Vacation Musings.

I am currently writing from our cabin in the lake.

I say “our” because it is the second year we’ve taken cabin 2 here on the lake; the second in a line of neat cabins tiny cottages right on Lake Winnepesaukee. We have been coming to the lake with Jeff’s family now for a number of years; we settled on coming back here when we discovered 4 years ago that sharing a house was too much; we all wanted our own space. Even though the furnishings are spartan, there are no good dishes with which to cook, and often we share our living space with ants and spiders, it’s one of my favorite places in the world.

My in-laws have been coming here for almost 40 years now.

Our days fall into this sort of rhythm: Jeff gets up early and goes out fishing on my father in law’s boat each morning, rain or shine. I have breakfast and coffee with Owen, who draws or plays with his cars (and now complains about “no TV!”). When Jeff gets back, after the fish are cleaned and he is eating breakfast, get change into my running gear and head to the state beach nearby; the site of a triathlon on the weekend we leave and a popular route for walkers and other joggers. I get to run along the water, the sun on my back and breeze in my face.

And every year, it’s here that I gain confidence in my running. It’s comfortable, exhilarating… Happy.

I run happy here.

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Almost as soon as I hit “publish” on my post about the benefits of my career, I admit I was back to disliking accounting again. Mostly because I went back to work; I am now back to testing internal controls and commuting three hours a day and forcing deadlines to motivate myself to actually get something accomplished.

It’s easy to extoll the benefits of flexibility when you aren’t actually WORKING, you see.

Harder, then, to talk about flexibility when you need to be onsite and your client would rather do anything other than internals control testing and you are stuck trying to be nice when all you want to do is get stuff done so you don’t have to sit in traffic on the Tobin Bridge for hours.

It’s days like those where my commuting hours are spent trying to think my way into a new career. What WOULD I love doing? How can I get there?

What would be be like to do something I really liked, instead of trying to convince myself I like my job?

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I think I have an idea of what I might want to do next. I have had this idea for a few weeks now – I have spent time researching and looking into what would take for me to move into this career. I’ve talked it over with Jeff, who has been very supportive. I’ve mentioned it to my best girlfriends, both of whom have talked me through the pros and cons.

I have mentioned it to others, too. And the general reaction has been, basically, to talk me out of it. Like I don’t know what a career change entails at almost 40. Like I haven’t considered fact that that ALL careers have pros and cons. Like I am the kind of person who changes my mind willy-nilly.

I have been an accountant for 10 years now. I have been trying to talk myself into LIKING accounting for nearly that many years as well.

All jobs have pros and cons. I know this. I don’t believe that there is the equivalent of a career soulmate out there for me; at least, not the kind where everything is perfect and I am blissfully happy forever and ever. I understand that I will make choices that affect my family if I decide to move on this idea I have.

And I confess that the idea of changing careers scares me a lot.

But so does the idea of spending the next ten years talking myself into liking my job in three hours of traffic, too.

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7 Responses to Vacation Musings.

  1. Delenn says:

    One of the things I miss about being away from extended family is a vacation tradition like your in-laws have. 🙂 Sounds relaxing–although fishing…not sure I could do it more than a day or two. Sounds like a much needed rest for all!

    I am having similar feelings about my career. I am far from deciding on what I might want to do eventually, but I know I don’t want to be a paralegal all my life…at the moment it is what is needed…but someday (and I don’t think its crazy to change at any age), someday I will find something that really suits me and my life. 🙂

  2. Deborah says:

    I don’t think I’d have the energy to change careers at this stage of my life. I think about all the effort I made right after my masters’, all the informational interviews and networking and research. And I know I could never pull it off now. But I’m also reasonably happy in my current job – putting in that effort just to get to 100% perfect would be kind of silly. In your situation, I think it could make sense.

    And I thought you were going to tell us what your idea WAS at the end of the post – you left us in suspense!

  3. KeAnne says:

    Yeah. This year has been a really rough one at work for me. I like what I do, but I think it might be time for me to move on. I feel like a legacy system. But like you said, it’s scary to think about changing jobs, but isn’t our peace of mind and satisfaction worth it?

  4. Ana says:

    So exciting that you have a (top secret!) plan. Yes, all jobs have their pros and cons, but changing jobs/careers also isn’t the end of the world. If you are really dissatisfied (and it sounds like you are) then I feel you have to try to make a change, or you may regret it down the road. If your husband is supportive (and he’s the one likely to bear the brunt of the emotional and financial upheaval) then who cares what others say. Sorry for the rantiness, but I feel strongly about not sticking with a miserable situation if there are options.

  5. B says:

    Ooh, I want to hear more about this new job!

    I actually have this theory that we’re meant to evolve through life and that wanting to push for more in the late thirties is as natural as a baby trying to talk or a two year old wanting to do it ALL BY THEMSELVES.

    It will take a push though so I’d like to hear more about the plan – when you know it!

  6. Kate says:

    You know how I feel about career change. We live once. We do not have to live by supposed-to’s. I’m not suggesting a rash decision, clearly, this is something you can work through. I suggest this book: What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job . It has some great example of real people that have changed course one or even two decades older than you. If you don’t like something in life, change it. It’s painful to reinvent yourself (I can tell you first hand), but I am hoping that daily satisfaction provides greater returns over a lifetime, even if the cost is a few uncomfortable years making the switch.

  7. Turia says:

    You are so right that it is easy to talk about the advantages of flexibility when you are not working and not facing deadlines.

    “Your” cabin sounds like a great place. One day I hope Q. and I will have a cottage of our own, but if that doesn’t happen (which is likely given the price of waterfront anywhere relatively close to where we live), I at least hope we’ll be able to find somewhere we really like renting and go back to it year after year.

    You know what I think about possible changes and about the pros and cons of what you are considering. What I think most strongly of all is life is too short to spend it doing something you hate. Have you seen the articles about the nurse who wrote a book about her time with dying patients? She made a list of the top five regrets of the dying. One of them is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

    This one hit home for me and still resonates months later.

    xoxo
    T.

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