Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Year

It's been almost a year since my last post. Who knew the days could fly so fast? The Baby is now a Toddler, eager to get his hands on or into everything in reach. As we anticipate the next child, hubby and I continue to plug away at the seemingly endless routine of work, meals, child-care, clean-up, and the "adult" activities of health insurance, auto insurance, mortgage, electrical and propane bills, car needs, home repair and maintenance - responsibilities we were blissfully unaware of a mere three years ago. When we manage to surface for a few breaths of free time, the question inevitably comes up again: What are we going to do with ourselves when we grow up?

But that's really an ingenuous question. We are grown up (mostly), we know it, and that's just the issue. We no longer have the luxury of endless career searching and unencumbered voyages of self-discovery. We have discovered our place and purpose in the context of our marriage and growing family. But we are hardly closer to discovering (or landing a job in) our niches in the economic sector. The priceless ties of marriage and expanding family urge the primacy of bringing in sufficient income. Thus confronted, we realize that the lurking suspicions of our youth were right all along: "Do what you love" is bad educational advice financially unless you want to be single or childless. I ended up entering the nursing profession because I wasn't sure what I wanted, but knew this field would marry some of my interests with gainful employment. I'm glad I did. But how does the adult who doesn't have a clear career pathway (like nursing) laid out discover and enter a field which will (at least minimally) fulfill him (or at least not drive him crazy) and allow him to provide sufficient income for his family?

Any number of suggestions (helpful and otherwise) have been offered by well-meaning family and friends, and I am not fishing for more. I am stating a dilemma. The progress of discernment and progression toward goal achievement is slowed by the constant urgency of the above-mentioned family, home, and job responsibilities. So, it's not difficult to opt for the status quo, even when the work-situation status quo is less than satisfying. It's a job after all, there's some money coming in, and we have each other, our little family, and plenty of responsibilities to occupy time outside of work.

(On a similar note, we've also slowly realized the truth of another suspicion. Namely, that despite all the stress placed on applications, resumes, portfolios, cover-letters, certifications, and extracurriculars, hiring is largely based on who you know. Connections with the right people mean everything in a competitive job market, making entry into a particular area of work the most difficult hurdle to jump. )

But enough on searching for meaningful employment...We are happy, if often tired. Our marriage has been blessed abundantly. Child 1 remains fairly healthy other than some asthmatic tendencies (and did I mention a size that's off the charts?) Child 2 arrives (God-willing) in 7 weeks. I'm back in school part-time, trying to finish a Bachelor's in Nursing while continuing to work full-time. Hubby is juggling child-care, independent studies, home-chores, and a part-time night job. Our home is never completely clean, orderly, or repaired, but what of that? It's comfortable for us.

And our families continue to be nothing but supportive. Without their friendship, love,emergency transportation, and babysitting, we would not be able to function as smoothly or sanely as we have. For all that, we are thankful.

So on to 2014. The year of "I don't know what we're going to do, but here it comes so we'll figure it out." This year could look remarkably like the last one, or a whole lot different. How's that for profound. ;)