My husband just got back from a job interview with a university. We’ve been on pins and needles about this job for about a month now.
It started when he applied, and then was contacted about his interest in the job, along with a request to call his references. Then, he was asked if he would travel to interview. And, finally, he made the trip. Now he’s back and we’re waiting to hear how the whole thing went.
This whole situation has made me think about uncertainty. Where will we be in a year? I don’t know. How will we sell the house? I don’t know. How will my son react to moving, if we do? I don’t know. Is there a way to manage this move gracefully? I don’t know.
I don’t know a lot of things, and it’s kind of stressful, because I’m a planner.
Looking for Peace
A lot of the time, we talk about peace as if it’s something we can just go out and find. Or we talk about it as if it’s something that magically descends on you when you accept certain things.
In my case, peace is something that seems elusive. I feel good about the possibility of my husband getting this job. I like the idea of him having a full-time job that he enjoys, in a place we can both probably enjoy living.
When I think of the fact that my husband would be happier with the certainty that comes with a full-time assistant professorship (the regular uncertainty that comes with being an adjunct has taken its toll), I feel peace about the situation. I like the idea, and it overshadows all the feelings that come with the uncertainties inherent in trying to pick up and move in a short period of time. (And would we even move with him? Maybe my son and I would have to wait a few months to join my husband.)
But when I start thinking of what happens if he doesn’t get this job, the peace fades. What will we do then? He has an adjunct job lined up for the fall semester, but what happens after that? Plus, we have to go through job application process all over again if he doesn’t get that. And that whole process is anxiety-and-uncertainty-producing in and of itself.
I don’t really know how to find lasting peace in my current state of mental turmoil. In most cases, it’s more about enjoying the rare moments when I do have a bit of peace, or when I can do things I’m certain of. In fact, we’ve been trying to live “business as usual” with all of our activities. We’re just moving forward and trying to take it one day at a time.
But in the backs of our minds, there are still all these “what ifs” and uncertainties plaguing us. And that makes the peace elusive.
What do you think? How do you find peace when you are uncertain about what’s next?
Image: Ethan Lofton