I'm being committed. No, wait, that's not right. I am committing to the process, and to the homestead. That sounds better. (Though I sometimes wonder if the idea of creating a real homestead will leave me in a straight jacket.)
This week I turned down a very good job opportunity and both the decision, and its implications have been weighing on me.
When we decided to move, I had fully intended to continue working full time. I like my career. I am good at being a librarian, and it gives me satisfaction. I am ambitious. However, as the move date approached and no job nibbles occurred, it became clear that we needed a Plan B.
After doing some major budget work and making some unusual concessions, we realized that Plan B, AKA me staying home with the kiddos, was feasible. But that is what it was: Plan B. Plan B meant no daycare, one family car, no cable, and other lifestyle cuts. Nothing we couldn't handle. Plan A was always a continuation of my career.
After three months staying home and making it work (and having fun), I finally applied for a job I thought I would enjoy. After an interview that left me a little skeptical, I had a job offer in hand and a big decision to make.
If I accepted the offer, it would mean 40+ hours of work per week, including some nights and weekends; kids in daycare and after school care; a car payment (likely a small one, but still...); and no more me-time. All of which is completely normal for most Americans, and was completely normal for us, four months ago.
If I didn't accept the offer, it meant continuing life as we have established it: pinching pennies, chauffeuring the family, and putting my career on hold. But that would have been an easy decision if it had been a horrible interview, or if the salary wasn't near enough, or if the people gave me the willies. As it stood, the interview was OK, the salary was OK, and the people seemed nice.
It was a very even balance. I was conflicted.
After consulting with some great friends, my husband, and my conscience, I was still surprised to hear myself gently decline the offer. It is harder than you might think to choose fun. It doesn't mesh with my idea of the responsible adult! But I realized that nothing short of my dream job would tear me away from days at home managing the homestead, playing with the dogs, and bonding with my children.
I think I made the right decision. I might need some reminders, but I got a glimpse of what it means for this life to be my choice, instead of just Plan B.