52: Priorities

52: Priorities

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Less



Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.

~Annie Dillard

When my husband got a sales job

and could do his work from home,

it sounded like a pretty sweet deal:

no commute

and more time with our son

and me.


his work phone rang

in the middle of dinner

and he had to answer it

or lose a commission.

Or he stressed about his quota,

and worked ’til one a.m.

in our own living room.

Until he worked longer hours at our house

than he ever did

in an office.

We thought things

would never change.

Then through the gossip grapevine

at the high school where I taught,

I heard about a job

my husband would be perfect for

and I knew he would enjoy.

Most important were

the magic words:

school hours

and the summers off.

My husband was reluctant though.

He worried that we’d have less:



and fun.

And in some ways,

he was right.

He took a giant pay cut.

We cut down on buying stuff.

But we didn’t have less fun.

We had


More sun-drenched summer days


in a sparkling swimming pool.

More Christmas movie marathons

with Rudolph and the Grinch.

More time to teach our son to golf,

to plant a tree and hunt.

More time to cook

his gourmet meals

instead of frozen pizza

(which I always burned).

More time for trips

and baseball games

and staring at the stars.

More time, as well, for cleaning house

and sorting socks and paying bills.

But even sorting socks

is fun

when you do it together.

Life is all about the stories

and the time we share with loved ones.

The joy of working less

is having more

of both.

~April Serock


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