It’s now been two months since I left my job and many friends have asked me what, exactly, it is I’m doing. Some have even tried to hook me up with a new job (thanks, friends!).
I’m doing exactly what it looks like I’m doing. I’m taking care of my husband, my child, my dogs, my house. I’m living mindfully and with purpose. I’m simplifying and focusing on what really matters. Before you roll your eyes or stop reading because you think this is not what a woman should be doing, or that I’m not a part of the “female movement”, I strongly beg to differ. Just as Anne-Marie Slaughter pointed out (“Why women still can’t have it all”, Atlantic Magazine, July/August 2012 issue) having it all means making compromises. It means focusing on what matters. It means having it all for you — and what defines that is different for each individual.
Sure, it’s nice to have a regular paycheck and its nice to make use of my college degree. But I wasn’t fulfilled and I felt as though I was cheating on myself. Sure this might change in the future, and I might take back everything I’m saying in this very moment. But the truth of the matter is that everything that matters to me is what I’m focusing on right now.
But what about money, you ask? What about staying in the game? What happens when said kid is in school and your days are wide open? Will you eat Bon-bons?
Yes, I’ll need to adjust how I spend. No, I can’t buy everything I fall in love with (sorry new shoes, maybe next year). But that’s okay because I really don’t have any more room in my closet anyway. As for staying in the game, I think that game is changing for me. I could go back to what I was doing, but I’m not sure (right now) that I want to. And since we’re vegan (mostly), I don’t eat Bon-bons.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s important to be a part of society and to add to it and all of that, but I know that I am raising a well-adjusted kid who is loved, and I also know that we can do this financially right now (not everyone can). I also know that it is important for me to do my thing and to “make something of myself.” But I am. I know it sounds incredibly lame, but with this blog I hope to help people remember how to live simply and with purpose. I hope to remind folks the importance of focusing on the family and slowing down and that it is possible, even in the Silicon Valley. Even if you have to work, or don’t have kids, I hope to help remind folks of the importance of community, family, friends and living simply. I’d also love to hear what others are doing and how they manage it all – job or no job, kids or no kids.
As for the other part of “investing in me time” I am (slowly) starting to work on my writing and am working on the schedule for some creative writing in my life. The balance I’ll need to find, and that I’m working on is to find time for everything in my life (family, kid, home, healthy and fit living) plus the writing (blog and creative). I might even go off and do something completely different. The point is that the road is wide-open. This is all a part of the transition. Not only the Mom Transition, but also the Me Transition.
I’m just as shocked as you are. I thought all I’d want to do was continue with that corporate world and fight the good fight. But these days I’m all about love, not war.
And yes, I’m well aware that “Raising Mayhem” doesn’t bode well with “living simply.” That was on purpose.
How do you find balance in your life? How do you make time for it all and still have it all? Because I’d love to know.