Ditch the 9-5 Mindset of Gen X and Semi-Retire: Let's Discuss Escaping the Groundhog Day of Corporate Life

Ditch the 9-5 Mindset of Gen X and Semi-Retire: Let's Discuss Escaping the Groundhog Day of Corporate Life

Feb 03, 2021

Running Errands on Groundhog Day because Tuesday is Like Saturday when you are semi-retired and own your time.

On Groundhog Day 2021, during my new life of semi-retirement after ditching the 9-5 and escaping corporate I was driving, running an everyday errand, when I looked over at the car next to me while we waited at a red light.

There was a girl in the passenger seat, not a day over 16 in my estimation, crying. Tears slowly falling down her face. Her head was shaved. We were on Jolly Road in Lansing and there are several medical buildings. It jarred me.

In my mind and heart, I was praying she just got dumped by her first boyfriend, or her dad told her she couldn’t meet up with a group of friends, or her best friend was moving across the country, or a sad song was on the radio.

What I was really praying was that she did not have a terminal issue, or a health issue that terrified her.

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Photo credit: Groove free stock photos

What semi-retirement and owning my time really means: ditching the 9-5 mindset (and Gen X mindset) and less time on repeat.

In that moment, with the sun beating in the car window (rare for a winter day in Michigan) I just prayed for her, this stranger, and I thanked God (not a religious statement, but my personal feeling).

Thankful for my life, which included the decision to pursue professional freedom and all the blessings that have come with ditching the 9-5. With eliminating corporate life from as a whole.

Thankful for all of this:

  • More time to be with the people I choose to be with, including my significant other.
  • More flexibility if I ever need it, including the ability to pick up and see my parents on a moment’s notice without permission for time off.
  • Less stress, which has led me to a healthier mind and body. (I typically sleep through the night now!)
  • The transition away from the 9-5 mindset us Gen X people were conditioned to of what success means.
  • Less time on repeat.

RELATED: Misty's guest post about finding your why and ditching limiting 9-5 beliefs.

Every day of the week counts and I don't have to "work for the weekend."

Tuesdays are like Saturdays with the FreeAt50 blog: I can choose which days I “work” (I had to put that in quotation marks since it doesn’t feel like work!) and when to take breaks, when to get lost in a book or binge a new show and when to do, well most anything. I no longer live or speak the Gen X mantra: "work for the weekend" and "thank God it's Friday."

Those phrases are gone from my vocabulary now that I've ditched the 9-5 life and mindset.

Seeing that girl crying in the car next to me reinforced the value of every moment. Of owning my time instead of managing it.

clock above a clean office desk with a fresh plant. owning your time instead of managing it.

Photo credit: Groove free stock photos

Groundhog Day is Over in Every Sense of the Phrase.

Authenticity is important to me, so I will say that my life wasn’t like that of Bill Murray’s experience in the movie. Truly I wasn’t do the exact same thing over and over, but the feeling was there. Same s@#% on a different day.

I looked forward to travel (which wasn’t part of the job once March 2020 hit) so I didn’t feel the feelings that came with being a part of the corporate life. Even though my daily tasks were ok, it was the bigger picture that was gnawing at me, what I wrote about in my first post. The idea of waking up, wondering what papa bear (the corporation) would throw at us, who was jostling for what, if there would or would not be budget for something, what we had to say or do… etc. etc. etc. Put on the shirt with the logo (literal or not) and represent.

Ever feel like that? Cubicle or corner office, if it’s starting to feel like Groundhog Day, I’m here to tell you, it is NOT ok. You have every right to enjoy as many moments as possible.

start with a blank piece of paper

It is a Proven Fact that Leaving Corporate Life for Professional Freedom is OK

I am consistently made aware that I am not alone in this pursuit of professional freedom and not the only one working on escaping the 9-5 for good. You can see 10 stories in a post, as well how guest author Marinella Yule went cold turkey quitting corporate life. And there will be more to come.

gift of fresh flowers

The goal of sharing all of this:

  • it is OK to want to quit corporate life
  • affirm it is possible to succeed with the skills you’ve built up (because you have many!)
  • share tools, resources, and learnings to assist you (posts like this one are throughout the blog and I have even put together a list of my favorites on Amazon!)

Stop the madness of the Gen X mindset.

Do not be a hamster in a wheel. Do not be Bill Murray on Groundhog Day.

If you are feeling like changing it up at the job you are in (that’s ok too and the 4-Hour Workweek can help with that as well) or by starting your life by designing a lifestyle out of corporate life, please make the change!

If you want some motivation or specific resources, start with these links:

  • My 6-Step Checklist to Escape the 9-5, full of prompts, worksheets and resources.
  • The Ditching the 9-5 Facebook group: an interactive community based on this blog with live interviews, tips, tools and people to share ideas and successes with! And a place to truly shift your 9-5 mindset.
  • This article from Cyndi Zaweski of Ascent Storycraft, focused on launching a business online.
  • A course on mastering your fears - if you need an extra boost! It's affordable and by using the code FREE AT 50, my former business coach Tegan may give you a discount!
  • Getting Groove: I signed up for life while it was in beta- it's where this blog is an videos like the one below where business coach Meghan Stockman and I discuss Step 1 on my checklist, Finding Your Why, are stored. They have a very basic free-for-life version (it's a no-brainer to get that at the least) but check out the others and get an all-in-one platform to get you into your next chapter!

This post was updated July, 2022 and modified in December 2023.

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