Yesterday we were jolted out of our daily humdrum of activities by a telephone call from one of Baggy’s colleagues. It came sooner than we expected. All of a sudden, we found ourselves staring again at the old familiar problem facing couples who are pursuing dual-careers. Careers, mind you, not work. We consider ourselves very, very lucky to be working in the same institute, practically seeing each other every day and eating lunch together at the cafeteria. Heck, we even take afternoon coffee breaks together – but I digress.
We know it’s too good to last, and we have wisely prepared ourselves for the inevitable. Sacrifices must be made in view of a higher goal, blah blah blah and all that crap. We know, though, that Baggy didn’t come all the way from Osaka to join us here in Tsukuba only to leave us again. We have to set a limit somewhere. Anywhere accessible by train within a two-hour commute is acceptable. That may be ludicrous for some people, but they probably haven’t tried riding the shinkansen from Tsukuba to Tokyo to Osaka, only to head back to Tsukuba within the same day because of a frantic call from an equally frantic wife because their daughter had to be rushed to the doctor. Never again.
I sometimes think of how much easier it would be if there was only one of us pursuing a career. What if I were the regular okaasan at home. Husband changes job and moves elsewhere – no problemo. Just pack up and leave. No ties to severe, no juggling of work duties, no hassles. Get pregnant every other year until menopause and raise a dozen rowdy kids.
Yes, how much easier it would be to just sit idly at home in between household chores and wait for the husband and kids to come home at the end of the day. I can watch tv for a change. I can knit and sew, watch my fat ass grow and bake cookies all day long. I can devote 24/7 attention to all of my children, no exceptions.
In my dreams, sure, but not in “this” lifetime.
As the old adage goes, there’s nothing constant except change, and the only inevitable thing is death. We gotta do what we gotta do while there’s breath left in us.
Life is so damn easy when you know all the answers. If you did, wouldn’t life be so boring?