Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No Whining on Wednesday or keeping things balanced and maybe even easy to quit


When I was growing up my mom didn't work.

Now, I say it this way because I know you will know what I mean, and of course, she did work. She did the hardest work of all.

She was not a good example of a "happy to be at home raising her family" kind of mom. She was bored.

This boredom led to depression and some other negative stuff, but it also led to alot of fun, crazy good stuff which came from her innate creativity and forced isolation.

But, I grew up thinking that working (and being out of the house) was probably a good thing.

When my daughter was very little I was working for a bank. Her good friend's mom took a job as a crossing guard, but because it was a pain in the neck going back and forth to her crossing guard stop all day long, she quit after a few days.

Now, this was all at a time when I was working alot and probably lacking a certain balance and my daughter would ask me sometimes often to quit my job.

So, anyhoo, she was with me at the bank one day (maybe a take your daughter to work day, I don't remember) and a bigshot vp was visiting my branch and she was asking all the daughters what they wanted to be when they grew up. And Sue's daughter said, "a doctor" and Theresa's daughter said "a lawyer" and the vp was nodding and smiling and then she asked my daughter and my daughter said "a crossing guard"

and when the startled vp asked her why, she replied, "because it's easy to quit."

(gulp)

Now, years after I ditched all that (or it ditched me, truthfully), I am working long hours again and feeling that lack of balance, "not easy to quit" thing creeping back into my life.

Yesterday, I had a rather lively debate about this exact subject- yes, with another person -

(Olive was sleeping)

who believes that because we are doing what we love (and hoping that the money will follow) there is almost no such thing as working too much.

(of course, this guy was also eating a box of raisins at the bagel shop and I haven't seen an actual person over 24" tall eat raisins out of the box like that in a very long time, also I should mention that the box was gigantic)

but, I don't get out much- maybe raisin popping is the new thing.

I have a feeling (and a knowing actually) that work that you love because your soul needs to do this thing and work that you love because you can make the payments on your cute little Prius can both become ... too much

and this "too much" thing can happen very quickly and soon you are not doing the things you used to do (and you loved those things, too) - no trips to the library, no long bike rides, no painting your peeling wicker porch chairs, no trying out those new recipes, too many no's for a life where you are committed to saying yes.

So, I am re-balancing again and thinking this is just another process without an endzone and knowing that being so far left right now means I may need a very big push right to swing back to center.

(does anyone have an extra ticket to Hawaii they won't be using?)

So, after our lively debate, which consisted in quite a bit of raisin flinging on his part, I was finally able to extricate myself from the conversation by maneuvering toward the condiment counter to get a lemon slice for my tea.

Suddenly, someone next to me was announcing, “Well my daughter had her baby.”

(surely she wasn't talking to me because I didn’t even know she had a daughter, but, yes, I turned around and there it was- eye contact)

My response was something like, “Hey, do you know where they keep the straws?”

and she continued, "She wasn’t plannin’ on having a baby but she was takin’ medicine for her urinary tract infections and that messed with her birth control and she got pregnant.

Me - smile, nod, *crickets*

(I sometimes go pre-verbal when forced into an actual face to face conversation involving the word urinary and infection and yes, this happens to me quite often, I live in New Jersey, remember)

"The labor was quick though. She was already real dilated by the time she got to the hospital. That baby pretty much just dropped on out."

and then she grabbed her crossing guard stop sign and headed out the door.

I guess some people just don't know when to quit.


1. Vintage children in crosswalk pic from TheVintageMode
2. Quitter card by RedLetterInk
3. Cinnamon Bagel Earrings by 3Squares
4. I am an artist, not a waitress ring set by KathrynRiechert
5. Get a job dress by PaulaLaFargue

11 comments:

Amie McCracken said...

All things must be taken in moderation. Including the antibiotics for that infection. Lol.

Sherry said...

Ah, balance. It's almost as difficult to achieve as that new piece on the bench. Care to sit on the other side of that see- saw with me?

xoSherry

ana carina said...

I do like to work. Makes me accomplished.
Most of the days I feel frustrated, or lazy or tired.. Sometimes I even think about quitting.
But then, there's one day of the week I can make a difference there. And it makes it all worth it.

Well, I kind of did quit my job a month ago... lol

witchmountain said...

That ring by Kathryn could have been made for me!( I bought a ring from her for my daughter's 18th) ...at the moment I've lost my balance completely and am more waitress then artist.Whenever I feel a bit low I have a read of Olivebites and it usually cheers me up and inspires me.Thank you x

Thirty-Six Ten said...

I totally get what you are saying. I am having the same feelings of not being able to do what I want because of the have-to's that are growing. I found more success than I thought but have, in the past weeks, made it a point of procrastinating just a little on orders so I could feed my soul and my spring fever.

Take time to feed your soul with your want-to's and the have-to's become easier.

Kendra Zvonik said...

I hear you! I don't know what to say though. I think there is such a thing as working too much even when its something you love- my stomach and my nerves tell me so. But, I have no idea how to keep this ship in balance. I sometimes dream about a job outside the home and life as a NORMAL person, but the few times I have tried to actually do it . . . well, let's just say I'm unemployable.
Maybe its not so much about the money but the pleasing people aspect that drives us to work so hard? Trying to be accommodating can be very exhausting. It seems a hell of a lot easier to neglect the things we like to do, huh?! Easier to forget our own needs than the needs of others. Of course, we also work so hard to provide for the needs of our families. But, getting to work at home doesn't necessarily mean we get to spend more time with them. Ironic.
Good luck with the re-balancing thing. I'm doing it too. Saying YES to going to the beach on the weekends instead of making paper all day long by myself.
Hey, I don't have a ticket to Hawaii but I do have a sweet sofa in tropical Florida with your name on it! Anytime Cat!
xoxo kz

Catherine Ivins said...

So many great comments! Maybe it is more of seesaw with only a few moments of balance during the ride-I do seem to be clunking to the ground alot though- you'd better stay on Sherry! Kendra- your couch sounds nice- you may live to regret this comment! Ana- quit your job, eh? I thought you'd been popping in more often! Thanks so much for your words everyone!

xo

Orion Designs said...

What a great post. I don't really struggle with the balance thing, as my business tends to be very seasonal. In the midst of my busiest season (Sept-Dec) I often feel quite pressed and work long hours. Knowing that January (verrrry slow) is right around the corner is a huge help.

sheila at shecological said...

I love what you wrote here and what Kendra wrote! I feel most sane when I have balance and a manageable amount going on in my life. But, I often wonder if it is possible to achieve greatness without extremes. It seems that all the "successful" people are driven by an intense passion and a hell of a lot of energy. I try to embrace balance and slow living and still stay excited and motivated in my life. It is an ongoing challenge.

3 squares said...

Came here to catch up with you, found myself nodding my head throughout this post, then found you included a pic of my earrings. What a nice surprise - thank you!

Finding the balance is an ongoing struggle, but it's a little easier knowing I'm not alone. (and thanks for lending your ear, again!)

xo

Lan said...

You made me smile! Tough to do lately I am very overwhelmed as well. Lots of work to do and not enough time. I find even when I make time for the good things I feel negatively overwhelmed by them. Zen is off...back to the balancing act in hopes of getting back there!