I am currently unemployed, which is by choice. I just finished a psych degree, and did well in the program which took a lot of hard work and dedication. I have decided that I deserved a break, and the summer was the perfect opportunity for a break which can be filled with visiting friends and family, as well as getting those things done around the house that school did not allow. Now, I am faced with the guilt of not having a job. For some reason, people tend to forget all of those years that you worked full time, or held more than one job at a time, the minute you are not currently employed. I remember my mom always saying, in a negative tone, that certain women didn’t work or never worked, which always meant that they were lucky and lazy. I feel now that women around me who work full time jobs tend to think the same of me by making little snarky comments. I even had one woman say, “oh well you don’t work”, as if to admonish any time I have spent working in the past, and allude to the fact that I would not understand what it is like to work?! It is crazy that the decisions you make at any time are up for complete and utter evaluation by anyone around you. No one bothers to see that I keep a clean house, do all of the household chores, and spend a lot of my time organizing the house. I try really hard to make life easier for my husband who works 12 hour shifts, which rotate between days and nights. We do not have children, but have animals, and I find that the lack of children may hurt my case. If I had a child no one would think twice about how I do not have a job.
I think that the guilt that I feel is only because other people are jealous or afraid to make the same decision. A lot of self-worth and identity are tied to the jobs we occupy. A good way to to find out who is supportive of your actual decisions is to quit your job!
It is not fair to limit myself because of the feelings, or supposed feelings, of other people. I need to enjoy my life. I enjoy my time, and fill my days with work that will be meaningful to myself and those I care about. A great way would be to write on this blog!
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you do in life. You could have a job and work hard at it and then people would say you work too hard. You need to figure out what works for your life. Be happy with your decisions and do not let those around you make you feel guilty for living your life. Live in the moment, because you may not have another one.
It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have limited time on earth- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.