Sooooooo...about this whole "re-inventing yourself"...thingie...turns out it's not necessarily such a... straight path as I might have wished. Let's recap: after a year of searching, I was hired for a position, and I accepted, thinking I'd finally stumbled onto something offering that elusive "right fit". I felt grateful and relieved that the stressful, difficult cycle had come to an end....no more scanning online job boards/applying for openings/waiting/being rejected or--more commonly and worse, in my opinion--hearing nothing. However, 6 weeks later I've decided that I was, in fact, mistaken...and I need to move on yet again.
Let me quickly and firmly state that there was nothing wrong with the job itself--a solid company, lovely people, pleasant place to work, yadda yadda yadda. Nope...it was a classic case of "It's Not You, It's Me"...but, you know, in a "professional" rather than a "dating" sense. For one thing, I'd been working 3 days a week for the past 14 years in my previous job (yep, that would be "ever since Derek was born"). However, in this particular position they adamantly wanted someone there Monday through Friday, during a very fixed timeframe (which totally made sense in terms of the assigned duties and whatnot). "No problem," I thought. "The kids are older now. I'll be getting off at 2:00. I should have plenty of time to get...all of that "other...critical...household junk"...done."
Um...yeah..Not. So. Much. I constantly felt like the proverbial "chicken sans head"...or...ooh, I know: a reeeaaallly bad circus performer, attempting to juggle flaming knives, and dropping them on her feet instead! (Yeah, yeah, so I'm a Drama Queen...tell me something I DON'T know...) Also, rather than spending time with the boys this Summer, taking field trips and doing fun stuff like we always have, it seems like I barely saw them. I realize there are many, many mothers who work full-time and do it perfectly well, or who manage to keep everything under control in much tougher conditions ...I've just discovered that I'm not one of them. I think, ideally, I'd prefer something 4 days a week, giving me that all-important "grocery shopping/Target/Costco/whatever the heck else comes up" window...without spilling over into the evenings (which are dedicated to shuttling children to soccer practices) or weekends (you guessed it: soccer games).
And yes, there is definitely an element of guilt at play, here. I mean, why can't I be...Darla-Do-It-All? The answer is, I suppose I could...but for me the equation felt...unbalanced. The amount of satisfaction I was receiving from working, plus the amount of money I was actually contributing to the Bottom Line...did not nearly equal the level of discontent and discombobulation I was suffering from while trying to coach both the Home and Away teams and--even more crucial to this highly-organized, tightly wound individual--keep things running smoothly, in the manner to which we've all become most accustomed and comfortable.
So...bit of a figuring-it-out-curve to this whole "Life's Journey" process, yeah? Fortunately, I've often described myself as a "lifelong learner" anyway, so that makes it a bit easier to swallow. And really, this experience has been a valuable teaching tool--helping me identify what's most important to me, and focus my priorities a little better. (At least I believe so...we'll see how it goes...) So for now, it's back to the hamster wheel of sifting through available options and sending resumes into the black hole of cyberland and hoping for a response. In the meantime, speaking of Stuff That Matters, I suddenly have a gap in my schedule to fit in a last-minute jaunt to Maryland before the merry-go-round of school and soccer truly starts spinning in dizzying circles (...as it tends to do). A short-but-precious Family and Friends interlude, then it's back to the old grindstone...with renewed purpose and a clearer sense of....whatever it takes to find just the right mix of meaningful employment and dedication to taking care of Team WestEnders.
There's gonna be a LOT going on...but in the meantime, it's Saturday night, and being all grown-up and such means I've earned myself an adult beverage. Cheers! (And stay tuned...)