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Becoming More Well-Rounded, Yet Less Flexible

What 35 years of life and six months without a job have taught me (Candace)

I caught myself, at the pool with Andrew today, going on and on (and on and on) about my aspirations for one of the companies I’m currently interviewing with.  I’ve been participating in Skype interviews at 10-11pm and 6-7am for the past couple of weeks, waking Andrew for each one (since we share a hotel room), and I’m clearly on fire again. 

But I noticed something different about myself today.  I caught myself going off on a tangent about work, consciously stopped myself, and then changed the conversation.  You see, before this honeymoon, I was consumed by my work.  I tied so much of my self value to my daily output at work that, when we quit our jobs and began this world travel, I didn’t feel like I had much value left.  But in the space in time where I wasn’t working, I found myself filling my days with other activities. 

I’ve written this blog religiously.  I’ve kept us on budget (more or less).  I’ve finally learned how to play chess.  Together, we’ve read The Golden Compass and Ishmael, and are listening to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I’ve repelled off a mountain and eaten crickets.  I’ve made new friends.

And today I realized, “Holy shit.  I’m a more well-rounded person now!”

Now, that isn’t to say that I’m perfect.  I still light up when discussing Salesforce plug-ins and organizational re-calibration, but there is hope for me yet.

At the same time, as I’m off learning all of these new things and becoming more well-rounded, I am also becoming more fearful of risk and less flexible. I won’t jump off the high rocks anymore. I won’t climb the million stairs of that last temple when I'm tired and overheating. I won’t settle for intermittent wifi.

And I have to ask myself, “When did I become so inflexible?”

Part of the answer lies in the same cause for my sudden well-roundedness. I’m not just me anymore. I have another person to think about. I have a family to plan for. I have more to lose. (For those of you wondering how wifi fits into this thought process, I have been worried about missing a call for these new job opportunities, as I am now a contributing member to a larger unit and need to find the best way to contribute financially – it’s a stretch, but throw me a bone.)

Am I growing up?  Broadening horizons?  Or just getting old?