Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Auf Wiedersehen 2013

Good-bye and good riddance to 2013, not our finest or happiest year for sure.  While that is not entirely true because there were high points such as college acceptances, enjoyable school shows and concerts and all the joy that children bring, there was a mighty low when my husband lost his job again. So here we sit, poised yet again at the start of the new year full of promise and opportunity. The only difference is that this year, I am not feeling it at all. This is the fourth year that we are in the same position without a job and to be honest, I have grown fearful of being optimistic.  More to the point, based on our experiences over the past three plus years, I feel foolish being optimistic only to get my hopes up and then have them dashed yet again. To dream about a better job this time, one more stable and (dare I even say it out loud) one that actually pays well seems almost ridiculous.  But, since the new year is all about fresh starts, resolutions and change, I have decided to adjust my unemployment battle-weary approach to the year ahead and embrace a new, fresh attitude.

This year, I say to hell with positivity (a word I detest even on a good day) and to being the 'bigger person' (my mom's mantra) all the time. Somewhere along the way in my journey these past four years, I got lost.  Terribly cliche, no?  Between this seemingly endless search for yet another job for my husband, the constant tumult of our lives as a result and the chaos I feel we have heaped on our children, I stopped being the 'me' I used to know. These days, I am filled with self-doubt and concern at our inability to turn this rotten financial situation around. I have been second-guessing my choices and I am in a state of perpetual stress.

So, though I am not a believer in resolutions for many reasons, I have written some goals for myself on Post-It notes so that I can carry them with me as constant reminders of staying the course.  While I am hoping that 2014 brings lots of positive change for us, based on the past few years, I am even more cautiously optimistic than usual.  I do know, however, that I am going to try to get a little bit of my old self back by not listening so fervently to what other people feel I should be doing but, rather, to do what I want to do even if that does not make me the 'bigger person' as often as my mom might like.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

A New Venture

Frankly, I never really knew what I wanted to be 'when I grew up.'  My eldest has known he wants to be an attorney since sixth grade, never wavered in his decision, not once. I, on the other hand, wanted to be everything and nothing, which I always found odd for a person who sees only black and white in life, not a drop of gray.  I toyed with a variety of professions from psychologist, which I discounted because I was never totally sold on the prospect of being around people who might be unpredictable, to being an attorney which was a dream I never followed through with for a variety of reasons.  Although I always felt that I was the corporate type and proved quite successful as an electronics buyer for a major department store, I knew I had finally found my calling when my first son was born. In an instant (okay, more like 13.5 hours of hard labor), I realized that being a mom was the reason I was put on this earth and just to confirm my suspicions, I tested my hypothesis three more times just to be sure.  I simply cannot believe that in a mere seventeen years since my first was born, I find myself readying for the inevitable departure of said firstborn as he heads off to college.

So, with that moment hanging in the all too near future and with my husband's constant urging encouragement, I have decided to find a little something to do (in addition to taking care of my three other adorable children, that is) to occupy my mind so that I don't go totally insane worrying about my son being away at college. Tall order for this mom, but I am giving it a whirl (the old 'college try' wink, wink). Interestingly, the process of deciding what to do now closely resembled the process decades ago only this time it included my husband lobbing ideas at me, too. Editor?  Nah, been there and did that. Proofreader?  Bor-ing!  Teacher?  Nope, adore my children, but other people's children sometimes not so much. I wanted to utilize my writing skills but I really wanted to work from home, not a fan of traveling in our long winters plus this wallflower works best when she works alone. So, after much deliberation and far too much agonizing, I decided that I was going to try being a writing consultant. Kind of interesting, a blend of using my skill set in an environment in which I am most comfortable, a soft re-entry into the work force, so to speak. There you have it.  Who knows where this decision might lead in the long run, but for now, I am enjoying the planning process and trying not to count the days until we pack the car for the first trip off to college...imagine the blog I will be writing for that journey.  Grab your tissues now, folks, I promise it will be ugly.