Friday, March 21, 2008
Ironing G's shirts manages to bring a sharp clarity into my mind. Maybe it's the monotony of the task or the visible achievement as each shirt is finished, but today after my Dad called to practice his Spanish with me I started thinking about my new role in life. One of his vocabulary words was "mujer de casa". This means housewife. When I hear this term applied to me, I felt a pang of terror in my stomach and then a shaky smile appeared on my face. Me, a housewife.
I first encountered this title when I did our taxes this year. Since I haven't worked since shortly before the wedding, I am not employed, am I? So when the tax form asked me to fill in my title, I put Housewife. Immediately I imagined myself with a yellow frilly apron and spatula in my hand. Until now, I have had good reason to not be working in my field. I was getting married, then we were buying a house, and then we went to Puerto Rico for two weeks. Busy, busy, busy. But now, being caught up with so many things I am not so busy.
I've been asked by my company to take another project. Although G and I had decided that I would stay home for now, I am still in a dilemma. This prospect isn't tempting because of the job description, digging around in boxes and drafting some agreements, calling some landowners. No, that part I can do without. But, the title, yes that is the part that tempts me. Isn't my spiffy, professional title with matching income better than housewife?
The thing is that the answer isn't just simply about money, it's also about time. We have time and time is precious. I love being able to be available when G is off for a week, or being able to travel to visit our families with no scheduling issues. Even with all the positives of me staying home, I still find myself unfulfilled and sometimes lonely. Most people I know live too far away or they are working, which is why going back to work appeals to me so much. Work gives you an instant contact with people and the possibility to build new friendships. I love to feel the energy you get from being around other people. I love to laugh and I miss that.
Obviously my dream is to be able to BE The Closet Therapist and have that be my job. I'm not very patient though so it isn't happening as fast as I would like it to go. So, what to do, is on my mind all the time now. I've never been very good at decisions. I like to weigh all my options and then make the best possible one with no chance for regret later. I am a perfectionist at heart! I don't like to waste my time, and in the end my life.
Which brings me to what this is really about, the purpose of my life is what we spend our days doing because the days add up to the years. I know about myself that I am an active sort of person. I've always been an entrepreneur at heart. For pete's sake, when I was in college I stocked a trout pond and started a fishing business for the summer. I cleaned all the fish. I dug up worms for the kids. During one semester they were building a Wal-Mart and I sold cookies and coffee to the construction workers. They loved it when I came around, but the foreman offered money if I would just stop coming around. I didn't take it.
So, you can see that being active needs to be also a creative pursuit for me. I am a hard worker and love to be around people in a way that I can help them in some way. Being in an office all day sort of kills my spirit, you know? After all it isn't just socializing and laughing, but the money is good, no doubt.
The answer is somewhere in the middle, I know. Today I ironed G's handkerchiefs just so I could keep ironing. Although pressing matters, there are still more pressing matters to ponder. I'm still absent of an answer, hoping that the answer will come to me in a divine email or sign. Maybe I should just do what my stepfather always said, "Just do something, even if it's wrong." He could be on to something there.
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Great article, I struggle with this very subject too. Its almost like its a struggle between your ego, your identity and your attitude. Your ego needs a "proper" job title and your identity wants outside things to prop it up.
What you said though is that YOU are happy, I think that should be enough - the world doesn't need another office worker but it does need you.
Just be more patient, and remember you are working on your dreams - good luck. (oh and if your ego still needs to be fed, just get some Closet Therapist business cards made up and make yourself CEO!)
Cybill- Aren't you a dear? You are so right on so many levels! You must have read my mind because I have been working on my business cards. It really does help with the ego, identity and attitude. OK, I still haven't decided about the work project, but I definitely have to channel patience and power from the collective blogosphere. Thank you so much for your encouragement!!
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