04 June 2012

What should I wear tomorrow?

That's what I'd think about before going to work every day.

What kind of jeans-and-t-shirt-combo can I come up with for tomorrow?

Client meeting?

Jeans and a nice shirt.

But...no longer.

I no longer work.

I'm retired.

Or semi-retired.

And I'm living to tell about it.

After almost 20 years as a working woman--5 of them as a working mom--I have left the building.

It was a decision my husband and I had discussed over and over again over the last several months.

The ad industry has morphed from a fun, exhilarating field...to what it is now.

And I needed to get out.

So we pored over the numbers. Adding. Subtracting.

Yes, subtracting a lot.

Then re-adding. Re-subtracting. Re-figuring.

But once an opportunity for me to "let myself go" arose, there was no question in my mind.

So now I'm spending the days with my 5-year-old-going-on-kindergarten daughter.

We go to the park.

We go to lunch.

We go get yogurt.

We read. Have "school".

We play, like I haven't played with her in years.

And I'm so happy.

I was worried that it would be a huge adjustment. That I'd regret my decision. That I'd realize I'd made a huge mistake.

But I'm so. Incredibly. Happy.

It's the best decision I've made since deciding to have a baby. (and before that, deciding to get these cute black wedge boots that are with me to this day)

Sure, it's only 2 weeks in. And everything still seems sparkly and wonderful.

But I don't get that stressed out feeling anymore.

You know.

When you dread going to work on a Sunday night...or in my case, toward the end of my career, the feeling I had every night. And in the shower the next morning.

That stress is gone.

In its place is a kind of wonder.

Wonder. That I'm making this work.

That my husband is so amazing and supportive and happier now than before (most likely due to me not snapping at him every 5 minutes now that I'm free).

I'm a stay at home mom.

Kind of a strange title.

But I'm home. Doing freelance when I'm not pushing my daughter on the swings.

Being with her and being present.

Instead of rushing her to hurry-up-and-eat-dinner or hurry-up-and-walk-faster.

Because really, there's nothing to hurry for right now.

We are making our own days.

We are doing what we want, when we want to do it.

Until fall.

When she'll start kindergarten.

This fall, she'll run straight into the schoolyard.

And begin a running-away-from-me that I won't be able to control.

But this. I can control.

And I think I timed it pretty well.

Because no matter what, I'll never regret this.

I'll never regret walking away from a career that was killing me,

And walking toward my life...

It's going to be a good summer.

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