07 December 2011

A Bin Full of Guilt and Homework

Oh, the trepidation I felt about finally doing this.

That mess of paper in my monstrous recycling bin represents thousands of dollars of education that I did nuthin' with.

For several years before V was born, I was going to night school.  I had this notion that I might like to change careers and work in the more lucrative oil and gas field.  I kept dragging my tired self to school after work at night, dreaming of a fatter paycheque.  Geez, a couple of years and several thousand dollars into it I started to realize that what I was studying was Bo-ring.  Panic seized me then.  What should I do?  Should I drop out?  What about all that money I spent?  Indecisive, I kept showing up for school and studying for exams.  I graduated two weeks before V was born.  Then I stayed home to mother the kids for a long while.  Back in September I took a full time job back in my old haunts  (totally unrelated to anything Big-Fat-Paycheque).  Ack!  The oil-related job I studied for would mean staring at files and contracts all day long.  I could not imagine me doing that day after day after day.  But I held onto so many binders filled with my notes, lectures, etc. before I worked up the courage to admit to myself that I'd never be opening them again.  I suppose I'm hardly alone in "wasting" all that money on a career I'll never use.  At least I'm fortunate enough to have an Option B.  Maybe I should laugh that I'm finally getting to know myself.  Or should I cry about my measly take home pay that is half-gone once I pay for daycare each month?  I do some of both. 
On the other hand, I actually like the work I do now.  Commuting to work and having another "full time job at home" after 5 o'clock is something I struggle to come to terms with.  My first client in the door this morning started her sentence with "My boyfriend and I have been living in a tent..." (who can live in a tent in winter in Canada?)  My last client of the day had nowhere warm to go at 4 pm.  By 4:30 we'd fixed her up with a winter coat and a pair of running shoes to replace her flip flops in the snow and had a taxi waiting to take her to a shelter for the night.  In between those two, there were people being foreclosed on or evicted, or needing child support, or having their day in court.  I enjoyed dealing with every one of them more that I would enjoy spreading out an Oil and Gas Lease on my desk for the afternoon.  I dream someday the girls will forgive me for the shiny new car we'll never afford.  At least I'll have my sanity.  I think :)  

(one more scream of frustration at the sight of the lid closing on my useless homework)


dooddles said...

If you are doing something you like, don't feel guilty! It sounds like you are serving a better purpose at your current job, anyway. You are not the only one to spend money on education and not like the end result. My sister-in-law spent oodles of cash (we're talking upwards of $100G) on law school, only to be stuck in a career that she is really not happy with, but feels obligated to continue with to pay off her student loans. Be happy in what you do! Send your guilt away in the recycle bin with the papers. :o)

LB3K said...

don't worry girl! we have all done that, haven't we? keep enjoying your work!

Angela Pea said...

Education is never wasted. It's brain discipline - teaching your mind to think, training it to remember and recall. THAT can be applied to any career field.

Shanna said...

20 years after I graduated from college I finally tossed all my college and even some notes from high school that I had saved and moved 4 different times. Sure made a lot of room in the attic. ;) Glad you have a job you like, that is half the battle.

Merry Mama said...

Well I don't think you'll ever regret not having a shiny fancy smanchy car when you look might regret being bored to tears with a job you really didn't like (if you'd gone that route)....the Time is too fleeting... Good for you, I say. And Clarity, while there is still Time, is priceless. Eh? :)

thistlewoodmanor said...

It seems that the work you do leaves you much more fulfilled, and in the end isn't that more important than stuff?

However...have you considered not having a traditional job altogether? If half your income goes to childcare, and then there are car, gas and clothing expenses... perhaps you'd rather stay home and care for your family? You could also make money in a variety of ways. I recently made this choice and have to say it was the right one for me. Find the book "Radical Homemakers" for more views on this subject.

Sascha said...

I love this post on so many levels. Thank you.

I have a hard time parting with any of Rocco's school work and he's just in 3rd grade. Since everything is in Braille it just seems so magical. I'm afraid we will be trapped in an avalanche of paper by the time he's in high school. I should let go of some of it... maybe a New Years resolution.