I got married last year. If you’ve looked around this blog at all you’ve probably figured that out. I’ve also had a hell of a hard time finding employment that works with my husbands work schedule and that allows us to actually still see each other. This has meant that for someone that usually works two to three jobs I was down to just one, and now am somewhat down to none. I should note that for this I am counting jobs that pay – helping my family on their various projects – while incredibly worthwhile is not the best paying financially (but is very rewarding).
While the working side of things is one thing, we also need to balance out our time. Stuart gets three months off from his job, then he goes to work for three months. I can only work in the US as I don’t have residency in the UK to be able to work over here. That means that for me to work that one job that I have I have to be in the US. If I want to see my husband, he has to be there, too. And, as family is important to both of us, if we have the chance to spend time with my family in the US and with his family in the UK, we probably should. You don’t get that time back. So, while some might think – well, when Stuart is on the ship why don’t you just stay home in the states and work? That would be great, except for the fact that I then wouldn’t see my husband for three months at a time.
After trying different balances where I stay home to work some, sail with him some, we split up his vacation time this way and that way, we have pretty much found that for us to be overall happiest was to be in the same place together. Especially because when we decide to have kids that option gets somewhat taken away from us for different sections of time (when I am too preggers to fly, or the kids are too young to sail, etc.) This means that we spend part of his vacation in Vermont with my family, and a good chunk of it over in Scotland with his. I fly home for extra weeks here and there.
As I write this now I am sitting in Scotland. I am here for a month, then I go home to Vermont for about a week to see my family, to then fly to the ship to sail with Stuart for three months. It is great in that Stuart gets time with his family. He gets a chance to relax before going back to work. I get to see my family for a quick bit so that it isn’t quite as long without seeing them. It does mean though that I am going over four months without working at all.
Enter this blog. Now that I actually have something going here it feels like I can keep going. Each time that I see that someone read a post that I put up I feel like I have a purpose again outside of being a wife. I know that my life is different, and I know that so much of it is worth sharing. This is giving me an opportunity to share that different life, and even though it’s not really a “job”, I am starting to feel like I have a job.
We are a few years into trying to work out this balance. Once we figured out that being in the same place was more valuable than my income, it was figuring out whether or not we could afford it. Once we figured out that we could afford it, it was figuring out how I could stay mentally engaged in a way that feels meaningful, and hopefully someday contribute financially again. Once I figured out this could be something I was good at, it was figuring out how to get up the courage to do it and put myself out there. It has taken me nearly two years from when I first said I was going to start this blog to actually do it. But alas, here it is.
Great things don’t come in an instant. Balance is hard, it takes work and mistakes and it changes all of the time as life throws you different challenges. I am hopeful that this blog will be the next step in us, and me, finding our balance.