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11 July 2014

I'm making it: cleaning houses and finding balance

I finished my bachelor's degree last spring, majored in psychology and anthropology, minored in history, so now I can clean houses full time and work more hours at the cafe.

I can't, at this point, go back to working an office job. A "real job" as my mother called it. She apologized for saying that, acknowledging that cleaning houses was, in fact, a real job that results in real money. But she'd like to see me in a career. Something that pays the bills a lot more easily. It just can't happen yet.

Mostly I say this is because my son isn't ready to go back to public school, and working close to home and on a relatively flexible schedule allows me to continue homeschooling him. My goal is to have him ready for public school by the 2015 school year. He's seeing a therapist, who is working with me to help him with his social anxiety. All this is true. Even if I wanted a 'regular' job, he wouldn't be ready for me to be gone that much.

I don't want a regular job. Well, part of me does, but not the rational part. I'd love to have a steady, and larger, income with benefits and all that fun stuff. I'd love to know what work I was going to be doing that month, and the next. I'd be an awesome park ranger, or historian, or researcher.

The rational part of me knows that I have not won the battle with my depression, and in any job that is only a job, not a passion, I will crumble and give way. I will start the work with excitement, just happy to have a job. But depression will creep in eventually, and I'll do something - show up late, not finish assignments, whatever - and get fired, or laid off.

For now I'll keep working at the cafe and cleaning houses, which keep me physically moving and don't allow me to wallow. The happiness of my customers in both jobs is rewarding enough to make me come back, on time, every day. And soon I'll apply for graduate school. With a Master's degree, I can teach. That has always been my favorite work, and I could do that joyfully, in spite of my depression.

I'm having good days - when I end the day with smiles from the homeowners and cash in my pocket - and bad days - when the bank tells me I can't spend all that cash - but here's to hoping the balance will find more good days than bad. I have a few years left before I qualify for the 'real' job I can handle.

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