Thursday, September 6, 2012
There was a time that found me very much immersed in the high tech world. I worked at a place that I believed would be where my career would start and end, some 30 years later. In the beginning I thought the sky was the limit and I would climb the ladder and achieve great things.
The high tech world is dynamic, to say the least. Everyone is always at a full sprint to create the next great idea, the next generation, the next fastest, sleekest, shiniest, sexiest gadget and get it out to us to make our lives better. It's exhilarating. There is no time to wait because if you do, well, someone else will beat you to it.
The buzz words and acronyms of that world rolled easily off my tongue and I would nod with acknowledgment to a conversation filled with them. (don't ask me to repeat any of them! they have been buried deep in the bowels of my pea brain and my retrieval system is a little out of whack these days!)
Pregnant with my second child, I fully intended to work until my water broke then return to work that afternoon because, you know, they had to tie the umbilical cord.
It's funny how things can change.
I already had a child in day care, so I was used to the thoughts and feelings that go along with that. I thought another child in day care would be no problem.
Once on maternity leave, things started to look a whole lot different. I lost the desire to keep up with what was going on at the office. I stopped checking in. I stopped wondering about it.
All that mattered was the 2 sweet faces I had before me. All that mattered was having them close enough to touch. To smell sweet baby breath and kiss sweet baby toes, and to take a sweet girl to school and ballet and fix her favorite snack, that was what occupied my thoughts.
I began to feel that there needed to a change. I began to feel that there was going to be a big change.
I had my epiphany one day as I was loading the washing machine. Suddenly the simple act of doing laundry became the catalyst that made me create a new path. (you never knew that a major appliance could be an oracle did you! and no, I did not want to begin a career as a full time laundress!)
My return to work was just long enough to complete the adjustments for our household, that no longer earning an additional paycheck would require. I am blessed and grateful that together with my trophy husband, this was possible.
I never looked back.
I was right about beginning and ending my career with that company, as least as far as that career lasted.
Occasionally I would run into a former colleague and they would ask me where I was working. When I would tell them that I was a SAHM, the reaction would be shock or pity. Our conversation would usually end quickly after my announcement. I guess my vernacular had changed too as they would often scratch their heads and make funny faces when I would mention couponing, PTA or potty training.
Sometimes they would make me feel that my value had plummeted since I no longer earned a paycheck.
Sometimes I feel a twinge when I walk into an office of a friend. When I see the walls lined with plaques and certificates for outstanding contributions and patents. Or a shelf full of awards and mementos of a hard worked career.
I could have had all those things.
But I am more happy, more satisfied, more fulfilled with the path I took.
I think that once my mind quieted, I could hear my heart and soul.
I'm glad I listened. I'm glad I made that connection.
Have you ever listened to your heart instead of your head?
Our theme for September is connections. Be sure to add your shots to the flickr gallery!
"We must not tamper with the organic motion of the soul" Ralph Waldo Emerson
Labels: Linda Owens