Special for NNPA Newswire
It was supposed to be a part-time job.
But the workload, travel and responsibilities made Keturah Lee’s position as IT program manager as stressful as any full-time job.
The northeast Washington resident worked for a federal agency less than 30 hours a week when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
“But I was doing a full-time person’s job,” she said.
“It was extremely stressful. I was trying to take all the responsibility and not let go of the ball. It was an endless cycle. I felt like I always had to be sure.
Months into the pandemic, Lee decided to become one of the nearly 50 million Americans who quit or changed jobs during what’s been called the “Great Quit” of 2021- 22.
While some people had no choice due to job loss, many moved in search of better opportunities.
According to a recent LinkedIn poll, work-life balance was the biggest concern, surpassing compensation and benefits.
Lee decided to find a job with less pressure and more flexibility, leaving him more time for his volunteer ministry as a Jehovah’s Witness.
As the pandemic raged, she studied to become an American Sign Language interpreter.
She got a certificate, quit her IT job, started working part-time as a freelance interpreter, and found that her prayers had been answered.
“I had made it a matter of prayer,” she said. “I didn’t want to be reckless. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision. »
Even without the pandemic as a catalyst for carefully considering life priorities and goals, the Witnesses’ focus on service and family has led many in this Christian faith to make similar job choices over the years. decades and given them a wealth of learning experience in finding success by living with less.
“Living a simple, balanced life protects us because it gives us more time and energy for spiritual things,” said Robert Hendriks, American spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“Spirituality has a direct impact on a person’s emotional well-being, which is why Jesus said that those who are aware of their spiritual need are happy. Living by this principle takes constant effort as we each strive to maintain balance in our lives.
Video programs with practical suggestions based on Bible principles on jw.org, the official website of the Witnesses, helped Lee appreciate the value of a simple lifestyle and helping others through his ministry.
“Having less is also good for less stress,” she said.
“I live within my means. Not consuming so much and having and buying just what I need has helped me live a less stressful life.
Gail Martin also doesn’t regret reassessing her priorities more than two decades ago.
She left a very powerful but all-consuming position as a systems analyst to prioritize faith and family.
“I can prioritize Bible study, my church meetings, and my volunteer ministry,” said Martin of Riverside, California.
“I can also spend three months a year in Illinois with my family and help my brother take care of my mother.”
The key to long-term success in living on less, she said, is a regular reassessment of life.
“What might work now might not work eventually,” she said. “Sometimes you have to make adjustments. It is an ongoing process.
She often consults the free resources on jw.org, looking for biblical advice on “managing finances, choosing a career, being happy, and everything else you need to examine your priorities and values, ” she said.
Martin is currently reassessing his life to prepare for his retirement. She doesn’t yet know what adjustments she’s going to make to make her life even easier, but she clings to what makes her happy.
“I feel like if you put priorities like family and God first, it’s a lot more rewarding than working until you die,” she said.