If you do the math, the time on “the job” might not be adding up; after all MiniMe is actually 3-1/2. It’s just that last Friday was the final day at a job that I’ve held for a quarter of my life. I started there just a few days after graduating from college and have worked there for the past 11 years; and now here I am. This change wasn’t a decision that I made on my own, I’ve joined the ranks of many Americans who have been downsized- my position was eliminated.
I am terribly sad about that chapter of my life ending. When you hear people talk about loving their jobs, well, I was one of them. I mean I really, really, really LOVED my job, it was a huge part of who I was. I put every ounce of effort into it and my reward was…. Well, this and it truly is bittersweet.
Before I actually had MiniMe, we didn’t even discuss me staying home with her- I wanted to work, in fact I needed to work- not just for the money, but for the self-fulfillment and personal enrichment. I felt like a well-rounded person working AND being a mom (yet, I always tried to find better work/life balance- go figure?!!!?) We also were blessed that our arrangements for daycare were not only free, but with Anti-Latte’s mom, so Mini was in the loving care of her grandma every day. And this, is why I didn’t feel guilty for working- well, once or twice when she was sick… but how lucky were we?
She will still spend many days at her grandma’s house for several reasons- she gets to see her cousins every other day, I still have some other commitments that will necessitate daycare as well as the fact that Grandma K is a recent widow and MiniMe is a great diversion and excellent therapy. I also don’t want to completely interrupt her schedule should I be fortunate enough to find my next wonderful job sooner rather than later. Also, we will be enrolling her into pre-school this Spring. Yeah, you’re thinking, “She’s not a real SAHM.” You’re right; I have no clue what I am. I’m stuck in emotional limbo of being completely devastated about being laid off to feeling some excitement to getting to spend more time with my family. How cool is it that for the first time since I was 12, I don’t have a work commitment? How sad is it that I don’t have a work commitment? How awesome is it that I can stay at home with my child? How freaked out am I about staying home with my child? Will I get bored? Will we all still like each other at the end of the day? (Oh, c’mon- you’ve experienced those weekends where you couldn’t wait to get back to the office!) What will I wear? No, seriously. I walked into my closet over the weekend and broke into hysterics upon seeing my work wardrobe. I think I have more pajamas than I do casual clothes (and I refuse to venture out of the house, on purpose, in my pajamas). So, I wore yoga pants, and went to the gym twice in the past two days-- this coming from someone who only set foot in the gym twice all of last year. It’s something that I CAN control at this point so I’m relishing it.
The loss of a job feels like a death- and I’ve gone through most of the stages of grieving over it, not in order and I'm sure I'm not done with it. It is extremely personal. A part of me is gone now and I’m not sure what to do. I’ve started with a very lofty to-do list- things that I’ve always wanted to get ‘around to,’ organizing the CD collection (seriously- I want them all on iTunes so I can pitch the clutter), watching
I’ve done most of the work to get ahead of this- my resume is so polished (so explain, why isn’t anyone calling!?) as is my LinkedIn profile, I’ve already applied for unemployment insurance (this will be interesting!) and I’m starting to network. I very much want to take my wonderful husband’s advice and try to enjoy this time, it’s just weird. Not having to go in to an office on any given week day. That’s one thing on my list though- organizing my office- creating an organized nice one to ‘commute’ to when I’m job hunting or working on my direct sales business (who knows! That’s a great focus point too- did you know that there are many women in this country who make six figures work in direct sales?- watch me!) There will be good days- those packed with enough errands and appointments to keep me busy; and then those days where the thought of my ‘former’ life will bring me to instant tears. Many benefits of being out of work- less money for gas or lunches on the go, dealing with commuter traffic, dry cleaning bills, great coffee from my Keurig; and then the downfall- my boss is super demanding- but when she throws those grubby little hands around my neck and says, “I love you Mommy!” it brings me back to reality and I take a deep breath and think that this might be the best job ever.