Working Out Hard Decisions

Friday, August 01, 2014

So, I left my job.
I left my job of 12 years that I loved,
that I put my heart and soul into,
that I started as a mere single, young adult of 21 years old and left as a wife and mother of 3 children.
There was a lot of growing up on the job.
These were my formative years as an adult.
Leaving this job was a hard decision to make.

Why did I leave? Because I wanted to grow my family, but my job responsibilities were also growing. With the children we ALREADY had, I was increasingly short tempered and so tired. I was minimally parenting our then 5 and 3 year old. Basic contact. No more than that. Juggling work and home-life was getting harder and harder. I was no longer enjoying work, OR home.

And what of adding a third? I kept trying to talk myself out of it. Why have three? Two is enough! But then I'd always walk myself down the path of 10 years down the road and ask... why didn't you have a third? Because of work? That always sounded like a lame answer, but really, deep down, I knew it was the truth. I've always wanted to have three and not to have this baby is like losing a child I never had.

Okay, but back to reality. How does this baby fit into this life that we already had going? Between working a demanding job and two children already, would I be pushing myself to an incredibly unhealthy limit? I already felt like I was there, and the third child wasn't even here yet.

Leave my job? How? In my adult life, this is the only job I have ever known. It was hard to think that there was even any other options. Where do I go? I couldn't just leave the income-making up to my husband. (It would be different if he was completely fulfilled at his job. Not making any income would essentially be locking him into his current work situation and shutting him out of any future opportunities to pursue his filmmaking). It's incredible how life can fool you into thinking there are no changes that can be made.

Then, came my birthday. On May 30, I was feeling particularly anxious about making a change. Family was coming over for dinner, my side, my in-laws... we were supposed to be making preparations... but on the edge of turning 35, I needed to wrestle this to the ground. And then I did what I should have done from the beginning.

"God, what do I do?” I finally decided to ask Him.
And there it was. Staring me in the face this whole time.

Go freelance.

Oh man, go freelance? What if I can't make it? What if no one will hire me? Yeah, I have a couple of clients, but that isn't nearly enough to make a full income. But it was the leap of faith that I knew I had to make. I talked it over with my husband who was stunned at my resolve (I may have forgotten to include him in all of this internal dialog). And then, with him by my side, I said yes... and all of those questions went away.

God says, trust me. I am your Provider. All that you think that makes your life secure is only false security. Lean into this truth.

I quit trying to stay in control and just quit thinking about it.
I knew what I had to do and I knew that I had to leap.

And this verse never was more true in my life than at this moment:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" – Philippians 4:6-8.

That mysterious peace came settling in. That peace that makes NO SENSE – during the most uncertain time in my life in recent memory – made all the questions vanish.

So, now, here I am on the other side of that decision. I had my baby. My baby girl. She is now six months. I had made this master plan to slowly build my business over the course of my year-long maternity leave. However, business has been coming in so steadily that I gave up my benefit entitlements a mere 4 months in, and got my husband to take the leave instead (Oh Canada!).

My time is now all mine to deem how I want to use it. I no longer have to feel guilty if I spend 15 minutes reading to my boy who had begged me all morning. I can say yes to other mommies who want to plan playdates. I have the energy to teach my daughter piano and help her with her homework.

I have trimmed my work day way, way back to about three hours a day. I have completely flipped my work to family time ratio. Now I am able to give my children the better hours of my day.

People look at me, with my hands full with three children and say, “Gosh, you must be busy.” And I smile and say back, “Yes… but now it’s all my own doing.”

1 comment:

  1. Goodstuff. Thanks for sharing this. It reminds me that there is always another option :)


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