I quit my job.
There’s such a stigma attached to those words, isn’t there? Especially in this economy where you’re lucky if you have a job at all. Conventional wisdom says to protect your livelihood at all costs in times like these.
But I just upped and quit in the middle of the Great Recession. I walked away from a career so that we could move to the Adirondacks.
Whenever someone asks if I’m from around here, I feel compelled to launch into the whole song and dance about how my husband and I just moved here from Boston, blah, blah, blah. And then they ALWAYS ask what I do for a living.
Jobs are scarce in these parts. People are curious about how we get by.
It’s easy to explain Dave’s situation. “Well, my husband kept his job back in Boston and telecommutes for the most part. He goes back to the city a couple of times a month for meetings and such.” And then they inevitably react with, “Wow, good for him! What a great situation to be in.” And they’re right. It IS a great situation to be in.
But then they want to know about me. “Well, I quit my job so we could move here.” They stare, confused. “But I’m doing some consulting work… ” Oh, ok. Then they understand.
Yep, I’m mooching off my husband.
Now, I know I’m making a lot of it up. My own insecurities cause me to read into the subtle reactions of strangers. People don’t really give a flying you-know-what if I do or do not have a full-time a job. They’re just curious and trying to make conversation. (Right?)
Meanwhile, Dave is working harder than ever. Sometimes I wonder how I can do that to him. Put the burden all on him. Be a “stay-at-home-wife” with no kids, just a cat.
And how dare I occasionally complain that all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, dump-going, etc. falls on me? That’s my job now, afterall.
Money is definitely tighter. And as the bean counter in our household, I obsess over our budget and bank accounts. Always have, that’s not a new thing. But now that I don’t have a job, what right do I have? That’s not MY paycheck being reliably deposited in our checking account on the 1st and 15th of each month. So who am I to say, “Sorry, honey, we can’t afford that right now”?
But Dave doesn’t care. I think he might get mildly annoyed every once in a while when I announce, “No more eating out for the month!” Or when I call him when he’s on a work trip and haltingly ask him to curb his spending. But he trusts me. And he’s fine with letting me manage the finances. In fact, he wants nothing to do with it.
So what’s my hang-up? I enjoy being at home. Working when I have work. Hiking when I want to hike. Cooking. Even cleaning. Spending time with Dave and my cat. Thinking about what I’m going to write about each day for this website.
I’m not bored. I’m not lazy. We are far from destitute.
And my husband supports me. (Oh, what a loaded sentence!) He’s behind every decision I make, as long as it makes me happy. And I AM happy.
So WHAT is my hang-up?