Escape Plan

by mssinglemama on January 29, 2010

Somewhere in the midst of this past week, filled with exciting client meetings, pitches, crash-course accounting, and just about no sleep I saw this picture

_MG_5467

and gasped out loud.

“What?” Brad asked.

“Oh, nothing – just a picture of Benjamin. I miss him.”

It’s not like I haven’t seen him. Our routine is the same but there is an excitement he can sense and things have been a hair on the wild side over the past seven days.

So then I took a moment and scrolled through the rest of the pictures of my defiantly, spirited son – who never fails to impress me.

With his fierce strength

_MG_5472soft heart

Ben2and his sense of humor

Ben

A few minutes after we took these, Benjamin gulped down the rest of his hot chocolate and we went to his big boy hair appointment. At some point, I hope I washed his face.

I don’t remember.

What I do remember about that day – just days before I took on what feels like having a second child (my own business) – is having all of the time in the world to just be with him. And although this week has been a crazy one, things will settle down soon and I will have the freedom to be at that little man’s disposal. If I am sick. I am sick. If he is sick. I stay home. If his school is closed, he comes to work with me. Family first. Always. And without guilt.

If you have daydreams about your own escape from cubicle nation leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim.

escape from cubicle nation

Escape from Cubicle Nation is one of the only books I’ve found that absolutely inspires and rings true about what you should or should not do before quitting your day job. I’ll give you one hint – it’s not for the faint of heart and you need a plan. Don’t just jump out there without a safety net. Read her book. Plenty of answers and guidance.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Eileen January 29, 2010 at 8:20 am

I have escaped, but am looking for something to inspire my husband to do the same.

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Jessica Barker January 29, 2010 at 8:21 am

Your jump inspires me and, to be honest, makes me a little jealous! LOL Nevertheless, I wish you all the joy and luck in the world during this new journey you’re on. And those pics of Benjamin?? SERIOUSLY handsome. Watch out, ladies! :)

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Juli January 29, 2010 at 8:22 am

I want to escape so badly but I am so absolutely terrified of failing.

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Susan January 29, 2010 at 8:23 am

I already jumped, but I think I should read this book anyway!

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jen_k_ January 29, 2010 at 8:27 am

That second picture of Benjamin looks just like YOU.
So sweet. So handsome.

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JJ January 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

I am no where near ready to jump, but that is because I still have things to learn here before I do. Little more expertise in the technical side of my field. Alaina – if you need some accounting help, feel free to email me. I can offer some pointers that will make your life a lot simpler.

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Semi-Hippie Single Mama January 29, 2010 at 8:44 am

I’m in the process of starting my own business but I’m staying at my day job while I start it up. The whole thing is so scary. I know I will still have my regular paycheck but there are so many things that I need to pay for to get this whole thing up and running that I don’t know if I can do it. That continues onto can I really run my own business?? What am I thinking? There are so many things that can wrong…..etc, etc, etc. The next morning when I get to my cubicle, turn on the computer and see all the emails of things that need to be done and not one of them is something that I want to do, I remember why I want to do it in the first place. Not to mention the possibility of being a great role model and teaching my daughter that anything is possible or that you even if you fail, at least you tried.

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sunny January 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

I need to jump (again) but in all honesty want to jump with someone else. A motivator, someone who’s inspirational, who spurs me to action and creative thought. Haven’t found that someone yet – in a business sense.

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Hanna January 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

My cubicle job has slowly worn down my urge to blog, write and be creative. It’s withering my entity into a useless, souless prune. I saw “Up in the Air” this weekend and the quote “How much did they pay you to give up on your dreams?” made me start crying right then and there in the theater. And to think, I so willingingly jumped at this position because of the money.

I’m chipping away at my own creative project, but its a slow, slow process, especially at the end of the day after 8 hours of paperwork & single mothering. I’m afraid I will never finish it. The thought of NOT having to go to work in the morning is becoming what I dream about at night.

I DON’T WANT THAT!!! HELP!

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Stephanie January 29, 2010 at 10:08 am

trying to work on mine bit by bit

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Shawna Putnam January 29, 2010 at 11:48 am

I love your blogs. You always tell it like it is. Congratulations and best wishes with your new business.
S

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J-Fo January 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Jump, jump, JUMP! Everyone! Way to go, Alaina! I’m excited about this for you!

Haven’t seen this book yet…. going to have to check ‘er out.

Must catch up sooon!

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arscuore January 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Having a very real love interest that lives several states away is spurring new-career-type thoughts in my head. I need to mull a bit, because I have so much education behind my current job, and the one I had hoped to get (and am now realizing may never get). Exciting stuff!

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Amanda January 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I wish I could leave my day job. I hardly remember what it was like to be at home with my daughter all day long; I only did that for 6 months. Sigh..

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Restless Mama January 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I too am in the process of branching out on my own but it would be great to have some literature and resource on how to do so. Nervous but much more excited!

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~Monica January 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Such a timely post … I’m a single mom and will be taking an entire YEAR off work so I can spend more time with my little guy, and spend more time with myself too. I wrote a little about it here: http://www.marthamommy.com

My safety net is the inheritance I’ll be receiving from my Mom … she passed away suddenly, so unexpectedly, last September. I wish I had spent more time with her. I regret that. That’s why I know I have to do this.

I have no boyfriend to fall back on, no husband of course, so this whole thing is pretty scary, yet exhilarating too. Who knows, maybe after my year is up, I won’t go back … anything can happen. All I know is that you need to clear space for your dreams to show up. I’ve been taking the Mondo Beyondo online class about dreaming and it has inspired me so deeply to have the courage to do this … check it out at http://www.mondobeyondo.org

Congrats on the new start up Alaina – you are SO meant to do this!!!!

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Amy January 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I NEED this book. I am 43 and still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.. I do hope someday I will figure out how to make a living out of doing something I love!

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3girlsandaboy January 30, 2010 at 6:32 am

Oh I’ve had my moments, just not the courage or cash flow yet. I am a teacher and would love to either counsel young children or focus more on writing….both that require more time than I have right now as a single momma. It’ll happen…waiting for the right time to “jump”.

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mommybella January 30, 2010 at 9:55 am

I have big dreams of one day opening up my own baby boutique and having the bliss of helping expectant parents with little tiny pink or blue things. To have demos on how to make baby food and how to be a mommy.

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Kris January 30, 2010 at 9:57 am

I did jump about 2 1/2 years ago. My baby was just born and after realizing I was going to have to do the whole parenting thing on my own, I thought about what I wanted to be for my little girl. Up until that point I had been “that” girl. You know, the responsible one that worked jobs she hated because I had to support everyone elses dreams. I realized that I had dreams too and didn’t want to be “that” girl even one more day. Has it been hard? Oh god yes! Would I do it again? Absolutely.

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Taylor January 31, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I would live to read this book! I’ve been working really hard toward my goal of doing freelance web design full-time and escape from cubicle!

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east coast mama January 31, 2010 at 6:14 pm

the book sounds interesting!

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Alanagh January 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey. Kids do sense the excitement (and anything else) in the air. Love the shots of your son. He’s adorable!

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Tiffany Dowler January 31, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Great pictures! You continue to be an inspiration to this single mama & so many others. I dream of one day having a career & not just a job; one that will allow me to thrive & not just survive with my beautiful little princess.

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James January 31, 2010 at 6:52 pm

I have escaped, but don’t make quite enough money for my partner to also escape. I am working on freeing up more time for her to pursue her artistic dreams and escape as well. I’m working on it, reading and learning what I can. We will make it, because the alternative is just horrendous.

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Erin M. January 31, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Escape from Cubicle Nation……wow! I am sooo READY for that. Must prepare and plan immediately…..

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mg January 31, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Hey! I came here from Pam Slims link but I checked out the rest of your site(got a little addicted), one thing I’m curious about is what is your business that you started?

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Ms. Single Mama February 1, 2010 at 10:02 am

Hi Mg – here is a link to my biz: http://www.cementmarketing.com. Thanks for stopping by, sorry about the addiction. I’ve heard that happens.

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Mel February 1, 2010 at 9:03 am

Hello from one of your lurkers! I’ve been reading your blog since last fall and I am finally writing a comment. Boy do I need an escape, but not from a cubicle. At this point I wouldn’t even mind one of those. I am a single mom to a fabulous, stubborn, funny, sassy, beautiful 3 year old little girl that I adopted internationally 19 months ago (Yes…I became a single mom on purpose. Crazy, I know!) I used to own my own business but had to close up shop a year ago due to the crummy economy. Since then I have been living on savings and being a mom. I really try to enjoy this time with my daughter because I know that soon she will be off at school full time, making friends and wanting nothing to do with me LOL My background is in art and I DESPERATELY need to get back to doing something creative. That part of me is not fulfilled at all. I am itching to create something but it hasn’t come to me yet and it’s driving me crazy. So yes, I need an escape. An escape into my creative brain again. Just waiting for a sign.
Mel
P.S. So glad I found your blog. I can completely relate to what you go through and I find you very inspiring. Thanks!

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erica February 2, 2010 at 11:37 am

Mel,

May I suggest you check out “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron? It has been a wonderful thing to get me to start writing again…even if it IS just in my journal. It’s an incredible book. Good luck to you!

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Mel February 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Thanks Erica! I will definitely check that out. Any inspiration is always welcome :)

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Sammy Nams February 1, 2010 at 10:04 am

Just dropping by to catch up on your blog. It’s interesting how blogging gave us both a step into the online marketing world! Maybe I’ll see you at SES?

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Heather February 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Looks like a great read – can’t wait to check it out, and develop my plan … whatever that may be. Thanks for the inspiration! Heather

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Momartfully February 1, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I wish I could break out of my work box, but I have no idea how to do it. I have a feeling a safety net would be a good thing…
The “sense of humour” pic of Benjamin made me laugh out loud – and I laughed out loud again at the cover photo of the book.
So happy for you guys (still).

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Ellen February 1, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Another lurker coming out of anonymity! After losing my job last fall, I stuck my head under a pillow for a few months, spending that time as a volunteer at my kids’ school: field trips, projects, anything for the kids (ages 4 and 5). I have no financial cushion, just living on unemployment and savings. As a homeowner, this is scary.

Then two weeks ago, I woke up one day and said, “That’s enough!” I re-activiated my dormant law license, registered a business name with the Secretary of State and started the wheels in motion to open a law firm. Yikes. The administrative kinks will take a while to sort out – insurance, software, research tools, biz cards, phone/fax, mailbox…. there’s a list. But I put it out into the universe and now I have 3 clients and a mentor (sort of). I’m just muddling through this and keeping my fingers crossed!!

You are very fortunate and blessed to have a helpful, supportive boyfriend and all these wonderful people cheering for you :) I dumped my non-supportive boyfriend through this process, since he was more needy than I could handle. Best of luck to you… and as you know, “That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger!” btw… your son is adorable!

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Winecountrymom February 1, 2010 at 11:48 pm

I. Am. So. Ready. To. Escape. I have a plan, but no money or the balls to do it. But I’m ready.

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Pippi February 2, 2010 at 9:26 am

Daydreaming away in my cube (actually behind my L shaped desk in the middle of my floor with no privacy barrier). The power of positive thinking (and a good action plan) will make things happen!

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alexis February 2, 2010 at 10:32 am

What a gorgeous little boy that Benjamin!!! So cute. I could totally see you in that first pic.

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Erica February 2, 2010 at 11:35 am

Thanks for the post – I have wanted to escape my cube for some time now…If I don’t win the book, I will pick it up. The last book I studied for weeks was 4-hour work week–but it requires bright ideas about innovative products you can mass market – and I wracked my brain and couldn’t find a solution. So maybe I just need a 30-hour, flexible work week instaed of a 4-hour work week. I just don’t want to escape the cube, I want to be able to give my children a focused mother. Working 40+ at a full time job, PLUS trying to maintain a house, PLUS just the general day to day responsibilities of cooking, shopping, errands, school activities, leaves me exhausted and with little energy to PLAY. I fear that time will continue to slip through my fingers and my children will grow up with a mom attached to her PDA and they too, will find other “priorities” that won’t include focused family love. I am determined to make it out of this cube, and into a life that allows me freedom and plenty of time for love.

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Bridget February 2, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I am stuck in my own cubicle every day…I hope one day to escape! =)
Bridget

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Survivor Mom February 5, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I just found your blog and I LOVE it. I am a newly single mother of two who also has a passion for writing, marketing, blogging, etc. You are much further along than I in your recovery from your ex and in realizing your dreams, so I will definitely be following this blog and looking for tips. Good luck with the new business! :)

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