read today. I am in a foul funk about my current station in life. The only thing I have (and staunchly cling to) is my blog and a relatively new photography hobby. I’m a 9 to 5 gal. Formerly I was 8:30-5:30 (and worked much later many a day) and before that I worked 9-7. While I’m not fifteen years in, I understand where you’re coming from. I have been saying for a long time that I want to be my own boss and just work for myself, though I had to laugh at your comment that really, you just want to work less. Amen! I don’t have any answers or new insight but I very much look forward to reading what else you’ll be writing. The crickets were spot on; I’ve known for years what I do not want to do, but finding the desire for some dream job within has been like trying to find an oasis in a desert (and only coming up with a mirage).

    Didn’t mean to go all Debbie Downer on your blog post here – just thought I’d share since in theory, misery loves company. And sharing is caring.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 12:05 am #

      Zoe, thanks for this comment! I didn’t find it a downer at all–I’m glad I’m not alone! I like the desert analogy. I hope you find your dream job or something closer to it!

  20. Joanna Langada
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Oh what a delight to read! I too grew up with the suggestion that I will follow in my father’s footsteps and become a doctor. These days quite a few people I know have or are going into nursing. For me it’s the last thing I would ever do. I’ve had two businesess over the years, one big one, one not so big but fun, neither had anything to do with my formal studies or experience, which was the best thing, because I realized early on how the more diverse one’s experience and skills, the better the chances to succeed and stay creative. And then there’s the current coaching practice I recently started where I tell people to find their authentic voice, and go for their dreams, with a plan of course, provided the dreams are also genuine, not just goals that ‘sound good’. Having your own business is a lot of work…but that’s all I’ve known for the most part. The work never stops actually, but there’s something nice about that…life doesn’t feel so fragmented. Anyway, your post is wonderful, and I think you’ll surprise yourself with your creativity and even enterpreneurial talents! :-)

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 12:12 am #

      Thanks Joanna! Diversity of skills and experience does sound critical. I definitely admire those with entrepreneurial spirit.

      I think I need to practice listening harder to find my “authentic voice.” There’s got to be some dreams in here somewhere! Thanks for the vote of confidence, I appreciate it!

  21. parul
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Congrats for 15 yrs.. and for being freshly pressed…
    You have a very interesting way of putting things.

    And seriously! 15 yrs!!

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 12:13 am #

      Thanks! 15 years sounds like a long time to me too. And yet sometimes it feels like I just started yesterday.

  22. notquiteold
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    I’m sixty and i still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Like you, my mother was a nurse, but instead of resisting it, I figured, why not? i like her; I might like nursing. She was doubtful, and she was right. I’m not a nurse. I’m an English major who’s an accountant, with a nice job that is a little boring and a little interesting. So I write funny stories and enjoy the freedom that a not-too-hard job provides.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 12:19 am #

      “I’m not a nurse.” Yep! I’m not either. I think I also resented the notion that was still more prevalent than I would have liked when I was growing up that my choices were nurse or teacher. Both of these professions are extremely important and are increasingly undertaken by males, but I just bristled at the thought that girls generally did one or the other. I wanted choices. I look forward to checking out your funny stories!

  23. Kennedy
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Excellent

  24. ournote2self
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Good luck with any future ideas. I think we all come to a stand point at some time in our life. It’s just finding the motiviation to try something new. :)

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

      Thanks. Even if I stay put, I’d like to know I’ve given it some real thought.

  25. Jason
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    I can definitely commiserate. I’m a sort of jack-of-all-trades by nature. I love learning, researching things, creating things… it’s just the nuts ‘n bolts of BUSINESS that doesn’t do much to flip my switch. I guess the desire to do all of those things doesn’t necessarily come with an entrepreneurial chip built in! :-) I love to cook and make showy treats for people… but the thought of running a restaurant or a catering business is akin to what you said about being a NURSE. Ach! And I love to garden and hope to maybe someday have a market garden… but I doubt it’ll ever be a business of any sort, to be honest.

    I think the main thing is to accomplish things that you can appreciate. There are those of us who can do it AND reap a paycheck while others of us have to get our money from a job while pursuing the things that add true meaning to our lives on the side. Those who feel like they’re in the “driver’s seat” of their careers might see this as a passive way to live, but I tend to disagree… at least until I come up with a brilliant business idea of my own! :-)

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      Jason, you have crystallized my thoughts on business ownership considerably better than I did. There are things I can get excited about, but I too come to a screeching halt when I start thinking about what it would actually take to earn money from doing it.

      I find the job as support for doing what you love on the side argument compelling too.

  26. emilymariechandler
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Ahhh — you have described my life dilemma so perfectly! Here’s to 30-something’s stuck in apathyland….

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

      I’m trying to snap myself out of apathy! We’ll see how it goes.

  27. Laurie Holman
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    It’s always hard finding that balance, isn’t it? Especially in this post-economy-blow-up world. I’m all for pursuing dreams, while not having to ration your food for 2 weeks out of every month. Takes a lot of time and energy to find that balance, but I think it’s worth it – think about how much of your life you spend at work!

    I actually wrote an ebook, “What Color is Your Straitjacket?” You might find it helpful. I won’t include the direct link here, since that’s a bit icky. You can find it on the home page of my blog, though, if you’re so inclined. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      I prefer not to think about how much of my life I spend at work (and getting to and from!), but I know what you mean. I’ll definitely check out your ebook, the description on your site sounds great–help with humor!

  28. Doug Parizeau
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    OK, so I’ll be the tough-love guy.

    I get it. It’s hard to know what to do with your life. I’m living that struggle, too. But still, you’re thinking of signing up for year #16 at a job that doesn’t jazz you anymore? This is an easy one. Here’s what I think:

    You’re too good a writer to be stuck in a job that bores you. I think you should make a move — get a new, better job — for several reasons:
    1. You’ve put in 15 years at this joint. You’ve learned all they can teach you.
    2. Life is a one-lap race — being bored and not taking chances is no way to run it.
    3. Your commute stinks. News flash: you can do something about that.

    To quote Johnny Bunko, go “make an excellent mistake.”

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      Doug, I think I love you. Well your no nonsense approach anyway–want to be my pack leader (yes, I checked out your blog!)?

      Your reason number 1 is the thing that haunts me deep down. Several years ago there was a shake up in my office that yielded challenging and interesting work. It was actually a pretty stressful time, but the work itself was more satisfying at least partially because I was learning a lot. So the contrast with how I feel now is more noticeable. I think I’ve learned just about all, if not all, this job can teach. Something to think about, thanks!

  29. metaplastic
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Are you considered a member of Generation X? It’s somewhere in between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y.

    I’m a member of Generation Y, and I say the reason we want our own parachute is because we see how a lot of Generation X’s are unhappy with themselves and are questioning their purpose in life. We kind of go through our existential crises as well, given our boundless freedom and time. In our quest to find our parachute though, we ironically conform ourselves with our ideas of what is acceptable and not acceptable for a career, and we shoot ourselves in the foot the moment we realize that no, not all of us are entrepreneurial/nonprofit loving/nerdy/profound, etc. as we think we are.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

      Yep, Gen X’er here. I am definitely as nerdy as I think I am. Good luck finding your purpose in life.

  30. lollipopsvscigarettes
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    I can be very spontaneous in the things I do on a regular basis. I love how things that are unexpected seem to happen most of the time with my job. Motivations are one way to help us continue. Maybe stepping out of your normal comfort zone and doing something you haven’t done will lead you to something unexpected yet fulfilling.

    I love your post.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

      Thanks. I agree that stepping out of my comfort zone could be helpful. Writing this at all was a first step.

  31. Janis
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    “These 20-somethings are the young, the fearless, the entrepreneurial.”

    Honey, those 20-somethings all have either employed SOs or rich elder relatives who can bankroll their attempts to Find Themselves and who gave them the financial cushions they are currently using as their safety nets in the form of checks with lots of zeros that got thrown out to the grandkids like candy every Christmas. I’m serious — I know this counds cynical but it’s also dead accurate. I used to measure myself by those people because I ran into so many of them during my academic career, and it took me a long time to realize that they were all using other people’s resources to follow their dreams. Once the third or fourth one talks about how they worked so hard to save for their house because they banked every thousand-dollar birthday check that Grandpapa gave them out of the capital gains from his railroad investments for decades, or when you hear two of them just coincidentally bring up the fact that they could drop out of the workforce at 30 and go back to school because some millionaire uncle was paying their health insurance, the picture gets a lot clearer. Life just looks different when you are expected to earn every penny you will ever spend on yourself and can’t run to the Bank of Mom and Dad for your house downpayment after getting hitched.

    Keep working. Financial security feels wonderful, and the relative peace of mind you get from it frees you up to enjoy off-hours creative pursuits.

    • patricemj
      Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      I have to sort of agree with Janis…many, many of those who have the luxary to follow their dreams are bankrolled by others. That’s the hidden reality, and it’s important to illuminate it. People with money also are raised to think more about what their dream is. Money just gives people more freedom. However, the cool thing about Gen Y is that they are raised to believe they can have it all, have a cool job, or own their own business, and in many ways this is true, but making a go of it on your own is also a ton of work and unfortunately requires more than a ton of money, it requires fortitude, and vision, persistance, faith in oneself and one’s product, ability to take risks, to find a certain pleasure in taking risks really. People who are timid, anxious, traumatized by life, socially awkward or inward or whatever, unmotivated, undisciplined, suffer depression (damn, depression can interfer with dreams!!) want fast results, impulsive, can’t delay gratification, will probably have a hard time making their dream a reality. Some people really do better with the structure, probably the majority of people honestly, provided by a standard sort of job or career. There’s absolutely no sin in that.

      BTW, this is one of my favorite topics, both my husband and I are creative types trying to make our dreams come true in the hours outside our demanding and financially securing jobs. We just visited Portland, “Portlandia”, and boy, did we wish we were 20 years younger, braver, less cautious. You know what they say about Portlandia, “It’s where young people go to retire”.

      • logyexpress
        Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

        I sort of hinted at the class issue along with the generational issue, but there’s probably more to it than even I hinted. My parents and grandparents were lower middle class. I don’t remember being raised to think about dreams, I remember being encouraged to work hard in school and get a “good job.” The idea was to earn enough to live. Perhaps it was money focused, and not so much generational.

        I may not end up making any sweeping changes career-wise, but like you I’ve come to wish I were 10-15 years younger and less cautious. I wish these thoughts had come to a head years ago because I’m beginning to feel “too old” to make a big change. Never mind not knowing what the change would be.

        I’m an East Coaster, but Portland is on my list of places I’d love to visit.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      Janis, I don’t know why this made me laugh, but it did. I think the “railroad investments” part was what put me over the edge. I know some people who’ve never had to work a day in their life, but they aren’t pursuing any dreams other than not working. And they are actually older than me.

      I just figured people who are younger have fewer obligations thus more flexibility. But maybe they have a nice security blanket as well. Hell, my own Mama helped me out when I first graduated. Not so much that I didn’t need to get a job though.

      I’m definitely a financial security girl. Thanks for the comment.

  32. Janis
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    BTW — to answer your question — I like it. Lots of scary-smart people who are very goal-focused, and we do good work of real social importance. And it’s secure, stable, and pays well. :-) It’s a million times better than all that old dot-com horseshit that I wasted my 30s on that went nowhere.

  33. Patricia DeWit
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    I’m taking away a few things from this. You’ve made me think…what would I be willing to do even if I wasn’t getting paid for it? Hmmm… that’s a very good place to start.

    Thanks and well done on the FP

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

      I’ve been trying to brainstorm a list of those things and so far most are just amusing. I’m bound to hit on a serious one eventually though.

      For example, someone gets paid to select WordPress posts for Freshly Pressed. I already read blogs for free! Sounds fun.

  34. Mudmap
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Thanks for sharing – winning the lottery seems like the most logical way to answer all of your problems……(that was written with a sense of irony).

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

      In the obvious words of Genesis (the band not the book of the bible): “Gambling only pays when you’re winning.” And I don’t play the lottery.

      However, sometimes I ask myself what I’d do if I won the lottery to try to focus my brain on my dreams, but…crickets. I think just spending so many years thinking I had no choices dampened my ability to consider choices. I’m working on it.

  35. JT
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I can say two things for sure, First being fulfilled in a vocation is a flawed premise and two outward focus is the surest way to getting rid of apathy :-) Congrats on being “Freshly Pressed” Of course I am the only one who is an expert on my opinion!

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      Thanks, JT! I’m torn about your premise #1. I’ve spent years believing it…I mean they do call it “work.” But I do know there are people who love their jobs (or profess to anyway). I can’t help but aspire to be one of those people.

      Your premise #2 is something I need to work on.

      • JT
        Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

        In retrospect your right my choice of vernacular leaves a lot to be desired. I should have said being “perfectly” fulfilled … I look forward to work and find many things about it that truly stretch me and give me a sense of fulfillment, however as time goes by my perspective is changing(I guess) and who I am is less about what i do. I have found I really enjoy writing and though I am not good enough for a vocation, I still find it fulfilling for me anyway. maybe that’s it, I write not because I have to but because I want to.

        Sorry going off on a tangent there :-) I like your writing and have decided to subscribe.

        • logyexpress
          Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

          Don’t apologize, one of the reasons I write here is to start conversations! And I agree with your tangent! Thanks for subscribing, I look forward to checking out more of your writing.

  36. k8edid
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    I quit my “comfortable” job to attend nursing school at 40, and got a master’s degree at 54 in nursing education. Now I’m teaching nursing students. I have never regretted any of the twists and turns, never gotten bored, and never worry about what I’ll do next. But I could never have stood working another 25 years in the “comfortable” job.

    Good luck to you…and congrats on being FP’d

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

      I love nurses! Just didn’t want to be one. Your story is inspiring. Thanks.

  37. Karen
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Enjoyed your post. Very well said!!

  38. wordnymph
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Great post! I was in your shoes 10 years ago and made the mistake of reading the book Who Moved My Cheese. It prompted me to make the worse decision of my career. It seems as though your blog offers an outlet for both your creative talent and your frustration. I will look forward to reading regularly. BTY, my parachute has holes in it.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

      EVERY time I hear the phrase “Who Moved My Cheese,” it cracks me up. Don’t know why. Sorry moving your cheese didn’t work out (I’m afraid I might not be using the metaphor of the cheese correctly).

      I will most definitely avoid the book, thanks! Did everything work out OK for you (your comment was sort of a cliffhanger!)? I’ll definitely check out your blog to find out.

  39. Alli
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Congratulations on Freshly Pressed and congratulations on 15 years at the same job! Persisting in the face of apathy is it’s own feat. As someone with perennially itchy feet and a resume that shows it, I admire people who have the patience (or even just the apathy) the ride both the blahs and the emotionally exciting phases of life. I think your point about being caught in-between the values of two generations is spot on. I am going into my fifth year at my job yet trying to lay the groundwork for what comes next for me. I have a broad destination in mind but not razor focus or ‘one beautiful dream’. In finding my way, I just say yes whenever it’s reasonable. Sounds like you need that well-deserved extra vacation time, and I encourage you to take one cue from the Gen Y’ers take risks so you can learn what you want. The failures are, if not more important then definitely more informative than the successes in the murky world of career desires. Cheers!

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

      Alli, thanks for the thoughtful comment. I definitely need to think harder about what I want. My deep-seated fear is that my apathy is all me and not really the job. That even something I love would become something I no longer enjoy if I earned a living doing it.

      Saying yes whenever reasonable seems like a good strategy. I like that.

  40. stinginthetail
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    i started writing a reply, then it got too long, i think you’ve triggered a blog post in me, lol. Will just say, enjoyed your style, and don’t fret it – jobs don’t bring us happiness. Happiness is a state we are in. Or not.

    You’re alive. Have happiness with your life. You don’t have to have sex with a million people or jump off a bridge, it could be just sitting with your brother, and watching him work in his garden.

    All the best

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks! More and more, I think that happiness is a choice and I’m trying to choose it. Watching my brother work in his garden might be good, as long as he doesn’t expect me to weed.

  41. SHDESIGNFL
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Great title! Life is difficult, it’s hard to balance everything. I feel ya. Thanks for sharing!

  42. DesiValentine
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    We have this in common. I’m 34 and sort of fell into a decent paying job with lots of flexibility, good benefits and excellent security. I wasn’t necessarily happy in that job, but still. Membership has it’s benefits, ya’ know? My staff were 20-somethings who had garage bands, side-businesses, and no expectation of working anywhere for more than five years at a time.
    I left after 9 years for my kids. I started my own business for my sanity. I work much harder now, and have far less true flexibility, but I’m doing work I truly enjoy. I’d call it fulfilling :) Good luck on your journey. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

      Yes, fell into my job is a good way to describe it. Sometimes I honestly feel like I just started yesterday, but yesterday was 15 years ago. If times flies, it can’t be so bad?

      I’m glad you have fulfilling work now, even if you’re working harder.

  43. chunter
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    A lot of comments to go through, congrats on FP

    There are no wrong answers, so many people ponder these things. I need to remind myself of why I like my job, but it doesn’t take too long for me to remember…

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

      Thanks! There are definitely things I like about my job. Focusing on those and having a positive attitude seem like good things to do.

  44. Andrew Wells Douglass
    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    Maybe another way of titling your piece would be “Waiting for My Epiphany.”

    I don’t think I ever made it out of school. I liked school (including, strangely enough, law school) for its structure and vague sense of enlightened purpose. It certainly wasn’t about making money, and I was kind of surprised at the end to discover all that lofty language about doing great work was supposedly about the crass goal getting a better paying job. It’s not surprising that there are so many unhappy lawyers. Not having money sucks, but having it guarantees surprisingly little. So I ended up being a carpenter in the houses of people who did pull down a lot of money, some of whom looked down on me and would have been a little surprised I was better educated than they were. Still, that’s not how things were supposed to turn out, and my health barred me from doing more.

    I don’t have that “vision thing” now. I’ve been told many times that really I should write, and I just can’t envision people plucking what i have to say out of the noise of the so-many-others who want to write. Let alone pay me for it. School provided nice logical steps towards and letter grades along the way. A’s made me happy. I like to work, I like to make things. But now, I write with a smile, how will I know whether my work makes me happy?

    So where does one get a parachute? I sense an online business starting up right now….

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

      An epiphany would be good, yes.

      Also totally agree with “not having money sucks, but having it guarantees surprisingly little.”

      I liked school too. I think I liked the structure. My job provides that too. As much as I wish my commute were shorter, I kind of like having somewhere to be most days. Good luck with your writing!

  45. Lorraine Liu
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    Well. My first job starts in Oct, and I already hate it. How pathetic is that!
    But unfortunately, “Work hard, do well in school, go to college” is still the goal for my generation in China. I guess I will start to do something else once I got my rent paid.
    After there’re millions ideas in my head right now! :)

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      Sorry about that! At least you have ideas for other things to do. Good luck!

  46. shrinkingwmn
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    Loved your post! :) I am an actress, an unpaid one sadly. I’m trying to break in to the entertainment industry but it’s not exactly easy. I had a 9-5 day job so I could do those silly little things we all like to do…like eat. *rolls eyes* I got laid off and it was the best thing that happened to me – weird right? I found I finally had the time and energy that day job was sucking from my life to actually focus again on my acting. The longer I was at that job the more my dreams of acting were getting squashed, this sounds dramatic but I swear I could feel my soul dying a little bit more everyday. Even if my acting never leads to enough money to pay the bills and have a life I don’t care, I am so happy I have this chance to follow my dream and get out of the 9-5 world – a world I never wanted to inhabit. I say figure out your dream and then follow it through, I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? It doesn’t work out? Who cares! What matters most is you tried – that 9-5 job will always be there if you need to go back to it, and if you do go back, you’ll be a stronger person for taking the time to follow your dreams…imo. :)

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

      Thanks for this perspective. I’m happy for you that you are pursuing your dream. It would certainly be easier if my dreams were clear. Thanks for the encouragement!

  47. Sasha
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    Don’t feel bad for not being more entrepreneurial.

    You have a great job that you love and you work with supportive coworkers and a great boss. These “entrepreneurial 20 somethings” are just following the latest fad that is being promoted by gurus.

    Take your time to find what you’re passionate about and than find some guts to follow your bliss. If it’s starting your own business by all means do it, but if it’s growing flowers don’t feel bad because you’re not conforming to the standards of “entrepreneurial 20 somethings.” Have a nice day!

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

      Thanks, Sasha. I don’t really feel bad for not being entrepreneurial, but I am frustrated by my lack of big picture clarity. I’m working on it.

  48. themolesworthdiarist
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    Hi Tracy, love the honesty in your post and I think you have really captured what so many are feeling in their nine to five jobs (in fact I wrote about something similar a few days ago if you are interested: http://themolesworthdiaries.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/665/). I hope we all find the answers!

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks, I’ll be sure to check out your post.

  49. divyaakella
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 6:27 am #

    Nice post… Congratulations on being freshly pressed! :)

  50. Online Games - new online games
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    Good luck to you…and congrats on being FP’d

  51. Michelle Merrill
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    I’m right there with you in terms of mostly saying, “well, I’m not sure what I want to do, but I know I don’t want to do THAT…” when it comes to careers. I took the other GenX route, refusing to ever take a 9 to 5 that entailed selling out. My dream was to be a student forever, but eventually the debt was too big and it was just time to finish the damn PhD and move on.
    Do I love my job (teaching at a community college, earning less per hour than your average mechanic or person with a BA and equivalent years of experience, despite the extra 10 years of school)? Mostly. But being stuck in the middle also means very little opportunity to ever get hired full-time with a decent salary, especially if I don’t want to be a 70+ hour per week careerist.
    I think we also bump up against a generational issue because the boomers can’t or won’t retire, GenY is rushing up behind us, and honestly, the boomers like them better than us.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

      I toyed with the idea of going back to school for a PhD earlier in my career, but it didn’t feel right. I figured I’d get sick of something I studied in that much depth.

      I wish loving a job didn’t seem so negatively correlated with pay!

      I’m not sure if the boomers like Gen Y better than us or not, but they are going to use up Social Security. Crap.

  52. geekgirlat40
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Enjoyed the post and have been there. In fact, I was there just last month! It’s something I’ve struggled with as well—identifying the dream. I started my own blog as a way to be creative and explore those things I love. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

      Thanks, looks like we’re engaged in similar pursuits. I look forward to checking out your blog.

  53. nmaha
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    I’m so glad I your blog was freshly pressed today. I feel a lot less alone. I work with my husband (he’s the visionary, I’m the just the follower) and the joy I used to get out of coming to work during the first few years is fading. I’m even tempted to become a college professor!
    I’ll be back to see how you figure out stuff. Maybe I can learn something.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      Thanks, it seems like there are many of us struggling with these issues. A friend of a friend once talked about starting a cool-sounding business a few years ago and I totally fantasized about inviting myself along! I’m a hardworker, but not so visionary, so I hear you. Good luck finding joy.

  54. letempspasse
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Your post resonates with feelings I have had in the last few years. I am not certain, however, if the feelings are commensurate with the generation or the age of the generation. I have gotten the impression that everyone who nears early forties starts saying “ok, been there. Done that. Now what?”.
    Perhaps how we relate to our profession is much like we do with any relationship. Once things starts running too easily on “auto-pilot”, boredom sets in. In order to keep it interesting, creativity and imagination may help. New challenges, new things to learn? New things to share or even to teach? But what if you feel “empty” of ideas. Well, I have tried to listen to my heart. Turns out it’s a far more creative organ than my (overly) rational brain.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

      This makes a lot of sense…there is definitely some “been there, done that” in my attitude. It seems like the next logical step in this career is management. I’m not sure that’s for me, but I could investigate it. It would certainly be new. Now I’m curious to know what your heart has told you.

      • letempspasse
        Monday, August 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

        Well, my heart can be a bit cryptic (as all hearts are). I guess one of the things I have learned is that I feel most SECURE and in my element when I’m using my brain to analyze, hypothesize, deduce and decide what to do next. Very rewarding if I get it right. However, I feel most ALIVE when I am being creative and thinking (and feeling) (slightly) out of the box. So I’ve been experimenting with different outputs for my creativity, mostly in my leisure time. Curiously enough, the creativity seems to be bleeding into my work environment by itself….

        • logyexpress
          Monday, September 5, 2011 at 11:39 am #

          Thanks for responding to my question. This makes a lot of sense to me…secure vs alive.

  55. successisthebestrevenge
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    I guess that’s why there are so many nontraditional students attending colleges and trade schools. Some are retirees. Some are suffering burnout. Some had dream jobs; but it wasn’t their dream. Some are housewives. Some are finally fulfilling their dreams because the kids are in school or they’ve left the nest.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      I’ve definitely considered going back to school. But there’s that pesky obstacle of not knowing what I should study! I like your line about a job being a dream job even though it might not be someone’s dream. So true.

  56. broadsideblog
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Here’s the voice you don’t want to hear…working for yourself “freelance” is an insane, non-stop amount of work. People hear the word “free” and think they’re going to be all set. They forget the part where you have to hustle every single day, year after year after year, to find, nurture and keep clients. Then they cut their rates while prices go up. The people with whom you have worked so well move to someplace else.

    I’ve had jobs (the longest was 2.5 years and I was getting bored) but mostly freelance as journalist and author. I am passionate about ideas, so it’s a good fit for me in that respect, but earning the income I want and need is much more difficult.

    My partner has worked at his employer for 25 years (in a few different positions) and we’re lucky we both still feel passionate about journalism. Without some spark, the days, weeks, months and years do drag on.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      No, this is exactly the voice I NEED to hear. I am skeptical that I have the stomach to work for myself. There’s a reason I’ve worked in my secure job for 15 years. If I felt passionate enough about something, I’m sure I could start my own business/freelance. But I’m just not there (yet?). Thanks for your perspective.

  57. Tom
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Yup, the old paradigm of “work hard, be honest, demonstrate loyalty to your employer and you’ll be employed for life” is long gone. Took me some years of my working life to recognize that, and it was an epiphany…and it didn’t feel good.

    Eventually, that mental path resulted in me recognizing if things were going to change for the better, I would have to be the agent of that change. I made a change after 13 years with one employer.

    A few comments about that change — viewed one year after the change — are in my blog: http://tomsalzer.net/2011/08/18/one-year-later-retrospective/

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks, Tom! It’s good to hear this perspective, as sometimes change feels impossible, or just really hard. I enjoyed reading your post.

  58. meekthegeek
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    “Being an entrepreneur sounds horrifying.” Totally agree. I have friends reading books like “The Four Hour Work Week” and talking about how they can’t wait to get their break in whatever creative area they’re imagining and get out of the 9-to-5 grind. I used to think like that. I’m the same age as you and I am just finally shaking off the constant feeling that there is something better out there and appreciating what I have: stability (as much as one can have in this economy), benefits, cool co-workers, etc. Sure there’s stress. But I can’t imagine the stress of being responsible for your own business, hoping to be the next Mark Zuckerberg but fearing you might just be the next Joe Schmoe.

    (Oh, and a year ago a friend INSISTED that I read “What Color is Your Parachute.” The veiled religious undertones ruined any chance it had of affecting me.)

    Great post!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 10:16 am #

      Thanks! I haven’t actually read “What Color is Your Parachute,” thanks for the heads up about it, that would bug me too. I have a book called “Pathfinder” that I bought years ago but have only flipped through–it starts out asking you to think about what you wanted to do when you were a kid. Uh, nothing that is going to help me figure out what to do now.

      If I thought a four-hour work week were actually possible, that would be tempting! But I imagine being an entrepreneur is more work than I’m doing now, not less. And I don’t need more anxiety.

  59. newsy1
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Maybe its a 15 year itch type of thing. I left a newspaper job after 15 years, quite a few years ago. The stress was all consuming and I felt like I would be dead by 40. It turned out to be a good decision for me but freelancing is not an easy path. Great post.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      15 years does seem like a long time. I’m glad you have found a new path. Thanks for reading.

  60. Rebecca Latson Photography
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Hell, I’m 50 years old and feeling the way you feel right now.
    There’s always the lottery, you know.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      You have to play to win though! And I’d still need to know what I really want to do. I think sitting around counting my money would get old (eventually!).

  61. Let Me Start By Saying
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed! Weren’t you just telling me you struggled with whether or not you could call yourself a writer? Well, here you go.

    You make so many good points here, I don’t even know where to start. I, too, grew up with parents who were practical in that they were Work Hard, School, Word Hard at job with Good Benefits. Yet people younger than me are all striving to be Reality TV Stars or, I dunno, Rich Without Working Hard. It is an odd place to be. In the middle of extremes.

    As far as my job? I’m a Stay-at-Home-Mom who is counting the minutes until both my kids are back in school so I can log more hours towards my goal of being a Paid Writer. It is something I’ve always wanted to do and did get some college education on, yet is also impractical (see: Publishing Industry). Also? I have the safety net of a husband who is a good saver/financial planner and has great health benefits. So i can give it a go without risking more than wasting my time/embarrassing myself publicly.

    Since you enjoy blogging/writing, why not keep your money-making practical job with benefits, and do something you love on the side? If the thing you love/fulfills you ends up in an opportunity to make money/benefits, you can switch teams.

    Then again, I fear life without health insurance. So I err on the side of conservative when it comes down to it.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 10:27 am #

      Thanks, Kim! I have a post brewing about “being a writer.” Just never thought of myself that way, although I write a lot, especially now that I have this blog.

      My husband has a good job and in theory we could probably make some adjustments for me to make a career change. But while I think his job is pretty secure, I’m also paranoid–if only one of us has a well-paying job, what if that one person lost their job? I’m uber-cautious.

      I’ll probably do what you suggest–keep the practical job and explore what I enjoy on the side. Maybe I can “switch teams” eventually! Good luck with your writing goal!

      • Let Me Start By Saying
        Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

        Sorry it took a bit for me to get back to you here.
        But I totally understand being paranoid. At this point? We all should be. Definitely start exploring your options of what you could do on the side, while you sock away some $$ for your nest egg….just in case the opportunity to switch teams ever happens.

        • logyexpress
          Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 1:01 am #

          Sounds like a plan! I’m honored that you came back to respond.

  62. John Hayden
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Thanks for a great post on a common dilemma. I hit the same wall after 13 years of success with one company, but little prospects for further advancement. The only thing I knew for sure was I didn’t want to do the same thing for the NEXT 13 years.

    There is another side to this coin. All too often, companies decide that their long-term employees are making too much money, getting too much vacation time, and the firm could get more bang for the buck with a recent college grad. Or your position has become expendable because a computer is doing the work you used to be good at. One day you wake up and see that your job is no longer as comfortable or secure as it used to be, and that knowledge may nudge you or force you to make a change.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 10:30 am #

      Thanks, John! Especially in this economy, you are right that no job is 100% secure. I hesitate to hope for a nudge, but it would certainly be easier to “have to” rather than decide I want to make a change.

  63. Maxine Ebegbuzie
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    I have a “good” job but it is not pushing at my potential. I feel stagnant, undervalued and it is not a good feeling. I know that there is more for me. Luckly I am a risk taker and am dabbling in some business ideas. It is not quite to the point where I can put in my resignation but it is well on its way. I say stepping out of one’s comfort zone is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Only then will we see “the impossible made possible” We are limited by our own thinking most of the time. Nothing is too far fetched with some elbow grease, dedication, ideas and focus. Good luck to you Tracy and thanks for the good read!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 10:33 am #

      Thanks, Maxine! I feel stagnant too, but luckily (?) I don’t feel undervalued. I think that might even be part of the problem. I know my boss/others appreciate me and the work I do, and that appreciation helps to dampen any gumption I can muster to move on. Oh my, I just used the word gumption. I am old.

  64. Andrew Wells Douglass
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Career change is perfectly normal, the rule not the exception. Although people may not have seven careers as some claim, see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704206804575468162805877990.html , it really isn’t that common to have a job for a dozen years or more. Figuring out what to do next may be hard, but wanting to find it is very healthy. Mid-life crisis might be better termed “many life-crises.” :-/

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Thanks for linking to this article. I always thought that number seemed ridiculously high. The fact that I worked at Dairy Queen, then Carvel, then a telemarketing firm, then a power company, then in research (my current job), doesn’t mean I “changed careers” 4 times. I always wondered what those career change numbers were based on–any change in employer, or an actual change in the substance of the work?

  65. Far Away Books
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    Nothing stops you from becoming a singer on the side, from developing your voice or taking some classes in music. If your commute is soul-suckingly long, housing prices are low and you have a stable job.

    If you rent, move closer to your work. If you own, rent out your current home and move. You’ll save time and money, and be able to put both into resting and doing something you enjoy. And it won’t freak your mom out.

    You don’t need a big dream to change things about your life. You just need a little voice saying “this isn’t right, let’s try something else.” That something else doesn’t have to smash up your entire world. It doesn’t have to be “The One” dream for which you’d give up all else.

    You are probably too tired to hear your inner voice very well, but as you take little steps toward being kinder to yourself, you will hear it more clearly. Try reading a couple of Martha Beck’s books on finding your dream / north star, it may help. In the meanwhile, don’t assume you dislike your job and quit. It might not be true.

    Sounds like you have no time or energy to explore your creative side and so you blame your job. Move within walking distance of your work, start singing, alone or with others, and work on digging out your buried dream which apparently broke down and has remained buried by a landslide of life (perhaps for many years).

    You just might discover a great treasure that casts a new light on everything — the real you!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

      Thanks for the pep talk. You might be right about being too tired to hear my inner voice. I’m definitely tired!

  66. Optimisme
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Hii. Good post. Like you, I am not sure if I am a good fit as a business owner, so I think I will go for photography or fictional writing if I ever want to quit my job in IT. Good luck with exploring your options. And congratulations on being freshly pressed.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Thanks, I like photography too. Good luck to you as well.

  67. mosaicworld555
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    hi, thanks for sharing. most people I talk to do not like their jobs. in fact depending on the degree to which they feel they need to be in control of things, they might hate their jobs passionately. apathy can be kind of a buffer that helps. I quit my job for a number of reasons. it’s a struggle to figure out a career that makes a difference (something people actually need and not just buy for the sake of buying). judging by the # of comments, you probably get the picture but I think most people feel their parachute is apathetic (not opening but not in a critical sort of way) or grey.

    • logyexpress
      Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 1:06 am #

      Thanks for visiting. It has been helpful to see that this resonates with people. Good luck finding something that makes you feel you are making a difference.

  68. baby massage
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    Interesting and surprising self exploration…congrats!
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  69. Shelley Burbank
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Good luck figuring it all out. Loved reading this post today. The chirping crickets in the middle were brilliant. I won’t tell you how long I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do “when I grow up.”

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      Thanks, Shelley. I’m glad you liked the crickets. I hope you figure out what you want to do too.

  70. Servus Publicus
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    I’m in your general neighborhood of time-in-service and couldn’t have hoped to say it better myself. I’ve reached a point where I’ve mostly accepted having a “job” I go to every day rather than a “career” I’m passionate about. I do good work, but ultimately I’m doing it to pay the bills and have funds available to go do the things I’m really interested in doing. I figure it’s worth pimping out my brain for eight hours a day to be able to get to the fun stuff. :-)

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

      OMG, I love your Apathy Warning Advisory System. Also, your phrase “Mrs. Talkopotamus” cracked my shit up. I think you may work in my office. Thanks for visiting. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  71. Jean
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    You are creating and designing something right now: your blog and feeding it. That’s a great thing!

    I’m a boomer born in Canada of working class, low income immigrant parents. Methinks alot of progeny who witness the struggle of their immigrant parents do appreciate work and a salary.

    I totally agree it’s laughable to think that it’s easy to throw caution to winds and be an entrepreneur, or travel. I was unemployed for over a year before I could land a job…in a different province. Still well over a decade until I retire. Meanwhile people my age are retiring if they have been with 1 employer for decades.

    Consider some volunteer work for a passion of yours….a non-profit org. might need a volunteer bloger. I volunteer blog for several rganizations..

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

      Jean, yes the blog is a very helpful creative outlet for me right now. Your suggestion to volunteer is a great one. I didn’t even know volunteer blogging was an option. Thanks for visiting.

  72. gaycarboys
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    This IS my job:) Thanks so much for sharing with us

  73. mbnelson09
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    A great option for a person who is not satisfied with thier career is to start your own business part time. Do whatever your passion is! When you get so much business that you do not have enough time to accomplish all the work, it is time to make the leap and have it be your full time career. Win Win! Life is short work with your passion and enjoy it.

  74. blackashsunset
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    I think if more people took the risky way, overall we would have a happier population. Sadly not many people care to make the jump..

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

      I think some people just have more risk-averse temperaments. I know I’m one of them. It also would have been “easier” to take more risks when I was younger and sans mortgage. Like moving so far from home after graduating in the first place. That felt pretty risky to me, but I did it. The older I get, the more inertia seems to set in though. But that certainly doesn’t mean I couldn’t take risks now, I just need to know what I want to do first. Identifying the “dream,” “passion,” etc… is the critical first step. Thanks for visiting!

  75. Anna
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    The world of work is a big, scary and too often tedious place. Very few of us get to the place or posistion that makes us happy on a daily basis. I try to focus on things away from work as much as I can, to try and avoid the realisation of how thankless and mind-dulling it is. But, you know, on the upside, I can’t imagine ever working 15 years somewhere. There must have been something there that kept you, and it is a huge milestone that deserves huge congratulation… and of course the extra holiday time that is clearly richly deserved :) Thanks for the interesting piece!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Yes, there are certainly good, if not even great, things about my job that have helped me stay there this long. I do think that keeping work and personal life more separate (like no more checking work email after hours and weekends, for example) would help too.

  76. talesfromthemotherland
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Congrats on the FP. It’s quite a trip! I’m still catching up from my moment in the sun, and know how fun it must be to be checking out the comments right now! Nice blog and very witty post. I like using those cricket soundbites and fun tools as well… very creative here. You make some very powerful points. As a middle parachute girl myself, I’m still struggling to figure out how to carve out my passions, but still make sense to those around me… especially as I raise 3 kids, two of whom are now in that other parachute that says dive in, make your own reality! Funny to see myself trying to not sound too much like my mom when I answer them, but figure out my own way as well. Really enjoyed this.

    • logyexpress
      Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      Thanks. Sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier, I thought I’d gotten through them all, but I guess not! Being Freshly Pressed was indeed thrilling. I really enjoyed reading all the comments. I’ll definitely check out your blog…I want to see which post of yours was featured!

  77. Arjun Kapadiya
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I have a job right now, and you just made me realize how much i hate parts of it. I get crap hours, it’s not professional enough and the pay just sucks.

    I’m with you all the way Tracy! :)

    Cheers,
    Arjun Kay

    http://arjunsmind.wordpress.com/

  78. Arjun Kapadiya
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    Haha!
    Thats fantastic!

    this could be in a children’s book or something! :)

    Cheer,
    Arjun Kay

    P.S. Check out my art at http://arjunsmind.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/187/

  79. ladywithatruck
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    I am 53 and always worked, in typical “female” professions, 12 yrs in banking, 12 yrs in and office. When the company I worked for closed I opened a daycare until I realized I didn’t like kids as much as I thought I did. I always thought, “who could hate a child” believe me; there are hateable children!
    Anyway throughout those 25 plus yrs; for the most part I hated my job. I was a single mom and they provided me with the resources to raise my son; a nice home, security, decent hours, dental plan, medical, and money for a trip to Disneyland etc. But there was many a day I cried on my way to work. I too was a perfectionist, at work and at home. I would come home, pour myself a glass (or 2 or 3) of wine and work in my garden until it got dark. My job afforded me a gym membership, going out for dinners and drinks, vacations, nice clothes and other “things” like a new car etc. But I wasn’t really happy.
    Through many circumstances, some my doing (a divorce), some out of my control (the economy crashed)I lost my house and ended up having to start over; so I can’t really take credit for choosing to be an entrepreneur.
    I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew I hated being locked inside all day, I was bored, hated office politics, and really hated wearing pantyhose. As opportunities presented themselves I took them and long story short I have been doing what I do for over 6 yrs. I LOVE my job! Everyday!! I make ok money, but it’s just me now so I don’t feel the pressure for security.
    I haul scrap metal,and resell or recycle it, refurbish antiques, and discovered a hidden talent for painting. I highly recommend doing what you love, but I know I never would have been able to leave a secure job and jump in with both feet. I was pushed in and forced to sink or swim.

    • logyexpress
      Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

      This made me so happy to read. I’m glad you love what you’re doing now. I agree that being forced to sink or swim might be necessary for some…probably including me! Thanks for the great comment!

  80. Queen Linda
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Congratulations on Fresh Pressed — that should give you a lift! And all those comments show you’re not alone. Take all that vacation you’re due. I worked toward a dream over the last several years and didn’t realize how much I changed while working toward it. I blithely threw away all I had to achieve that dream, which has morphed into a waking nightmare. We are financially comfortable, but I lost my entire identity by achieving this dream. Don’t lose yourself while you’re looking for yourself.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

      Thanks, Linda. Being Freshly Pressed was indeed a great pick me up. I’ve really enjoyed reading all the comments and look forward to checking out everyone’s blogs too. You’ve certainly piqued my curiosity about your dream to nightmare story. That’s a big fear of mine…what if I throw everything away and it doesn’t work out or it does work out but I don’t enjoy the “dream” either?

  81. wyominglife
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    I just left my 9-5. Well ok it was 9-3, but the regular paycheck was nice. It bought the groceries, provided the extras for the kids, and the odd dinner out. The decision to go into freelance writing stemmed from a close family member being diagnosed with cancer.

    For months the nagging sensation that I was spinning my wheels just wouldn’t go away. The diagnosis was my big wake up call. How long was I going to continue doing a job I was only partially suited to, while longing to write about the subject matter I care about, what I went to university for six years to study? I just had to take the plunge. Actually it felt more like an un-plunge. It feels like I have come up for air. Finally.

    It’s a little scary, and I’ll have to be willing to do the odd job here and there to get by, but it does feel good! And I speak as a very-end-of–the-boomers generation lady.

    I have no illusions. Not everyone can take this kind of risk. Single moms, single dads, sole providers have to think about their kids first. My hat’s off to them.

    My two cents on the ‘make a business out of what you would do if you didn’t get paid for it’ idea: It can end up turning a lovely hobby into an irritating daily grind. Be careful.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks for visiting. I appreciate the stories of people who have left the 9-5 (or 3!) rat race and lived to tell the tale. Your two cents crystallize my key concern more eloquently than I did. Maybe I’m too cynical, but I really do worry that I’ll end up resenting anything I feel I have to do in order to earn income, even if I were doing something I loved when I wasn’t doing it for pay.

  82. offthefrontporch
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I’m in my mid-twenties and I feel like I keep having the same conversation with many of my friends: where are our dream jobs, what are our dreams jobs, how do we get our dream jobs, what happens when your dream job is not as exciting as you thought after a few years? I think we get so much messaging of ‘just go for it! the dream is yours!’ without a sense that maybe it takes years of hard work, boring work, or entry level work to get to where you want to be–that’s a message I think is missing on graduation day. And maybe too we have an expectation that work must be meaningful and world-changing, an idea, as you said, that our parents didn’t necessarily have. I think there’s value in our community, our relationships, our passions outside of work (your top 10 list that isn’t marketable) that we forget matters when we focus on the ‘right job.’ But after saying all this, I’m looking for a new job, so I’m still processing my own view of work! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

      Thanks so much for sharing this perspective. I agree that there’s so much value in things outside of work and perhaps focusing on the “right job” might be missing the boat.

  83. katyj94
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Ok, so I kind of come at this from a different angle. I’m in high school. Everything is about me and what I want. “What do I want? I want to do something I love. Can I support myself doing that? Not likely. Ok, then, get a plan B….”
    Your post shows me the other end of the spectrum, and lets me be a little more cautious and choose seriously.
    Good job on being Freshly Pressed. :-)

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

      Thanks for visiting. I think it’s great you’re considering what you want so early. I just didn’t do that, or didn’t do it very seriously. I wish I’d explored more options in high school and early college. I just kept boxing myself in more and more. Good luck to you!

  84. margaretalmon
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    I graduated with a MFA in Poetry, and realizing my bleak employment prospects, went to Library School(the year the web got browsers with color pictures). I didn’t feel like I had a “career” that was going somewhere. I was not writing articles for the Journal of Library Science. . .I was a librarian for 15 years, and in the midst of that became a mosaic artist, and when my employer chose to close my library last year, I took the plunge and am doing mosaics full time. I felt stuck in my old job, but voluntarily leaving good benefits seemed too scary, but with a push, I focused on the art I love making. I spent many years searching for my “calling” or purpose, and the fact that I loved making art seemed totally irrelevant, ie. if I enjoy it, it can’t actually be a job. I stumbled into mosaics–I couldn’t have really predicted that this would be my medium.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

      Wow! It sounds like the push turned out to be a great thing, although I’m sure it was scary at the time. I love your mosaics. I wish I were more artistic. I’m sort of a “color within the lines,” “follow the recipe” kind of girl. Inflexible if I want to be blunt about it.

  85. lanaaugusta
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    When I was 19, I experienced the same urge I guess many 20 somthings experience. The f**** this, I’m leaving urge. I was going to school because dad wanted me to, I was unhappy doing it, and who could say that i’d be happy after committing another 5 unhappy years in school. So I left, traveled the country, explored my sexuality, and dropped out of college twice. After that, I got saved, thank you Jesus, got more stable, and now I’m living a life that requires me to walk with a moral compass. My life is blessed, I have friends, possibly a boyfriend. I still want to be free, but its tempered by my desires and my dreams. Maybe school. Maybe marraige. Maybe being a leader in a church somewhere. Maybe a journalist, who knows?? I know I want to love and be loved. I ask God for direction, but I feel as if I’m on the right past. I work at a gasoline station, but I know that I’m going to school, and that I’m going somewhere. :)

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      Thanks for visiting. I’m glad you are finding the right path for your life. Good luck to you!

  86. GraceLynneFleming
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    nice post – congrats on FP

  87. alexgent
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    Great post. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve drifted from job to job never really giving much thought to what would happen next. Mostly this has worked out Ok financially but it’s hardly living the dream. This definitely is not the way to get a rewarding career and mostly just leads to a fairly tedious working existence. Just starting to do something about it now after being made redundant. Not bad to start thinking about your career options at 39…

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

      Thanks for visiting! Good luck exploring your career options.

  88. http//youthjob.wordpress.com
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    thanks

  89. http//youthjob.wordpress.com
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    Great post. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve drifted from job to job never really giving much thought to what would happen next. Mostly this has worked out Ok financially but it’s hardly living the dream. This definitely is not the way to get a rewarding career and mostly just leads to a fairly tedious working existence. Just starting to do something about it now after being made redundant. Not bad to start thinking about your career options at 39…

  90. Haiku bear
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    I have no parachute!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

      But what color would you want it to be if you had one?

  91. Hiit
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Congrats for 15 yrs!
    and for being freshly pressed!

  92. Heather
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    So much of this used to resonate with me, then I took some of the advice I’d been reading about in “O” magazine and Martha Beck articles — Martha’s got some great “down to earth” articles on the oprah.com website about nudging yourself toward a more satisfying path. In particular, I started broadening my interests outside of my primary job — trying things that were totally new got my brain fired up again and brought me back into that place of feeling multi-dimensional and “happenin’ again.” Serendipitously, I started meeting people who’s energy was moving in the direction I wanted to go, which was inspiring. Above all, don’t worry about what other people are up to — do your thing and do it 110%. :) Enjoy the journey. Being aware of these questions is more than half the battle.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10:41 am #

      Thanks for the suggestions, Heather. I’m compiling a list of all the reading suggestions I’m getting. I feel like being aware of these questions is a big part of the battle too.

  93. Tristan
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Good post!

    The colour of my parachute right this moment is an optimistic yellow, or if truly dare say it, Red. Vibrantly, vivaciously red. I have no particular reason to feel this way [I’m currently looking for a great job], except I simply feel truly optimistic. It’s a knowing inside that something wonderful is coming along.

    I hope you find your yellow and red too.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      Thanks, Tristan. I’m strangely optimistic too, which is not characteristic for me.

  94. Rashmi Kamath
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    hmm.. sounds like the future me. i’m just 18, but i am entering a field where i do not particularly have any interest, but it suits me and i’m sort of good at it. my passion on the other hand, is completely different and really risky. and yeah, i am sort of falling into the field too. i guess its not too late for me to change my future, but – ‘what if it doesn’t work out?’ always haunts me.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10:47 am #

      Thanks for visiting, Rashmi! I’m sure you will pull the rip cord considerably earlier than me if you find your chosen career isn’t fulfilling…right? As long as you say yes, I won’t find this depressing.

  95. pacatatu
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    hang in there. I lost my job of 11 years and, though I am glad not to be in the environment I was before (very poisoned and trying), it’s hard to be unemployed and figuring out what I am going to do (without the pay). You have good pay, flexibility, vacation, good work environment? Stay and day dream (or night?) and, if it is meant to be, it will come to you! I’d like to do what I enjoy the most and be paid, but right now, I just want to have a job and be paid (except for sales – not good at that). Thanks for the post – great writing!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      Thanks for visiting. I appreciate this perspective. I realize how selfish it might sound to be complaining about a good job in this economy. I am grateful for what I have, but still strive (don’t we all) for something more. Good luck to you in your job search.

  96. Tracy
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    As someone from the ¨Quit your job and start an online business! Free yourself! Live the life you want! Get paid to do what you love! ¨ toting generation I thoroughly enjoyed hearing someone with a little more perspective.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10:52 am #

      Thanks, Tracy. I love the concept of your blog and look forward to reading more about your journey.

  97. Chris Willis
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    I’m a 51 year old woman, and entrepreneur of 18+ years. I always wanted the freedom and flexibility of running my own business, and then learned that with that comes the awesome responsibility of providing a livelihood for 20 people and their dependants. (Read “awesome” in its original meaning, although I have days that are pretty awesome in the slang sense as well.)

    As I often tell my employees (and 24 year old daughter), “If it was fun every day they’d call it ‘play’ and you wouldn’t get paid for it.”

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks Chris, this matches what I imagine owning my own business would feel like. My big fear about making a big change and taking a risk is that I would eventually come to resent anything I did to earn money, even if it had been fun to me before I earned money to do it. It would become a have to instead of a want to.

  98. klrs09
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    A fantastic post! My favorite line: “I would be extremely demanding, and as we’ve already seen, I have no vision. What a great combination.” Hilarious and honest. Congratulations on being FP’d.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10:56 am #

      Thanks, that line was one of the main reasons I wrote this post. I appreciate the comment.

  99. lindayoga
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Thanks for the wonderful post! Makes me feel very happy to be retired!!!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

      Show off! My father-in-law and my Mom sometimes make me so jealous with their retired-ness. Thanks for visiting!

  100. Marvin the Martian
    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Your malaise is exactly why Kyra Sedgwick is quitting “The Closer” on TNT. She’s tired of 7 years of tidy endings, and she’s tired of the “procedural” TV show format. So she’s quitting. Never mind the fact that 98 percent of actors would kill to be in her position with a hit TV show and a megamilliondollar annual salary. She’s killing her own golden goose on the altar of artistic freedom, the freedom to do something different. If that’ll make her happy, more power to her.

    I would take some of those millions and re-educate myself to feel differently about my job. Or I would take on additional duties on the job that interested me. Or I would do some freelancing while keeping my day job. Or I would volunteer at night or on weekends at something completely different. But that’s just me.

    My darling wife was a corporate geologist and hated every mind-numbing second of corporate life. She retired at 30, basically, with a ton of money. Now she gardens, volunteers, and cleans houses when she feels like she needs to organize someone else’s life and earn some spare change. But she has me to support her. If she didn’t have me, she would probably be doing another job she hated for less money than she earned as a geologist. But she’s happy as it is. Hopefully you can find your happiness, whether it’s at your cushy job, or doing something different.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

      Yeah, I suppose it’s a tad bit easier to quit your steady job if you have a lot of money, even if Bernie Madoff took some of it. Good for Kyra. I’m glad your wife was able to retire and is happier now. Trying to squelch my jealousy! Thanks for the well-wishes.

  101. thiet ke noi that dep
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Nice blog. I like it and i hope i will make it more exciting with many great topic like this. Thanks.

  102. gaycarboys
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    I’m after the baby boomers but before GenX. Who knows where I fit! I like the idea of a parachute:)

  103. goingsteadyblog
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Amen, sister. It’s funny that the thing we devote the most of our waking time to is the thing we are often the least sure about.

    Peace. http://goingsteadyblog.wordpress.com/

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

      Yes, it’s really the time suck that bothers me most. Why does work have to be so much of the day and so many days of the week? Thanks for visiting.

  104. youngadventurer
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    I absolutely get what you’re saying. I’ll fess up now and say that I am one of those 20-something, resist the day-job, follow your dreams kind of people. Lucky me, I’m pretty early in the game, but I still feel overwhelmed with the decisions I’m facing.

    The main reason I wanted to comment is to recommend this book to you. It’s all about the day-job vs. dream-job conflict. Maybe it will help you find your dream or the attitude shift so you can feel content with your current job.

    http://www.quitterbook.com/

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

      Thanks, the book sounds interesting.

  105. smallestforest
    Friday, August 26, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    I read that “would you do it for free” article, too…resonated with me, because lots of what I do, passionately, I do for nothing. :) You write very well. Hey! An option! The writer’s life? Yes? No? I really enjoyed your post. You’re too smart to be in a quandary for long, I’ll hazard. Growing pains. When you find it I think it will be spectacular.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks for the compliment! I have a post brewing about my thoughts on writing.

  106. trialsinfood
    Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    i’m going on 8 years at my job and you’ve just read my mind. i took career assessment tests to see what else i could do and they told me i was suited best for what i was doing now. what a disappointment. it was not what i wanted to hear.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

      Yeah, I bet I would test as well-suited to my current job too…15 years doing it and all! It would be interesting to take the tests though, I’m kind of a test geek. Good luck to you amd thanks for reading. Your blog looks yummy. I want to try putting banana in pancakes now.

  107. Schnettler
    Sunday, September 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Wonderful post, I like your impressive blog, found you on FP.

    Please visit my interesting training blog.

  108. besidealife
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Oh, Logy. I feel your pain. Actually, I’m living on the other side of it: I recently quit my “job” (I was a PhD student, so hence the quotations on that one) because, well, it made me sad and angry at the same time.

    Sangry. It’s a thing. Totally.

    But now I’m not quite sure what to do. Like you, I’ve never really had a plan or a passion for any one particular thing. All I can say is that it’s as frightening being “out here” as much as it was…trying? Heavy? Hard? Yes, as hard as it was staying safe “in there”.

    The thing that makes everything HARDER is feeling alone as well as apathetic and aloof. Especially at 3:00AM in the morning. So thanks so much for posting this!! I mean it. It’s weirdly nice to know it isn’t all just in my head, you know? 😉

    • logyexpress
      Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      Hi Cindy! Happy my angst could ease your sanger somewhat! I’m on vacation right now and I started reading this book on the beach yesterday about “Changing Your Course” (http://www.amazon.com/Changing-Your-Course-5-Step-Getting/dp/1402745877) and I barely got through the intro before feeling overwhelmed. The book is supposed to help you run through the steps (5 steps apparently) necessary to living your dream. I need a book that tells me what my damn dream is! Besides not coming back from vacation that is.

  109. Katie
    Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Tracy, I don’t know how I missed this post. But it’s brilliant. I’m caught in the middle, too. In the middle of living “responsibly” and of chasing my dreams. My parents are much like yours. They say things like “suck it up!” “Work hard and then when you retire you can play hard!” “No one works in their dream job.”

    But I can’t help but want something MORE. I don’t have the guts to ever quit my job outright. I have a mortgage to pay after all. BUT I am working towards making my dreams come true. One teensy, tiny baby step at a time.

    AMAZING POST.

    • logyexpress
      Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

      I have such trouble keeping up with the blogs I read. I’m always missing posts and then commenting months later!

      Thanks for the comment. I’m plugging away at deciding what to do, but it’s scary. I thought I had no inner voice, but I’m starting to realize that those things I just thought were crazy fantasies in my head, may in fact be my inner voice. Yikes.

      I’m probably not going to quit anytime soon either. All I know for sure is that I won’t make it to retirement age in my current job. Oh goodness, no.

  110. Angie Z.
    Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    My husband, who is the hardest worker I know (i.e. not trying to avoid working), is reading all the books right now he can get his hands on about reinventing work life, retiring young, etc. He’s a Gen Xer like me, but I see now after reading this how this fits more with the Gen Y line of thinking (not saying it’s good or bad, I’m just very intrigued by different generations’ flavors). So that means we’re busting our butts to pay off our mortgage in the next two years, driving older cars and eliminating all debt (we don’t cut out the fun stuff like travel and eating out though). I think this is one way to give you more freedom to do what you want as a career, hopefully anyway. Sorry for the purge :). Loved reading your great perspective on this!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

      I’m in Gen X too and I’d love to reinvent my work life. The best reinvention I can think of is retirement! We work hard to save a lot, so I think I’m on a decent track for retiring pretty young…at least as long as my husband is still willing to work. Since that doesn’t really sound all that fair, I’m not sure that will happen. But I’d love to save up enough that I can at least “semi-retire” early…then work at something I love for considerably less pay without any serious damage to our future “real” retirement. Not sure what that thing I love would be yet, but I’m working on it. Glad you were finally able to find this post!

      • Angie Z.
        Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        Good plan — I’m totally with ya on that.

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