Quitting my job fourteen years ago to put my health and home life first enabled me to be there for my husband while still keeping a roof over our heads.

When my husband and I were married in 2003 we bought a house, and for the first time in my life I had a mortgage payment due every month. Living in California, our mortgage was considerable, and while my husband’s pay could cover other monthly expenses, I needed to bring in enough to cover the house payment. 

I got a job at a Fortune 500 company in temporary staffing, and I wasn’t only making the house payment, I was making over six figures. Over the next two and a half years I became completely strung out on a drug cultivated in that work environment–stress. We had all the right ingredients–we were severely understaffed, had a boiler room environment, eleven hour days and something inherent in temporary staffing, regular no shows. I would work for months to get new companies to entrust us to fill their open positions only to have co-workers send people who were not qualified for the jobs. 

I was internally conflicted at work every day and would take that stress home. By the time my hour long commute landed me home, I had nothing left in me to want to cook or bake which I used to love to do. My husband did all the grocery shopping and prepared all our meals. At bedtime I’d start dreading the next day. It took hours to fall asleep, and as a result I was getting less than six hours of sleep a night. 

I seemed to catch every cold that was out there with all the applicant interviewing I was doing, and finally it turned into a severe sore throat that lasted for three weeks. I would drink hot chicken broth while making my sales calls to ease the pain in my throat. I was better for a few days only to wake up the next day with the pain back in my throat full force. I started crying at the thought of going into work. 

My husband asked me why I was crying, and when I told him, he said, “You need to call in sick. You can’t go in like that.” I sobered up quickly, sat up and told him that it was not possible. Even with me at work, we were so understaffed. I couldn’t imagine leaving that workload on my coworkers and even worse, I knew my clients would not be taken care of. He practically had to force me to stay home. I was in so much pain, I finally conceded. But once I did, the stress started to dissipate. Once I let go, I became detached. It was as if I detoxed over the weekend. 

We were dreaming of starting a family, but I couldn’t imagine having children only to leave them for eleven hours a day. And I certainly wouldn’t be able to enjoy them while being strung out on stress all the time. I had already had a tubal pregnancy a few months before, and it occured to me that I might not be able to get pregnant while I was abusing my body this way. When Monday approached I told my husband I just couldn’t bear to go back, and we had a (somewhat heated) heart to heart talk about whether the money was worth it. Our family life and my well being won out. 

Without another one lined up, I quit that job. My throat healed.  I started sleeping eight hours a night. I made dinner for my husband and began baking again. I organized the house and sold items we weren’t using on eBay. Fourteen years and thirty thousand sold items later, I’m a Top Rated seller on eBay.  My sales top $2.1 million. I wish I could say we had children. We tried, but after three more miscarriages, my husband was diagnosed with MS and later with terminal cancer.

 I hired neighborhood teenagers and taught them how to list and ship on eBay. Arlie would recruit the boys to help him in woodworking projects. They became our family.

Because of my home based eBay business I was able to take care of my husband, take him to every doctor’s appointment, keep a roof over our heads, and enjoy our adventures together. When he passed away two years ago, I moved to Colorado to be near my little brother and his beautiful wife and four children. I maintain a balance with work and family, and I spend time with my four nieces and nephews almost every day. 

When the world changed and we were told to stay home, I knew how to do that. I was already home. I miss having the teenagers working with me, but they’ll be back soon. Thanks to Arlie telling me (making me) call in sick that day, I already know how to take care of myself. I’ve been working out every other day. I sleep almost eight hours a night. I love my job, and I have time for my family.