Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The Summer doldrums have set in painfully. Work is more than slow, it is almost comatose. My real job these days is keeping my eyes open and staying awake. Things at home are busy what with website design for the family company and maintaining a household and caring for husband and baby, not to mention trying to meet my workout goals.

In point of fact, my whole career is in the doldrums. When I originally took this job it was a stop-gap until I found something better. I've been here four years now. It is a very small company and opportunities for advancement are scarce. Don't get me wrong, I am appreciative of the job and what I've learned here. I am. It is just that I'm bored. Very very very bored.

I used to be a mover and a shaker. I used to be a go-getter and a valuable and appreciated member of a well-organized, highly productive team. Now? Now I blog to keep my brain active and look forward to my rare projects - like planning and organizing the company Christmas trip. I have practically let me CCA lapse out of disuse and because keeping up with my CEU's was eating up all of my vacation time. I have toyed with the idea of going back to school to get my MBA, but it doesn't feel like the right time.

If my boss was around for more than 15 minutes each week I might talk to him about these things...but alas, he isn't. Let me stress again that I am appreciative of the job. He hired me when he didn't really have a need for me because he saw a potential in me. And, his one desire was for me to get licensed as quickly as possible. I did so. I was licensed within four months of my hire date, during a time which I was also planning my wedding and getting married. I'm no slacker. Never have been.

And that is why the inactivity, the boredom, the feeling that I'm not contributing drive me so nuts. I've been trying to tell myself that my real job is wife and mother, but I sort of expect me to do that and then some. I come from a long line of overachievers, you see.

On Monday, Prince Charming and I were discussing our future and the possibility of moving back to the farm and joining the family business. It has always been a dream of mine, but it is hard to imagine it coming true. The idea is wonderful but when you start looking at the details, it all starts to get fuzzy.

We'd have to sell the new house and buy or build a new one. That's not a big deal. There is plenty of land on the farm. Heck, we could take our pick of abandoned homesites, bulldoze them, and rebuild. And, we could probably build a much better house than the one we have because of the disparity in the markets. Let's put it this way, we recently sold my grandmother's home (in the town by the farm). She owned a 6-bedroom, 3 or 4.5-bath, full basement, 2-kitchen brick home (with a walkout) for ~$160K. The house we built four years ago, which was worth more before we even moved in, would likely sell now for $220K or $240K. And don't even get me started on what we would save in property taxes. Currently, we pay over $5K. I suspect that out there it would be less than half that.

My husband would probably work on the farm. He has lots and lots of experience in the business, more so even than do I, and it is his single joy to drive a tractor or combine all day long. I'd have to work someplace else, I imagine. If the business keeps growing, maybe I could manage the office, but that would not be guaranteed. I could always find some sort of job somewhere. For one thing, the name helps. For another, as I've said before, I'm no slacker. I am extremely capable. In my daydreams, I imagine working 3 or 4 days a week on the farm and being a stay-at-home mom on day 5-7. (Life on the farm is more or less a 7-day work week).

Who knows, maybe I could eventually become a local judge or something (believe it or not, no law degree required, you merely have to take and pass a course).

Living in the country would be wonderful. I've always been more of a country girl than a city girl. I enjoy the wide open spaces and the lack of neighbors, having plenty of room to do whatever I want. Of course, traveling 4 hours to get to the mall would suck, but I already do a significant amount of my shopping online, so what's the difference? Prince Charming would chafe at the lack of bars and restaurants, but he rarely goes to the bar now, so he probably wouldn't miss it too much (and you only have to drive 15 minutes over the stateline to buy liquor anyway). For excellent restaurants, well I guess he'll have to take me to Texas for the weekend or something, won't he?

The one thing we agree on is that we want to be done having babies before we go, if we go. We would have health insurance there, of course, but it is unlikely to be as good as what we have now. And, considering any future children probably means another c-section, this is better done in Madison (with my wonderful doctor) and on the current insurance.

There's another aspect of this too: Income. We are very comfortable right now, but would likely take a hit if we moved west. True, things are cheaper there in general and we'd save a bundle on property taxes and things like that, but it would still be an adjustment.

I'd see less of my family too, I think. So would Prince Charming, for that matter. But, if the family business is to continue, it needs blood. That's the tricky part. I don't live close enough to keep one foot in both boats.

It would be wonderful to raise our children on the farm, around nature, learning about careful stewardship and plants and animals. But, the schools aren't as good there. It is a tradeoff.

I don't have a solution. I'm just spitballing at this point, trying to fill my dull boring stuck in the doldrums day.

There is another upside - I'd be much closer to Christina...

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posted by Phoenix | 2:12 PM


At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Christina said...

Oh, wow, what a lot to consider.

I always thought one day I would live somewhere off the beaten path where I could have horses and dogs and kids. A place where people actually had to go to get there, no just stop by. When friends came, they stayed a while. Trips to town were once every week or two.

Obviously, things didn't work out like that; however, I can see you and your lovely family on a farm. Can you do your business from a home office?

Come on down, my friend, I would love to have you closer.

; )

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doldrums, eh? I know how you feel. I've been going through the same kind of thing for the last few months myself. I applied for a bunch of federal jobs in FL, but still no dice. Hope you have more luck finding a solution than I have.


At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Oddybobo said...

We almost have that, well, almost. We are most certainly out of the way, but not far enough away. I love that I'm not in the city anymore. That I have enough land to keep the boys occupied, I just wish I worked closer to home too. It is a trade off, but sometimes most worth it!


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