Monday, March 8, 2010

Back to basics. . .

Last week on this post, I mentioned that I'm giving up my day job. At the time I hadn't worked out all the details, but in the past week it has all fallen together, so that I should be free as a bird in about six weeks. I work for a group of family therapists, each in private practice, and I want to make sure they're all taken care of, and in good hands before I'm finished, because they've been very good to me. Working from home has been great, but it's time for a change.

My job was just "a little something" that I did a few hours a week when I started it ten years ago and then a couple years ago it suddenly grew, until it took on a life of its own. I don't have any plans to take up anything else right away, and while that feels a bit odd, for the most part I'm really excited. I'm looking forward to being more present to my family and focusing on our home. I so admire women that can work and still keep the home fires burning, but I'm just not one of them. It stresses me out when I'm doing one thing and the other is screaming for attention. Especially when the other thing is right in the next room. Working from home has its advantages, and its challenges.

At the beginning of this year, instead of coming up with a new year's resolution, I continued a tradition that I learned several years ago from my friend, Becky, to choose a 'word' for the year to focus on. Something that would help me in my spiritual journey, a far cry from resolutions of past years such as grow my nails, go on a diet, exercise more -- all worthwhile and important (well, maybe not the nails), but I wanted to shake things up and I liked Becky's idea.

I started thinking about my word for 2010 back in December, and I knew what I wanted it to be, but decided to wait and see what He thought about it. And wouldn't you know, the word kept coming to me from all directions. I would read something and it would pop up. I went to a conference in January, and it was one of the themes. My word for this year is mindful. Being mindful in living my life, even in the small, mundane, everyday things, is to find the sacred in my life. This is what helped me come to my decision about my job. I had become so crazy busy and it was causing more stress and disharmony than good. I'm blessed with having a choice whether to work or not, and a husband who supports my decision either way. We'll have to do a few things differently, but they are small sacrifices in light of the benefits of once again having one person who is dedicated to managing the home front.

It seems rare these days to find a mom who wants to just be a mom. Especially a mom with teenagers. A lot of my friends are ready to get out of the house and find a "real" job, now that the kids are becoming more self-sufficient. And to each his own, I will never judge what is best for another family. But, it seems that time just goes faster and faster as I get older and my kids get older. My youngest will graduate high school in just five short years. Suddenly, I feel the way I did when the kids were babies, and I don't want to miss a thing. Back then it was rolling over for the first time, grabbing a chubby foot and chewing on chubby toes, or taking a first step. Now, I want to be there for as many soccer and baseball games as I can. To have time in the day to make the chicken-broccoli casserole that my son loves to devour, instead of being one of the top 10 customers at our local pizza place. I want to be the center of calm instead of one more person in turmoil in our household. I want to have some time during the day to find my center. I want to clean my house!

It sounds old fashioned, I know. I'm old fashioned.

Now that I've made my decision, I'm eager to move ahead. My calendar is mapped out for the next few weeks, with target dates and a big smiley face at the end of April!

18 comments:

Inglesidemom said...

Congratulations!

I loved how you shared your desire to be mindful this year. Good words!

Jen

Anita said...

Sounds like a good plan!
The one thing that I especially like about getting older, is making decisions faster and not worrying too much about "what if..."
Please report back on your big smiley face at the end of April! :)

Sarah said...

I applaud your decision and can totally relate on how working at home and trying to get everything done is so difficult - especially when what needs to be done is right in the next room! I think often of my 7 year old daughter and how many times I've had to say, "Just a minute" or "Mommy has to take this phone call and then I can help you"...I hate that! I love your word "mindful" and will be pondering that today.

Rizzi said...

HI KAREN,
WHAT A GREAT POST, YOU MUST FEEL SO GOOD TO LET IT ALL OUT AND JUST SIT BACK, AND TAKE IT ALL IN. I REMEMBER COMING HOME FROM SCHOOL AND MAMA WAS ALWAYS THERE AT THE KITCHEN TABLE HAVING A CUP OF TEA. (YOUR GRANDMOTHER)
I LOVED STAYING HOME TOO. THE KIDS WERE HAPPIER, (I THINK!)
WELL, YOUR RESOLUTION "MINDFUL" IS A GOOD WORD. I LOOKED IT UP IN THE DICTIONARY...CONSCIOUS OR AWARE OF SOMETHING.....AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID IN YOUR POST. TAKE CARE, LOVE, AUNT RIZ

Jackie said...

Hi Karen. I'm so envious of your decision. I have gone back and forth so many times with the same issue. I work full time partially from home and at my office too and while I know I have a good situation...I don't feel like I'm able to focus on my family and my home like I want to. Congratulations on the new chapter of your life. I look forward to hearing more about it.

Jackie

Judy said...

Sounds like a WONDERFUL plan!

Susanne said...

I am so, so happy for you, Karen! And I stand and applaud your hubby for being so supportive!

Robin said...

I think that's a great decision and I will try by best not to be envious of you!

And mindful - what a great word for the year.

Joanne said...

It sounds like you are definitely living your "choice" life, kudos to you. Our family resolution this year was to "Keep things easy." If a decision can simply be made, a task done, do so without wavering. And it feels freeing, in a sense. I'd imagine you're feeling a little bit of that right about now too. Enjoy :)

Becky said...

I have lots of old fashioned friends. I myself am an old fashioned gal. I am so excited for you quitting your job.

And ... I love your Word of the Year. Mindful will make a big difference in everything you do. Strategic. Purposeful. You go girl! You will find that God will teach you many things in that word. And you will look forward to finding a new word for next year :)

Love ya!!

Trailboss said...

The hardest job I ever had was the year I was able to stay home with my 2 kids. Steph was 5 and Ryan was 15. I would love to have that job again. Good for you Karen. We're both the old fashioned sort. Maybe that is why we like each other so much!

Romaine said...

Love your idea about focusing on one word.

You can always get another job, but you can't retrieve the growing up years of your kids. Good for you!!!

Ms. Kathleen said...

I like that ... a word for the year. It does make one ponder where one is going in their walk... Thanks for an interesting post :)

Renna said...

I think it's a wonderful idea, Karen, and you are blessed indeed to be in a position to be able to 'come home'. Speaking as one whose children are grown, if I could relive when mine were younger, I'd do what you're proposing to do, not miss a minute of anything. Time's simply something you cannot get back.

Your word, 'mindful' goes along with what I keep hearing, which is to 'live life on purpose'. :-)

Country Dreaming said...

Good for you! Time passes quickly
and you have to do what makes you comfortable.
Sounds like you have thought things out.
Congratulations!

Melinda

Jen said...

You know I think its awesome....all of it. I think you will love it...I'm very old fashion...I have to be the center of our home..putting it all first...and taking a small amount for me...not selfish....just wanting to give my ALL to the family....great choice sweet friend....It's mindful...:)

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Wonderful post, and it sounds like a wonderful plan :) So glad you've found what works for you and your family. I don't think you're old fashioned (although I am, I don't work and have NO kids, find much of that today in the world!), I think you're smart, practical and thoughtful :)

Can't wait to read more about how things are going and your family's goings-on :) And more about how your word for the year is playing out, great word!

Melanie Redd said...

Good for you, Karen!

I've been back home with my teenagers the last 3 years after working full time. I've never regretted the time that I've been able to devote to them.

It's almost as if they need you more than they did as preschoolers!

Praying that you'll find immense satisfaction, great time with your kids, and provision for every need you have.

Thanks for sharing your story!

And, thanks for stopping by my blog to offer words of encouragement.

Blessings,
Melanie