Question 68 of 365: What does it mean to be a breadwinner?

Question 68 of 365: What does it mean to be a breadwinner?

a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, top slice ...
Image via Wikipedia

While I do not particularly like the designation or the baggage that goes along with it, being a breadwinner is something that is very important to me. I am not interested in being the sole breadwinner or someone who does only that, but there is most definitely a part of me that has to bring an income into my family and provide the things that we need and want. While this need is definite, it needs to be redefined.

In fact, I think that bread needs to be redefined. If it is the staple that sustains us over all others (carbohydrates in general, I would argue), then the bread that I win must do more than fill my family’s bellies. I would like to make the case that I have to win our bread doing something that my children and wife can understand, respect, and rely on.

I want my bread to be something I am proud of, something with my own signature texture. I want my bread to be complex and sophisticated, but also work well with what my kids love (peanut butter and jelly in the physical bread’s case). I want my bread to be plentiful, but for everyone to always know that it took work to create. I want my bread to rise, always.

I guess if I am to win this kind of bread, I had better start making some choices as to what I will and wont do for it.

What I would be willing do:

  • Work with people I wouldn’t associate with otherwise.
  • Do tech support
  • Push buttons (as long as I can design the buttons)
  • Work on other people’s projects

What I won’t do:

  • Stop blogging, tweeting, or working on my own projects
  • Regurgitate what other people have said or done
  • Work in isolation
  • Travel multiple times a month.

The reason why I choose to focus on these matters now is that as I continue to figure out where my career path is headed, I need to know what it is that I am striving for. I need to figure out just what I’m willing to sacrifice and what I’m not. I need to be able to see the learning curve on all of it, too.

Should I put out this want ad, and see if someone will take me up on it? Should I go into every situation and state my assumptions? Are these biases enough to get me through?

I can honestly say that I am a breadwinner, and that all of the baggage that the word gives me is okay, so long as I can pack up the really important stuff and take it with me wherever I go.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. I'm not sure it will work this way, but I am willing to give it a try. I am
    often times trying to figure out just who would hire me for what at this
    point. I'm going in quite a few different directions, I'm just glad I have
    something to hang my hat on and work from. Without it, I would be a little

  2. I want to be a baker.
    For a while last year, I was on a breadmaking kick.
    I'd gotten _The Bread Bible_ as a birthday gift and decided to work my way through every bread recipe in the book.
    There's something about making bread – taking the simplest of ingredients to make something so important.
    That's all really good ideas are, huh?
    You take the pieces, work them together and then walk away.
    When you return, you see what's happened, push everything down and rework it all.
    Do you know why you knead dough? It breaks up the gluten and adds to the elasticity of the dough. Fairly amazing stuff, really. I like the idea of walking away from my ideas only to come back, push them down and then rework them so that the pieces inside them break apart to make the whole stronger.
    I want to be a baker.

Leave a Reply