Since I quit my job a couple of years ago and decided to try the “stay at home” thing, I have discovered a whole new world.
In the months the lead up to my departure from the working world, my head was spinning with ideas of how my days would be filled. I could get my girls off to school, tidy up my house, have coffee with friends, join in the ladies walking groups or the golf clubs. In my mind, my house would be spotless, I would have more than enough to keep me busy and I would finally be free of the day in, and day out routine that had confined me for over 30 years.
The first few weeks were just as I had pictured. I was able to volunteer for field trips at the schools. I walked just about every day. My house was beyond clean, including cupboards and drawers. It was an amazing feeling and I could not imagine my life any other way.
But eventually I discovered that those friends I was going to have coffee with were working during the day. The walking groups did not exist and I was weary of walking by myself. I have not golfed in years and the people I used to golf with had all moved or were now working. My house was as clean as it was going to get. So, in less than a month my visions of this full and rewarding leap to the life of leisure were shattered.
My reasons for not wanting to hold down a 9 to 5 job any more were endless, but the main reason was because I did not have time to do the things I used to do. I was tired of my days consisting of the same people, the same tasks and the office politics that normally followed me home. I wanted to attend my kids’ softball games without having to ask for time off. I wanted to catch up on things during the week and have my weekend free to enjoy my family and not have to spend them cleaning, grocery shopping and doing laundry.
I don’t miss work. But I miss working. I miss the structure that filled 8 hours of my day. I did not like having a boss and a time clock, but can definitely say that I liked having my days planned and my time accounted for. After the initial freedom factor wore off, I found myself doing less and less instead of trying the things I had wanted to try, but couldn’t because I did not have time. I feel like I have come to a screeching halt and there is not any urgency to do much of anything.
Could it be that I thrived better when I had less time? I could list the pros and cons of both working and not having to work and it would probably be about even, but the one thing that has taken a nose dive is my motivation. Now I feel like I have all of the time in the world. I will get to those now messy cupboards next week. I still do the majority of my fun stuff in the evenings, because that is when my friends are available. Of course my kids have benefited because I am here with them during the summer and I am at every event during the school year. That was what I wanted the most.
So in this next 6 weeks of summer, my goal is to envision what I want my days to look like when school is back in session. I am going to start training for the leadership role and force myself to be my own boss. I’m sure I will need to be strict because, knowing myself, I can see that I might tend to go towards the lazy side. I am going to have to get really creative and make my tasks fun and not boring and routine. Wish me luck in my new endeavors.