Dear Annie: My husband is passionate about doing what we can as individual citizens to combat climate change. He believes the largest impact any one person can have is decreasing their driving. So, to do his part, he has started using the public transit system as much as possible.
Our city’s public transit is far from perfect and transforms what would be a 20-minute drive into a two-hour train/bus/bike trip. This has dramatically increased the amount of time he spends commuting.
I want to support his desire to be more eco-friendly, and I agree with his argument that using public transit more often will help increase ridership and, eventually, with luck, increase and improve service. But right now, it is taking a very long time. We have a small child, pets and a household to run. Every time he spends four hours to do something that could be completed in less than one, I feel so frustrated that he is choosing public transit and climate consciousness over his family, leaving me with more work to do.
How can I honor his desires and passions while also trying to strike a balance where I am not shouldering the extra work?
— Frustrated With Public Transit
Dear Frustrated: Props to your husband for his noble goal. When his humanitarian spirit starts affecting his personal relationships, however, it might be time for a compromise.
There are many ways to lead an eco-friendly life, and driving less is certainly one of them. Why not create a list of sustainable practices that do fit into your lifestyle? For example, you could start composting or stop using disposable plastic food containers.
On days where public transit is too much for you — for example, when you have a pet and a baby in tow — remind him that your household is doing its part in other ways. Then you can protect your time and still greenlight his green lifestyle.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Workaholic,” the woman who is burnt out at work and considering a career change. When I was in my early 40s, I closed my business because the enthusiasm was gone, and I needed a change. To find out what the change should be, I took several tests at our community college that were designed to reveal what your skill sets and talents are, which showed me career opportunities that I didn’t even know existed.
I also read the book, “The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life” by Laurie Beth Jones. Two or three times during my career, I studied that book because it helped me to focus on what was important to me at that time and to develop a plan.
The most important thing that I learned in my career journey was: If your passion is gone, it is time to move on. The second most important thing I learned is: You need interests outside of work. It is extremely important when you retire. If you don’t have hobbies or something to make you want to get up in the morning, you will be miserable.
Good luck with your journey.
— Been There
Dear Been There: Thank you for this great advice. In addition, there are a variety of free career aptitude tests online that could help “Workaholic” explore her options. There are so many opportunities that didn’t exist, 10 or even five years ago. Whether you’re in search of a career, a hobby or anything that you can get excited about, it always helps to know what’s out there.