Monday, April 30, 2007

"At a Crossroad.....but which way does one go?"

Just recently my husband Allen got a job as a finisher on a lark, apparently he was hired because the owner could not seem to get in touch with the guy he wanted (who had also interviewed for the job but then kind of disappeared), so he offered Allen the job under auspicious conditions. Upon working at this company, it was not clear what the situation was, he only knew that Steve (he never did learn his last name) hired him. There seemed to be other boss type people running around, asking things of him, but none would clarify for him who he was to report to. So as things move along Allen begins to feel that he is not really a part of this company and that though, he is the finisher, no one consults with him about decisions on his jobs.
Allen is a slow, considerate and precise worker. He is not one to jump on a job without thought as to how it is best to proceed. He is diligent, conscientious and thorough. He comes from a background where it is best to do a well thought out job than to mess it up and have to do it again. He grew up on a farm, so hard work is not alien to him and was a diary farmer for 15 years. Prior to coming to Long Island, he was praised for being the kind of worker he is. It has become apparent that this is not appreciated on Long Island where speed and production (regardless of quality) is what is appreciated. Allen is now unemployed and is torn between why it is he cannot fit in (this being his second job on LI). I naturally tend to examine what it is about human nature and society that makes these things as they are. We are at a crossroads, we have a house in Pennsylvania, so he can try to look for work there, except that the rate of pay would be on the poverty level on LI. Yet, we know that the cost of living is cheaper there. The other thing is that I would have to stay here on LI until my son is done with High School (another 3 years to go) and Allen and I would be apart except for some weekends and summers when I am off from my job at a school.
It is not as if this would be terribly difficult since we are both comfortable being alone. When we dated he lived 2 1/2 hours away. We did not see each other with great regularity. Prior to our relationship he'd been divorce for 12 years and I for about 6 years. I think my struggle, if thats what it can be called, is the uncertainty of it all. My husband is 55 and the truth be told, his days for starting a great new career are slim. Yes, many people start whole new careers in their later years but I see all the "stuff" my husband carries and trust me it is quite the heavy load. He grew up in a very controlling, narcisistic home where his father was verbally and physically abusive. His mother basically abandoned him emotionally at the age of 2, preferring infants to toddlers (she's told him so). Allen's sisters are really his only caring connection to his childhood and for this we are both grateful. He loves them and feels that he can count on them. Though he speaks with his mom occasionally (she often confuses our phone number for Microsoft and calls for help - no really this is true. When she calls and says "is this Microsoft", I gently say "no Kay, this is Allen's home - and no she does not suffer from dementia). He has no contact with his father who is still alive. His family life is one that brings on deep sadness, longing and often tears. He was broken at 10 years old and was never able to regain his self-esteem and faith in himself. My husband is also incredibly intelligent with an IQ in High School of about 145. His knowledge on almost any topic is amazing and yes, sometimes a little too much.
I am not sure what will happen but I do know that working on Long Island does not seem to be in his future. So I stand, looking ahead, knowing that soon, my husband will probably move to Pennsylvania without me (he's already applying for jobs). I try to remember that the universe is neither for me nor against me. That the truth is, if I stand back and I root myself firmly I will understand that I don't need control, that it is OK to let things be. Life is going to happen regardless of what I do, say or stand for. Believing this and turning it over to the powers that be, do bring me some peace. I know that each day I will open my eyes to all the possibilities that will come with every single change. I give thanks for our strong, kind, and loving relationship and I know that in the end, no matter the distance, we are together.......


Betty said...

Allen sounds like a wonderful man and you obviously think the world of him. That's huge, and it almost doesn't even matter how things turn out work-wise for your husband. However, such a bright and hard-working man deserves gainful employment!

Sometimes I think about changing careers because I'd like less job stress. I considered going to a career counselor because I have no idea what might suit me. I don't know if that option would be of any benefit to your husband.

Maybe there's some sort of business he could start- I bet he could find people even on Long Island who really would appreciate his way of doing things.

Someday soon I'll probably be writing a post about the horrifying day I had yesterday, and the tow truck driver who calmly said, "You'll be awright" in the most assuring tone. It's true, you know?

Here's to turning it over to the powers that be...

Hugs and best wishes,

Mark said...

Sounds like you have a wonderful husband.
My question to you is what do you and Alan really, really, really want?
I feel from what you wrote, that there are conflicting wants and that is why things are going as they are.
One conflicting thought could be, Alan wants to be with you, however he also wants to be in Pa. He and possibly you are sending conflicting messages to the Universe. The key here is to align your wants, then bolster them with your feelings. Once you do that, then all will fall into place.

Big Dave T said...

Wow, tough one. Here's a similar, but sadder, situation. A friend of mine married later in life, had two children, then his wife up and moved halfway across the country. She didn't want a divorce, just a better job in her field. He wanted her to stay with him.

Now though they're still married they've lived apart for several years with him only seeing his children in the summer and on vacations and holidays. It's not a situation of his liking. But what to do about it.

He is VERY MUCH at a crossroads himself.

Matty said...

Oh boy,,,,what a tough decision! Allen sounds like a keeper to me. Companies don't seem to want good craftsmen anymore,,it's all about production. My dad used to say a good carpenter doesn't blame his tools, you measure twice, cut once. Your Allen seem to be that type of man...very conscientious about his work.
Does he not have marketable skills that he can use to start a business on Long Island?
I'm sure there must be other choices,,,,sometimes we have to think 'outside the box' and maybe change our whole career?
Personally, I don't believe in long-distance relationships, as we all need love and validation at the end of our day, or just a soft place to fall...a warm hug!
I would never give up, I'd look at other options, try everything and anything, go see a job counsellor. It is also difficult at the age of 55 to find companies that appreciate older employee's that have so much to offer, and years of experience.
My prayers are with you. I believe things will turn out well. Never give up!

simply me said...

You guys are so wise and wonderful, we just spent 45 minutes at the therapist and I got much more from reading your responses...thank you for all your wise words. Allen has many wonderful skills previously he ran a B&B for three years at the Lighthouse. He did and maintained their website and coordinated all their fundraisers. He is also a computer wiz who built his own computer. He is also very handy, he is a meticulous painter and worked with a restoration company working on period homes.
We are considering giving PA a chance for the summer since I will be there also and see where the universe guides us. Betty I would love to here about yesterday. Hope all is OK. Mark thank you for your good guidance because I truly believe in the universe taking care of what we can't. Dave, its a wonderful thing being 40 something and trying to make good of a difficult situation. i am sure it would be tougher if we had young children together. It must be difficult for your friend. Matty, you are so sweet and call it as it is and you are right, the thought of what it will be like when he's not here everyday is something I know will be challenging, but I love him and want him to find his place in the world.

thank you are the best.

simply me said...

I don't know how I could have forgotten to mention this but Allen is also an astrologer for 30 years. he usually just does our charts for the year but there are times when friend have asked him to do a chart reading. Recently a friend consulted re: a future pregnancy and when time looks astrologically sound.

we will see.....