Last week, I had the chance to catch up with a good friend. We are both going onto the job market this fall. She is getting married soon and was struggling with whether she was “settling” by narrowing her job search in order to try not to uproot her fiance, who is well-established in his career.
In some ways, I am in a similar situation. J and I will both be applying for jobs at the same time. This will require a lot of coordinating and compromising so that we have the best chances to find great jobs where we can both be happy. Also, we have to consider where Jillian (and any future babies) will grow up – or at least start elementary school. But, as I explained to my friend, in my mind, the are just things that take precedence in my life. I choose to make my family a priority and work other things in around them.
That doesn’t mean that work is not important as well. I enjoy science and research, I excel at it (at least I think so), and I can’t see myself doing something else. There will always be instances where I feel I should be devoting more time to my family, while also wishing I could spend more time at work. It’s a balance. I haven’t mastered it, and probably never will. But, I’ve decided that both family and work are important, and I choose to let one (family) shape the decisions I make regarding the other (work). So far, I feel content in both respects.
I don’t think this is settling, but if it is, it’s okay with me. Ask me again in 5 years… 🙂