What are your choices, compromises and sacrifices?

“Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night.”

Marion Howard (1805-1875)

“The very concept of having it all flies in the face of the basic laws of economics and common sense. As Sharon Poczter, professor of economics at Cornell, explains, “The antiquated rhetoric of ‘having it all’ disregards the basis of every economic relationship: the idea of trade-offs. All of us are dealing with the constrained optimization that is life, attempting to maximize our utility based on parameters like career, kids, relationships, etc., doing our best to allocate the resource of time. Due to the scarcity of this resource, therefore, none of us can ‘have it all’…”

“Having it all is best regarded as a myth…. Each of us makes choices constantly between work and family, exercising and relaxing, making time for others and taking time for ourselves. Being a parent means making adjustments, compromises, and sacrifices every day…”

From ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg

Family blance juggle

What are your choices, compromises and sacrifices?

ENDS

Image 1: by Eugeny (Ef) Kozhevnikov
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mage 2: A balanced family

DO’s and DON’Ts of losing a job

Have you ever lost your job or do you know someone who lost their job?

I was in my teens when my dad lost his job. He was not fired, he was not made redundant. Simply the state research institute he was working in vanished one day during perestroika, leaving over 2,000 employees unemployed with no redundancy payments, no unemployment benefits. Nothing, absolutely nothing…

There were hardly any other jobs around at that time. Factories were closing one after another. Those who managed somehow to keep their jobs were often forced to take unpaid leave for 2-3 days a week or were not paid at all for months and months and months… They kept getting monthly payslips without pay.

“We’ll be OK”, my dad said, shrugging his shoulders and putting away his business suit, “I’ll find some work”.

Dad started his career  in one of the deepest and most dangerous coal mines in the world working at the depth of 720 meters. All his family and mates were coal miners.

As he was a very bright young man, he was selected to go to the University where he got a degree in electrical engineering. Gradually he worked his way up to the executive level in the crown research institute.

He always stayed in touch with his old mates from the coal mine and University friends with whom he has done lots of odd jobs to support himself through the University years. Now he was worried about them. His old coal mine was closed with all coal miners left without jobs.

Coalminers

Some of his University friends, who ended up in different parts of the USSR after graduating from the University, not only lost their jobs but were also forced to leave places where they lived with their families for a few decades.

“At least we still have a roof over our heads. They are less lucky than us,” my dad sighed.

I felt sorry for him and his mates, who were working so hard all their lives to lose everything…. How can you be a man if you can’t financially support your family? Old traditional views on gender roles were adding insult to injury, putting even more pressure on the men of my dad’s generation. Not surprisingly, suicide became prevalent among middle-aged men at that time…

On the rise: The suicide rate among men is at its highest for a decade according to figures from the Office for National Statistics with the sharpest increase among men aged between 45 and 59

Dad was also worried about his secretary, who was close to the retirement age. She had no chance of finding another job.

“I can always go back to working as an electrician or get some odd jobs. It will be so much harder for her,” he sighed.

Since then, I’ve seen lots more people going through painful experience of losing a job. My own family was not spared with my spouse losing jobs twice in the last 15 years.

First experience was particularly painful, as it was our only source of income and we were expecting our first child. Second time was so much easier, as I was in a workforce then and therefore was in a much better position to support our family through that painful experience. We’ve also learnt a lot by then about all DO’s and DON’Ts of losing a job, summarised very well in Shannon Smith’s article:

1. DON’T panic: There are always options, and the key is to let yourself have the time and space to determine what those are;

2. DO accept our situation: Once you’ve given your emotions space to exist, you can start to see the big picture more clearly, enabling you to act in ways that will help you and your career.

3. DON’T clamp up: The shame of job loss can scare people away from healthy and productive social interactions. But that only increases the negative pressure on an already stressful situation. Whether you participate in social networking, real-life networking in your industry, volunteering or taking a class, putting yourself out in the world is often the path to new ideas, opportunities and energy. Yes, even when you’d rather retreat and stay home alone.

4. DO rethink your priorities: separate your wants from your needs and make the necessary changes to reflect your new financial reality.

5. DON’T neglect your well-being: Watch your stress levels, whether that means taking up meditation, yoga, or simply trying to smile more.

6. DO take a balanced view of your situation: refocus on the positive aspects of your life, your nearest and dearest….

“…We’ve gotta hold on to what we’ve got…
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot…”

THE END

Image 1: from http://www.itrelease.com
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mage 3: from http://www.photosight.ru/photos/1787191/
Image 2 and 5: from http://englishrussia.com
Image 4: from http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Image 6: from http://www.bluefrogtravel.eu/bluefrog/index.php?dosanddonts 

Never Stop Being YOU

Mood, baby, girl, little, teddy bear, an irreplaceable friend, smile, happy, woman, hair, nature wallpaper
Never stop caring about the little things in life
Never stop dreaming or give into strife

Never stop building bridges that leads to better tomorrow
Never stop trying or give into sorrow

Never stop feeling amazed at the beauty that surrounds you
Never stop hearing the music or give into the blues

Never stop smiling and look forward to each new day
Never stop shining in your own special way
From Family Friend Poems
 
smile21
THE END
Image 1: from http://www.forwallpaper.com/
Image 2: from https://touchofmysaint.wordpress.com