Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another One Bites The Dust

I was up ALL night with this one...

And when I say ALL night I really mean it. I'm not one of those people that means I was up once or twice. Literally no sleep was had. Which just meant I was able to pin point the exact moment (3:23 AM) that my throat started to close up and feel like I had just swallowed fire in a Polynesian pre-dinner performance.

Other things in my life are starting to eat me alive from the inside out (not having any sleep is not helping in this department). I wish I could be more forthcoming because the details are fairly dramatic and our thought process in navigating all of this would be of some interest.

Things have just gotten more complex and we need to choose for ourselves.

I keep being pointed to "Choose Happiness". Everywhere I go this phrase keeps popping up. And you know sometimes I like to get all metaphysical on your ass.

Things we know:

#1 We can live on a lot less money than we would ever have thought possible.

#2 Mr F is happiest when he is creatively stimulated at work.

#3 Mr F is even happier when his badassness is validated at work.

#4 I want to kill Mr F less when he is happier.

#5 Mr F helps me more when he feels sorry for me.

Things we don't know:

#1 What our exact financial threshold is that allows us to crossover from stressed to comfortable.

#2 If financial stress is worth it if other stress is decreased.

#3 What to do.


AT22 said...

First, I think #5 might be a universal with men :)
Second, I can feel your pain even without knowing the details. We are not financially stressed right now, but I am *miserable,* and I'm trying to figure out whether or not my income is worth it. Not the same, but similar questions. Is this something our generation will struggle with constantly? In our world where "everyone can have it all," do we have to? Is that the question? Ugh. It's tough being an adult, eh?

I hope you can get some sleep today/tonight.

Mrs Furious said...

yes similar. One thing this whole 18 month debacle has highlighted is how little having money altered our overall happiness. In fact we were much less happy when we could have basically everything we wanted. There is something uniting in the struggle... but you have to both choose that struggle or I imagine it could be very divisive. Plus for us there is a certain privilege in choosing to struggle rather than being forced to struggle and that makes all the difference.

katieo said...

Ok, you KNOW I have a lot to say about this...

#1 I hear you on the sleep deprivation. The world closes in when sleep isn't happening. I know.

#2 I obviously can't speak to your experience, I can only share what we've learned over the past few years of going through some very similar things. When Aaron feels fulfilled and happy at work, I am more able to feel fulfilled and happy at home. Bottom line. Better marriage, he's a better Dad, he helps more, etc. SO. We (yes, WE) have chosen a career path that he is extremely happy with despite it's severely limited financial output. As a result, our family has honestly been REALLY happy. There is a line however; worrying about our power being shut off, donating plasma, having enough food for everyone -- those things cross the line and directly affect our well-being. But when people learn that money is ALWAYS pretty tight they always ask, "Why doesn't he just go out and get a job at ____" or "Just Go get a job at a firm!" I can answer with confidence, THIS is what we've chosen. I am more than happy to make certain monetary sacrifices to have a spouse who feels 100% awesome about their job. Lots of people don't understand or think that I'm just sacrificing myself for the good of my husband -which is ridiculous. What they don't understand is that I AM getting a return on my sacrifice. Which is worth way more than stuff.

One more thing.
WHen you do what you love, the natural thing that happens? you excel. When you are really really good at something IT SHOWS. It's hard to stay stagnant career-wise when you are continually being stimulated and recognized for awesomeness. Of course, it doesn't always happen (or doesn't always happen in the same company), but we've noticed that recognition, (in the form of ahem, monetary compensation) comes when you love what you do SO much that it doesn't feel like work. (In the right environment obviously)

(Kind of wish this were true for my profession as well, LOL)

Good luck with your Big decisions.

(p.s. You are spot on with "choosing" the struggle)

Supermom said...

I've pretty much given up on sleep. Considering it's been YEARS since I've slept all night.

katieo said...

Ok, I promise this is the last thing.

It basically came down to this: We prayed a lot about it, then did what felt right.

Andrea said...

You think kids would sleep when sick, my lil man was not having it, all weekend he slep two hours in a 48 hour period I took him to the ER because him not sleeping freaked me out turns out he has broncotis and an upper respritory infection poor baby I felt sorry for wanting to hurt the child while I was so sleep deprived. Hope baby gets better fast.

Lauren said...

It is totally better to make a move on your own, even if it's risky, than to have a move forced on you.

One day my husband asked me if I would rather be homeless or have him stay at his job. It was a good job, good pay, benefits .. but we lived in an apartment in L.A. w/3 kids and we were still living pay check to pay check. Not exactly living the dream, ya know?

After I looked at him like he was freakin' crazy I listened to what he had to say and decided I'd go with homeless. He quit his job, we moved out of L.A. and stayed in a hotel until he had his business built up enough that we were comfortable with the money coming in.

Oh, AND I found out I was pregnant the first month after we moved.

Most people thought we were CRAZY to do what we did.

Now we live in a 4 bedroom house and he makes his own schedule doing work he loves and we have more money coming in than when he had his "good" job. We are also all a lot happier.

Choose happiness - it pays off every time. Being stuck in a soul sucking job is not a good way to live.

Sorry Baby is sick. Hope you feel better soon, too.

Marie said...

Hmm.. I want to (with all my heart) say choose happiness. I agree w/ everyone about if your happy in your job it naturally flows over everywhere else. BUT...I also know how stressful it is to have to choose which bills are getting paid on time and which will be a bit late..

I will say that there was a point in life where dh hated his job with a passion..like ready to fall into a deep depression kind of hate. And it sucked. And I would choose poor over that ever again.

In the end, whatever it is at least you got to choose it. And that leaves you with a sense of control and power over your life. And if you aren't able to have all of your "wants" then at least YOU chose it rather than it being chosen for you (like poor mr. f this time losing everything he was promised..)

Good grief I am long winded.. :)

Mrs Furious said...

YES. You're inspiring me not to totally freak out.

I like it. I think sometimes you have to unstick yourself. I'm really happy it worked out for you guys.

Thankfully every scenario involves a job and (hopefully) at minimum our current financial/housing equation. Obviously we'd like better than that, because I don't think we could go any lower! unfortunately things didn't come through in away that makes that decision clear once you boil down all the differences it looks the same. Which makes it hard to know what is worse/better. You know? I'll be very interested to see how this all plays out.

I wish I had ANOTHER BLOG that wasn't infiltrated so I could really hash everything out without people losing their minds (don't lose your minds peeps). Things have gotten even more complicated today. I'm at the point where I would like to be put in a coma for 4 months and just wake up when it's over and be told where we live, what my schooling options are, and what my grocery budget is.

Mrs. Smitty said...

I wish you guys all the best in this decision making process.

Also hope baby feels better soon.

Sending nap vibes your way. They can help make things seem more manageable =)

Loralei said...

You might have already done this, but...First list what you want/need to be happy. Then list what you DON'T want. Put the list aside. Make lists of Pros/Cons for each of the jobs/scenarios--compare these lists to the happy/not happy list. Sometimes it's easier to see it on paper than talking about it (and dreaming about what may/may not happen). Follow your heart.

inkelywinkely said...

It's a crazy choice to make...really hard one, too.

We had to make that decision. Hubby made a buttload of money when he was with his ex wife. They never wanted for anything. They had the best of everything...and yet, he was really unhappy. He was stressed, he felt like it wasn't worth waking up every day, even. He went through a few jobs that paid decently since we have been together, each feeling worse and worse about himself.

We talked about it, and once he knew that he had my 100% support, no matter his choice, HE decided to be happy..because no matter what I had decided, he would never be if he didn't decide it for himself. He quit. For two, almost three years we lived off of 600 bucks a month. In that amount of time, we found a home we could afford, a vehicle we could afford, we started to get closer...we were happier. Now, he has a low paying job that lets him be home almost 100% of the time..it's something he likes, he is happy...and because it is an actual income, we feel so much better about things. We have a little more wiggle room.

I love that we sleep in together, that at the drop of a hat if the school needs us, we can both be there.

I am actually at the point where I feel like we have too much, and I want to go back. I want to get rid of some of the stuff in this house, live minimalist again. If you like it and thrive on concentrating and working to get things done for you family, you will LOVE the freedom that less income, more happiness brings. Seriously. I am OCD about controlling things and with things like this, I can thrive in my area of "knowitallness", and he can thrive doing what makes him happy...it also helps Punk see that we chose happiness over money. We talk about it all the time...he knows that to us, being fulfilled is more important than anything we can afford, and therefore, doesn't judge people on their possessions as he used to. It was a great lesson that came from this lifestyle that we never even thought about:
teaching the kids that being happy and fulfilled IS important, probably the MOST important thing we should strive to achieve...maybe that is something you would like to show through example to your kids?

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