What if this is as good as it gets?
December 13, 2011 3:26 PM Subscribe
Would I know if this is as good as it gets? I know I've got it pretty good, better than most I bet...but I feel a little, I don't know, perhaps unsettled. But maybe that isn't even the right way to describe it - physically it's more liked stressed with a side order of tired. How do you know when you're at the top of your game and when you are in the place that is best for you and your family?
I have a good life and I'm not complaining about the hand I've been given. I'm married with two children and I have a good job. It's a very stressful job but it can be rewarding as well. I put in a lot of extra hours but I also have some flexibility when I really need it so that I can attend important events such as recitals etc. The pay is also pretty good and the benefits are exceptional i.e. health and pension are amazing. Most of the people I work with are ok, a couple are not - so this is pretty much no different than anywhere. The stress part is making me question if this is the right fit for me. I don't know that changing jobs would actually make things less stressful as I know I've been in lower paid jobs with less responsibility that have been immensely stressful due to the working conditions and bosses that I've had.
Here's my set up. I work a very easy 10km commute by car from my work. There is little traffic to get to work and free parking. I work days (Mon - Fri) and there is some flexibility around my start time as long as I am there no later than 8:30am. I usually work until at least 6pm and usually more like 7pm. I don't take breaks and usually eat lunch in front of my computer. I have multiple distractions and can count on a significant crisis needing immediate attention at least once a week (usually more often). I am expected to take call for one week in every four and I do not receive compensation for this call. I usually get called a few times during this week and sometimes it will mean going into work for a few hours - usually at unsocial times. Even when not on call I may work 16 hour+ days if something goes wrong - and around 10 hours on a normal day. I do not get paid overtime. I get along well with the people with whom I work but it's fair to say that the workload distribution is not even nor is the skill set within management.
My spouse also works days in a job and very very rarely has to stay late or work away. My kids go to school around the corner from where I work and the school is exceptional. My daughter is extremely happy here and is quite involved in a number of activities at which she excels. My son is involved in less but also happy. We have a modest house that is comfortable - we don't really need any more. If we really NEED or even really WANTED something we could find a way to afford it. We don't really care too much about THINGS like cars, fancy houses, stereo systems, adult toys, gaming systems etc. We do like to travel together and manage to take a couple of small trips a year.
I live in the north as you can probably tell by my handle. It's beautiful up here - I would like a couple more months of spring or fall or summer if I were to be perfectly honest but the other benefits here make up for the longer winters. The winters here by the way are warmer than the midwest or Canadian prairies.
Is it possible that this is "as good as it gets"? Should we just be happy in settling? We've never done that before. We've always moved around after a few years in search of something better. Have we now found "better'?