Chasing Contentment

Monday, May 14

In a few short weeks, it will have been a year since I quit my last job. And in another month, we will have been here in Florida for a year. I've been at my current job since August... nine months.

For the year before we left our former employer, we were under the constant strain of not knowing if we would have jobs the next day... the next hour. And we were all under horrific strain from the changing institutional environment for at least a year prior to that.

Griff's eight, and Mike finished his doctorate last May, so we spent seven years with Mike gone from home a lot and working from home when he was with us physically. (I had sort of a single parent thing going for quite some time.)

We've had a long bought with difficult employment situations. But Mike's job is going great here... he's got a good group of people to work with... people who only know him as Dr. Mike and who respect him in a different professional manner than the people he worked with previously (though he'll never be loved quite the way those women mentored and loved him)... and he's teaching the things he loves to teach.

Me, not so much. I've struggled to learn this new job, and I'm proud of the progress I've made. I'm getting better every day. My numbers are getting better each month. And that's a really rewarding thing.

But recent changes at my place of employment mean that improvement isn't enough. I have to meet certain goals that simply aren't possible for me at this point in time. Maybe, with enough time and training, I could meet them, but I'm not being given that time or training. And so, once again, I'm working daily under the stress of knowing that I could lose my job within the next few weeks.

I was telling Mike that I'm angry about it all... I worked so hard for so long to get to a place where we were more peaceful and content. And now we've moved, and I'm only marginally in a better position. Now, as a family, we're better off because at least Mike's situation is better. But we left so much behind...

And I'm angry. Initially, I don't feel like I'm angry with God. I'm angry with the situation, with Fate. And yet, I don't believe in Fate. I believe in God. So maybe I'm angry with God.

I'm not so proud of it. But I don't understand why this is happening. Why I've wasted the last nine months of my life learning a job I'm going to get fired from before I even get really good at it. And I don't understand why I worked really hard, too, for Mike to get his doctorate (though, admittedly in vastly different and less important ways), and he gets a groovy job and I don't.

Currently, I'm working about 53 hours a week, and I'm not meeting the goals set forth for us. I don't know how I can physically work any more hours, and yet, I'll have to do that if I want to work toward saving my job. And while I'm working all of these hours to save a job I don't enjoy but need in order to pay the mortgage, life is marching by me. I'm missing valuable time with my family.

And so I'm angry. And I'm sad and discouraged (I told Griff the other day - in response to a question from him - that he could be anything he wanted to be when he grew up, and I felt guilty because I know that's a lie. You can't really be anything you want... you can be what presents itself to you and works for what you need at the time. But that's not a very encourging thing to tell an 8-year-old).

I know this isn't exactly positive blog posting, but I figure not many folks are reading anyway, and it feels good to say this out loud (so to speak) to someone other than Mike (who's listened really wonderfully but who also feels really guilty when I say these things).

So there. I'm angry and sad and discouraged. And now I've gotta go scan the classifieds.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, May 14, 2007  ]



Sometimes things just plain stink and it's ok to blog about it;)


By Blogger A Dusty Frame, at 5:50 PM  

I am randomly searching web pages on contentment for a message I am preaching later this summer when I came accross your blog post. I have to say while it feels a bit depressing I think that your honesty will be beneficial to you as you move forward. I agree with you that "you can't be anything you want". I will never be a pro basketball player, I am 5'7" and a fat white guy, the NBA can never be mine no matter how much I want it. And that's ok. One thing I have found incredibly beneficial in my own quest for contentment and hope is Thanksgiving. I think that when we are thankful we do tend to see things more accurately. In my own life I have seen a direct correlation between the thankfullness that I express and the contentment that I have. Maybe it will work for you...if you give it a try let me know.

By Blogger Dan, at 4:40 AM  

Hey, people are reading, even if it's a been a bit since I stopped by. Hang in there. Life is too short to stay in a job you hate that takes too much time from family. If it were me, I'd quit, cut costs everywhere I can, and look for a job after that. I'd sell my house and get something cheaper if necessary. But your family and your time is worth more than money. That's my two cents. Hopefully you won't think it's naively unrealistic, but if you do, I hope I haven't offended.

By Blogger Ellen B., at 7:03 AM  

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