Monday, August 4, 2008

Signs, Signs

This post is really, really long - but it's so worth the read!

On my way to work every morning, I pass a dentist's office with a witty saying on the sign out front.

One of my favorites was "What if the 'Hokey Pokey' really is what it's all about?" ("Now accepting new patients" was a favorite too, as I love the staff there!)

One morning, I was having a rough drive into work, dreading the day ahead. The sign at the dentist office read

Never confuse having a career with having a life.

WOW! If that's not a smack-in-the-face sign, I don't know what is! Let me tell you why ...

Nine years ago, we moved to San Antonio from the Houston area. I was, for the first time in my life, alone. Other than Paul, I knew no one. I took a job at a publishing company soon after we moved, and I felt even more alone there. Then, I came home one day and announced that I had to quit my job. I couldn't keep working in that sort of environment. I handed in my two weeks' notice and was told to make that my last day.

Two weeks later, I started work for a wonderful company full of wonderful people who have continued to be part of my life (even though I haven't worked there in years), and one of those coworkers is one of my most cherished of friends.

I instantly had friends, stuff to do, places to go, people to lunch with ... I had a life again. The years have progressed, and my work has continued to be the largest source of my social calendar as well. I attend industry events, hug industry folks at parties and restaurants, lunch with industry big-wigs.

This is my life.

Or so I thought. I had Mitchell almost four years ago, and I started to see my life change. And by life, I mean all those moments outside of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. All of a sudden, I had friends who were mommies, like me. We took our kids to Kindermusik. We breastfed in public - and talked about poop, too. It was a whole new kind of life, one I liked a lot.

Then, I went back to work.

It was really easy to go back to my work life and have my real life as well.

Or so I thought.

Once Noah was born, I became torn about who I was and what I was supposed to do. My roles at work started to change, and my roles at home were changing everyday too. (Just this weekend, I told Paul that I feel like a referee!)

I began to give serious thought to the idea of working part time. Paul was on board. My company was on board. Daycare was on board. I was on board.

Or so I thought.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to think about the idea of not working anymore. About filling my calendar with lunches at Chuck E. Cheeses instead of council luncheons and board meetings. About volunteering at church instead of at my industry's association headquarters. About baking cookies just because instead of because we need them for work for a fund-raiser.

I started to talk to Kristen, my ultimate SAHM friend. She is always so encouraging, and she's the one who introduced me to the notion of the favor of God. (We grew up Methodist - there wasn't talk of the favor of God.)

So, I listened to that quiet voice inside and made a huge decision.

I wanted to quit my work and be a mommy full-time. Paul mulled it over and gave it his blessing and told me the cards were in my hand - I had to decide when.

Another sign came, this time from God - or at least from a Lutheran church.

Mitchell's name had come up on the waiting list for the preschool there. There was just one mom ahead of us, and they had been trying to reach her for the past two weeks with no luck. I was told to expect an answer by Friday.

So, Friday morning I drafted my letter of resignation. Friday afternoon, I did the deed and made it official.

Yet, Friday came and went with no phone call from the preschool.

This morning, I called and left a message at the preschool. I've been waiting with bated breath all day. I recognized the number on Caller ID and my heart stopped. It was the registrar.

She was going to make one last attempt to reach the other mother and told me to expect a call within the hour. The hour passed and became two and almost three. Then came the call.


My heart is still racing in my chest!

So, Thank You God, for your favor once again.

And, thank you, Canyon Creek Dental for always providing a much-needed sign.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how I missed this one earlier, but I am just seeing this post for the first time - this is great news! About being a SAHM and the preschool!!! Congratulations! I grew up Baptist and don't know about the favor of God. But sounds like it's working for you :) So glad it has all fallen into place. I was in your shoes just a few months ago and so far I am very happy with my decision to stay home!

Mary Anna said...

Yeah, I had saved this as a draft, and when I went back to make it "live," it posted it on the day I had drafted it - instead of the day I wanted to post it. I didn't want to post it too soon, since some of the corporate gals read my site and I hadn't talked to them as of drafting the post.

Anonymous said...

Good for you MA! I've been sneaking peaks at your blog! Kristen told me about your decision to step out of the corporate world. Knowing you, I was very surprised. But, after reading your blog, I understand. Something about being 30 changes everything. Wait till you're 40!!