Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gearing Up



I can feel personal change in the air. My husband is antsy. He wants to get up and get moving in the morning. Usually to hike, run, bike, or run errands. A sure sign he wants to go back to work. I, on the other hand, kind of like him home to be my buddy. We have never had such a long stint at not having our whole world revolve around his job. Now I get to call the shots on things involving time that I never used to have as much input. When he works, he works really hard, and any time off needs to revolve around what he would like to do with it. It is usually only two days a week, so I have always had everything done by the weekend, on my part at least, so that time is his to choose. This has evolved over almost 29 years of marriage. Entrenched, you might say.

Now he makes my breakfast and we decide whether to go to the movies, hike, read, do the housework together, (gasp!). I don't think that has happened since we were first married and lived in a tiny apartment. We both had jobs that paid about the same, at the same company. I left to care for babies, and over the years his job changed from a nine to five to one that was at least twelve hours a day. And now I can tell he is anxious to get back. He's rested. He's been off over a year and now he's bored. He's read a mountain of books and housework is just not cutting it, I guess.

Like so many people who have outstanding resumes in this economy, the job search has been ongoing but not fruitful. We have been really lucky, moving to what once was a vacation home. Others have lost their homes, and their lives. While we have been secure, the insecurity in this country has affected us all. We look at things differently. We are aware that some people may never find work, in their field, again. That life's meaning needs to come from elsewhere in our lives. And this lesson we have learned: Don't love a job - it will not love you back. This was something my husband's first boss told him thirty years ago, and he has found those words of wisdom to be pearls. A job is a place you go to earn money to live. It deserves your undivided attention while you're there, but it doesn't deserve to rule your world. It doesn't deserve to define you. You are so much more than a job - any job, even one that rocks your boat. Remember to feed the other parts of your life. They are just as important as what you do to earn a living and will still be there for you if something happens to your business or job title.

So we wait on two possibilities. We may be able to stay here, or we move far away to a state I have never even visited. Or maybe they both fall through. That's the reality of life in America. No guarantees.

36 comments:

harmony said...

I work to travel.
I think that feeds every aspect of my life. You are definitely right about not getting wrapped up in a job. It is just a job.
Yes, times are changing and adaptation is essential. I enjoy your perspective of life, energy and enjoying life.
I hope your husband finds a way to ease this restless feeling. Again, adaptation to the current environment. Enjoy the hiking and breakfasts together.

Jeninacide said...

Damn. I have been going to school so that I can have a job I LOVE! Hopefully it loves me back a little! (eventually).

R.J. said...

Well said. Finding what we want can be a struggle, but that's life. Good luck.

Crystal said...

I love reading this post! I work to support my family. I wish I was home with them full time like I was when I was married, but life is funny sometimes. : )

CrazyCris said...

This reminds me of something my mom used to say a lot when comparing life on both sides of the Atlantic: "In the US you live to work, in Europe you work to live".

The feeling we get from the outside looking in (most Europeans, and in such matters I cling to my Spanish passport) is that many Americans just live chained to their jobs, their careers etc as if that were the most important thing in their lives. Over here the feeling is usually more along the lines of the job is there to pay the bills and thus allow you to enjoy LIFE!

True depending on financial situations not everyone can view it this way... but still. Whenever I read tales of / or watch movies about "career men/women" I always feel sad for them... get a life people!!! Enjoy your friends, your family, nature!!!

thus ends my little rant for the day. thx for the time! ;o)

Meeko Fabulous said...

Those words truly are pearls of wisdom. I always tell everyone around here to chill out because if something happens to them, all they're going to do is fill the position. They won't care at all.

lakeviewer said...

Sorry about this economic situation. My children have never felt this uneasy about their jobs. Your advice about not getting wrapped up in your job is valid; get wrapped up in what you do well and love, not where you get to do it.

The Good Cook said...

I have always maintained that I worked to live, not lived to work.

Reinvention. Living in America right now is all about reinventing who you think you are.

Best of Luck with whatever the future may hold.

MzzLily said...

For years I worked at a job I hated. People would ask me why. My answer was because it gave me the money and time to do what I wanted to do.

I retired at age 50 to this mini-farm with horses. I could not have done that at the job I loved. I'd still be there 50-60 hours/week.

It's nice if you can love what you do for income. That's one reason I hope to someday be published. But the reason we work is for the money to live on!

Chris Wolf said...

Do you think in a way that this was good for America? Shaking us to the core, revisiting what we value, having to rely on neighbors, or family, or each other? I'm still forming these thought, so please know that they are only have formed and my opinion only. But I am seeing signs that people have stopped, looked around and said to themselves, "What was I DOING?"

Brian Miller said...

great piece. i used to work int eh corporate world, sent all over teh US and walked away about 5 years ago to something i love. i am temporarily out of it b/c the economy adn working part time. to support my fam. they are the reason i make the decisions i do. maybe soon i'll be back, until then i am content in their arms.

Meg Runs said...

I love that I hear "no fear" in your post despite the situation. I respect that!

Momma Moe said...

I have always felt that my job is WHAT I DO, not WHO I AM. It's how I earn a living, not MY LIFE. Therefore, while I do appreciate my job and am very grateful for the advantages it brings me and my family...I do not love it. I reserve my love, my passion, my dreams, my big goals, for my greatest love: my family. THEY are my life.

Unfortunately, my boss is one of those who will wish he'd spent more time at the office, when his final days are near. He does not understand my eagerness to go home at the end of a long workday and be with my kids. How sad.

Wow: to have a year off with hubby? I don't know what we'd do with the time, other than change poopy diapers, of course.

Best of luck and enjoy each other to the fullest!

Joanne said...

Oh you're so right. We need to find our satisfaction in our lives, but not necessarily our jobs. I'm seeing more and more of this attitude with the changing economy. People are rethinking what is valuable to them. The good to come from the bad?

Carlos said...

such great advice. jobs don't love back indeed... i hope it all works out for you two...

Expat From Hell said...

Something about visiting here feels like having coffee with an old friend. Glad you posted this. More glad that you and your husband are in a similar situation. The very best to both of you.

EFH

ellen abbott said...

Things have definitely changed in this country. You adapt or die, adapt or are miserable. Life is still full of promise if you just open yourself to new possibilities. Most people in this country have never had to live on the edge and now they are having to. For some, most I would guess, that is sheer total panic. Me? I've lived on the edge all my life as an artist. I never know from one day to the next, from one week to the next, from one month to the next, how much money I will have. But I have faith and trust in the universe and though it ain't always pretty, we are stil here doing what we love to do.

Have faith in the universe that your needs will be met.

Kathy G said...

Don't know if I can add anything to the words of wisdom that have already been posted.

I know some people that are choosing volunteer work to fill the "empty" hours that used to be filled with work.

Lori ann said...

Dear Nancy,

you two will be fine whatever comes your way. And whereever gets you next is going to be thanking their lucky stars.
Life's an adventure heh?


love,
lori

~JarieLyn~ said...

A person should definitely not be defined by what they do, but rather who they are. It's all about balance. I loved your post and your attitude. Maybe starting a part time business would fill your husband's restlessness. You two could do it together. Best wishes for whatever happens. With your attitude I'm sure you will soar. Thank you for posting.

Sylvia said...

Absolutely. I learned that lesson too. I had many passion-jobs in the past, where I did extraordinary things and when I needed, everybody just pretended not to know me. Bye, bye illusion. Love your family, love nature, love Humanity. Job?...

Sarah Lulu said...

So well said.

I have spent too much of my life feeling defined by my profession ...thankfully not so much now.

It's interesting too, to see where life will take us next.

God bless you and your husband on your new adventure.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Decisions..... you will know what is right when the time comes!

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow. I don't know what to hope for - and yes about no guarantees. There are never guarantees, though this country has been flush for a much longer period of time than most places throughout history, so we came to believe we did have that guarantee.

Glad you are appreciating your time together for the time being, until something else shifts. Sending good energy to you both. Wow.

Marguerite said...

The younger generation seems to be taking the changes in stride. We must change, too, if we are to thrive. I think that change is not only good, but exciting. Go with the flow!!

It's so nice that hubby cooks your breakfast, Nancy. And the time together is priceless. Life is too short, not to be enjoyed. I wish you both much happiness in your new adventure.

DJan said...

Wow, after getting home from a nice long hike (which I know you can appreciate), I read your post and all the comments. I was struck by the part about maybe moving somewhere you have never been before.

I could add some platitude or other, but what I am really feeling is empathy about your journey, what you are experiencing now, and what is ahead. Life throws us curve balls sometimes, but you seem very able to see that and adapt. I really enjoy your thoughtful posts.

Mary Ellen said...

Good luck to you in this time of uncertainty. May it be a grand adventure, whichever way the winds blow! I needed this reminder about how work is not my life.

Nancy said...

i love moving, I always have, its like a fresh start! But I know some do not see the good in having to do this, and sometimes there is alot you have to leave behind. I feel though if you can see it as lifes adventure it might be helpful.
Instead of saying"i am dreading whats coming," i say "I wonder what new thing is next?" As long as we have a roof on our heads and food in our bellies we are doing GREAT!

Nancy said...

I know I sometimes sound like a pollyanna. I might have been PollyAnna in a previous life, thats why. :-D

Midlife Jobhunter said...

A very poignant post. We have had similar lives in many ways. I will hope for the best with the changing air.

P.S. My husband doesn't sit well either.

Y'ra KC said...

good luck to both of u and ur husband nancy...~!

"Jo" said...

"Don't love your job because it will not love you back." I'm definitely remembering that quote, as I have the tendency to get lost a little in my photography. I take my photo camera pretty much everywhere and when I have it with me I hardly stop taking photos, ever looking for that perfect picture. I just keep seeing nice images, I even "think" in pictures. Especially my relatives are driven nuts by it sometimes. It would be wise to stop builing on my career and focus on things that don't pay - on the other hand I also enjoy taking photos without getting paid for it, so, to me, it's more than a future career, or future money. It's just something I like doing.

By the way, speaking of jobs and why not to fall in love with it, Zeitgeist gives us a good reason: www.thezeitgeistmovement.com

And... I don't know how you feel about moving to a state you never visited before but it could be quite an adventure!

Deboshree said...

Hey there,
You're right you know. But there is another thing to look at.
People,by nature, do attached to their work. I have heard love your work but not your workplace.
Today you went a step ahead..hehe.
I wonder which one is really correct.

Love
Deboshree

Eva Marie said...

I read this on a morning where the stress of just having a p/t job is getting to this single mom...

but you know - life is a ride with many twists and turns, and we need to appreciate the landscape along the way ...your post highlights that

Melfie said...

I was reading this aloud to my husband. That phrase is a real pearl - Do not love a job it will not love you back, My hubby and I totally agree with the saying. He works from home now and I work 3 days a week. We experience a few of the things you speak of only that we still have small children. My husband would have missed the special bonding he now has with his sons is priceless. We can do housework together. In fact he even worked out a rota which we had a meeting about. Last week I finished work for the summer and on Friday hubby and I were able to go out for a late lunch while the children were at the Childminders. This summer we can plan the activities together instead of me being the main driver. If hubby was working a lot of these things wouldn't happen as he's a bit of a workaholic.

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

I want to hike so badly after reading your posts. I want a pair of boots and a canteen. My husband is antsy all of the time, wanting to walk, jog, bowl.

:)