It’s been a year that I’ve been unemployed. Next month my teaching license is going to expire as well. For the first time since 2002 I will no longer be a certified teacher. However, being unemployed is what I’d always wanted, to stay home with our children rather than work for money.
But I was nervous last year. I had worked for so long. I got my first job my junior year of high school and had pretty much had a job ever since. I did not have a job my first two years of college nor while on a mission, but otherwise, I’d worked. I’d barely made ends meet but they had met every month. Last spring I was nervous about stopping my income contributions, paltry though they were, right at the time we were adding a big expense, a whole other person, to our family.
While I might no longer be self-sufficient, I’m also no longer a self. I’m an us, a family. And as a family we are sufficient. As a family, as an us, I do not have to do everything because there are more of us to take care of everything. As a self I had to financially provide for my home as well as take care of the home, clean, cook, laundry, etc. All of that still needs to happen, but we can share the load now.
Archeologists posit that it was the invention of agriculture that allowed for civilization to take the time to invent art. Along those same lines, becoming us-sufficient rather than self-sufficient has allowed us time to develop in other ways. Rather than having to spend the day working to pay the bills, I can figure out what will make Iddo laugh today. And rather than coming home from work and having to vacuum or scrub toilets, Brett can spend his evening keeping Iddo from eating his Latin note cards and see if he can figure out what will make her laugh today.
I really like this us-sufficient thing.