Saturday, January 29, 2011

More than a mouthful

Here's a gull who's definitely bitten off more than she can chew; that's a starfish dangling from the corners of her mouth. When I was growing up, my mom had a phrase for that (being from the south, she had a phrase for everything, most quite a bit more colorful than this one): "Her eyes were bigger than her stomach."

I'm sure we've all had that experience at some point in our lives; have all known the existential terror of biting off more than you can chew.  Somehow we mostly manage to survive in such cases, but -- for me, at least -- what I seem to take away is not the memory and conviction that I'm a survivor but rather a wariness of ever again taking on more than I can handle.

Perhaps it's a sign of age, but I think I am becoming increasingly risk-averse.  But before I start berating myself for that, let me just say this: I'm thinking what's really happening here is that I have a better understanding of my own capabilities.  And, in addition, I've developed better boundaries: I know my tendency to pour myself into things, so I am careful to be conscious about reserving time for the things that are important to me: my family, my meditation time, my blog, my photography, my other creative endeavors, my time outdoors... which, I am finding, doesn't really leave a lot to spare -- there are, after all, only so many hours in a day.

Which means, I fear, that when I read most job descriptions I just feel... exhausted.  I know I should be seriously considering a return to the workforce, but that will obviously require some serious compromises.  And I've not yet found any position that excites me enough, or any organization that inspires me enough, to make me want to make those compromises.  I just keep thinking it ought to be possible to find a job that pays me to do what I already love doing.

Does that make me lazy?  Ridiculously idealistic?  Or just careful and wise?

My guess is it's probably somewhere in between.  Or maybe I just need some vitamins!

1 comment:

Maureen said...

It's right to not settle for less than what you know will meet your needs. I hope you'll be able to hang in to find that job that offers the right mix, that takes advantage of your wonderful skills and knowledge and especially artistic side. And if that opportunity presents itself, the only risk would be in turning it down.