Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The Cost of Money.
I am taking the plunge.
I am choosing more time and less money.
I am quitting my "cool" job as a visual merchandising manager.
My Last Day is a week from Friday.
It was my dream job.
And while there are still so many things about it that I love..
somewhere in all the mix, it became something else.
Things came to a head when my husband expressed his concern that my job was going to make his job much harder..
(And it will. Holiday in retail is an all-consuming proposition.. And it happens at a time when he also needs to put in longer hours.).
The middle school, that my son Jake starts in two weeks, has no after school program (What? Are they adults now?).
And we haven't had every room in the house clean at the same time, in like, 6 months.
Those things were the catalyst, but really there are so many costs involved.
For Instance, I feel like a hypocrite with my recycled paper and my biodegradable soap,
while I am driving two or more hours each day to work.
(I haven't even been able to watch "An Inconvient Truth"..
I am afraid I might be the guest star.)
The hours ( I wake up at 4:45) have me falling asleep before my 10 year old (great for the marriage),
and make ride sharing impossible.
Lately, I find I grind my teeth in my sleep and when I wake up my face hurts.
I haven't been home for Halloween for 3 of the last 4 years.. and I love Halloween.
I can't even tell you how messed up Thanksgiving is, with me working all night long the night before.
I work Christmas Eve.. and the day after Christmas.
I don't have time to have dinner parties or visit my friends (or even my mom).
Our alleged social life is in the toilet..
And it costs me about 1000.00 a month in child care, gasoline and lunch money.
It has become abundantly clear that something has to give.
To be really honest, I wasn't really satisfied with the stay at home mom thing either. I did stay home with Jake until halfway through his first year of Kindergarden.I was so happy to get back to work. Staying home was hard for me and it was hard for my husband to understand that it was not a constant joy and delight. To compensate for my lagging self esteem and the fact that I was isolated and lonely (we also moved every 6 months for the first 2 years of Jake's life, so, no close friends in the neighborhood..) I tried everything I could think of to make a little scratch and give myself a different kind of sense of purpose than I was getting from PBS, Oprah, making mac and cheese, and the challenges of potty training.
I crafted. Repainted furniture. Made Pillows. Gardened voraciously. Re-did other peoples yards for them. Painted a mural. Catered. Sold kids clothing at the swap meet.
It was all pretty restricted though, because of Jacob's nap schedule, and the overwhelming need to accomodate a little person.
I am curious to see what I can do Now with Extra Time. It occurs to me that things are really different.
We don't do TV anymore. Jacob is almost 11( while not an adult .. much more self sufficent). We bought our house (all that loan qualifying is behind us..). I have had some success selling things I have made and learned a lot more about retail business from my day job.
From here (The Brilliant Far Off Land of Optimista) it looks wide open... I could do Etsy and craft fairs. I could teach classes. I own my own domain name but haven't had time to finish my website... I could write a book.. or articles for magazines. I could do freelance window displays for small stores.
I like the idea of having my own small business and learning all that goes along with that.
Certainly we are looking at a huge financial adjustment. Buying our own insurance, cutting costs and all.. Maybe the stress of "making the ends meet" will trump the stress of "trying to have it all"..
But if that happens, I can always go back to work for "the man" again...
I know where the Mall is.