What Happens When Your Fall Back Plan Just Becomes Your… Plan?

I have been wondering lately how my life would be different – how I would be different – if I didn’t always have a fall-back. It wasn’t a plan per say, but it was an always there option. I started waitressing at a pizza place when I was 17.  It’s a restaurant, and whether or not they are fully staffed, people always want days off, so every time I was home from college, or home from working on a cruise ship, I had a job. Just call the restaurant and all of a sudden I had 40 hours a week if I wanted it. Delivery driver one night, waitress the next, phones and register the next, manager the next. It’s my perpetual fall back. I can’t really complain, it’s how I was able to save enough for a down payment on my house during my time on cruise ships. But, alas, at this point in my life. Is it actually helping me?

Now, to add to the fall back plan – we have my darling husband.  Darling husband that knows that I yearn to work and earn money and contribute, but that would also be totally okay if I said “I don’t want to work any more!”. Yup, that’s a possibility in my life. Not the best end decision for us as a couple, but it’s part of the deal with being a ship wife. (There is plenty more to read on that subject around this blog, please enjoy!)

I haven’t worked on the ship in nearly two years.  I’ve applied for a few things but nothing has come of it. I wonder though, if it’s a little bit because I haven’t had to have anything come out of it.  I haven’t been at the point of not being able to buy groceries, I haven’t been at risk of getting the electricity shut off. While we haven’t been saving as aggressively as we might otherwise, in reality – we’ve been fine.

Working at the restaurant was never my fall back plan. It was my “as-well” plan. It was the “hustle my butt off to get my mortgage paid off so I can live the life I want to live thank you very much” plan. And damn it, it worked. It worked so well that now it is pretty much my only form of fairly part-time income, and it’s okay. The part that isn’t okay is that it’s not okay with me, with who I am, who I want to be, what I’m capable of.  Marrying a man with a good career so not working would be an option was certainly never any version of a plan for me.  I fell in love and it just happened to work out that way.

My question is though: How do you get your hustle back when you’ve hustled your way to stability?

Hopefully next week you’ll be reading an edition of “How Iris Got Her Hustle Back” (preceded by “Nevermind “Hopefully”, Let’s Get Shit Done”.)

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