Hello, fair readers. We’re back. A lot has changed.
We moved (to a place with windows! And a larger kitchen! And windows!).
I’m getting ready for a trip to China and for my third year of teaching.
Although summer is often seen as a time to recharge, it’s frequently been a time for us to reflect on the previous school year, and to ponder what’s ahead.
It’s a hard job market, and it’s particularly hard if you’re a nerdy computer programming audiophile trying to find some inspiring work. I’d been thinking a lot about my friends who are similar to Toby, and what they have in their lives that makes them feel fulfilled.
I thought of Jana, who is living her life and raising her daughter in a way I hold in highest regard as a stay-at-home-mom. I thought of Jamie G., who is about as up-to-date on news and “new media” as they come, yet she has become a total DIY home-fixer-upper bike rider. I thought of Anne and Kate, who live on Anne’s teacher salary while Kate holds down the fort as a badass at home. They manage to go on all sorts of adventures, afford all local and organic food, and have a freaking blast on and off the grid.
Toby seems happiest when he comes up with a dynamite recipe, when our finances are organized, when we find a killer new natural cleaner, or when he discovers some other new way to hack our lives. So we’ve decided he’s going to become our resident Life Hacker.
The deal is this. I’ll carry on with the whole teaching thing. Toby will get a retail job 3 days a week or so (we’re thinking he’ll take over the shifts I’ve been working at Display and Costume when I head off to China) to help pay for rent. The rest of the time he’ll spend working on art, shouldering the bulk of the household tasks, and hacking our lives so we can be frugal and more self-sufficient. He’ll continue looking for work in his field, but there will be no more moping about and refreshing the Craigslist page 2873466527 times.
Does this sound like a cop-out? Like Toby’s staying at home to be my man-bitch? Like we’re making excuses for him not getting a job? I’m sure it could seem like any of those things, but this feels absolutely right. Toby is already much happier than he was when he was thinking of the prospect of just clocking in at a 9 to 5, I will feel less stressed out about money and meals and cleaning because they will be more under control, and we’ll be enjoying each others’ company more completely because we’re embarking on an adventure we’re both thrilled about.
And, of course, we’ll be cooking more meals from newspaper recipes.
Won’t you join us?