Saturday, July 29, 2006

the important stuff

Robert Spritz: David, sacrifice is... to get anything of value, you have to sacrifice.
Dave Spritz: I know that dad, but I think that if we continue down this road, it's gonna be too detrimental for the kids. It's just too hard.
Robert Spritz: Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. "Easy" doesn't enter into grown-up life.

i recently took a job i didn't really want.

it's not that i didn't want a job...i just didn't really want this job. well, that's half true; i wanted this job, but i wanted it in seattle, not in freaking bothell.

bothell, and the job, are far from home. far enough that a high gas-mileage car is not a "nice to have" but more a "have to have."

far enough that if i leave work at 5 p.m. i have to worry if i'll be on time to pick up the kids by 6 p.m.

with the salary these people are paying me (did i say it was a good job?), the day shouldn't necessarily end at five. i should probably stay until six or beyond, as needed, to get done what needs to be done.

but my wife, who also has a new job, has to travel. at least through the summer she'll be gone 3 weeks out of 4, every month. that puts the parenting responsibility on me. it also puts the pressure on me to leave the new job and show up at summer camp by six.

this arrangement is decidedly un-optimal.

given our financial obligations, we are a two-income family. there's no way around it. as much as i enjoyed being a semi-employed stay-at-home dad, that arrangement wasn't sustainable. so, we're sacrificing.

we're sacrificing having a parent available for childcare and activities and all-around stability. if one of the children gets sick, i'll have to stay home. we have no back-up plan. no contingency for emergencies. there's no telling how this will go over at the new job.

doesn't matter. i've bought a new honda civic, a nice little car that gets good gas mileage. i've joined the little workout facility near the office so i can get some exercise at lunch (sometimes). and we're crossing our fingers that everyone stays summer colds, no broken bones, no bad hair days.

we've even found a summer camp in bothell, so i can stay at the office 'til 5:45, as needed.

it ain't optimal. but it's important.