Friday, May 11, 2007

Every choice has consequences

220.4 (unofficial this morning)

I'm glad it's Friday! I have had a busy week without really getting much accomplished. For one thing, I was in court every morning this week, as opposed to usually only 2-3 mornings in a week. For reasons that are not clear to me, I have not been very focused at work this week, either. Hmph.

My house is a mess. Despite my initial good intentions & plans to unpack a box a day. . . . I have not touched the remaining boxes from my move since before my parents' visit two weekends ago. (sigh) I finally vacuumed the common areas of the house last night; that is basically the only housework I have done all week. I don't know why I seem to have such a mental block against keeping things neat & organized. If I had a therapist, that is definitely an issue we would discuss.

At work, I am quite organized. My desk may fall into chaos for a few days when things are hectic (& they often are), but I always know where to find things, and the mess never lasts for more than those few days. When I was a hospital nurse, before law school, it was the same: I was very organized at work. I'm not sure what the disconnect is that prevents me from imposing the same order on my home that I do at my job. One would think being organized at home--particularly when I'm living alone--would be easier. . . .

I've been thinking a lot lately about a change in jobs. Despite the fact that I genuinely enjoy what I do at work, I am underpaid and have no real hope of financial advancement: my workplace does not even have a "ladder" system or merit raises. We get a nominal "cost of living adjustment" (which doesn't keep pace with the actual increase in the cost of living) *if* the local government officials approve it.

I do love being a prosecutor. I find criminal law very interesting, and I like having a job as a lawyer that benefits the public, rather than just being a "gun for hire." At the same time, I am cognizant of the fact that my choice in job is limiting the other choices I can make in the rest of my life. . . . for example, I will never be able to afford to buy my own home at my current job & salary. Single parenthood, which is something I might otherwise consider, would be fiscally irresponsible at best. Even if I didn't care about owning a home or being a mom, my salary barely allows me to meet my financial obligations every month; I have no emergency fund, no way to save, and no extra $$ to spend on anything fun.

Something's gotta give. When I'd planned to marry SL, we had often discussed the fact of my low salary and that I could be making more $$ elsewhere. SL always said he would focus on getting increasingly higher-paying jobs so that I could continue to do the job I enjoy, and he was making good on that promise. Even if he'd only stayed at the same salary as me, that was still double the money to run a household, so things would not have been out of reach for us.

Now there is no "us"--just me--and that may be the case for the foreseeable future, and I have to plan accordingly.

There are three primary things that hold me back from looking for a better-paid position: first, the fact that I really enjoy what I do; second, my (natural) fear of changing to a new area of law; and third, that a new job might mean that I have to relocate. I really like the city in which I live, and I have been here for over six years. . . . the longest I have lived in any one place since college.

Oh well. Reality often dictates that we make choices which might not always be our preferred course of action, were circumstances different.

Looking forward to seeing some friends and having a fun weekend. . . .