My life has been full of unconventional life decisions. Not all of them were positive – but all were unexpected and uniquely mine. Most of the time, the decision was between something normal that seemed unbearable and something that seemed a little crazy.
Today is the first day on the “other side” of one of those decisions. Mike and I decided that we can live off the income from my business and that he could quit his job. His last day was Friday. Today we move forward, creating a new normal.
While I was brought up to value the entrepreneurial spirit, the love of vocation, the hunt to find the “more” in life, Mike was raised to value the daily grind & the regular paycheck.
Goodness knows I’m thankful for it. Had he not put into the grueling work – think walking 20 miles a day in July in 99 degree heat – at his job while Lola was tiny, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to craft my career and finally listen to my vocation. I don’t think I could have pulled it off the way he did. But in working day in and day out at a job that was both physically exhausting and mentally unrelenting, he came home miserable.
The funny, sarcastic, quick-witted man I married devolved into a sullen robot at the end of the day. Weekends were his only respite but he loathed anything past Sunday at 9am.
Enough. This has to stop, I said. We’re going to make this work. Because it’s not working now.
So our family made an unconventional decision. Mike quit his job, I now work full-time, from home, doing what I love, and Mike will take care of Lola and work on finding something that fulfills him as much as writing this to you fulfills me right now.
And while there are plenty of people cheering us on (thank you!) there are plenty of people with words of caution and downright disapproval. That’s fine. You know, I’m thankful for them too. I’m thankful that there are people to keep me grounded and remind me of how difficult life can be. I’m thankful that there are people who care enough to actually tell us what they think. And I’m thankful that someone disapproves because otherwise it wouldn’t be a very unconventional decision, now would it?
I don’t make unconventional decisions to be contrary. I make my decisions because they feel right. Because if I don’t make them, I’ll scream. If I don’t make them, I won’t be the person – mother – wife – leader I
want need to be.
So maybe today, whether your shaking your head disapprovingly or patting me on the back, I’m wondering if you won’t think about a decision before you and ponder the unconventional path. What would it feel like to go against the grain? What assumptions have you made about your situation that just aren’t true? What’s the worst case scenario if your unconventional decision doesn’t quite work out?
Most importantly, what do you have to gain by making an unconventional decision?
If you don’t give yourself the time to explore the not-so-normal way of doing things, you just keep on keeping on. It’s hard to really get ahead. It’s really hard to do much of anything remarkable.
If there’s one thing I really want out of life, it’s to be remarkable. To raise a remarkable daughter. To be a remarkable wife. To help others become more remarkable. I want to help you be exceptional. To be an exception to the rules that life tries to give us. An exception is something that doesn’t fit in the box, it’s the thing that’s a little off, a little crazy (in the best kind of way). It’s the thing that defines normal by being anything but.
Your dreams and big ideas belong to no one but you, and you never need to apologize for or justify them to anyone.
— Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity
To be exceptional, you have to choose to be the exception. I’ve made my choice and so has Mike. Today we choose to be another exception to the rule of “9 to 5, work, death & taxes.”
Are you ready for an unconventional life? Are you ready to be the exception to the rule?