So we are mostly back together again, finally. Chris has had the same cough since October right after we moved into our house, and I still wake up feeling a little congested, but for the most part we are all better. Life since we moved – really, since I went back to work at Children’s after maternity leave – has really thrown me off balance, and forced me to be very flexible, good humored, and patient in order to avoid going crazy. Especially around the holidays this year. Typically, the only vacation I ever really take from work is two weeks off around Christmas and New Year’s. I like to have a block of time with which I can pretend to be a stay at home wife and artist (and now mom), while joyfully throwing myself into the general buzz of Christmastime. Chris and I then spend a good chunk of time together, often away from home, around New Year’s to take a good look at the last year, decide what we’d like to do differently in the coming year, and plan our next set of goals or personal resolutions. We didn’t do any of that this year, mostly due to our illness. So lately, it has been on my mind a lot.
2007 was a very very full year for us. Lots and lots of ups and downs, momentous events of both joy and disappointment, and changes of all kinds. One big part of this, of course, was having a baby. That has changed everything, in a positive, but very different way. People often ask me how I enjoy being a mom, and comment on how much it changes your life. I have answered that in many ways, having a baby has made my life much simpler. My child is the most important thing in my life, aside from my relationship with God, and my marriage. Those things come first, and that’s just the way it is. Thus, it is much easier to prioritize my life. Many choices are much easier to make.
But the really hard part about this is that really, my everyday life does not reflect my priorities. You see, we’ve made the conscious and very difficult decision of pursing a dream that we feel will best benefit our family in the long run, but in the short run it requires a bit of sacrifice and a lot of hard work. While I maintain a full-time, professional career in Human Resources, I am building a small business with my husband, a dream we both share for our family. We also have a baby. And we bought a house. Thus, with full time work at each place, the time we have leftover must be split very carefully between our marriage, our son, church, family, friends, hobbies, getting our home together, personal health, and other life interests (that wasn’t necessarily in order of importance!). Lately, it has just been marriage and son.
My main goal for 2008 is for my everyday life to reflect my priorities, the top of which are God and my family. After two years of hard work, long hours, and not spending as much time as we’d like with family, friends, or our hobbies and interests, we are at the door of our dreams being realized. See, I never saw myself as a working mother. Working full-time in a corporate environment, I mean. Well, I always saw myself working – just not in job that took me away from my child for about 10 hours out of almost every day, doing work that used none of my God-given talents. I never intended to have a child only to have someone else raise him while I went to an office. And I don’t believe God gave me the talents and passions I have only to have me put them in my pocket while I went to an office. I don’t mean to criticize corporate careers, or even my job – it has been a great opportunity that I for the most part have enjoyed. I don’t think anything is wrong with a corporate career at all. I just think it is wrong for me personally, and for my family.
Our store allows us to work the many required hours on a flexible schedule (a lot of it at any time from any place), to work with family and friends, to meet a lot of new people and develop new friendships, and to provide an outlet for our creative interests. Not to mention leaving a lot more time leftover for family, friends, church, and…well, life. And sometime within the next year I should hopefully be able to make this transition, and start bringing some balance back into my life. For a time, I wasn’t sure what my 2008 goals would be. We have our business started. We have a house. We have a child. Those were some big ones that we’ve been working toward one way or another for a while. Now that we have them, what was next? Balance. That’s what’s next for me in 2008.