Thoughtful Thursday: Limbo

July 14, 2011

Thoughtful ThursdayNo, not limbo as in the dance with the stick. I’m talking about the in-between place, between something and something else, or something and nothing.

I am in limbo.

I have been in limbo, on and off, for the better part of a year.

Career limbo. House limbo. Geographic limbo. Previously, between the time my mom got sick and her death, sandwich generation limbo.

Right now, today, is about as limbo-y as it can get. I am waiting to hear back on a job. I thought I might hear yesterday or today, but I haven’t. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. If I get this job, it will change the trajectory of my career, certainly for several years, likely forever. It would also require moving to a different city. If my house happens to sell before the move, great, but that seems unlikely. I would be out of career and geographic limbo, but I would remain in house limbo. It would either get rented or sit empty, leaking money.

I know limbo well. Isn’t that what infertility is? Maybe you’ll have a kid a year from now, but maybe you won’t, so are you sure you want to plan that trip, that life event, hey maybe you should anyway, oh but if you don’t have a kid by then you don’t want to mess with the timing of an IVF cycle so maybe… I did not care for that kind of limbo. Part of what made it extra awful is that I didn’t know how long that limbo would last.

I’ve also written about pregnancy as limbo: a time of fear but also infinite possibilities. For the most part, except for times like being in an ambulance or getting magnesium pumped into my veins, I liked it. Even during the months of blah, the months of bedrest, and the month of hospitalization, I liked that limbo — partly because it meant that the infertility limbo had (maybe) finally ended.

House limbo is pretty crappy, but there’s not much I can do about it: someone will buy my house, or they won’t. (Hey, wanna buy a house?)

Job limbo is a bit nerve-wracking but actually kind of delicious. Even moreso for geographic limbo. In the past few months, there has been a legitimate chance that we would move to any one of a half dozen cities. Right now, I still get to go through my normal life, but possibility looms. After I hear the job verdict, either I don’t get it and I’m sad and I’m once again stuck in my current job/city/house. Or, I get the job, and I have to spend the next couple of months frantically finishing my old job and packing the house and moving.

Right now, I get to float in a bubble bath of uncertainty. My fingers are about to turn into raisins, and the bubbles are starting to pop and reveal my naughty bits, but the water is still warm and I’m still floating.

How do you feel about limbo? What kind of uncertainty can you tolerate, and what kind can’t you stand?

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10 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Limbo”

  1. Kymberli Says:

    This is a good one. Patience is not always my strong suit, so sometimes being in limbo does little more than add even more layers of anxiety to the wait. Sometimes, though, it is nice for the same reason you’ve given – it offers a momentary respite from action one way or the other.

    Good luck with your current job limbo (I can say that in the past year, for me this type of limbo has been the worst. I’m taking myself out of that particular race for a while).

  2. Elana Kahn Says:

    I hate limbo. I’m in limbo right now with the person who was supposed to be moving in with us to help with taking care of the kids and the house. She had a serious injury a few weeks ago and is still recovering, so we don’t know when she’ll actually be able to come! It’s really, really annoying, especially since up until yesterday at 5pm we thought she’d be arriving yesterday at 10pm. I feel bad for her but at the same time I’m going out of my head with what we’re going to do here.

  3. strongblonde Says:

    i’m not good with limbo. i need to be able to plan. i make lists. i run through EVERY scenario in my head and try to do what i can to make the best outcomes happen. i become obsessive when i’m waiting to hear about something. i remember checking my labs many times an hour during treatment and infertility stuff. my docs must have hated me b/c i always saw my results before them.

    i try to distract myself with other things, but the obsessive part really shines during times of limbo 🙂

  4. a Says:

    I spend a lot of time in limbo, due to my husband’s job. I never know when he’s going to wander off again. We’ve been planning to go on vacation for almost 2 years, and it’s only because I started planning on going without him that we’re finally enjoying a trip together.

    I hate waiting, though. If it’s something directly related to me (like job stuff or pregnancy tests), I about go crazy with the waiting.

    So to recap, limbo is OK, but only as long as it’s my husband’s limbo and not mine.


  5. I am trying to make my peace with limbo. I wrote a post awhile back about The Space Between when I feared for the health of one of my kids.

    I am in limbo now about something positive, and I’m OK with it. I have a sense that the unfolding is going to be better than anything I could have planned.

    I do hope you get out of job and house limbo soon. And that the only limbo you’re subjected to for awhile involves two little ones much better at getting under a bar than their mom and dad.

  6. Ana Says:

    This is something I’m working on….to be better with the inbetween place & enjoy the peace that comes with being on hold for a while. My instinct is to get really really anxious because I am a planner & a do-er, not good with “what ifs” and waiting. This is why, even though I am overjoyed at becoming pregnant, I do not enjoy the pregnancy itself…the epitome of “inbetween-ness”. Where I’m no longer the me I was before, but I haven’t yet morphed into whatever the future holds. I want to fast-forward…something I’ve always wanted through various stages in life, but now suddenly seems incredibly sad & wrong.

    I admire your ability to find calm and peace amidst job uncertainty, and hope it works out better than you ever expected!

  7. Photogrl Says:

    It really depends on the type of limbo for me…and how long I’ve been limbo-ing(?), eh, in it, I guess.

    During the years of our secondary IF, I would see saw back and forth on being crazy with the time frame of still struggling and being okay with what was happening. Sometimes I could stand to be in limbo, because it meant there was hope, other times, I could. not. stand. the wait any longer.

    Job limbo is kinda fun….good luck and I hope you’ve heard by now!

  8. Cat Says:

    I’m not great with limbo. The infertility limbo made me a crazy person. I’m much better with black and white and I have several performance reviews to prove it. I’ll be OK for a while as data is coming together for the decision making process, but if things start to stagnate, it eats at me and I start to get really antsy for a resolution. We’re currently in Car Accident Limbo and House Buying and Selling Limbo. I just want things taken care of, already.

  9. Tara (TIMO) Says:

    I’m in limbo in so many facets of my life. The biggest one being Nav’s job. We’ll most likely be moving in about one year to an unknown location. Isn’t that sentence just filled with limbo. He’s already playing the when/what-if game. And driving me nuts. He’s also eligible to retire in 6-years and is making plans for our future. Looking at houses to buy online knowing those won’t be the ones for sale in 6 years. There’s not much I can do as it’s all out of my/our hands and up to the Air Force. That gives me a bit of relief.

  10. St. Elsewhere Says:

    I am not very good at dealing with a limbo, especially if it is out of my hands completely in attempting to get out of it.

    Currently my thesis is in limbo, and surprisingly, I am pretty calm about it.

    But I am worried about the outcome of this pregnancy, and wonder if I should allow myself to hope.

    I cut out the work-year and don’t feel bad about it or left behind or stumbling about it. There is no limbo on that. I had lost interest by a strong bit on it.


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