Taking as central that which is periphery

So often when I’m tired, I see my life as dominated by my job. I feel trapped by it, etc. But I can now see this is taking as central—my job—that which is periphery; even when I wasn’t conscious of it, my marriage, my relationship with M, has been at the center of my life. Sometimes when I’m stressed, especially first couple years of teaching, I didn’t pay enough attention to M and our marriage. She said I’d go away for 9 months/year, be distant, not my fun self. But now I can see that even when I wasn’t conscious of it, it’s been true all along, and that, in this sense, it doesn’t really matter what job I do. Especially now that I’m getting used to teaching, it’s sorta stabilizing for me—keep that, let job settle back into a place of lower prominence in your life, let it fall back into place, both as a priority and in time spent doing it and thinking about it.

The feeling of this thought, after Tuesday’s thought, too—much peace. It feels good to recast my whole life this way, as not an achiever at work but as a whole person who values his relationships and values simply living well.

[From Thurs. 13 April 2006, Journal 66, Page 157]

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