Monday, December 22, 2008

Do I Really Want to Work?

This past weekend we visited with a group of friends we camp with each year. All our children are roughly the same age and we have similar backgrounds - it is a fun group and we've shared a lot of memories over the years.

One interesting demographic is that 2 of the 4 women work full-time and the other 2 are full-time homemakers. Well, one is starting to go back to work part-time, but has been a full-time homemaker for the past 10 years. She had a couple drinks and it became clear that she didn't want to go back to work, but is doing so under financial stress - she said her husband was "making her".

Then on Sunday, another girlfriend mentioned that her husband would probably like her to work more (she has her won business), but she doesn't want the stress. I marveled on how she had a choice.

So, it got me thinking, do I want to work? If given the choice, would I quit and stay home. Because, I can give myself that choice. That I know.

Talked with the husband about the concept of a sabbatical, and he was open.

But what do I want?


yertle said...

I have pondered this one a lot myself. I always think that what I would really like would be to have an extended vacation, but that eventually I would want to work again. I like having something that is mine for me, although I guess it is possible to have that without working. I always think that what I need to do is to figure out how to find the time to do all of the things I want to do as part of my normal life instead of having the day dream that I can do them someday when I am not doing everything else. It seems to be a matter of making my self care and my happiness above everything else. I struggle really hard with that, and both my work and my family seem to trump it along with my house sometimes.

DaveU said...

I really enjoy the work I do. And, like most, my family needs income in order to pay the bills, so we can't go from our current one income down to zero. (My wife is a full-time mom.) So, until now at least, it never occurred to me to ponder whether or not I really want to work. Someone in my family has to, and my income potential is a lot higher than my spouse's, so I just kinda assumed things needed to be the way there are. So, for me, "do I want to work" is a thought-provoking question. Here's an exaggerated way to reframe the question -- if my spouse died tomorrow and left behind me, our son, and a life insurance payout, would I keep maintaining the rest of the status quo, or would I do something significantly different? To the extent that I might do things differently going forward, it seems to me that I should consider doing things differently now.