I was watching the reality show “Sweetie Pies” and observed how victimized Tim felt as everyone in his family, especially his mother and fiancée, complained about his pursuit of money at the sacrifice of quality time with family. The same sentiment was expressed by Chrissy in another reality show “Chrissy & Mr. Jones”. Tim works long hours, seven days per week, in the family restaurant business, while Jim Jones is working hard at re-energizing his rap career by spending hours in the studio.
I have seen this very thing way back in the days when I used to watch Jerry Springer, and one person would use this as an excuse for cheating. He or she would complain “You are always working, never spend any time with me!” On the flip side, I have also heard the reasoning “You never take me anywhere. You don’t do anything for me but he/she does”.
But how does one create this very crucial balance, when on the other hand dissatisfaction is still likely to rare its ugly head? This is inevitable when men especially are jobless. What that often does to the male psyche is paralyzing, especially when ardent attempts to re-enter the job market is fruitless, and he has to bear the brunt of his woman’s frustration of carrying the load.
And this is not limited to our men. Recently, a girlfriend of my shared that her husband of 5 years told her “If I had known you were not going to work, I would never have married you”. She was working when they met, she gave up her job and relocated at his request, had a child in the interim, and had no luck trying to find a job to accommodate the hours she would need to be at home with her child post-daycare.
These remarks in either scenario are debilitating, and are bound to occur when value systems clash. More importantly, respect is lost, and communication is crippled. It just makes me wonder, do we know what we really want? I can hear Janet Jackson belting out “What have you done for me lately”, or in another case, Gwen Gutherie’s “Ain’t nothing going on but the rent!!” And This is not limited to life and culture in the United States, as I can also remember the old Calypso song that most definitively says “You can’t love without money; you can’t make love on a hungry belly”.
Seem to be age old wisdom that in a relationship there is equivalence between being a good provider, and spending quality time with your loved ones. This is easier said than done especially when an individual is birthing and nurturing a small business, and he/she is often 9/10 of the staff. What I know to be fact is that what you focus your energy on is what you will attract. It should never bring you diminishing returns. Financial success with no personal fulfillment of life is failure.
Communicate, strive for a compromised balance, and focus on what is most important to you. True success is knowing your self, being true to your values, and admitting when you are in over your head. You can have it all.
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