The spirit of the season

We flew back from rainy, temperate Northern California into the arms of SNOWPOCALYPSE 2010!!!!ONE!!!ELEVEN! I hid from the storm, cocooned in NyQuil Sinus medicine. I almost forgot that we were going to finish opening Christmas gifts to each other, I was that high on cold meds.

I’ve been trying to finish an application for a program about which I feel increasingly ambivalent. The thing I fear, here, is time. Or lack thereof. If I got accepted to this program, it would open up doors for me in terms of professional development. In another, oh, six years or so, I could be someone with a significant string of letters after my name. I always wanted a significant string of letters.

The thing about time, though, is that suddenly, there’s this other consideration. This idea that what if we want to have a -gulp- kid? Or what if we want to go on vacations and enjoy each other’s company and eat civilized dinner several nights a week? This would throw all of that to the wind for several years, and I’m not sure I’m prepared to go down that path! I kind of like having dinner together – I kind of like being able to cook together, go to sleep together, have weekends together. Am I prepared to sacrifice those things, for the most part, in exchange for professional development?

I don’t know! It would, of course, be significantly easier if I took out insane loans and lived that way for these years. But I’m not prepared to do that, not just yet. My job will pay for this program, for the most part, and free schooling? Hard to turn that down!

I have always been something of a pessimist, but have never before felt two options weigh so oppositely, so heavily. Both are lovely paths, but both are mutually exclusive. There is no way for me to do this and have a family, not the way I’d want to have a family. And there’s no way for me to have a family and then abandon it for professional growth. I suppose this is where we find the rub of getting older, of doors becoming finitely numbered.

At the moment, I see only two. And both of them scare and compel.

Didn’t someone say all this was going to be easy?

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