Monday, March 15, 2010

Like Four Season In One Day

What is it in the air these days? The flux that the financial world is experiencing seems to have become the flux that many are finding in the rest of the world. So many of the people I meet and know couldn't tell you what the week, or even the day has in store for them. There are three apartments in my building, and each one houses someone who has been laid off from long standing jobs. When I go out on my weekly bike rides I meet people who are taking the time out of work to decide what to do going forward.

It sometimes feels like we are all, individually and societally, experiencing a mix of that heady time in our early 20's when everything seems possible and that clich├ęd time known as "mid-life" where we become aware of all the things that are not possible and cling, too tightly, to the things that are most likely. No wonder there is so much uncertainty and moodiness- These things pulling at us, or pushing at us, or twirling us around making us dizzy and grumpy and unpredictable.

For myself, I find that I must make choices (not an unusual position for a person to find themselves in). The choices are not so undesirable; back to work or back to school? Both have been offered to me and each offer is a good one. The promise of a job with someone I like to work with who respects my talents, or, I can return to school to start something new and maybe embark on a new career.

Going back to work means flushing out what I already know. Deeper understanding of anything is good, and I do enjoy learning more about my profession. Having done what I do for so long, I am comfortable in the clinic with patients. There is tremendous satisfaction in helping people and in having the knowledge to recognize what help is really needed.

Somehow, though, I don't find it very satisfying any more. My last job was difficult because of poor management and broken systems and it left me quite cold. I know there are places that are better run, with better leadership and opportunities to create greater change for my patients. There is little temptation in the thought unless I push it and make myself believe I should want more from my career.

School has called to me for years. I have told myself that I can not go back because of the kids and the expense, but really it is because I do not know what to study next. Studying Physical Therapy further is off the table, even if I stay in the profession (I do not want to spend $100k for a DPT degree). A foreign language degree (Spanish) would be good no matter what I do. The world does not need another MBA, and if it does, it isn't getting one from me.

Of course, as soon as I make the decision I find myself in a futile , one way debate with the voice of descension. No matter how present I try to be, I find myself riddled with guilt (not only not working, and therefor, not making money but spending money I am not making for a future career in ...), frightened of getting it wrong, intimidated of the work involved in getting it right... Endless circles of silliness.

At least there is a theme song-

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