Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Times are Changing

In the midst of our lifetime, we experience many changes.  We age, from baby, to toddler, to little girl/boy, to bigger girl/boy, to teenager, to young adult and finally 'fully fledged' adult.  Certain of these aging processes can seem to take an extraordinary amount of time to get through (toddler-hood for a mother, teenager-hood for the person experiencing it). 
Adulthood, once reached, can be a mixed blessing.  Depending on if you are a glass half full or a glass half empty person, I believe, it can either loom; with things only likely to go downhill with approach to senior years or it can stretch, long ahead with infinate possibilities that can only come with experience and wisdom being on your side.  You may have once been a nervous, unconfident teenager but as an adult you may have long washed those days away and feel charged about heading into life with clear open eyes on the way of the world.
I look at my life in era's when it comes to age.  A happy childhood.  An unscathed teenage run but with a lost sense of direction.  I floundered in my early 20's, with the pressure that a lot of my friends (I realise now ridiculously) felt of feeling like a failure because by the age of 23 we were not huge successes, with our own homes and perfect relationships.
Then my world as I knew it got turned upside down.  I unexpectedly fell pregnant.  Life as a mother started for me.  Not only that, a life a special needs, single mother began.  I was only 25.  I thought that was quite old back then.  I thought I was a confident and world knowledgable women.  I wasn't. 
Real confidence for me, has only come with real-life adulthood trauma, which up until I had my baby boy I had not experienced.  My take on life now is; nothing is as hard (or rewarding) as motherhood.  I took my, meek young self and dealt with a tough hand life decided to deal me.  If I can do that I can do anything I try and drum into myself.
However, every now and then a little self doubt raises its head.  When it came to work, I had 'relative' confidence.  Many years of working in my profession meant yes, I was good at what I did.  I felt comfortable and worked my way up to managerial level.  If I didn't feel wholly confident with something, I at least felt strong enough to bluff my way through.  Therefore I found it quite difficult to understand people who would say 'Since I had my baby I have just lost my confidence and am really worried about going back to work.' 
Of course I couldn't understand it.  I didn't stop work.  I had to maintain that confidence.  Even when I did get the opportunity to become a stay at home mum, for the first year, my mind was still in work mode and I felt I could have strolled back to work and picked up where I left off.
However, it has now been more than a year since I left the world of work.  It has been over three and a half.  My days of having my youngest son by my side 24/7 are almost at an end.  We have already decided we are not going to be having any more children. 
Without me realising it, an end of an era is nigh.
Do I let the stretch of our post baby days scare me, with the big 'what am I going to do next?' question?  I can hear people saying 'Get a job'.  Our finances could only be helped by that for sure.  That very sentence has passed through the depths of my mind.
Then the fear hits.  The fear that I could never understand before.  I have been out of the workplace for over three - and - a - half - years - a statement that lurks always in the back of my mind.  Younger, more energetic models have risen through the ranks.  To be honest, I can only remember the negative parts of working in management; never being able to please anyone; staying over and above the hours you were actually paid for; taking work home in preparation for meetings I hated heading up.  And the big question :
Could I still do it?
The answer would probably be yes.  The bigger, more thought-provoking one is :
Do I want to?
The answer :
I do not wish to return to the professional from which I left.  There I have said it.  So, then the questions really begin. 
So what do you want to do?
Are you prepared to retrain?
Can you afford to not go straight back to work?
Question, questions, questions.  Heart palpatations.  Sleepless nights.  Our 21st Century life as we know it, doesn't particularly encourage us to be happy with our lot.  We are trained, consciously or sub-consciously I do not know, to always be striving for more. 
What would be your honest reaction be if I said 'Well, I have worked since I was 16 years of age, I have met my soul-mate and had children - so any child free hours are now my own to play with.'  It probably wouldn't be all that complimentary.  Would you think I lacked passion?  Would you think I was a spoilt house wife? 

I would imagine 'Well maybe she is just content.' wouldn't be something you thought.
Sadly, I wouldn't be content.  Even if we were in a place where I had a healthy disposable income and could be a lady of leisure.  But I am also not happy with the idea of returning to a profession I have no interest in.  A large portion of our time is spent in the work place, so I do not want the majority of my day to once again be filled undertaking tasks that for me hold no passion.  But I do need my own income.  Can I really make a career for myself in something I enjoy aswell?  Has adulthood so far armed me with that amount of confidence?
So as these times change, my boys growing at a rapid pace I am standing at a two pronged fork in the road.  Do I have the metaphorical balls to take that path marked 'New and Unknown'?


  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! Open the door that says 'New and Unknown', shut it, and never look back. Your life will be more rewarding, promise you. If your heart isn't in it - don't go back to your old work (I know I couldn't do it - and yes, I've totally lost confidence in the idea of another office job).

    And for what it's worth, here's something you can do to help boost your confidence in your new life (I recommend doing this for at least one month - as this is how long it takes to form a habit)....

    Firstly - Write down what you want your new career to look like - every detail... put reminders of this around your home

    Secondly - every night, for 5 to 10 mins (before bedtime is good) relax yourself with a few deep breaths and then imagine what your new career looks like - every detail - imagine yourself writing from your bureau and receiving acceptance letters to your proposals etc - imagine writing your fiction etc. Then at the end tell yourself something like this - "I am a professional writer, I earn my living as a writer. This or something better now manifests itself in my life."

    This form of visualistion / affirmations can be a really powerful tool to attract what you want and can really boost self confidence and belief. If you get any blocks with this eg a fear or belief that you don't deserve it - then work with the block, visualise breaking through the walls of your fears etc, and keep affirming to your self that you can do it!

    So yes, yes, yes - you can absolutely do this!

    Ps there's a great book on the power of visualisation by Shakti Gawain 'Creative Visualisation'. Also another one to help unblock writers fears is 'The Artists Way' by Julia Cameron.

    1. Thank you so much OM. A very inspiring and supportive message. Thank you for the tips and book recommendation. Will google it now!x

  2. I have a very similar conumdrum myself, I have to go back to work in April to a job I hate. I fell pregnant whilst working my ass off to get my dream job and was about to go back to uni to do a masters but now that isn't an option. Going back to work when I'd much rather be a SAHM and to a job I don't even enjoy is a horrible feeling! I just hope I can find my feet soon and go back down the path I want to.

    Good luck! :-)

    1. I really hope you can get yourself into the position where you can change your path. Keep in mind that you CAN and it is just a matter of time. Being in a job you don't like, will be a great driving force.x

  3. Yes, you can. If you have the opportunity to try making a living from something you love grab it with both hands and do your best to make your dream come true. You won't regret it, I'm sure of that.

    What an exciting time x

    1. Very exciting. There are some hurdles of practicality (ie. financial) to overcome before I can really get the ball rolling, but I am going to stay positive and do everything I can to work through them.x

  4. I love that Lynsey - 'Do I want to? No.' That's really brave for a start. I know without doubt you have the metaphoric balls to do what you want to. When you know what you don't want - what you do want will emerge. You'll know and you'll be brilliant at it XXX

    1. Haha, that is what my husband said when he asked me if I wanted to go back to what I used to do and received that response

  5. For me, prayer helped. I believe everything happened to us for a reason and we are part of a bigger scheme of things. I have felt quite out of joint myself in the last year or so. I love working, I want to be there for my little one, I would love to help other people with the gifts I have...etc. At the moment I am doing a small job that doesn't seem to be having anything to do with my bigger plans for life. But you know what? I am making money, after many months and I feel fulfilled. Just start with what you can find and move from there. You are a clever girl with a lot to give, you will find you path!xx

    1. Thank you so much. I agree, we are small fry in a bigger world and we deserve to be happy for the majority of that time so we should be able to do what makes us happy and fulfilled. Sadly most are forced to do whatever they can make a living at just to keep a roof over their heads, especially at the moment. That is why I am so determined to make this opportunity work, whilst it is there.x

  6. I would say that sometimes following your heart, especially when you can do so without putting extra strain on things like finances, is the best thing you can do!

    When Tim was looking for a new career, I decided I should look for work too as Oscar was just over a year and I didn't want all the pressure to be on him. But pretty quickly I realised that though I could go back to work full-time, I didn't want to. And I felt anguish every time I sent off a job application. We talked about it and decided I should look for part-time work only, which would enable to me spend more time at home still and also work on the book, which I would have to give up were I to go back full-time and it was a compromise I didn't want to make. And by following my heart I found a perfect part-time job and Tim found a great new career too. We just had to learn patience (which I don't have much of!!) and enough faith to follow our hearts for once.

    I think the key is knowing when following your heart is a good step and you're just holding back for fear and when following your heart might not be right for you or your family. I went through this just this past weekend when I realised that I desperately wanted to follow my heart and have another baby but in reality there are too many risks in it and too much at stake for the whole family. I realised that in our circumstances it would be completely selfish and not for the good of the family, and though it is hard to let go of that dream, I need to and other options exist (enjoying life with just one child or looking into adoption further down the road). And I think this is very clear to me, when I really think about it, and so I could never have confused this with the kind of decision/crossroad when following my heart could be a great decision... does that make sense?

    I think, if you can and feel you want to take another path, then go for it.. it could be fantastic!!!

    1. Thank you Amanda. I am sorry to hear that you had to come to the decision about not having anymore babies, but like you say you have to look at the idea that further down the road, you maybe able to make it happen in other ways. Finding a work / life balance is tough, especially in the economic climate we are currently in.x


I would love for you to quack your thoughts along with me and will always try and quack right back.