We're finally seeing warmer weather here, so the other day I headed out for just over an hour to run and walk. The sun was out and while it wasn't quite warm enough for me at 62 degrees, it was a massive improvement from what we've had these past few weeks of "spring." Who, but the unemployed or retired, can take a leisurely break such as this in the middle of a weekday? When I returned, there was a text from a work friend jokingly asking if I wanted to come back. Things have changed and there is now an open position, which I guess is what I'd be doing if I had stayed.
I actually freaking thought about it.
With age, you learn a lot about yourself. Especially when you end up in a completely different situation from the one you've lived for 10, 20 years and have time to think. I've learned that I'm not yet completely comfortable in my role as a non-income earner.
I'd been an "earner" for so long, in a way it feels lazy and unhelpful of me to have become a non-earner. I've thought about looking for something local with hours when the girls are in school, but what happens when someone is ill or Anna has a doctor's appointment? We're back to where we were before. I also know myself and while I talk about how I would kick butt (and probably get fired for yelling at speeders) if I was one of the school crossing guards, I'd be in front of the School Committee in a month with a new plan for how to reorganize the system, etc. I talk the talk of wanting a job with no responsibilities outside of working hours but the last time I held a role like that was in college. I've always pushed myself to go above and beyond and I don't know how to work otherwise. It's just not me.
But this is me now and I need to get comfortable with it.
Some of the reasons why I left work still exist. My father continues to have health issues and concerns, and it would be a struggle for my mother to watch the girls in addition to caring for him. The girls' care is obviously at the top of our list, especially for Anna. At this point, either Rich or I need to be at home. I suppose one of us working from home is an option. We don't have to be unemployed. But, at this point, age and stage, I can't imagine trying to work a full time job (similar to what I had) from home in addition to being the one responsible for the kids for most of the day. I'm done with that kind of stress. (We have that luxury right now.)
I fully believe that my health has significantly improved since I left work. I don't get sick nearly as often as I used to and I don't constantly feel run down. If I'm having a day where I do feel blah, I just take a nap. Life is good, my friends. The girls actually have been much healthier too. I'm sure part of that is age and not picking up every single germ that floats their way, but I'd like to believe that my being at home has helped with that.
Conditions at work were actually on the upswing as I made my exit, but I was so beat down at that point, it didn't really matter. If I were to return tomorrow, the person I'd be reporting to is someone I've worked with in the past at different companies. I know it would be better but it's still a role with a lot of responsibility which would ultimately lead to work/life balance struggles at some point. I don't believe there's a perfect world for that.
I often find myself asking, "What do you want to do?" as if I have to do something. When I was in high school, I decided I was going to do whatever I needed to do in order to make $$$ as an adult. It's something that's been a part of me for so long, it's hard to let go. Change can sometimes be a slow process.
I asked the girls how they would feel if I went back to work and they told me they would miss me and cry.
I'm not going anywhere.
Also, thinking of that commute during winter weather makes me want to cry.