What do you do when you are faced with a huge life change?
Sometimes we have no choice in the change. Cancer, car wreck, floods and fires. But what happens when your brain starts thinking,
'There has to be more to life than this. There has to be a better way to live. A way to enjoy time with my family without having to live on the street to do it.'
I really like my job. I really do. Every time the tones go off I know that I will be helping someone. Sometimes they really don't need much help. Sometimes they don't really want help. Sometimes it is life or death. Sometimes just death. Every call is different. Each has challenges different from the next. I'm good at it, and I have the satisfaction of helping out my fellow humans, even when the shifts are rough.
Still I am feeling like I am missing something. Adventure. Domesticity. Simplicity. The feeling of being centered. I don't know.
The Wife and I have a pretty good relationship as far as marrieds go. We are best friends. We communicate well. We make a great team when we are doing projects together. Yada, yada, yada. Our biggest and about only concern is one that the majority of people on the planet have.
Don't get me wrong. We aren't living paycheck to paycheck. We have food, clothing, shelter and such in abundance. But we have been working to live lately. Jobs take up the majority of time, followed closely by sleep. Vacations have been non existent. Little trips here and there are about all the time we have together as a family. Farmers Market. Go to the park. That sort of thing.
Now we are both starting, or ready to start, side businesses doing things we love to do. Me in my shop and garden. The Wife organizing for others. But we are playing it safe. Staying in our jobs because we have grown accustomed to our paychecks and our medical benefits.
So what sort of faith would it take to step off the ledge completely? Leave behind the comfort of the known for the seriously unknown. On this path we are on, we know we will not starve. We know we will never get rich. We know we enjoy most parts of the job. We know that the schedules stink sometimes. We know that if we get sick or injured, we're covered. If we just did our businesses, we would need to get insurance somewhere.
A life of comfortable, balanced, semi-struggle wondering what if...
Versus a life of extremely hard work and challenges, with no guarantee of success. Possible financial failure and living in the poorhouse in our old age. But possibly exceeding our wildest dreams and having money, doing something we love, and having time to live.
Do you leave a job you really like that is secure for one you love that has no givens? Are we too old to really contemplate the possibilities?
When The Wife has changed careers, she has only been successful. I tell her she's got the Midas touch with that. I have had quite a few jobs... some went well. Others... not so much. When my brother and I toured around selling our CD's and giving concerts we had some really serious fun, but not serious financial success. We made enough to get by and have insurance and eat and stuff. But we were never going to be financially secure doing it. Supporting a family would have been a struggle. And although I'm sure if my Bro had gone solo, he would have done better (he's got more musical talent in his pinkie than I've got in my whole frame) this was before the days of American Idol, which back then he could have cleaned up at.
Anyway. We are crunching numbers now. Trying to do the math of the money to make the best choices we can. If it were just the two of us, it would be an easy choice. But having three and four added on... well... we need to provide for them. Grr. To many options, dangers, rewards, possibilities both good and not good.
How do you decide when you stand at the crossroads? At some point we will just have to set out and see where the road leads... one way or the other.