Friday, July 9, 2010
I am an incredibly lucky person. I don’t make this statement to brag. I make it because to claim otherwise would smack of ignorance. No, I don’t have a lot of money -- I don’t measure luck that way. Rather, I have a good family, I’ve had a good education, I’ve never gone hungry, I’ve never gone without a roof over my head, and I’ve had steady employment since I was old enough to legally enter the job market. I know I’ve been lucky in that regard, and that a great many people in the world haven’t been so lucky.
Mr. Sea is also a lucky person. In spite of the lousy economy, he’s been able to find a career that he very much enjoys, with an employer that offers fair pay and benefits. My employer also offers fair pay and benefits, but nearly half of my paycheck currently goes toward what I need to do in order to EARN that paycheck. In other words, the amount of money I spend on things that enable me to have a job in the first place -- fuel, breakfasts and lunches at the office, Mighty Mite’s full-time preschool, etc. -- takes up nearly half of my annual earnings. That’s ridiculous.
Another problem: I’ve been a book editor for twenty years. Seven years ago, I climbed as far as I want to climb professionally. As a result, there’s a sense of stagnation that I just haven’t been able to shake in the past few years. It’s been driving me crazy.
Plus, I remember what the job market was like when I first graduated from college. I was armed with a double B.A. in Journalism and English, ready to tackle any career path that was open to me. I initially thought I wanted to work in advertising, but there were too many things about the field that struck me as downright dishonest. Being a reporter was also out of the question -- I just don’t have the temperament for that sort of thing. So, I turned my attention to publishing. However, the economy being what it was at the time (lousy), in order to get a job in publishing, I literally had to wait for someone to quit, retire, or DIE before a position opened. I ended up working in retail for three years -- until finally, one day, someone DID retire from a publishing position. I succeeded in sticking my foot in the door, and the publishing industry became my professional home for the next twenty years. I know there are a lot of fresh college grads out there in the same boat I was in twenty years ago.
So, I quit. I don’t want and don’t need my job anymore, so someone else -- someone who very much needs a job -- can have the position that opens due to me leaving the industry. I don’t know who that someone will be, but I wish him or her all the best in the crazy, volatile, wacky world of publishing.
As for me, I plan to stay home, perform all the maintenance on the house and yard that I just haven’t had time to do (especially painting -- ugh), and spend LOTS of quality one-on-one time with Mighty Mite. I’m not going to pull her completely out of preschool, because she does have friends there, and she’s been learning a lot of good things -- but she will going part-time rather than full-time from now on.
I’ll also get to finally finish writing the sequel to Herald! Wow, the mind boggles at the thought of actually having time to finish writing this half-done novel I’ve been sitting on for the last couple of years. I admit, I’ve been more than a little hesitant to sit down and work on it. When I write something, it tends to completely consume me, often to the detriment of other, similar (i.e., job-related) tasks. I was worried that if I concentrated too much on my novel, my career would suffer. Well, no more career, no more writing worries.
I’m 45 years old, and for the first time in my life, I’m going to be a house wife. Holy cow. Well, Mr. Sea spent time as a house husband before finding his new career. I guess it’s my turn now.
My two-week notice will be presented on Monday. I hope my boss doesn’t have a heart attack.