(from A&E Intervention)

I felt like I needed an Intervention often during the last oh, I'll say two years. Around the same time my "yay, you have been here for two years and now qualify to participate in our 401K" letter came in the mail, (YES, TWO YEARS?!?!), I determined that it had been enough and I was ready for change, but terrified of it. Lord knows I have endured enough change the past two years, why would a little more now be so scary, right? 

The pain of my everyday work life had become too much. It had become more terrifying than the change I dreaded. It was soul sucking and awful and each day I wondered what new mysterious new depth of suckdom we could reach. So many times I felt "this the bottom, it gets better from here." It didn't. I repeated often in my head, "the devil you know..." I really stuck it out, even when promises were reneged and life threw me a handful of half squeezed moldy lemons. I committed myself, held my head up, even when I wanted to toss my badge towards the door and never look back. "Here's your stinking mouse!" I kept going. I crossed every "t", I followed through on every single request, and I dutifully maintained my image of happy social worker, even when I was fuming and exasperated and feeling huffy. I don't know how I did this because at home, I was a ticking time bomb. I couldn't be truly present for my kids because the compartment I was keeping work BS in was overflowing. I couldn't be the best wife because at night when my helpful spouse tried to talk things through, I wanted to talk about anything and everything but not this, no, please anything but this. It went from hard to harder recently, when all my hope for positive changes went to heck. It happened while I was out with Steve's knee surgery and Caroline's lapse between camp and school. I literally came back to work and my heart was wrung out and hung to dry. All hope that we were now at the bottom of the neverending pit lost.

(Edited to add this e card from Amy, thanks!)

Change is painful. I am not entirely sure what the new routine might look like. I worry about the kids coping with another transition. I worry that it won't be what I want it to be. I worry that the devil I know is really better than the devil I don't. I worried so much making the decision to take the leap toward something that might be better, that I couldn't sleep. Then I worried so much that I was tired all the time. My worry killed my appetite and then suddenly revved it into full force with massive carb loading. My worry ate up all my downtime and I couldn't even shake it when I ran. People, I worried. A lot.
I questioned everything. I toyed with leaving my niche of my profession for something completely new. I started writing a business plan I was pretty jived about. It was the only positive professional thing in my life since May. I even considered just walking away without a plan, staying home until I figured it out. I really considered that actually, because I had no other options and was absoluely miserable. I knew there would be many questions from many people that I would have to explain away and I'm just not the kind of person who can say, "it wasn't working out," even though that is the truth. There are still thousands of people in this country who looking for work, ANY work, something to keep them from completely draining their bank accounts or retirement funds. I thought of the kids too. I would have to pull Connor from most of his preschool time. I would have to cancel Caroline's afterschool program. Her afterschool program is her favorite part of her entire day. I'd have to reconsider hockey this fall, dance, cute shoes, buying ahead when things are on sale at the market. I'd have to stretch every dime further than I am now. I've done all of that once when we first moved home and while I loved those 8 months with the kids, I know it set us back financially.

Today I tweeted that I am looking for new pillows, for an amazing new bed arriving in just a couple weeks. Pillows, by the way, are way more expensive than I thought they were. I called Steve to warn him that I was not going to be getting two pillows for the twenty bucks he was expecting. It's one of the things in our marriage I have learned: warn him because he has a ridiculous sense of monetary worth. "Pants for $60???? What are they made of? gold???" I knew I had to warn him that I was budgeting about $35 a pillow, which allows him to go hog wild online to see that indeed, nicer pillows do cost more than 2 for $20. That new bed, it wouldn't happen if I wasn't working. Me feeling entitled to new plush pillows for the new bed, that doesn't happen either if I'm not working. I know we could swing it, we could, but we would both be unable to justify. Do we NEED new pillows? No, we don't, but it will make it so much better to sleep in our new bed with new fluffy amazing pillows and I won't feel an ounce of guilt because my job paid for those pillows. It would kind of let the air out of my yay balloon if the pillows sucked that first night's sleep. I had wanted my next job to be part time, but it isn't. I've come to realize that my little niche of social work allows for a pretty flexible lifestyle. There is no train to catch, no office to check in at, just one set meeting, and all the time in the world to plan your day yourself. It's a pretty lucky thing to stumble into.

Mostly, I didn't feel comfortable telling Caroline that "Mommy didn't really care for work, so she quit." For me, it is of the utmost importance to show my daughter that she can truly do, be, live anyway she wants. If her life's ambition is to be Mom, then be Mom and ROCK that motherhood title. If she wants to be a face painter and balloon maker, I will buy stock in balloons and empower her to be an amazing successful entreprenuer. If she wants to have a career AND be a Mom, well, I hope I am showing her that THAT is possible too. Saying, I didn't like it, so I left, teaches her that when life gets hard, you can walk away. That is not the lesson I want her to get here. When I sit down to explain that crazy first couple weeks of my transition to her, I want her to know that I made a decision to hopefully make things better for all of us. I want her to know that I do this for a reason, not just for myself. I want her to know that the time I spend away from them is as hard on me as it is on them, but a family works together and weathers whatever is thrown at them. I want her to know that I make these choices to better her life. I want to show her that it wasn't working, but that I found a better way. I want her to know that if she values it, it is important, and worth doing. I want her to know I never gave up hope and I never will.

I start October 9th.

1 comment:

  1. I just want to say good luck. I hope it works out for you. Being an adult is hard! Having to make all these choices, weighing the various things you value isn't easy. And sometimes, what you have to put up with to provide for the things you value most are difficult and stressful. I really respect the lessons you want to show Caroline by how you live your life.