Thursday, September 6, 2012

Along came a different path

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





Dotti said...

Yes, Linda! You followed your heart ... Way to go, girl! I know it couldn't have been easy but I can identify with it. Our inner connections are wired differently ... and we would be wise to pay heed to where they lead. I'm so glad you were aware if your internal wiring. There's a valuable lesson here for all of us.

Thanks you.



Dotti said...

PS - Sweet, sweet photo ... !


stephmull said...

Oh, Linda! Your story moved me! Thank you for sharing your heart with us and your inner connection!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a lovely share! I was blessed to stay home with my children, AND work when they were in school (our own company) but never will I regret the time and effort spent on following my heart. In the end you have to be the right person for you and your family.

great shot and story!


heyjudephotography said...

Beautiful photo, lovely post Linda. It's wonderful when we women have the choice. Stay at home? Or work out of the home? I feel very lucky to be able to have that choice. I've done both. And I am a real advocate for truly following what feels right. When it feels right, it IS right.

Cathy H. said...

A very touching post, Linda! I too made the decision to stay at home with my children (many years ago). I've never regretted that! I cherish those days, even the tough ones! I was blessed to be able to be home with them! So glad you went with your heart!!

Anonymous said...

Connecting with yourself and your soul is truly the foundation for connecting with everything else. Kudos to you for following your heart!

Kim Stevens said...

This was just a wonderful post Linda...when my hubby and I first moved to Texas we bought our first home together on one income because we both had decided that for us it was important that one of us be home with our kids, and well, I really wanted to be home with them. I have never regreted that decision....

Deanna said...

Linda, such a thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing what is in your heart. We made the decision early on that I would be a SAHM, it was tough (financially) but I have never regretted that growing up and connection time with my children.

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

Thank you for sharing this. I always thought I'd be a career woman, but then made a similar decision when my daughters were babies. They're grown now, I'm back at work and will never "catch up" career-wise, but I do not regret a moment. I know this was the right decision for me and my family. Good for you that you can follow your heart!

terriporter said...

Like so many others who have commented, I was a SAHM and never regretted it. It was at a time when it wasn't that popular and a lot of women who chose that route were defensive about their choice but I wouldn't have d one it any other way. And, like you, I am now taking care of grandkids and I love that too. Nothing more important that we could do than to nurture the lives of children. Thanks so much for this post. As you can tell, a lot of us identified with it.

Carol said...

Hi Linda, glad you answered your soul. I have known sahmoms who resented worker bees, and workr bees who disrespected stay at homes. It's all such a waste

Carol said...

Sorry froze. Anyway I was saying, that each position is needed in this world and each has it's own joys and challenges. I was home 2days a week when my kids were under 5 so I had a little taste of both.

Viv (modifica) said...

Thankyou for sharing your story so uplifting....

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