Thursday, June 23, 2005

Pick What You Want, and Pay For It

Toady tastes like root beer that's been left out on the porch overnight--and now it's three in the afternoon.

Hot, sticky, cloying, flat.

It's review time at work, so all the bosses are snippy, and nothing can be done right.

And this leads into priorities and settling and the connections between them.

Settling used to be the worst thing I could imagine. Getting stuck with less than you really wanted simply because it was comfortable, and change is inherently disturbing. But at the same time, you do need to choose what is maximally importnat in your life.

Do you want six adorable stairstep children? Then you need to make hatching and rearing the brood your main priority--not a high-octane career (because those often require you to work late at the office, or drag work home with you, or work on the weekends) and realize that there won't be cash for exotic vacations for all eight of you--unless the other parent makes it their mission to support the family and keep you all in nametags for the weekly dinner with the breadwinner.

And some may say that the homemaker in the above scenario settled for that role. A shame about Pat, getting a degree and all that work, just to marry and raise children. Do you think the eight year old is into Proust yet?

But Pat made the choices that led to that life--agreed to marry Kim, agreed to be the one to stay home and care for the brood--heck, agreed that children and a big family were worthwhile goals in life, and that kids need to be raised by parents, not daycare. And agreed that a high-octane career and hundred mile an hour lifestyle was not what was desirable because of the choices that are precluded by that.

So I'm working in a career path that I outgrew years ago, and am frustrated by a job I can do in my sleep. And yet--the very banal nature of what I do allows me to do other things on the side and in the corners of my head, such as blog to keep the writing flowing, and do paper artsy stuff for fun and trade, and design knitwear for fun and profit.

If I had a higher-powered job, I'd have to yield focus to that in order to keep the gravy train from overturning. If I took a creative job, I'm afraid the muse would simply go hide in the bathroom with the door locked.

So am I settling, or is it simply that my priorities are to earn enough bread to make a well-rounded life?

3 comments:

Marcy, Not Blogless said...

As long as you think of it as "settling", dear, it will feel like less. But you have, in wisdom and maturity, re-evaluated your life goals, as seen in your youth, and adjusted your priorities to be more in line with who you are now and what you truly want your life to be. You have certainly not "settled."

bRaEn said...

Good, tasty food for thought .

And I whole-heartedly agree that creative " work " is also risky business when it comes to a finicky muse. I don't think I could ever sacrifice what I love already for what I THINK I might love somewhere down the road ...

A shift in priorities, that's all it is for me ...

Carla said...

Wow, I'm in the same predicament. I've been in the writing department two different times at the company I work for. Back in February, I was taken out of the department for the second time and put in the area that formats newsletters. I waffle between putting up with all the crap that goes on in exchange for the creativity it gives me at home or trying to find another writing job. It's not an easy solution. I think what makes it so hard for me is that I'm thought of as only a formatter who can write articles in a pinch.

I won't take up any more space. Just suffice it to say that I totally get where your coming from.