It occurs to me that as much as I’ve been enjoying cartooning full-time, there are a few things I miss about working for Novell.
1) The money. I made between three and four times what I’m making now.
2) The people. I had great co-workers, and that had all sorts of benefits. Even standing around the mythical water-cooler and griping was enjoyable. I still count these people among my friends, but I don’t have much opportunity to see them anymore.
3) Did I mention the money. Mostly I miss the “lifestyle” stuff — eating out, buying shrimp and steak for grilling on the weekends, renting cool movies three or four times a week, seeing first-run films at the theater, and of course making those “impulse purchases.” I remember when I could spend $100 on something nifty and not worry about it. Sandra would scowl, and we’d budget around it, but my discretionary “impulse slush” was always there. By contrast, these days there is NO impulse spending. I know I can get a cheeseburger for less than a dollar, but even when I crave it, I know that there are better uses for that dollar. That’s half a gallon of milk, or a sesqui-dozen eggs.
Oddly, I don’t miss the actual WORK at Novell one little bit. I was good at it, and I got props, kudos, and meager fame for being good at it, but now that I’m not doing it, I’m not missing it at all.
(Note: If I ever have to chow down on the Humble Pie and head back into the I.T. industry in order to make ends meet, this Journal entry may disappear from view. It won’t look good on a resumé.)
Last night I put Patches to bed. This is Sandra’s job, and Patches knows it. He asks for me at bedtime, because I’m where “lap” happens. That’s “lap” as in “sit on Daddy’s lap and watch trailers on the web,” and it keeps him out of bed for that extra ten minutes. Well, I put him to bed, and he screamed. He called out for me — ME, not Mommy. I went in to him, hugged him, and put him back down. He eventually (10 minutes?) settled in and went to sleep.
Sandra then pointed out “You’re fast becoming his favorite person.” I refuted this — Patches still wants Mommy first when he’s sad or otherwise in need of comfort.
Sandra countered: “He plays with you. He ASKS you to play with him. He’ll play with me if I offer, but he never asks to.”
And then this morning, between strips, I wandered into the family room. Patches handed me a hamtaro and insisted that I run it around the Duplo ramparts, and I realized that Sandra was right. This little guy, and to a greater or lesser extent ALL my kids now have a measure of trust in me they never had before. They trust me with their imaginations. They want to Play With Daddy.
Dear God, I want this to last. I’ll draw ’till my hands fall off for this. I don’t care about the money, and I’m not afraid of the Humble Pie. The stuff I miss about Novell can stay missed. I just want to retain Favorite Person status. Going back to being “that big person who stays here at night” would kill me.