Monday, 1 July 2013

The Cost of Work

A friend of mine is pretty much scandalised by some of my life choices. What is he scandalised about?
  • Excessive drinking? No.
  • Excessive smoking? No.
  • Sleeping around with a different partner every night? (Ha, as if.) No.
  • Eating too much sugar? No.
  • Cheating the tax system? No.
  • Being mean to animals? No.
  • Being a lapsed vegequarian? No.
  • My preference for tea over coffee? No.
  • My ability to rock red lipstick? No.
  • My desire to live in the hills for a while longer and endure a long journey into town? Possibly but not the complete story. 

Nope, none of the above. It is, however, fairly controversial: It’s my preference to work part time rather than full time.

Shocking, no?

Financially things have been tougher than the last year and the emergency teaching not quite as lucrative. As a result I have whinged a bit more about money, and work. (Perhaps this is what he objects too.)

I have also been proactive and been applying for jobs. However, I really don’t want to work full time again and initially I only applied for part time work.

Now I am applying for full time or part time work, even though I’d prefer part time.

At any rate, one of my friends disapproves of my desire to work part time. I’m not sure why this bothers him so much.  (Well possibly he objects to my whining which is fair enough.) And I'm surprised by his judgement; and initially I was defensive, now I'm realising I should be indifferent.  It’s my decision how I spend my life and what my priorities are - perhaps not working full time is a good priority for me.

It would be a strange world if we all had the same priorities.

He also has children. I don’t have children and I never wanted children. So I decided I wouldn’t have children unless I changed my mind over the years. This never, ever happened. So: no children.

See? Different priorities.

The decision to work part time came at a cost. I found myself stressed, depressed, and unable to sleep when teaching full time. I did not enjoy my quality of life.

Then my husband got sick and I learnt a real lesson about life. Watching someone die at 42 will make you re-assess your priorities. If I am financially able to survive on part time work, then that is what I am going to do. If I am financially able to survive working casually, then that is what I am going to do and bugger anyone who wants to judge me. 

The beauty of being an adult is that I can make my own decisions. And I have learnt not let other people's judgements dictate my life. I just need to remember that.

Stella x 

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