Laid Off to Laid Back: Going from Fast-paced Corporate Existence to Intentional Living

Welcome to the inaugural post on this blog!! Let’s get right into why I’ve made it. Hope you enjoy!

I got laid off in Jan 2023, out of nowhere, after being assured a month earlier that my contributions to the company were needed and valued. Eleven years of dedication and loyalty, over, with one fifteen minute meeting. At least the HR person (who I’d known for 7 years) seemed a little disappointed in the whole thing, but that’s their job in those situations; to try to ease the shock and lessen your anger so you don’t spill company tea on Glassdoor.

And it was the best thing that’s happened to me in over three decades of work.

(Not any more!)

See, I’d been thinking about my work/life balance for a while, typically unhappy, feeling like I wasn’t doing anything useful for the world or my wife and I. So unusual, I know–especially for a middle-aged man, right? I’d started a vegetable garden in our backyard, we don’t spend needlessly or generate a lot of waste, we cook and eat right, but the job (what that company does, actually) seemed so pointless. So many made-up problems with half-assed solutions, people doing things not because they were right but because it made them look productive. I swear, if I had to attend one more useless meeting that could have been an email because someone wanted a “check-in”…

Yet, the pay was what the average person would call “very nice”.

I recently saw on Instagram that “That’s how they getcha”–they addict you to the paycheck, convincing you that you need it to buy more and more stuff. ‘Hussle Culture’ plays right into that mindset. It’s really insidious for guys in particular, constantly beating the “Value” and “Discipline” drums, which, by themselves are good, but when it’s all about chasing nothing but money? About putting in even more hours, pitting guys against each other in a way that ultimately benefits their company more than anyone or anything?

In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve got A LOT to say about Hustle Culture. Stay tuned!

So, yeah, I’d thought a lot about changing something and done precisely nada/zip/zilch about it. I put on my happy face and went through the motions every hour of every day, delivering every, er, deliverable that came my way, a stellar example of a trusted, well-liked co-worker and resource.

And in the end, at the first faux-sign of an economic slow-down, I got dropped like so many other people.


Which I and my wife are choosing to see as a positive. She loves what she does, is exceedingly good at it, and makes a good living. I was never going to up and quit to be happy because I’m not immune to the guys-must-make-money narrative.

But we don’t need my old salary, so instead of sending out resumes, we’ve agreed that I’m going to take a bigger role in providing in other ways. More of the cooking, something I love to do. A bunch of house projects. Growing and preserving our own food. Errands. Whatever we need, all while embracing the intentional living I’ve been delaying embracing for so long.

Come to think of it, that’s not really “Laid Back” like the title suggests. It’s a lot to do, but from now on, it’s all for us and our happiness.

And in case there’s any question, that’s right, my wife is absolutely 100% onboard, as supportive as anyone could ask for. Best wife ever.

And I’m going to document how it all goes right here. If that sounds interesting to you and maybe something you’d like to learn about, feel free to subscribe to this blog, comment as much as you like, and/or follow over on Instagram. I look forward to sharing it all.

Thanks for now, see you soon,

House Husband

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