So, this weekend was blissfully relaxed, involving dinners in and dinners out, trips to the gym and the dog park, walks downtown with the dog, trips to many furniture stores, and the eventual purchase of an absolutely hideous but incredibly comfortable and well-made recliner. Yes, it's ugly, but it will make our family room totally functional, and it was affordable and it has a lifetime warranty, and if/when at some point we can afford to redecorate that room (low on our list of priorities as it's at the back of the house and designated as a comfortable family zone, not a space for entertaining), the hideous recliner can either go in a nursery (not only does it recline, it rocks as well! And it will be perfect for nursing) or to the basement.
So, yes, recliner purchased and now we just have to wait 6-8 weeks for the pile of insomnia-curing relaxation to be built and delivered.
But oh, the weekend was just so lovely, and also so short, and I don't want to go back to work I DON'T WANNA. And I actually really like my job quite a bit so I can only imagine how all the people who DON'T like their jobs feel about having to go back to work.
I imagine that it would get old very fast to be unemployed and not know what to do with yourself all the time, and to be worried about money and trying desperately to find another job. But what I do wonder about isn't forced unemployment, but CHOSEN unemployment. Like if you become a stay-at-home mom, or if you just are in the luxurious financial position of not having to work for whatever reason.
I intend to keep working when I have kids. Maybe, depending on various circumstances, I'll go down to 80% or 60% time, but I'll want to keep working. I like my job, and I like my income. I like being stimulated and I like feeling like I'm making a contribution. I like interacting with my coworkers and having something that feels like it's all mine. And I actually enjoy the work that I do, for the most part.
But even though I like my job, it's kind of like going to the gym. The goal is to be finished, right? Don't we all feel like that? Nobody ever WANTS to stay at the office for longer than necessary. Everyone feels good when assignments are finished, even if they like the work that they're doing. I would guess that there are very few people who love their jobs enough that they would work more than they absolutely need to, you know? The exception that I can think of to this would be particularly creative, artistic, self-driven jobs like photography and novel-writing--but even then, only in certain cases.
So, that's my question. Would I keep working if I didn't have to? I think having children would actually be a reason why someone might like to keep working--not because you don't love your children and want to be with them, but because you would need different types of stimulation and different forms of interaction. I know that I'm touching on the Great Working Mom Debate, and I don't really mean to be--but the kind of not working I'm thinking about is more along the lines of ladies who lunch.
Would not working, assuming there weren't other major responsibilities like child-rearing to deal with (because that is also work), be enjoyable? Would it just be like Labor Day weekend times infinity? Or would it get old and stultifying real fast?
It's complicated, because if you had enough money that you didn't have to work, you would also likely have enough money to take on all sorts of other time-consuming projects, like redecorating and traveling and shopping.
I think, for me, even if we were billionaires, I would definitely want to do some sort of adult work that required me to use my mind the way I do in my current job. Whether or not that would translate to staying in my current job, or trying to establish and run some sort of charitable organization, or what, I don't know. But I can't imagine staying home all the time and never doing much outside the home.
But I still wouldn't mind if Labor Day weekend were to last another week. Or two. Or maybe even three.
What about you? Would you keep working even if you could afford not to?
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