Thursday, September 16, 2010

My name is Erin and I was a workaholic.

Yep. Was a workaholic. I am no longer a workaholic, which some people find difficult to believe or understand. And that's not to say that my life doesn't still have its busy times, but these days I don't choose to be busy, circumstances force me to be busy and I resent every minute of it.

I think that Jason has a lot to do with it. Jason works a normal person's hours. I work all the hours he works and THEN I also work evenings and weekends.

I still work evenings and some weekends, but I'm really trying to make a conscious effort to free up the time that he's not working (it's easier, given the nature of my many jobs), and I will try to do this even more during the first year of our marriage.

I want to give us the time to grow in our marriage, to work through what many people say is the toughest year. How can we do that if we're only together when we're sleeping?

So, I've scaled back on what I'm doing. This fall, I'm substitute teaching (more on that in a sec), caroling again (yay!) and teaching two acting classes. That's it. Any more than that and I'd miss all those important moments of being a newlywed. I won't let my work take that away from me!

What's so interesting about my decision to scale back is that my primary source of income, substitute teaching, has suddenly become totally unreliable. I have had one - ONE! - sub call since school started this fall. This is very unusual as I sub in two school districts, and have always had enough work to keep myself afloat financially.

Now? Thanks to more teacher cuts in the school districts, there is now a "must call" list of laid-off teachers who must all receive their jobs before any other subs get a call. I feel badly for those teachers who were laid-off, I do, but share some work, please! I rely on sub work for a regular paycheck (everything else I do pays sporadically).

This morning, there was no sub call again. I'm starting to get very concerned. I have two weeks of availability left before I take off for our wedding and honeymoon, and if I don't get any work between now and then, I will not receive ANY paychecks before November. WHAT?!

When we chose our house to rent, we chose it knowing that if I had a month of no work that we'd be able to make it, paying rent and all of our bills on Jason's salary. That doesn't make me feel okay about not contributing, but it does put my mind at ease.

Back to the point - I've gone from a workaholic to a person who is actually happy to be given the excuse to spend the day at home "puttering". I define "puttering" as cleaning and gardening at my own pace with little breaks to just relax.

Today I've puttered - the house is spotless and I spent a good hour and a half doing my favorite thing - gardening. :) I still feel guilty for not contributing financially today, but at least I contributed in another way! If you had told me ten years ago that I'd be happy spending the day at home cleaning, I would have told you you were nuts. Today? I'm no longer a workaholic, and I'm coming to realize that there are things that are more important than work and being busy.

Back to my garden!


  1. Erin, I know how you feel. Choosing to get pregnant, I had to accept the fact that once our son is born, I will not be contributing at all financially-- for as long as necessary to fulfill my motherly duties before our wee one(s) go off to school. That's a long time! I'm also subbing until D-day... and all the days I don't get a call, I feel super uncomfortable, like I'm not doing enough or that I've wasted an opportunity.

    You're getting married. Nothing in life is more exciting. Okay, maybe having a baby... but I haven't experienced that yet. And for the record, the first year of our marriage was easy! Well, it's all been pretty easy actually.

  2. I know it doesn't help to say "don't worry" so I won't. Instead I will say that I feel that exact same way EVERY day. Actually, I have felt like a free loader for over a year-so I definitely get it. You are not alone and even though it doesn't seem like it I do feel very confident that things will turn around for everyone! :)

    It's great that you can be okay on just Jason's salary. It's even better that you are trying to scale down your crazy busy schedule to enjoy the time with your fiance and very soon-to-be-hubby!!! I doubt you guys will have a tough first year. Our first year was great and fun and every year since has been wonderful.

    You are going to have the best garden EVER!!! Puttering is very important. And remember that you are contributing in a very important way. I love you!

  3. Thank you, friends!

    Of course, as life would have it, I got a call for today. :) So I feel like i've contributed financially, and will have to get used to the days when there is just no work!

    Is it just me, or does it seem like life just keeps getting more expensive based on the things we want but don't really need? It's all just stuff, though, and I often wonder if I'd be a lot happier if I didn't feel like I "needed" things so often, and could just feel like I "needed" to save instead!

    Maybe after the wedding - when all the gifts are opened, put away, returned, and/or exchanged, I'll go on a shopping strike (with the exception of groceries) until the holidays. Maybe that's me being wishful, but maybe it will work!

  4. I catching up on blogs... Sorry for the late comment . . . So, Kevin got a temp job and my student teaching is over. Since then, the house has been spotless and I cook so that when he gets home a meal is ready to be served. As cheesy as this may sound, it's very satisfying. It's almost like it's meant to be. Like this was the way God intended it back in the day, and technology and the hussle and bussle of our city life has changed it. Enjoy the time in your garden, and maybe not getting that sub call in the morning, maybe God wants you to relax for a minute in time, and enjoy the beauty of what he has for you and Jason.

    Love ya!!