maintaining a happy life

Marcus Aurelius — 'Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life

We are currently going through a phase of life again where my husband is home more than I want him to be while he freelances and looks for an extra job. In years gone by I have let this become a thorn in my side and have been upset and resentful at I go off to earn the family's bread and butter. I have missed time with our children when they were younger and time to myself because "someone had to step up".

This time around I'm hoping it will be different.

We're in a simpler stage of life - there are no children to be juggled, no school events that I'm missing, no mum's morning teas or shopping days. We are financially stable (due to diligence with managing our money over the years - I think it's my Scottish forebears' influence - my friend who is also good at saving money claims it's her Jewish roots that make the difference!) We can survive quite well on just my income - meager as it is. It pays the bills with a bit left over and retirement is still a bit further in the future - hopefully we won't need to live under a bridge by then!

So, I'm trying to take things in my stride and not be constantly nagging him about looking for work or complaining about having to go to my job every day while he is at home. It is really a lot to do with perspective and living in the moment, rather than worrying about the future all the time. He has also changed in this area too, now he stops to thank me for picking up the slack, he's doing most of the housework and cooking (I don't miss either) and is diligently looking for work - rather than waiting for the dream job to come to him - knocking at the door and tied with a red ribbon.

Job hunting is hard at the best of times and even harder when you are in your fifties. All the "mundane" jobs are snapped up by young people who are happy to take a low wage and the more complex jobs are being fought over by dozens of people with several current university diplomas under their trendy little 20 (or 30) year old belts. He is up against pretty big odds and I am much more sympathetic this time. I'm hoping and praying for each application that he puts in - and each interview that he manages to get - his next one is coming up soon and the hopes rise yet again.

So, fingers crossed and prayers ascending, I am making the most of having a house husband who is home to greet me when I walk in the door and I'm enjoying sitting and having a coffee and talking about the day without having to jump up and start cooking tea. I'm sure my patience will get stretched thinner and thinner as time goes on, but I need to remind myself that we have all we need (and more) for a happy life and chafing at the bit about what we could have or don't have just takes the joy out of appreciating the fact that we are in a pretty good place regardless of whether he finds work soon.

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