Then…& Now

Last night was a bit rough – with C teething she was up from 1am-3am, which meant I got in and out of bed 3 times, with a trip or two downstairs for bottles and teething medicine.

I’m currently battling a sinus infection so sleep is precious, and it’s extra tough to roll myself out of bed in the middle of the night…but while rocking C to sleep at 2:36am I realized a couple of differences between how things were when I was working full-time and how they are now, since making the decision to resign.

Then…it’d be just as hard to get up in the middle of the night…but while doing so I’d be focused on “how can I meet her needs and get her back to sleep quickest”. While rocking her my mind would be racing with “how long is this going to last?…how am I going to get up at 6am?…how is this going to affect what time she wakes up and whether we can get out on time?…is she going to wake up J and the whole morning’s going to be a messy race to get out the door?”. My mind would be racing and focusing on how to compose and implement a mini “Crisis plan” to reduce the crazy that would inevitably ensue.

Now… I was focused on “How can I meet her needs” & trying to tune into her feelings – was it pain, was it wanting closeness, was it wanting to spread out in her crib? While rocking her I savored holding my 20+ lb baby, enjoying the quiet of the night, stroking her hair, and being thankful that while this midnight wake was going to make for a tougher day, that at least I had some flexibility to adjust our morning timing and not immediately proceed into production mode at 6am sharp. I prayed as the moonlight shone into her room and gave thanks to God for my beautiful, healthy family; for amazing access to healthcare and medication; and for being able to enjoy moments like late night sickie babies. Don’t get me wrong – we still had a schedule to follow and places to be…but it’s much different trying to corral everyone out the door by 7:30am vs. 9:30am. I still have more things on my to do list than I have time for today …but without the added stress of also having more things to do at work than I have time for.

Not everyone has the ability to do this – and I’m thankful we’ve been fortunate enough to make critical decisions to create a life that works better for us.

I realized that the greatest learning (& gift) I’ve gained from leaving my full-time job – is the ability to be present. To actually see what is right in front of my face, enjoy, and be thankful for the current moment. That’s not to say everything is sunshine & lollipops – it’s tough trying to balance making dinner, playing with the kids, cleaning, changing poopy diapers, and reading your kids well enough to know when a toddler whines “I don’t want a nap” it means “I need a nap before I am implode!!!!!!!!!!!”. But I have more opportunities to be present with the kids and be intentional about how I shape and influence them, instead of being half-present, and half-planning how to make the next few hours go as smoothly as possible.

I’ve also learned that while change is difficult and defining decisions are tough to make – things happen for a reason, we all have a unique path, and things will work out.

To use my friend’s words, by some “miracle”, I’ve just accepted a part-time finance role. It’s a 5 minute drive from home, 4hrs/day and I’ll be able to work during school hours – which gives me the opportunity to spend time with the kids before and after school, while also having time for my career. It also happens to be with an institution I’ve talked about working with for the past decade.

I came across the posting fortuitously – and while I did put forth my best efforts to land the job, I know that this is not just some lucky coincidence and not totally my doing – this was part of God’s plan for where I was meant to be. It came much sooner than I anticipated (and maybe even wanted), but it is 100% a blessing that I’m immensely thankful for.

Tough times are challenging when you’re in the moment – it’s only in retrospect that you see how those times either shaped the person you’ve become, how it created opportunity to accept the next thing, or how it gave you skills to apply for that job 2 or 3 steps down the road. Without making the decision to resign from my previous role I would not have come across this role and would not have had the time or head space to prepare my resume or for my interviews…the resignation was necessary in order for me to successfully land the next thing.

Change is tough – but it’s necessary to get to where you want to go, and to get to where you’re truly meant to be.