I applied for life insurance this past week and stumbled over the profession question. When I hesitated the man on the phone, who knew I was expecting and had recently quit my job, suggested homemaker. I’d hesitated because “artist” didn’t feel quite right and then I’d sound totally cliche on the follow up question of income (can you give me a minute to count up my pennies?). The truth was more complicated and I didn’t think it worth either of our time to try and explain my transitional stage. It’s a ten year policy so who cares what profession I write down when starting the policy. But when it showed up in print and caught me off guard it turned out I cared.
When I quit my job I had grand dreams but was I slipping into something else?
To be clear there is nothing wrong with the homemaker profession. I’ve worked the full time, corporate career while having children and can honestly say the job that paid was easier than the responsibilities at home. And I know many hard working homemakers. The issue is I’m not a homemaker – we have a nanny. If I was a homemaker I’d be failing at it while I paid someone else to manage my home 40 hours a week. I really enjoy the balance a career gives my life and intend on advancing my career outside of the home.
But am I slipping? Have my weeks off been productive enough? This silly little life insurance policy made me momentarily question myself. But I quickly recovered.
The truth is I don’t know how not to be productive. I’ve been making loads of progress on several fronts. Quantifying my progress is just harder now by traditional standards. For instance I have not made a dime since quitting my job and I have few finished products to show for my time. It may be that I throw loads and loads of energy into a couple of dead ends before finding my way. Alternatively I could have already found my way but am just lacking the hindsight to realize. Who can say?
The one sure thing is I have started the journey. And not everyone gets that far or is brave enough to continue the seemingly random walk into the unknown.
I’m not lost, just wandering. And trusting.