Monday, October 28, 2013

Ask again later

The problem with transitions, of course, is that everything is so unsettled. I'm making incremental progress (measured in baby steps) in terms of trying to line up some new source of income and benefits for myself, but nothing is even close to being settled as of yet. And life keeps on keeping on, obnoxiously refusing to pause and wait for me to figure out what I'm doing before demanding that I make decisions which would require at least a good guess of what the future is going to hold.

Not to be too crass, but clearly I'm mostly talking about money here. I might have a good opportunity opening up which would have many pros and few cons, but one of those cons could potentially be a slightly lower annual salary at the outset. And even if that weren't the case, if I were interested in a new job which coincidentally paid the same amount as my current job down to the penny, there would still be numerous other factors to consider. The commute would be different, which means spending more on gas every month and oil changes every year instead of on my (very awesomely subsidized) VRE tickets. Maybe the corporate culture would be more oriented around frequently going out to lunch with colleagues. On the other hand, maybe the health insurance premiums coming out of each paycheck would be lower and I'd be taking home more. But then again maybe the hours wouldn't be as flexible and I'd be incurring more daycare costs since I'd be getting home later. &c., &c., &c.

It's laughably premature to be fretting about things like this, in the first place because I haven't even had a formal interview yet, let along any kind of job offer. And in the second place, because I don't have an offer I don't even know the starting point for calculating whether it would be a challenge or a cakewalk to accept said offer and maintain the family lifestyle. But it's getting close to the end of the year, which is traditionally a time for going over our financial picture and our household budget trends and figuring out what adjustments, if any, to make next year. Except I can't do that right now, because I literally do not know where I'm going to be working on January 1st. Maybe right here, maybe someplace new. Maybe I'll be making more, maybe I'll be making less. And yes, sure, to a certain extent that's true of everyone everywhere all the time, because there are no guarantees in this world and things can and do change in an instant. I'm just feeling it in a pronounced way at the moment.

(To say nothing of the whole "where are we going to be living in five years?" conundrum, which will no doubt be hanging over my head for ... the next five years, I guess.)

My wife and I did have a conversation, or at least the prelude to a conversation, about the family budget this past Saturday. During the course of that conversation the phrase "we need to be grown-ups about it" came into play, not in any kind of accusatory fashion, just a mutual acknowledgement that we might be lucky enough to be living at certain level of comfort without counting every nickel, but it's still the right thing to do to at least try to be mindful and responsible and so forth. This was followed by Sunday (as Saturdays are wont to be), a day during which at least 80% of what both my wife and I ate, all day, was pie.

Sure, it was because we went to a charity event showcasing thirty-nine different homemade pie recipes and we both took our judging responsibilities very seriously and thus were obligated to sample as many of the pies as possible in order to rank them accordingly. But none of that changes the "subsisted on pie all day" bottom line. At the very least I can report that no fewer than three of those pies did in fact have vegetable ingredients in them, so in that sense I suppose we evinced a certain amount of grown-up responsibility. So, good for us.

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