Do what you need. Take what you need. Be what you need. Autumn is a time to slow down– to nourish– to recognize the need to reach down and figure out what to do next.
The last few weeks we’ve been struggling to find any kind of balance. Every emotion and trial seems to have bubbled to the surface. We’ve broken down a few times, got insanely drunk on a few week nights (not a usual thing), and let ourselves “go”. Maybe you can relate? We hit a catharsis type of rock bottom. It reminded me of a quote. “Your new life is going to cost you your old one.” And we’re all on track for a new normal, meaning we’re all on track for new “lives”.
And then… Something clicked. I knew it was time to quit my job. And I walked out (again, not something I would ever consider). I had enough. They were no longer worth my time or my energy as they were no longer my people. I reached out a few times about needing more of a work life balance and more work and changes kept being thrown toward me. Regardless of any pinpointed reason, we are moving on and getting on track with our lives.
My new role is to be our family’s cheerleader. To make sure my husband has what he needs as far as a place he can focus on work and then be able to easily do more renovation work without feeling like he’s doing it all himself; to make sure our four year old has the educational resources to prepare for Kindergarten next year and for me to enjoy the time raising her. So far it’s great. Turns out, there is a limit to how many library books you can rent (our goal is three books a day to do the 1,000 books before she’s 5).
Tangent. Back to the work thing: I felt at the beginning of the pandemic things never let up with work. I needed slack to try to answer a constantly ringing phone and tending to a child. When she finally went back to day care, I went back to work, but we just kept having more, more, and MORE! More business, more responsibility. More of everything. There were behind the scenes talks of working Saturdays, too. Something I could NOT (and would never) commit to. So, instead, I just abandoned a position I didn’t see any future in to get my family ready for our future.
I am now in a better position than I was over a week ago. We’ve gone to parks, the library, crafted, decorated for fall, created slime, found her old daycare/school videos to keep up with exercises and sign language, bought glue and popsicle sticks for her to create, and now safety scissors (I highly recommend) for her to cut construction paper and other thick paper to glue on other things. I have an arsenal of faux teaching resources, and it’s awesome! We’ve let up on what an appropriate snack is, too– turns out, if you let a kid have four lollipops, chances are, they’re not going to keep asking for them anymore. It’s the law of diminishing return. We even went a few days without brushing her hair and she now realizes why it’s a necessity.
Beyond all of this, I am very proud of our resourcefulness. Making meals when it seems we have “no food.” Being able to plan on a dime and resorting to the simple things. Wanting to use up as much as we can before standing in a line to even get into a grocery store (that’s not something I would ever fathom). It makes you question what you can go without and if making your own bread is worth it (trust me, you have the skills, and you’ve got the time). When all of this is over, I want to come out of this proud of who I became. I don’t want to completely fall off the wagon. I want to showcase how much control I had and how much I was willing to let go of what I couldn’t control.
This whole thing makes me, more than ever, want to move to the place that tugs at our heartstrings. Vermont. I want a home with a mountain view that I wouldn’t mind being cooped up for weeks or months at a time. A place I can roam. Our current place, where we thought was a country road, quickly turned into a neighborhood and I get anxious and nervous of people not paying attention when they’re trying to walk on the road as cars go insanely fast. I don’t remember this much “traffic” here. And while I am neighborly, I don’t want to be. We don’t live in the neighborhood for a reason. I don’t want to have to question if one neighbor is building a shed on what looks like my property and keeps making a trail on my property as well. I want enough space that this doesn’t happen, or I don’t care that it happens because I have more than enough space to also do my own thing, completely and independently.