Friday, July 15, 2011

A Balance

Opposites attract. At least, that's been true in my relationship with my husband. I'm a planner; he goes with the flow. When I'm a high-strung, he is pretty mellow. I tend to be impatient and lose interest easily; he's painstakingly focused. And while these personality differences are what balance us (life's all about balance, right?), there's an imbalance in our lives that we've been thinking a lot about lately. 

 I've become settled with a job that I love. Surrounded by much of my family, meeting and making some great friends, finally having time to think about the places I want to go and things I want to experience, I'm in a good place. But it's hard for me to fully enjoy all the possibilities for my life when my husband, who has selflessly supported me for years, is not in that same place. For the majority of six years, he's been through the corporate and blue collar grind. Presently, working 60+ hours for someone who takes advantage of his excellent work ethic and continues to push off requests for adequate compensation, Randy is burnt out. Where I'm in a great place professionally and personally, he's struggling under the pressures of living to work. 

And while I don't want this post to become a discussion about the hard times of recession, I do acknowledge that some, if not most, people are forced to work their lives away to make ends meet. Understandable. However, when there's another option available, despite the risk, shouldn't one take it? Randy and I have been discussing the possibility of branching out into his own business. Specifically, he's looking into becoming a paintless dent repair (PDR) technician. He's known about this line of work and has been familiar with it ever since he has worked as an estimator, and now manager, of an auto body shop.

With any change, there are pros and cons. He'd get to make his own schedule (mostly working 4-6 months out of the year and pulling in enough money to be comfortable), have time for both personal interests (e.g. music) and collective interests (e.g. traveling), and become his own boss. However, the trade off is that we'd have to cut way back for a few months, so he can train with an experienced PDR tech. He'd also need time to build up his clientele and skills. Plus, tools are a costly investment. 

And while I don't have much good to say about working in auto body shops, I must say Randy knows the right people to make this happen. The PDR technician that Randy's shop employs has already agreed to take Randy on as an apprentice, if Randy chooses the PDR route. After a few months, Randy would be sent out on jobs by himself, and the technician would take a small cut of the profit. Once Randy feels comfortable enough with his abilities, it'd be up to him to find the clientele to sustain his own business. The good thing is that Randy has the connections he would need to start on his own, and he could use his great work ethic to benefit himself directly, rather than putting a lot of money into someone else's pocket. 

We'll see where this takes us. Things have a way of working out (remember my last-minute decision to move to Texas?). I'm not sure what the future holds, but if it's my turn to be the support system for him, I'm ready. I want him to find something that he can do to support the kind of lifestyle he wants to live. That is, if we don't win our millions in Vegas.

Stay tuned....