At the start of every year, so many of us focus on goals and dreams for the upcoming year, and some will embrace a word or verse or saying as their mantra for the year. I personally entered 2016 with the goal to focus on me, to focus on the change that I needed personally. I’ve spent nine years of my life investing in my kids and husband and home; and while those are all wonderful investments and of the utmost importance to me, I knew that me needed a bit more attention this year. So as 2015 neared its close, I chose the word CHANGE as my word for 2016, not realizing just how fitting that would be. Two months into 2016 and I can assure you that change is beyond accurate, so much more so than even I had planned. But life is funny that way, I think we sometimes feel the wind shifting before it changes directions.
My intention was to spend this year pursuing new to me things, stretching myself and finding renewed confidence as I pursued new passions and interests; but today, for the first time in many many years, I interviewed to rejoin the corporate working world. That was not on my 2016 plan for change. Life has thrown me many curve balls over the years, and sometimes I’m shocked by all I have lived in my 35 years; but this one was out of left field. I had a great career prior to leaving to focus on family; a blessing I all too often took for granted. I never really planned to rejoin the corporate world I once knew, I just figured that I would fall into something worth doing when my youngest entered kindergarten; but life detoured and here I am. The saying “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone” is so fitting. I have, more than I care to admit, loathed my time at home with littles. It’s the most selfless, busy, never-ending, down-in-the-trenches work that one can do. And coming off years with a grouchy, sick child, one would think that rushing to a corporate adult world would be the end all be all, but truthfully, I’m realizing how much I have treasured my time at home. Raising little people is truly some of the most important work that I will ever do.
As I look back over the past nine years, I’m overcome with how special all of that time was…and that’s saying a lot considering my kids pulled some crazy antics. What I wouldn’t have given on those messy, trench-filled days to be anywhere else, to be dressed in real clothes, talking to real adults about “important” things; but what I overlooked on those painful days, was that the important work was right in front of me. And many days, just keeping the kids fed and alive was all I could handle; but the lie that I needed to be accomplishing more was always there. The lie that if I could keep the house cleaner, make a better dinner, play more with my kids, be more attentive, more involved, less this, less that, more this, more that….all the lies, distractions from the important work I was doing. Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart, and spending countless hours alone with these little people, well, its just exhausting; they have this way of taking you from “exhausted” to “can’t even function anymore” in no time flat. They are the worst and the best, all tied up in these sticky little packages.
My parenting work isn’t even remotely over yet, and I will still have the joy of experiencing so many “can’t even function anymore” moments, but the way things are, that’s changing. And change is one of those things I’ve grown to love and hate, the perfect dichotomy. My family will find its new “groove” and I will experience more adult interaction throughout my days; but the sweet days of me desperately wanting to run away, as I invest hours upon hours, cleaning up mess after mess, and argue incessantly with little people; those days are coming to an end. And I guess my dream of sending all the kids off to school and drinking wine all day with my girlfriends will have to wait until another day…