During my time exploring my options and deciding whether to quit my job, I spent a lot of time trying on each decision to see how it fit. I tried to imagine how life would be with either option. It came back again and again to the fact that my job while emotionally and physiucally stressful provided a generous and stable income with benefits. Even though I yearned to spend more time with my kids, they were both healthy and happy, well-adjusted kids. The easy path would have been to stay the same course with my job.
Yet, every time I imagined spending another ten years or even one year at my job, the more disheartened and less hopeful I felt. Every time I imagined life without my job, either staying home or working fewer hours at a less stressful job, the more excited and hopeful I felt about the future. But there were drawbacks too, financial sacrifices and career sacrifices that me and my family would need to make. Plus, it meant overhauling quite a few aspects of our life from where we lived to my daughter's preschool to a new closer relationship with our budget. It wasn't the easy path at all. In the end though it was the right thing to do. The more I talked about it with my duaghter, the more I realized that she wanted Friday mom on Monday through Thursday too. The more time we talked about it, the more my husband expressed his desire to have someone to take care of the house and girls to allow him more focus on his career.
Since I've made my decision and told some friends about it, they've expressed their desires to do something similar. Most people are stuck where I was for awhile. They are taking the easy path even if it leads to job disatisfaction or depression. I made a New Year's resolution in 2010 that I wanted to take more risks in life. Sticking to the easy, safe path may allow you to have some security and safety but it doesn't always provide the happiness and joy that most people desire.
It's not always easy to see the difference between taking risks and being foolish. Perhaps, they are even one in the same sometimes. Everyone has to decide for herself at sometime or another whether their present course is the easy path. You need to evalute whether the tradeoffs that you're making are really worth it or whether you just feel stuck and are coasting along.