I read an interesting post today by a new-to-me blogger. The Wisdom of a Crowded Rink talks about how we always seem to waiting for the right time to do something. He gave some examples about going on a diet and starting an exercise regime. He then goes on to talk about how sometimes the best time is right now. That if we wait for the crowded ice rink to clear before going skating we might miss out on a the opportunity to learn and grow by seizing the moment. I couldn’t help but apply it to my own situation. There has never been a “perfect time” for anything in my life. I got married, had my first daughter, graduated college, started my graduate program, started my career, had my second daughter, got a promotion and just recently finished my graduate degree. None of these things happened with any great timing. In fact, my life seems to be guided by oddly- timed happenings.
My decision to leave my job is one of those oddly- timed happenings. Conventional wisdom would say that I should keep working, pay off debt, save for a house, and then save for my daughters’ college educations. In fact, just a few months ago that was exactly my plan. It was a great plan. It would set us on a great financial path. But it didn’t consider anything else besides our monetary needs. My family and I have needs and desires that are not quantified. This is not a “perfect time” in my life for me to leave my job and for our family to move to one-income. We still have some lingering debts, and the job market is quite shaky (there is a good possibility that it would take months for me to find a new job and probably at half the salary).
However, what time in the foreseeable future would be a good time? After I pay off debt 1-2 years from now? It may not be a good time financially for us to lose half our income but it is a good time for us in many other ways. My littlest daughter has 2 and ½ more years until school, just 2 and ½ precious years that I could be spending with her instead of her spending it in daycare. My older daughter is a couple short years away from adolescence. My husband’s career is on the upward swing and demands more of his time and energy. I’m the mom, the anchor of our family. My job is sapping me of my energy, my emotional strength, and my passion for life. I care less about it every day and every day I want more and more to be there for my family. What better job could I ask for?
So, I'm seizing the moment. Perhaps like Johnathon Fields, the blogger, mentioned that I'll get a few dings and bruises by running out onto the crowded ice rink. However, perhaps I'll learn and grow in ways that I never though of. At least I won't be sitting on the sidelines watching the ice skaters glide by and wishing I was gliding right alongside.