I believe I've mentioned here that A. is very unhappy in his current job. It is in a field he detests and his workplace is positively toxic. His health has suffered; he doesn’t sleep well, he has frequent headaches and his acid reflux is nearly constant. Not to mention he is very, very unhappy.
He put in his notice a month ago. Next Friday is his last day!
I am so relieved! I’ve been recommending this for months and months, but he finally saw for himself that it was a good and necessary move.
It is scary, for sure. He does not have another job lined up yet. I hope that he will find ways to stay active and remember his self worth, even if he is not earning money. I, personally, think he will contribute to our family in a wonderful way, regardless of income. Money isn’t everything. But happiness is.
I’ve been ruminating on happiness for some time. I’ve been freaking out about the role money plays in structuring our lives, and effectively stamping out happiness. Of all the distractions that cost us money, time, and happiness. Really, is an iPad or iPhone necessary? And not only that, is it necessary to improve upon models annually and for consumers to updgrade? What is upgrading, after all? The smartphones and super gadgets are all cool, and truly feats of engineering genius. I appreciate that, and don’t think innovation in and of itself is a bad thing. But most innovation just creates products we’ve been trained we need. We automatically value innovation and equal it to “progress.” Do we really even need cell phones, let alone smartphones? Not really.
It is a spiraling train of thought, and I often find it overwhelming and frightening. But I really, really want to find a way for A. and I to define our lives the way we need to in order to be happy and not to meet some standard forced upon on us and approved by the current capitalist system. It is not working, this mainstream idea of the good life. (I don’t think we are any “better” or whatnot than the mainstream, and am not interested in being contrarian just for the sake of it. I just don’t know if we can find happiness this way.)
We are going to be a one-income family for a while. For how long, we do not know. I’ve been considering things to cut back on or even eliminate entirely both to help bring some breathing room into our budget, but also to remove unnecessary distractions. I want to chuck the TV altogether, but A. really enjoys watching baseball and hockey. Of course, with the hockey players on strike that argument is currently moot. Unfortunately, I am a simpleton that cannot keep myself from getting sucked into the TV. If it is on, I am a zombie.)
I have an iPhone, and I do use it quite a bit. I will readily admit that it is fun to do all the stuff you can with it. I love having a live calendar and adore Instagram. But otherwise? I wonder if it is just a harmful distraction. I ignore A. more than I think I do, I am sure. I do not need Words with Friends or the Rachel Maddow app. (Though I looooove having access to her show - I have such a huge crush on her.)
Should I unplug? Suck it up and pay the early termination fee from Gigantic Cell Phone Company and get a pre-paid, less sexy phone? I would save $540 a year. And would hopefully quit ignoring A. Why am I so hesitant?