The Door Closes, The Door Opens
Day 003 – July 25, 2011
On or about 7:25 this Monday morning, my wife left to go to her office for her first day at her new place of employment here in Lima, Peru. When that door shut behind her, I found myself in a position that I have not been in since…since…since…well, since never.
Behind that closed door, here is where I stood: I am not going to work today and I am not looking for work.
Since leaving college in 1990, I have been employed. In those brief periods of time when I was not working, I was either financially secure enough to not need a job (and I took that rare opportunity to travel across the United States) or I had been laid off and was actively seeking new employment. Out of a span of twenty-one years, to only be out of the labor market for a span of six months is an acheivement I was quite proud of.
I was now standing on the other side of a door that was new to me.
Let’s be honest with myself. I am a product of the paternalistic Western world where the man is the main bread-winner and the woman stays home and tends the hearth and raises the kids. Maybe she works part-time, but that’s it.
When that door closed, the roles in our family were now reversed.
So the question of “What now?” hangs in the air.
I have options open to me that I have not had before:
…I have about four books rattling around in my head that I want to set free.
…I would like to learn a new programming language, Rails, that I heard about while working at my last place of employment before coming to Peru.
…I would like to get a Masters degree in Economics.
…There’s an art store down the street where we live and so maybe I could get into painting.
…There’s a gym also down the street so perhaps I could finally lose enough pounds to get my Body Mass Index out of the “obese” range.
When that door closed, it’s up to me to decide which other door to open.
For the moment, I choose to:
…make breakfast for our kids,
…empty and clean the two de-humidifiers we have in the house,
…wash the dishes,
…sweep the floors, and
…do more laundry.
Because I get to decide, and it feels good.