Friday, March 02, 2007

Some Things I Took the Time to Figure Out

For 12 years I have been an at-home mom. It's been a good run. It has been a blessing, pure and simple, to be home while The Child was little. Thing is, she's not little anymore. She still needs me, but she needs me when she's home, which is not typically Monday - Friday, 8-4. Also, it doesn't take me 8 hours a day to clean my house or keep up with the laundry. The Dog doesn't need me home for 8 hours a day. (It should be noted that he would like me home because he much prefers company. But he is perfectly capable of being home alone for 8 or 9 hours. Not to mention that he would spend most of that time sleeping and not, in fact, sit at the window whining and feeling abandoned). And my writing? That takes time and attention, to be sure, but I never have written for 8 hours a day and don't expect I ever will.

Then there are the financial realities...trips we hope to take and the fact that a Catholic education isn't free. So after all sorts of thinking and considering and praying and wondering, I finally decided that yeah, this was a good time to think about going back to work. And I will. I don't know when. The Cool Gig is still in process. Maybe that will be The Job. Maybe it won't. I just know that within the next year and a half, before The Child goes to high school, there will be a "The Job".

Arriving at the place of being willing to re-enter the work force was one part of the process. But now I've moved beyond willingness. I'm ready to re-enter the work force. (I can't say "go back to work" because, despite the nasty rumors, it really hasn't been all bonbons and soap operas. I've been working, just without benefit of a paycheck).

I'm liking the idea of a salary, of new work clothes. (Current fantasy: taking that first paycheck to Ann Taylor and going a little nuts. The Neighbor wants to come along). I am already adjusting parts of my schedule and the way, especially, that The Child and I do things in the morning to accommodate going to an office. I have been thinking about a lot of the stuff that goes with having a paying job.

But here's the rub: even as I anticipate the next phase of my life, it hasn't started yet. So I was feeling anxious. I was verily climbing the walls yesterday, jumping every time the email would "ping", hoping it was a response from the Cool Gig. (Because, you know, as of yesterday it had been 2 days since the deadline for turning in my test (which I sent in on Saturday) and obviously if their HR department hadn't offered me an interview within 2 days they were never going to. Drama queen, much?)

I talked with ChouChou, who reminded me of previous Lenten times that were spent in waiting. And then I took The Dog for a walk so I could pray and think and just breathe and then it hit me: I'm not good with waiting. Never have been. But more than that, I'm not really waiting to hear back from the Cool Gig so much as I am waiting for the fulfillment of this thing I have now become ready for, the whole "new phase of my life" thing. It's not unlike the days leading up to my wedding, or waiting for The Child to be born. After a while, I didn't want to be engaged anymore...I just wanted to be married. I didn't want to be pregnant anymore...I wanted to hold my baby.

And after I figured all that out, the calm set in. Waiting is part of the journey. (It is also, as Tom Petty famously sang, "the hardest part"). And then I realized one other thing: I don't know for sure when this next phase is going to start but it will eventually. And it would be really sad to squander these last days/weeks/months of being at home with worrying and mindless distractions. There are projects to work on, books to read, walks to take and the occasional shopping trip or long, leisurely lunch with a friend to indulge in. Because those luxuries will be traded in for other luxuries (like a paycheck) and if I don't appreciate them while I've got them, I risk being resentful when they diminish. That truly would be a sad thing.

So there you are. I have been anxious but I'm not any more. It's back to the old "one day at a time" thing...which seems to be just about the best advice there is for anyone no matter what the situation.

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Blogger Dana opined...

The waiting
is the hardest part.
No doubt.

March 02, 2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

"You take it on faith, you take it to the heart..."

I'm guessing that resonates with you, Dana.

March 02, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger Seattle Coffee Girl opined...

This is beautifully written.

It ties in nicely with the 40 days of Lent, too...waiting, searching, waiting, waiting, searching...Christ in the desert and waiting for the next phase of His life to start.

You go, girl. All will be well.

March 02, 2007 12:03 PM  
Blogger Renee opined...

But at least you've figured out what you want and you're ready for when it comes....

I get antsy too. But it sounds like you've taken care of that too.

March 02, 2007 2:50 PM  
Blogger Kendall opined...

If I don't get over my slump you are more than welcome to my job... although it would be a long commute.

I promise to keep your house clean and walk the dog every afternoon.

March 02, 2007 3:51 PM  
Blogger greeny opined...

Yes, nice post. You really know how to look at life and YOUR life, including those around you. I always feel a positive force when I read your posts Lorraine.
I hope everything goes according to what you would like.(Raising my glass)

March 02, 2007 5:22 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Amen, SCG.

Renee, It's taken care of. For today. Which is all I need.

Oh, Kendall, that is so sweet of you. But uh, yeah, the commute might be a killer. And then, there's the whole having to work with Mr. Personality thing. But thanks.

Thanks, Greeny. Chink!

March 02, 2007 5:55 PM  
Blogger HORIZON opined...

l'm at about the same point Lorraine- S is starting school this year and l'm thinking of getting out and earning a bit of money again :) but l'm nervous too.
It is good that your lass has had you there for so long ;)

March 03, 2007 12:30 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Right back at you, Horizon! (And for what it's worth, I think you should look for something in the photography're bloody brilliant at that...those chickens the other day? Loved. Them.)

March 03, 2007 7:09 AM  
Blogger Dariush Alavi opined...

A very wise path to follow, if I may say so. Waiting for tomorrow whilst not worrying if it's even going to come: wouldn't that be a wonderful thing to be able to pull off every single day?

March 04, 2007 8:00 AM  

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