Monday, June 12, 2006

6/12 What's going on with me?

I'm feeling that vague longing again. Wanting something more, something different.

A someone. A place. An activity. A volunteer job.

I don't know what I'm longing for--it's just there. A dissatisfaction with the status quo. I've been plagued with this since I was a child. I crave adventure.

While loving my family passionately, moving away was always in the plans.

One thing I'm working on right now (on my long list of faults) is trying to be less impulsive. I told this to a friend the other night over a beer and he said, "Why would you want to do that?"

Other "normal" people may want more impulsivity. For me, I'd love to feel content. Probably the last time I felt that was when I was married. We had lots of adventures--both with the kids and without them. We went camping, mountain climbing, white water rafting, spelunking, and more....

Now I get my adventures in other ways--volunteering in disaster mental health, performing comedy on stage, traveling to other countries. But since I spend my money on fun, I live from paycheck to paycheck. Stupid, I know. But spending my kids' inheritance is one of the fun things I do. They've both said I should do it. So I obey. :) Thank God for 401 K plans, so I do have some money stashed away for retirement.

Hurricane season is upon us, and I know I'm going to be called to do disaster work. I desperately want to do it--it's what I'm trained for. If I could get a job that paid enough, I'd do the work full time. Instead, I volunteer. The problem is the same as last year--I won't have any vacation time left to do this. So I'll have to leave for two weeks without pay. Last year I borrowed money so I could do it and still pay my bills. This year that option doesn't exist. Damn! Don't know what to do.

The sensible ones reading this will think the answer is obvious--if I don't have the money I shouldn't go. The quixotic ones reading this will think the answer is obvious--figure out a way to get the money so you can go.

I'm on the quixotic side. But first I have to see if my company will let me go again for two weeks without pay.

Discontent. Longing. Wanting. Anything you are aching for?

17 comments:

Jeff said...

I have also had that vague, restless longing that makes me want to break away from the status quo. It's probably more common than we think. Although I realize the need for structure and planning in important activities, I can also be a "spur of the moment" type person. You know, like at 4pm in the afternoon say, "Hey, let's go out to dinner and then take a walk", or "Hey, let's go to a movie tonight."
I've found if I take too long to plan something out, weighing all the pros and cons over and over, I end up doing nothing.

I think if you can find a way to afford to take the time off you should do it. It's for a worthy cause, Jer. :)

Jer said...

Thanks, Jeff. I hope folks don't get tired of me going over this same issue time and again. Introspection bores me, yet I keep doing it. "The unexamined life isn't worth living." Who said that? Robert Coles? Crap, now I have to look it up.

Jer said...

Nope, it was Socrates.

Cindy said...

sometimes I am amazed just how different we are. I am one of the "sensible ones" you talk about. Contentment is all I strive for. I would have never not encouraged my parents to do whatever they wanted with their money, however, I was NEVER more grateful to them then when Dukers asked for $10,000., and I didn't have to figure out where I would get that kind of money with 3 kids in private schools. So living paycheck to paycheck will never be somthing I want to do again. Joe and I did it when we were newlyweds, and it was hell. So God bless you for your adventurous spirit, and Thank God we are all different...but the grass is not greener across any fence for me.

Jer said...

I do have insurance, and a 401 K, so my kids won't have any bills on my behalf. I do plan a little. :) They just won't get lots of extra money.

Yeah, I do know we're different. Luckily we love each other.

Maybe I wasn't clear though. I do want to be contented. Really. Just am not. I was content when John and I were married--at least most of the time. It wasn't perfect, not by a long shot, but I was relatively happy.

Andea said...

Well it's hard to make decisions based on emotions. Money in the bank doesn't make me happy,but it does make me feel secure. Follow your heart, but make sure you have a back up plan.

Jer said...

Makes sense, Andrea....

Martyn said...

I frequently feel the same. Today I was wanting to sell up the house and go by a croft in the Scottish Highlands - immediately.

Now I've mellowed again and I'm sort of satisfied. For now.

Jer said...

I don't think I know you but are we twins? lol

Paulette said...

So I guess I am a sensible one too.....I don't do what I don't have the money for.BUT we have done nearly everything we have wanted to do by saving up for it first.Still my children have always come first with their needs, their education, and even now I would give anything I have to help their life be better.Life isn't always about the new and undone-you have to appreciate the now and what you have. Living paycheck to paycheck in our beginning years left me sleepless and scared-I like a cushion and hope to pass on a "cushion" to each of my children as well. We all look at things differently

Jer said...

Yes, luckily my brothers married sensible women, and I'm sure they're eternally grateful for that.

Personalities are so fascinating. I don't know what makes me the way I am. Even though I spend everything I have, I always pay my bills on time. Am absolutely OCD about that. There's just nothing left over. :)

And yep, you've always been able to do what you want because you've saved. I think that's awesome. Just can't make myself do it. Not that I don't want to.

Damn, there's way too much self-disclosure here. :)

Kelly K said...

I've spent my whole life being sensible and practicle. And while it's given me the security I long for, it can be pretty damn boring. Make sure you live your life without any regrets. I have some and would love to do parts of my life over but now I have to be thankful for what I have and decide what will make me happy and what I can do to make it happen. I crave excitement and adventure too, my problem is I'm too scared to chase after it. So if you can find a way to make things work, go for it!

Kelly K said...

Ok, all along I thought the Jeff posting was Uncle Jeff, just now realized it wasn't!! LOL And here I thought my uncle was being so insightful! hee hee

Jer said...

Oh, honey, you don't know how happy that makes me. My friends are telling me the same thing. A young woman on the Avon Breast Cancer Walk told me basically the same thing. I'm going to weight the pros and cons (re: Hurricane work), and then decide. (Think I can win the lottery before one of the big storms hit?)

Jer said...

Kelly, the first time my friend Jeff posted I thought it was my brother too, so I called him Jeffy. This Jeff is a little younger and is a writer.

anne frasier said...

oh, jer, i am so with you on this. content is a word no longer in my vocabulary. i think my mindset comes from so many things. one being that my life hasn't followed a traditional path, so now what do i do? and i know the road ahead could be much shorter than the road behind, so there's this sense of urgency. but for what? for a stage of existence that is already past but my subconscious hasn't caught up to that reality yet? sometimes i wish i smoked pot because i'm sure after a few hits i'd be perfectly fine right here right now. :D

Jer said...

Kindred spirits, Anne. I know you've been struggling with reinventing yourself in another city. Or at the very least, relocating. :)