Monday, February 28, 2011

Reframing Life

I think I was 7 or 8 when I realized that I would be good at the world of work. My mom used to go into the office on the weekends and I'd hang out at a spare desk sorting papers, stapling, stamping, "playing" at work.

When she transitioned into a different job a few years later I still went in with her. I loved the feeling of it, I loved my mom's work clothes and jewelry. I loved that she had her own office and that people reported to her. I knew that the world of work was where I belonged.

So I plowed through school as fast as humanly possible. Took incredibly large course loads semester after semester that someone somewhere should probably have put the kibosh on. I graduated, moved East almost immediately and started aggressively climbing the corporate ladder at a company that I loved and that I allowed myself to dissolve into. Then, I went out on my own and did well in private practice.

Cue a few years later,  I had a baby and I did the one thing I swore up and down right and left that I would never do. At week 10 I decided that when the money I had saved up for maternity leave ran out at week 14 I would continue to stay home with our son during the day. I could never in a million years have believed that this would be a choice that I would make and that I would love it as much as I do.

To make ends meet the hubs and I switch shifts with me working nights and weekends and it works for us. I don't think either of us really thought about what that would mean for our relationship or that it would continue on this long. Our original estimates were to keep up this schedule for 2 years and we are now approaching 3 and we have plans to do it until Little Dude is 5. And, the reality that I have come to accept over the past few weeks is that I will probably never go back to work like I used to. I don't want to have days or entire work weeks go by where I never see Little Dude.  Which brings me to a rather startling realization that I need to create a new means by which to measure my own happiness, because my old means is going to leave me disappointed and feeling like a failure every time.

It's intense to change the core beliefs that have anchored you as a person for nearly 20 years. Work will not be the measure of my success any longer. It is a means to an end, to a roof over our head and food on our table. I must now find new ways to measure my success and my personhood and it feels good to have acknowledged that. I hope this means that I'll have many much happier days ahead of me. I think the aimless and lost feeling that has been plaguing me the past year is going to be behind me.

I haven't clearly delineated what my new goals will be, but I know that eventually I want to be very involved in the PTA at Little Dude's school and the hubs and I have talked about how this will be an outlet for me. From now until then, I've got some time to start exploring what my new destiny will look like.


  1. Alissa, What a positive and upbeat outlook you have. For some people it is hard to get beyond our current state of mind and the disappointments we have encountered. You go girl!!

  2. Huzzah! Here's to new beginnings!!--julia

  3. I feel ya! After reading this post I talked to Chris about it and said my forte was school... i was good at it and ever since I stopped I've been at kind of a loss - so maybe we can start exploring together! ~ Alisyne

  4. @ Alisyne: That'd be awesome! We can start our own "cheer" squad. School was never my thing personally, what do you think you'd like to study?

    I toy with going back, but it was always a struggle for me.


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