Well, as of yesterday I've been on this sahm adventure for six months. I've learned a lot and had some surprises...
Surprise #1: No Job
Even though I knew what the economy looked like when I was laid off, I guess deep down I thought I'd be fighting them off with a stick. I thought someone from my network would just call me out of the blue and make me an offer or that somehow something would just fall into my lap. To date, I've only had one interview and I've probably applied for around a hundred jobs. I suppose looking back that I thought it would be fun to be home for the summer, lounging around, but that at the end of the summer I would be back at work. I feel sort of forgotten like I've fallen off the face of the earth. I try not to think about it too much. It is what it is. I have my unemployment and though we aren't buying new cars or going on vacation or remodeling something, we still get dinner on the table every night and manage the occasional babysitting splurge. The other surprise is that I have value beyond my professional life. I'm still a whole person even without a job. weird. I guess a lot of my self worth had been wrapped up in my credit score, 401k, and ability to bring home the pancetta.
Surprise #2: I'm Happy
Everyone I know is surprised when they see me. I get a lot of "you look so relaxed". Nobody (including me) thought that there would ever be a time when I would cherish the opportunity to be home focused on taking care of my family. Sure, I have this blog and I cook and do my sewing and crafts and whatever, but my job is to take care of my husband and kids and home. and I like it. it's enough. for now.
Surprise #3: This Blog
I don't think my blog knows what it wants to be when it grows up. It is so much more Martha Stewart than I ever thought it would be. But, it's my outlet. It's important to me.
Surprise #4: I Live in the Moment
It only took me 39 years, but I have finally learned to live in the moment. I spend less money. I'm not constantly planning a home renovation or escape vacation. I am changed. I'm happy now and I try not to think too much about what's around the corner because I've lived a lot of my life like that and frankly, it's exhausting. I didn't make this change happen. It just happened to me.
I had a totally precious moment this morning. Big Red stumbled downstairs with bed head, dragging a teddy bear, still warm and sleepy. He crawled into my lap and promptly fell back to sleep. We sat like that with no sound but that of his shallow breathing for about thirty minutes. From my spot on the family room sofa, I watched the bare branches of trees against a sky that became lighter and lighter. I held a blanket around him tightly and didn't dare move for fear of breaking the spell. Very soon, frighteningly soon, he will be too old for such snuggling so I have to soak up as much as I possibly can. right now.
I don't know where I'll be six months from now. Maybe I'll still be here. Maybe I'll be back at work. I'm just taking it one day at a time.