Is it too late to change careers? And a little life lately with big changes happening in our lives.
Roger is leaving dentistry.
That 4-word sentence is both scary and a dream come true.
The hope was for Roger to be completely out of clinical dentistry by Thanksgiving, but since we didn’t sell our house, he is continuing to work one day a week, (to cover our house payment: praise God we have a very low and manageable mortgage rate that we refinanced last year).
For years, dentistry has negatively affected his health, and he is only 33.
The heavy stress and weight of dentistry began in the early years of dental school.
He entered dental school with one of the highest DAT (dental admission test) scores and graduated 6th in his class.
But with that, we began to see a slow decline in his physical health.
We even spent a night in the emergency room during his senior year of dental school due to his anxiety and related cardiac and GI issues.
When he graduated from dental school, we were so excited and praised God he had made it through with honors and awards of excellence.
And we prayed that this was the beginning of something better.
While there were moments of joy and peace, more often than not, we found ourselves holding on to the hope that things would get better.
We would look around at dentists we knew, and while some (praise God) were doing fine, there were also too many whom we could visually see (and knew from personal relationships) the physical effect dentistry has had on them over the years.
And while the stress of dentistry affected his physical health, a more pressing concern was his mental health.
Did you know that (in regard to jobs) dentists have the 2nd highest suicide rate?
It’s not something often talked about, but it’s well known within the dental community.
And while Roger has always hoped and worked with the intention of retiring from dentistry early, 2020 brought everything to a head and by the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, we knew it was time to make a change.
Hearing your husband say “I understand why so many dentists commit suicide” out loud is absolutely terrifying.
No amount of financial freedom, prestige, or material items is worth the loss of my husband or little Roger’s father.
And while he wasn’t at that point himself, I wasn’t willing to let it get there either.
So back in February, we stepped out in faith, and Roger wrote his company a resignation letter, while still agreeing to work out the agreed notice period of his contract with them.
I’m so proud of him for making this leap of faith.
And while we had always planned to sell our house in the next 3-5 years, we decided to go ahead and move up that timeline too.
As we began to share with our family that Roger was going to part-time dentistry, and only working one day a week, there was some concern for our finances. (Which we completely understand because most people think that Roger is the sole provider in our home, and may even think we spend a lot of money. And even people close to us don’t seem to know that I’ve been contributing for a few years now and that we try to save money whenever we can.)
But we’ve been preparing (and saving) for this, and we have faith that God is leading us.
And while some bloggers/influencers/content creators are knocking it out of the park and have been able to fully retire their husbands, I am not at that point yet.
If we had sold our house, Roger would have been able to fully leave dentistry as our house is our last (and heaviest) piece of debt (and also our largest asset in which a fair amount of our savings is tied up).
Over the years, my job has allowed me to slowly take on more bills, allowing Roger to invest some of our extra income and also save as much as we could.
And while we could drastically cut the price of our house, we aren’t desperate, and can’t afford to lose money trying too hard to sell our house right away.
Also, we don’t want to be “those” people who lower the price to undercut other houses and negatively affect the market. (The last price it was at was already $750k less than what one realtor had advised us to list it at, and comparable to online estimates for its value.)
So we walk on in faith, knowing God will guide and provide even though we can’t see His plan yet.
We spent the summer trying to sell our house, but our realtor contract ended October 1st, so our house is currently off the market as we have decided to remain here for the time being and spend the holidays with our little boy at home.
Of course, if someone came to us with a very serious offer then we would wholeheartedly consider it, but we’ve discovered that most people in this price range take their time, enjoy looking at many houses, and are in no rush to buy. And unfortunately, many are just trying to come to have a “showing” in order to take our ideas to use for themselves as they build.
We sold our last house during the holiday season, and we do not want to do that again, especially with a little one. Plus, this is the busiest season for my blog.
Our goal for next year is to sell our house, find land, and begin building a house that is ~1/2 the size of our current home, and most likely a little further out in the country.
We believe God is calling us to a simpler and more frugal lifestyle as we raise our son and prepare for eternal life.
But in the meantime, we are thankful that the company Roger has been working for has been kind and understanding, and that he is able to continue working one day a week for them.
And on the other work days, Roger spends the morning with our son while I work, and then we switch, and he does some work for my small business while I spend time with little Roger. I love how much he really wants to be a present father for our little boy and have a close bond by spending extra time together.
We know by sharing this (and believe me this isn’t even a fraction of all that I could share, I greatly condensed it for reading purposes and some privacy reasons), we are opening ourselves up to a lot of criticism.
Criticism in the dental field, our personal lives (from family, friends, etc.), and online.
But one of the reasons I wanted to share this is because I want you to know you have options.
No matter what stage of life or career you are in, you can still make a change if you need to.
Roger recently had someone tell him (who knew he wanted to get out of dentistry) that it’s too late, you just have to stick with dentistry, you can’t change careers at this point.
This came from an older mindset and mentality, so we took it with a grain of salt.
But I know there are those who would take this to heart and continue to struggle up and to a breaking point.
You only have one life on this earth, and it is never too late to admit if you have made a mistake and change directions if needed to improve who you are both mentally, physically, and/or spiritually.
Mental health day is coming up, and I want you to know that you aren’t stuck and that there is hope.
You can make a change, and you can start on a path to a better present and a more fulfilling future right now.
And honestly, the best support system and way to find the courage to do this is through a relationship with God.
He is the only one who always has your best interests in mind and wants a fulfilling and joyous future for you.
Things won’t always be easy either living inside of God’s will for your life journey, but they can always be joyful with peace in your mind and heart.
If your friends and family really love and care about you, they will support your decision also. And the vast majority of your friends and family do really love you, even if you might not fully know it yet.
And if they don’t, maybe it’s time to surround yourself with people who will.
Because I have been blogging for nearly 10 years, I already know I will get comments and messages from people saying that I am going to leave my husband because he is no longer providing a certain lifestyle.
So I’m going to go ahead and say right here and now that my husband’s life and well-being, are of more value to me than anything this earth can give us or any possession I could wish for.
Our riches are in heaven, and we yearn for more than this earth will ever be able to provide. Matthew 6:19-21.
Are struggling with mental health? I want to encourage you to seek help. Talk to a trusted loved one or pastor and write out a plan to help you overcome and move forward in faith and hope.
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With love, Giusti
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Isaiah 55:6 NIV