Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Wall Street Journal has a new blog about juggling home and work. That's the kind of phrase people who are committed to their careers don't use. They're not like balls in the air. There's no juggling involved. I think of it more like fishing. The job is the river. The family are the fish. You stand in the river. And sometimes you catch a fish. Sometimes you're too busy swimming to put the rod in the water. Sometimes you put the rod in, but it's two in the morning and all the fish are sleeping. Sometimes you catch a fish but he starts crying so you throw him back. Sometimes you and the fish spend a lovely day together, but after too much time with you, the fish starts to suffocate, so you have to throw him back for his own good and go back to what you were doing before, just wading in the river, without the fish. Sometimes there's an oil spill, and the fish get all messed up, and you feel bad about it, but there really isn't anything you can do. They're just the fish. What's really important is saving the river. Sometimes the river overflows and destroys the houses on the banks. That's a tragedy, but sometimes it happens. The river gets bigger. You have more water you have to manage. And sometimes, if you're not really capable enough, you drown. And the fish eat your bones. The analogy falls apart at the end, but you get my point.

One recent post on their blog discusses whether it's a benefit or a burden to have a pet. I think that's a silly question. Anonymous Wife is more work than a pet and still I keep her. At least with a pet you can leave it locked in the house all day and the worst that will happen is it'll go to the bathroom (and someone else will have to clean it up). With a wife or a kid, you leave them locked in the house all day and they get upset and you have to apologize, and it becomes a whole mess. You don't have to apologize to pets. That's what's great about them. We had a dog once and it ran away and we couldn't find it and no one came to the house from social services to say we had done something wrong, no police, no problems at all. If that happened with one of the kids, I can't imagine the mess we'd have on our hands.

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