Wednesday, August 16, 2017

New Job Day

Now that I've been back to work for two whole days, it's probably safe to announce that I've accepted a new job that starts on September 1. Meet my new boss:

That's right, I'll be joining the hallowed ranks of stay-at-home dads. I'm looking forward to helping Maia grow up without turning into a neo-Nazi, as well as trips to the park in the middle of the day where I get accused of being a pedophile for being the only dad there.

Rebecca and I have been planning to do this since before Maia was born. I gave my notice at work in early June after we seriously discussed it and realized it was feasible. It's not a choice without risk, but just seemed like the right choice for us right now. Rebecca will continue enjoying herself part-time in her physical therapy career and we won't have to deal with exorbitant day care fees or logistics. We also get more time to visit with the grandparents and friends, or take little trips on regular three-day weekends to East Coast Civil War battlefields (this is the only family activity I know how to do, based on my childhood).

Part of the decision stemmed from our safety net: the fact that we have healthy savings accrued from my years of working on secret alien autopsies and never buying anything unless it's in bulk (thanks, economist dad!). My 30-year mortgage will be paid off in 4 - 8 years (HUMBLEBRAG HASHTAG THANKFUL HASHTAG BLESSED) depending on how quickly I choose to throw money at it and destroy it like a financial ninja, and we could theoretically survive for up to twelve years jobless near our current quality of life as long as we stop buying beers in restaurants and Oculus Rift headsets.

I expect that there will be some job skill atrophy in my brain, but I'm the type of person that's always tinkering on side projects anyhow, and I think I have a strong enough social network and proven good will to counterbalance any rusty skills when I decide to go back. And I'll definitely go back someday -- maybe much sooner or maybe much later -- but at the moment I'm looking forward to an entirely different kind of challenge that doesn't involve software development. Don't get me wrong, software engineering is a wonderful challenge that has kept my brain satiated, but I've been doing it well for nearly twenty years now, and I can't imagine it being as fulfilling as turning a small organism into a thoughtful, empathetic large organism.

It's rare for life to give you the gift of more time and I have the luxury of being able to take advantage of this gift at this moment. Years down the line, when I'm sitting in my virtual reality rocking chair at the virtual old folks' home, I think I would always regret not embracing it, risk and all. Wish us luck!

tagged as offspring, deep thoughts, day-to-day | permalink | 9 comments


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