On the cusp

Mercury is in retrograde right now, which may be why things feel a bit more wobbly than usual. There has been a shift occurring since late summer, around the time my grandmother entered hospice (she passed away on October 13, two months after we thought she was going to exit this life.) I became aware that my attempts to compartmentalize my life – motherhood, work career and healer – were not fitting together as I had wanted.

I don’t think it has been any one thing. I think it has been many things that are requiring me to reassess the roles I occupy and where my energy is best served. I went back to work in late March as a contract employee, and although that has been what anyone in my professional field of work would consider a “great opportunity”, I’ve found myself questioning its longer term prospects.

I’ve got some time left on my contract and there’s the possibility of a full-time position. However, I’ve been passed over for two jobs for which I was qualified. More recently, I proposed and wrote up my current job as a potential new role – and am waiting. My instincts tell me it shouldn’t be this hard. So, perhaps it’s the universe’s way of saying I should appreciate the corporate paycheck while I’m getting one and back out gracefully when the contract is over. That perhaps there are other things waiting for my attention and energy.

Complicating matters is the fact that my daughter’s needs and schedule have changed. She is in Pre-K now and has a very long day. It’s not what I wanted for her, but I try to finish up my workday between 3-4 pm so I can come get her. She’s overstimulated and/or exhausted, pitching tantrums and often falling asleep before I can even get dinner on the table. It’s been a challenging transition for all of us.

The daily school schedule is one thing, but there were things I had never fully taken into account.

The first happened the week my daughter became very ill with a virus. It was also the same week my grandmother died. It was a tough, draining, sad week. My daughter missed an entire week of school and I was at her side nearly every moment. I wasn’t able to see my grandmother to say my final goodbyes because I feared possibly spreading the virus to her or my relatives. My daughter rarely gets anything worse than a typical cold; this was a big deal. We had a nanny for years who took care of her most of the time when she was under the weather, so I didn’t have to miss work. Now, it’s mainly my responsibility.

Second, I hadn’t considered Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, Winter Break and Spring Break. Each of them is least a week long. I’m a contract employee. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. It’s very challenging finding camp or other care options for an entire week every couple of months. The patchwork arrangements I’ve made for Fall and Thanksgiving Breaks were less than optimal.

Third, I hadn’t considered school events. There are a lot of them and often during working hours. This is great for SAHMs or even some WAHMs, but not for those of us who spend most of the week in the office. There are few things worse than seeing your child cry when you tell her you can’t make a school event because you have to work. My daughter has been telling me that she doesn’t like her after school program. I don’t think it’s that she doesn’t like it; I think she just wants to be a “car rider” or a “bus rider” and come home earlier to be with Mommy. That is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

Between the school breaks, my daughter’s illness in October and some of my own minor health issues, I’ve reassessing my priorities and direction. My life responsibilities are changing and I have to allow for these things to progress as they need to.

Intriguingly, there has been some increased activity surrounding my Reiki practice. I had put it on the back burner while I focused my attention on the contract job and home/parenting responsibilities, but I have been pleasantly surprised at some new developments that may take my business forward in a new way – and may potentially allow me to finally pursue it as a full-time occupation sooner rather than later.

I can see movement. Things are on the cusp of big change again (for the better; I like to remain positive!) But I wish an answer or clear direction would present itself. Waiting is always the hardest part.

(Image credit: aussiegall)

6 responses to “On the cusp”

  1. Dana, Thanks for sharing. I can appreciate the waiting and wonder for a clear sign that *this* is the path. Beautifully written piece.

  2. I acknowledge you for doing everything possible to take care of your family, which often means making uncomfortable and unresolved decisions. This is an incredibly frustrating time for many of us, and sometimes much of it simply doesn’t make sense. It’s easy for those of us that feel like the last few years have been an uphill climb to an unreachable top (with frequent rock and mudslides along the way) to say that it shouldn’t be this hard, that life used to be easier, and so forth. I honor you for continuing your path, for being keenly aware of what works (or doesn’t), and for always keeping proper perspective. Your passionate and sincere dedication to your family (including your own needs, which are just as real and important) is a beautiful example for the rest of us. Bless you for being in this world and part of this often confusing journey.

    1. Awww, Carl. You made me cry! Thank you for your beautiful and encouraging words.

  3. Okay, we MUST have coffee (or tea). You and I are in similar situations with our career. I want to share with you the decisions I’ve made and why. I want to hear more from you. Maybe it is all astrological or maybe we’re just walking the same path right now 🙂


    1. I’m sure we’re walking a similar path for a reason! Would love to chat with you – I’ll contact you to see if we can set up a time for coffee! 🙂

  4. There has definitely been a shift since late summer…I felt it so completely…everything was strange and confusing…now, I’m not so confused…and I can totally relate to your frustrations with being a working mom…you miss so much…but today, it takes both parents working just to keep food on the table….sometimes I just want to pack it all up and move to a cheap island…zzzz…tired, but shifting with the shift! You’ll figure it all out!

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