A little over two weeks ago, I quit my job. I had been working for a semi-local (next county near us) food bank, and I loved the place where I worked. Certain aspects of the job were things I loved to do. So why would I quit?
The biggest reason stems from the physicality of the work. While a good portion of my job involved working with volunteers every day (yay!), there was also a major component of hauling product in and out of the rooms for volunteers to work with it. I was lifting boxes, dumping trash, moving pallets, weighing food, and sweating a LOT. These are not lightweight tasks – the rolling trash bin weighs over 100 pounds empty, and can hold upwards of 6-700 pounds of food. The boxes are “supposed” to weigh anywhere from 10-30 pounds each, but sometimes would get filled to more than 50 pounds.
My body has ached, a lot. I have gained muscles and lost some weight, but mostly I have struggled with pain in my hip, knee, feet, and hands. At the end of each day, I had little to no energy, and had completely given up cooking. My husband, thankfully, took up some of this responsibility, so we didn’t starve. After dinner we would watch television for a couple of hours, then go to bed early so I could be up and get ready for the next day’s work.
I began to realize that I had no energy or time to spend on the things that are really important to me. I am not opposed to hard work, or even full-time work. But work that saps me of everything so that my off hours become only about recovery? That slowly became something I could not tolerate.
I convinced myself that the best thing I could do was continue working in an exhausting environment to prove my loyalties and eventually get a promotion, to be able to work that was both meaningful and energizing (rather than meaningful and draining). However, the non-profit world is precariously balanced on the budgets of corporate America. When there is an economic downturn, giving to charity decreases. Our area is going through a bit of that currently, and the multi-faceted reasons are not worth my discussion. The fallout for me was in learning that a position was not going to happen anytime soon.
Financially, my husband and I are in a better place these days. He is currently receiving severance from our former church, which is much more than he got on disability. So really I was working for my health insurance, while my physical health was actually declining. I didn’t have time to go to the chiropractor to deal with the aches and pains of my job, because of my job. It no longer made sense to me to continue working.
I still love the food bank that I worked for. I believe I have made some great connections with the people there and I hope there will be other opportunities in the future for me to work with them. I even plan to volunteer from time to time. But I am thankful to have the time and energy to take up writing and cooking again. My last day of work was Friday, and since then I have spent a lot of time catching up on the “pile” of books on my Kindle. I am going to travel with my husband to see friends in another part of the country. I have already cooked a couple of meals, and will continue to do so regularly.
Please keep us in prayers as we continue to wait on the Lord for a new ministry opportunity for my husband (and me). We are thankful for all of you, and I hope to keep writing updates here to share with all of you. I will also be sharing some of the things I have learned from my work over the last six months, things that I have longed to write about but could not find time or energy to focus long enough to accomplish it.