Friday, September 14, 2012

A Bonus Year

My life is in transition.  Last year when the girls went to school, and I spent the year taking college classes, life was completely different!  Now Hudson and I have this year together; my last year at home, with nothing but time.  I'm calling it our bonus year.  Our days are super-flexible, or, as flexible as they can be within the boundaries of what a five year old can enjoy/handle.

Or maybe it won't be my last year without a job outside the home, I have no idea.  Either way, this is my last year with a child at home during the day, and I plan to savor it.

People- a lot of people- have been asking me what I'm going to do next year; something about school starting and Hudson turning 5.  I have no idea what I'll do next year.  Did I mention that?  Some friends immediately look like they regret saying it, realizing it's putting me on the spot- seriously, you are so sweet and I'm not offended.  Don't feel bad!  I really don't mind!  Also, please stop asking, OK?  :)  I have no clue what to tell you.

I am a visionary/goal-oriented person and I always want to know what's next so I can prepare for it.  This year is a lesson in not preparing, and just living.  I have to assume that this in itself will be all the preparation I'll need.

Several people have suggested I get a Master's degree because I love school so much.  I really, really love to learn and education is a fantastic frenemy of mine.  I grew up in a home where I was an afterthought, and never enough.  People who grow up in an environment like that tend to go one of two ways, in my observation: we flounder, or we overachieve.  I do both.  Most of my life's work is difficult to measure; relational, everyday life stuff, so I've had many years to appreciate steady, fulfilling work without a measuring tool to tell me how well I'm doing- that has been very good for me.  Setting goals for myself, learning new things, building lists of tasks to do and checking them off; this is enough for me.  I don't feel competitive, I just feel happy to finish things I set out to do.  And I'm always working at getting better at the fine art of being content. 

For the most part, I'm fine.  Enter academics.  When I was taking classes last year- online classes where you can see your grades and work compared to everyone else's at all times- it was so easy to stress myself out.  I love to earn achievements!  I love to be evaluated!  I don't feel like I'm enough until someone provides concrete proof!  (God and I are always working on that.)  I'd forgotten how satisfying it is to earn a concrete, clear "A."  It's fantastic, and there's nothing wrong with it, until there is.

I finished well, and really did learn a ton; I was also constantly reminded that I love to accomplish things to a fault. I was happy when I was done, and could return to knowledge for the sake of knowledge, and not a grade.  I also have a well-rounded education and I don't need another degree; so I can work on my over achievement issues in some other way, without such a substantial price tag.  So, no more school; but picking up a new hobby or something, that I can do.

I never want to talk about this on the blog, because I know some people Jim works with will read it- but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put this together: Jim's job is 75 miles away from our house.  Obviously, either he will eventually find one closer to home, or we will move.  There are no immediate plans to do either, and we are on our fourth year of making it work.  We've decided that until that situation changes, I'm not going to seek out a job unless it is extremely flexible, and miraculously fits in to our routine.  Anyone have any ideas?  Me either.  Until then, I'm open to whatever comes next.  I can keep tutoring and mentoring, and see what happens. 

I know this season with our kids at home is short, and I am not in a hurry to see it end.  I'd love to be contributing financially, but not at the cost of things we hold dear. 

For now, here I am, and it's good.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Enjoy your bonus year! :)