I just got off the slashdot blog with a pretty powerful post.
Here's a link to the original post.
And here's a copy of my reply:
So why the hell are you not doing what you love everyday? Why do you spend your days doing stuff that doesn't fill the soul? If you really love your horse, then why don't you become a professional horse trainer? Then you can spend time with her everyday.
Sure your current job allows you to "help her have a better life.", but that doesn't mean that you couldn't give her a better life while doing something that "fills the soul". I mean, it's great to hear nuggets of wisdom like this one: "Company X, the best place in the world to work, will can your ass the moment the numbers do not add up for keeping you.", until you realize that that's pretty much how everything works out in life. (didn't take me 28 years in the field BTW) If my SO doesn't get her cut in the relationship deal she leaves, if my boss doesn't pay me enough or treat me well, I leave, if I can't carry my own weight at the company, then I get dumped, if I can't pick up the rebounds then coach benches me. It's pretty darn simple.
So I go to a job I love doing every day. And as a direct result of the fact that I love my job I'm not worried about getting canned b/c I'll find another. Just b/c some company dumps me doesn't mean that I can't find deep spiritual enjoyment in my work. Being fired doesn't mean I'm inadequate at what I do either, it's just a wrong time/place. Heck your beloved horse is going to die someday soon, probably before you will, how's that any different than getting "downsized" from a job that you love?
You may be a horse whisperer masquerading as an IT guy and for that you have my deepest sympathies. But I'm an IT guy and that's tattoed on my breast. It sounds really corny, but that's what I do, I'm not here to "die a slow death for some company", I'm here to throw in my 2 cents the best way I can find. The company is my means to that end, they make it easier to do what I'm good at. I have loves outside of work, but I surprise the most people and do the most good in this world by solving and automating complex processes and problems. If I'm "dying" at a company, then I'm not really contributing as best as I can and it's time for me to go.
So if you're pissed off at companies and the job in general after 28 years, then you're just in the wrong field or suffering some major emotional breakdown. Cash out now, take the retirement money and go train horses. I mean, isn't that what you're saving for anyways? So that you can "retire" and spend the days with your girl? So if that's where you want to be, if that's what you're good at, if that's what you're passionate about, then you'll find a way to make the money from working with horses. You said it yourself, this money is just a "means to an end", so why not use your means and find an end you enjoy? Why not pick a life and then make it happen instead of picking a job and then hoping that you can find a life?