Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Empty Office

My husband is a dedicated and intelligent man. He graduated from law school at the top of his class, nearly twelve years ago. During his law school years he worked full-time during the day and went to school at night. This intense educational time frame also corresponded with the years that all three of our kids were born; making it even more of a challenge and even more of an accomplishment, for sure.

Shortly after he graduated, we started an online business together that made it possible for us to work together 24-7 and be at home with the little ones. We were busy in every aspect of the word and put in so much time and exertion, as we watched the business grow and tried to make our little venture succeed. And it has. For almost 12 years now, we rely on the shopping habits of internet-land customers to keep us busy, while their collectibles-focused shopping sprees pay our bills. Somewhere along the line, he also obtained his real estate license. The income from this extra job, we had decided, would be our "play money." But as so often happens, this eventually became "necessary money," as we slowly became more habituated to higher expectations of living.

So when the real estate market crumbled, we were faced with the strange ultimatum of not be allowed the luxury of working side-by-side, as we had been so accustomed to over the last decade. And so the roles we had played in the business shifted, as I acquired the responsibilities of some of the tasks that he used to carry out every day, while he found a great new job out in the **gasp** "real" (as in not-online) world.

We are quite grateful for the stability of - and the income from - his new career; so I am, by no means, complaining here. But it is suffice to say that the adjustment of settling into these new roles and playing the solitaire game of business was pretty hard for me to get used to. It's not so much the extra work that I mind, because I have this annoying, compulsive habit of over-working myself anyway; but rather the lack of my constant companion and business partner that took some getting used to (and still does).

I go through phases where it all seems apropos and cool. And then, on days like today, I feel a little more lonely and nostalgically reminiscent of the "way things were" for so many years.

It's funny how life truly does take you on one big roller coaster ride. The twists and turns, the ups and downs; the mazes of situations to ride your way through and to find your peace with. They are all an incredible part of the journey. I hesitate to feel melancholy at a time when so many struggle just to find a job, since we are so lucky to both have good ones; but certain days, I just really miss my best friend being across the desk from me and the comfort of his smile.

**Appropriately, this CD (The Martinis: Smitten) is persistently playing in my office. I especially adore track # 3: "You Are The One" and love that Joey Santiago is the guitarist in the band (ahhhh... the good old days of front row spots @ The Pixies shows).


Steve said...

Oh Jinxi. You rule. I miss our nice lunch outings and time that we got to spend together for so many years. I am truly so lucky to get to walk through life by your side. Love you so much and miss you even more.


madness rivera said...

I'm sorry you're loney Jinxi. Maybe it won't be forever that he has to work a "real job"!

Jannie said...

This is such a sweet post.

My husband and I used to work together in his car business until the day before our daughter was born. She is now 7. I would probably not handle very well working with him again because I like my days at home alone when Kelly's at school.

I feel a bit ashamed of myself for enjoying my creative time by myself now that I read such a loving post to your hubby and how you miss those working-together times.

But I'll try to get over it.

Wen said...

I hope you both are able to work together again soon, Jinxi!! You guys are such an inspiration and you sure deserve the very best life has to offer.