Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ramblings on risk and gratitude

This little boy stayed home from school last Thursday with a fever--that ultimately turned out to be strep throat. :/

However, he was quite happy to camp out on the couch with many pillows, blankets, kitties, books and Netflix while I worked. 

Kitties really make everything better, don't they? Daphne is our little cream puff marshmallow angel!

Since working entails me going to the workshop in our backyard, I could check on him repeatedly throughout the day and take pauses as needed. 

To have this luxury floored me on this particular, warmer-than-usual November day.

It's been a little more than a year since I left my previous job.  That position was at a public library and there were many aspects of it--mainly brilliant co-workers and a mission I very much believed in--that made it excellent. 

 But it was an office job (and wow, have I learned over the years that office jobs don't suit me!) and the pay was pretty paltry considering the responsibilities and expectations. Additionally, the hours were going to change and that would necessitate childcare after school. 

After going through an exhausting divorce and other losses the last few years, I knew I wanted to be available to Jacob while we continued to adjust after big changes.  To be a consistent and loving presence for him feels like my most important work at this time in life.

And with him almost 9, I feel like the years have flown by at an astonishing pace!  I didn't want to miss time together for a job when there are many, many more years ahead to work. 

So, with a mix of bravery and trepidation, I gave my notice to pursue a new path.

Fast forward to a feverish boy and a working parent's dilemma.  Which is no longer my own dilemma because circumstances have allowed me, and are such that I have been able, to strike out on my own for work.   Talk about a moment of exceptional gratitude.

Leaving a steady job felt rather risky. It was a calculated risk, but a risk nonetheless. 

 However, a year on the other side of that decision, I'm deeply glad I didn't choose comfort or predictability or the known. Thanks to the support of family, my loving man, friends, and business associates, along with my own skills and determination, when my son is sick, I am able to be there for him without guilt or outside pressure.

The privilege of this situation is immense.

I feel very often these days that I live a charmed life.  It's most certainly imperfect and filled with struggle at times (though usually of my own making.)  But it's something I've wanted and strived for for so long. 

I've been moved over the years by women, both in real life that I know, and via blogs, that have earnestly sought to live authentic, gratitude-filled lives. That looks different for different people but the commonality has been intention: the making of deliberate choices when they're available; focusing on relationships and life's work; choosing to be grateful more often than not.

Where I am today is a culmination of fortune, happenstance, better (and let's be honest, poorer) choices, privilege, risk-taking, work on myself, and luck, to mention just a few factors.

And for all of this, I am most grateful.  Especially to have this boy who is now fever-free and back to his bouncing-off-the-walls ways.


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