I was recently trying to decide on which career path to go down. I decided that there was a “more stable” path of doing clinical work with a predictable schedule and a daily routine that would be similar from day to day – along with higher pay. There was also a more “unstable” route of doing a post-doc along with part time clinical (enough to keep up clinical skills and pay the bills), but this route is not guaranteed with respect to grant funding and success of experiments. Since I’m turning 40, have 2 kids and planning a 3rd, I became comfortable with my decision to go the clinical route and drop the basic science. Then I found out that there wasn’t the option to stay at my current institution with the pure clinical route, and that I would need to move. I was also okay with that. Then I found out that my ex-husband (my son’s dad), wouldn’t want to move for another 1-1.5 years, so taking that into account, I thought to give the post-doc route a try. I’m now loving the post-doc and my situation, but feel like I have to now make up reasons for why this is in fact “stable” and why the pure clinical job could have been the worse of the 2 options. I see myself falling into a little bit of sadness with the loss of that other “stable clinical job” that I had worked so hard in imagining. Is it a good strategy to find or make up thoughts that make that option less desirable so I can more easily drop the feelings of missing out on that potential life? I’m definitely very happy currently with my decision to stay with research, but there is a nagging thought of this underlying “instability” I convinced myself that there was in research, and all the wonderful thoughts I created about leaving it behind and going full clinical.