I’ve always loved writing, but turning writing into a career was, quite honestly, as much accident as anything else.

My husband was finishing school and I was working for a corporation in Boise. I worked long hours, often had to go in on Saturdays, and stayed past dinnertime nearly every night. We hated what my schedule was doing to the family – but what do you do when you have to pay the rent, feed the kids, and afford all the stuff it takes to survive?

Shortly after Christmas the second year I was with the company, I came down with pneumonia. I was sick for a long time, but missed being in the office for three days. I still worked from home, even when my doctor was threatening to hospitalize me. That’s the kind of pressure I had from my boss.

A couple of weeks later, my son became very ill and I called in sick to stay home with him and missed two days. When I returned to work, my boss called me into his office and informed me that I would no longer be allowed to use my sick leave unless I was sick. I could not use it to care for my kids.

I could have just sat by and said ok. I mean, that would have been the responsible thing to do to ensure that I could support my family. But you know what I realized at that moment? NO ONE should have the right to make me stay away from my kids when they were sick. I was selling my soul for the paycheck, and I realized it would be easier to take two lower paying jobs than to continue the crap.

As it turned out, my boss had stepped very close to the violation of FMLA laws, and HR assured me that my sick time was mine to use as needed…but by then, I was so fed up of the “don’t make plans for Christmas, that’s our busiest time – we don’t care if you have a family” mentality that I would have done anything else. Funny enough, HR was worried that I might sue them for my boss’s stray comments and we all decided it was best for all of us if we parted ways. The company, eager to keep me happy, offered me a very generous severance package for someone who’d barely worked for them for such a short time.

It was then that I vowed never to return to corporate life. That was nearly a decade ago, and so far so good. I jumped on the computer and went to work. While the work has changed and grown and morphed into something utterly different than what I originally started, I’m very grateful for the “atrocious boss” (as Parker likes to call him) that helped me get here.

In my next post, I’ll share some of the steps I took to get started. If you’re ready to make a change that lets you spend more time with your family and do something you love, it is totally possible!

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