After nearly 20 wonderful, challenging, exhausting and ultimately triumphant years raising two children, I found myself jobless and divorced. I do not have a pension from raising my kids, and I did not accrue Social Security for those 20 years.
While I’d always been an optimist and never one to give up without a fight, my lack of mobility and medicated state were easy excuses to feel sorry for myself. As I sat in my recliner day after day, watching nonsense television, I began to convince myself that karma was finally setting things right. Even though I had the skills necessary to do my job, I always felt I was one mistake away from losing it.
My husband is a medical resident, which means he frequently works 13 hours a day, six days a week, or 24 hour shifts. Stressed from the new task of being solely responsible for an individual’s survival, he comes home pale as a ghost and exhausted. I, too, am a professional—an attorney and college instructor. Although I’m also fatigued and stressed, I pick up the slack for my husband. His only household chores are vacuuming, mowing the lawn, and taking out the garbage.
It came to my attention recently while shopping for groceries that there are over 40 kinds of milk in my local supermarket. Forty. This seems a little unnecessary when all you’re looking for is something to ensure your mouth doesn’t melt off your face when you take a sip of coffee. Nonetheless, once you throw in type, brand, fat quantity and flavor, the choices start to exceed the number of times I shave my legs in a year.
Many have dreamed of storming off and quitting your job altogether. For some, they want to quit to spend more time at home with their family. For others, it’s because their situation at their workplace has become unbearable.