I just pressed the "send" button for an e-mail addressed the professional group that I helped to found and have been a part of for the past ten years. In it, I announced that I have decided to leave the group.
Financially, this may be a slight hit to my income, but since nature abhors a vacuum, I will now be available to accept work from other sources and I think that it won't make a huge difference. If, on the other hand, I find myself working less, that will be OK too.
I work in a tiny, tiny niche market. There are only about 15 certified professionals in my field in the metropolitan region where I live (population 5.5 million people). This doesn't mean that I've got offers of work coming out of my ears, but over the past 25 years or so, I've done quite well.
Here's the problem: It's a really high-stress job and a lot of the people I work with are--let's use the technical term--nuts. OK, let's be a bit more generous: high strung. Recently, due to the return of my Grave's disease, I have been quite high strung too, but generally speaking, I'm a pleasant colleague to work with. I can't say the same of many of my colleagues--all 15 of them, plus extras who come in when there are not enough bodies here in town to do the work. In the group I was part of, I was (and still am) in constant fear of being verbally attacked by two of my four associates; the third is actually a very nice fellow, but he is on the autism spectrum and can be difficult to communicate with; the fourth associate is actually very normal and I really enjoy working with her.
So I have accomplished step one on my road to a more balanced, sane life: I resigned from the group.
AAAAAHHH. A sigh of relief.