Despite my best efforts and Partner's fear of the future, I've started making long-term plans. Schedules of life events, best times to do X, Y and Z. It scares me shitless to make any kind of permanent decision, but I think we're at a point where we have to start doing it, not least because I'm tired of living in limbo.
Most of these plans involve Partner's imminent unemployment, because regardless of what he says, the fact that he was home today with back problems means that his current employment situation is destined for failure and I'm going to be enforcing its termination before the end of the year. He needs to quit before he does something permanent to himself.
We'll miss the dual-income figure that was so nice to see on our 2010 tax returns, definitely. We'll try to find him something else in the area, or at least something doable with a little relocation and both of us commuting. And if all else fails he'll get to travel with me, which would at least be fun, if not profitable. Some of my plans require this, in fact, so we'll have to see what kind of flexibility the job market might hold (and don't worry, I expect the answer to that to be "none").
Just promising to make some of these decisions has done a lot for my optimism this week - although admittedly my spring break travels reminded me of the bigger picture and the fact that there's so much more out there. I realized that I've started to feel a little trapped by Small Town, even with my tri-yearly trips elsewhere, and I need to start believing that I can build something from where we are now.
The fact that my plans include no means for long-term stability is something I'm going to ignore for the moment. Of everything I've done in this life so far, none of the things I enjoyed the most were of significant long-term benefit on paper, and I regret none of them. I refuse to give that up just because I'm supposed to be a responsible adult. I don't want to find that I've grown old without experiencing what I wanted to experience, just because those things were financially unsound, or perhaps not an ideal route to my preferred career status.
Fuck it, kids, this life is all we've got.
Edit, and P.S. Not about babies. With apologies to my MIL.
5 hours ago