The New Normal


For everything there is a season.

And every season ends.

Giving us a new beginning.

All this philosophizing is my way of revealing something kind of big. Big to me, at least.

I’ve gone back to work. Five days a week. In shoes and business attire. (Cue sad music.)

For the last twenty years I’ve had the luxury of working part-time, pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors, and frankly, having time to myself. Now before you get an image of me eating bon bons and watching Oprah, let me backtrack. In that time I’ve had three kids, cared for ailing parents, managed our rental properties, run a business from home and kept up with my military husband, including a deployment. (There are no bon bons in my home and I’m not a fan of the Big O.)

But it was all done on our terms, and shoes were largely optional for most of it. It was a luxury we allowed ourselves, and our children and lifestyle were the beneficiaries.

Now, as we enter the next season – having two kids in college – that season is coming to an end.

So I find myself embarking on a new adventure. Trying to figure out how to continue doing all of the things that filled my days while managing a five-day-a-week commitment to an employer. Our tenants aren’t going away, and our elder care responsibilities have only changed a little. With two boys in college my laundry load should be lighter, and I won’t need as big a pot on the stove most days, but I’m wondering how that’s going to free up enough time for a job.

Are you ready to call the wh-ambulance for me yet?

Thank you for the royalty-free image, Microsoft.

Thank you for the royalty-free image, Microsoft.

I’m not really here to whine. (Well, maybe just a little.) But I am feeling the need to express just how terrified I am about the whole idea. The idea of failing.

Will I fail at the new job? There are technical aspects that I’ll have to learn. I’m starting to think of myself in the “old dog” category.  I don’t really want to learn how to use the new Tivo remote. So learning a new job where making a mistake costs people time and money is scaring the crap out of me.

Will I fail my kids? Will I have energy to help the Caboose with his homework? Will I have time to visit Slick at his new college out of state? Will I be able to help the Trailblazer settle in to his new house this fall?

Will I fail as a wife? Will I have time to fulfill my “wifely” duties? (Cooking Italian food, not the other thing.)

Perhaps I’ll just have to practice what I preach, and let myself off the hook for all of that, and remember why I’m going back to work. So my kids can have the futures we want for them.

The new normal will mean the house won’t be as tidy. But I already have a philosophy about that. I’ll just need to employ it. My garden won’t be as green. Not a tragedy. My youngest son, who’ll be the only kid left at home come August will have to become more responsible and independent. But it’s time for that anyway.

So it turns out it’s not really a big deal after all. Just a new season of my life.

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26 Comments

Filed under The Lucky Mom

26 responses to “The New Normal

  1. You acknowledge fear, but I hear undertones of enthusiasm from a woman completely present in her daily life. Congratulations and best wishes on this new chapter.

    • I do believe in full presence. And I keep reminding myself why I’m doing it, which makes all the difference and accounts for my enthusiasm. Last week we took Slick to the two-day orientation at his new school, and watching him make decisions for his future, envisioning him as the man he is becoming, makes me certain I’ve made the right choice.

  2. Anonymous

    The woman I know will do a wonderful job. You have come a long way from HFCU and you were the BEST. Good luck my dear friend.

  3. I wish you the best of luck on your new begginings! You’ll do great!

  4. I hope it’s an incredible new season.

  5. Wow – what a big change. You can do it, though, I am sure. And that will be something for me to think about. We’ll have two in college for three years, though that is still some years away. Thinking I may need to go that route, too. Looking forward to hearing about this new adventure!

  6. Anonymous

    If u can handle three boys an a husband deploy for a year u can do any thing. Good luck . Pray more worry less
    Cheryl

  7. Praying that the new season is as fulfilling as the former. And that you still have a little time for blogs, facebook and an occasional glass of wine. :)

  8. Congrats on your new2 challenge! Anyone who can manage being a Mom plus everything else you have been doing will have no trouble getting into the outside workforce full time. Based on experience, just be sure it’s something you really enjoy as that makes it all worthwhile.

  9. It is scary! I’ve had the good fortune to see both sides in the past year and notice how nice it is to have more time to do all the things that our sisters 50 or 100 years ago used to do full time. Best of luck making it all work for your family. Congrats on the job, too!

  10. I’m thrilled for you. You will be a fantastic employee, and the people who snatched you up obviously knew what they were getting in you! And yet, selfishly, I’m thinking dagnabit, I wish I’d gotten you to The Happy House sooner, Because now? Well, now it will be harder, right? Harder to get you away from an employer and all of that jazz. But maybe not. :) Congratulations on your new normal. Stay in touch, yes?

  11. I can. not. wait. to read all about this. Think of the blog fodder! Ya just better carve out that time to meet me here on this page. I am afraid that I don’t have anything to bring to the table after 4 years at home, but thrilled by the notion that no one will ask about potty training or nonstick skillets. so very thankful I have you to watch yet again.

    • Thanks, Girlie!! I was terrified that I had nothing left to offer an employer, but it turns out it’s like riding a bike! Skills I thought were rusted shut came right back to me. Turns out I probably could learn to work the new Tivo remote, too. ;-) If I tried.

  12. very excited for you!! I remember when my mom went back to work, and it was definitely a transition. hope yours goes smoothly :)

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