Thursday, February 9, 2012

Goodbye Maternity Leave, Hello... What?

In less than two weeks I will be in a suit, at my desk, for the first time in 13 months. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this idea. In the past, my career was a huge part of how I saw myself. My identity was wrapped up in what I did for a living. Moreover, it was wrapped up in being good at my job. This is no longer the case. I know my experience is not unique. Many women have written about how their priorities change after starting a family. I mean, how could they not change?! Right now, I feel like my life is exactly as I'd always hoped it would be.  As someone who has lived with depression and anxiety for most of my life... that I am in this place? That I have have a husband who I adore and who loves me to pieces? That I have an amazing son, a beautiful home, a community of friends, and a creative outlet that brings me joy? That I am so incredibly happy? There were many years when I couldn't begin to imagine that I could have these blessings in my life. It's mind boggling at times to look around and see what I've created for myself. I did this. Me! Amazing.

This past year has been such a gift. I've experienced less anxiety and depression than ever before. And yet, maternity leave can't last forever. I don't actually want it to if I'm being honest. I like earning an income. I like the intellectual stimulation and social interaction that my work offers. But I am nervous. Uncertainly has always been difficult for me and I am entering the unknown. Like so many women, I'm about to be thrown into the juggling act that is working full-time and parenting. I'm trying to figure out how dinner will get made, when laundry will be done, how I'll maintain my volunteer commitments (I have no interest in pulling back on these because it's important to me to be someone who contributes to her community) and when I'll find time to sew. It's hard to visualize exactly how it's going to work. And so, I find my anxiety escalating.  And I remind myself that change isn't easy. That I don't need to problem solve. That a month from now I'll have more information. That I can take the next few weeks one day at a time. That it's okay to feel anxious and it doesn't need to be a BIG DEAL or anything more than just some nervousness about the unknown that will work itself out with the passage of time.

This is a sewing and craft blog. I don't generally veer into the personal. But I feel like I'm approaching a significant transition and writing about it here just feels right. I don't have a tidy wrap-up statement for this post. I don't even have closing thoughts. I'm reminding myself to take comfort in the knowledge that this life I've built, and the people in it, will hold me up as I feel my way through the changes coming my way.

4 comments:

  1. Good attitude about the unknowable, Lisa - you'll be open to even more blessings every step of the way!

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  2. I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I'm honoring you with the Versatile Blogger award.

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  3. You'll do just fine - we all do. Things don't have to be perfect - just get the important stuff done. As someone who is on the other side (my kids are grown) I now realize that it was my own expectations I was trying to live up to and that I should have let some of that go.

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