Between dream and deed

Winter evenings are long, time for contemplation or reading a good book. But I am too restless to read and I have a lot to think about. Life twists and turns and decisions have consequences that cannot always be foreseen. Sometimes the right decision could be the wrong choice.

I am not doing what I most want to do. I wanted to work for myself, as an artist and sculptor, but unfortunately that doesn’t put bread on the table. For a while I worked as an art teacher, running projects in primary schools, creating murals and sculptures with children. I loved doing that, but funding for the Arts were cut and so I ended up working in an office, doing awkward hours spread over six days. The work is neither stimulating nor interesting, but at least it does put bread on the table and hay in the hayshed.

I work on my own in a small office, which is a satellite office of a big practice in the city. It is hard to get time off, because it means my office will have to be closed. My request for two weeks at Christmas has been turned down, the most I can get is a week. The reasoning behind this is that if it is possible to close the office for two weeks, then there is no need to have this office at all. One of the partners already wants to close it to cut costs and a two week closure would add fuel to his fire.

Meanwhile, I have been asked to fill a maternity leave in the main practice. This would double my working hours and add two more hours of travelling time to my day. The deal includes a pay cut. Hardly an exciting offer, but I am not in a position to refuse. I could end up with no job. I feel trapped. Accepting the offer is the right decision. I have responsibilities. Children. A mortgage. Two horses. But it is not what I would choose for myself.

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6 thoughts on “Between dream and deed

  1. If they keep my office open I’m supposed to do mornings in the main practice and afternoons in my office. There is however a good chance that they will close my office altogether to cut costs. Times are tough here.

  2. I feel so fortunate that I don’t have to go out to a job. At this point in our lives, it would really help if I could earn some money, and I’m hoping to do that through hoof trimming.

    Being an almost-empty nester, with time on my hands, I feel a compulsion to live and do as much as possible in that time – as it were, for the sake of everybody who can’t do that and wished they could. But I find myself somewhat paralyzed. Things I longed to do when I didn’t have time, and all the kids were pressing in on me, have lost their magic attraction. The only thing which still has that power is the horses!

    I hope you end up being able to work full-time as an artist. I hope this recession turns around soon. I hope the partner who wants to close your office moves to Australia.

  3. Ireland really is in dire straits. My husband has been on reduced hours for more than a year, with no work in the New Year, so it’s a worrying time. I have been lucky to keep my job till now, and we’re just hoping for the best.

    I have only ever been passionate about two things, which is horses of course, and art. There are many things I like, but not to the extend that I will make sacrifices to keep them. I will do anything to keep my horses. The need to make an income has meant that I’ve had to shelf my art to better times. It is so hard to make an income through art. But I miss it. Sculpting is a form of meditation for me and painting a dance with colours. It would be great to work as an artist and make sufficient income at the same time. Some day, hopefully!

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