Saturday, January 24, 2009

Calm morning...

My dog is at my feet. My husband sleeps peacefully. The coffee is hot. Soon there will be French toast on the table with maple syrup, and we'll have conversation over breakfast while the washing machine hums from the other room.

Just in the last two or three months I've come to realize all I've missed by working so much. My mother-in-law said something to me a few weeks ago that was pretty insightful. "We find we don't need as much as we think we do." In some ways it's true; in other ways not. We need more of the things we don't get enough of when we're workaholics. When we live without those things long enough, we forget we ever needed them at all. Like peace, a comfortable and organized home, a balanced relationship, and a place to feel safe. When I finally move past the instinct to chase corporate success, money, and perceived "security," I can somewhat feel the need for things I haven't had any joy in for years. Things that I didn't even like to do anymore, because I was too full of anxiety. Who can sit aimlessly on the couch and read a book when she has three reports due the same week and a technical presentation to build from the ground up? After over a decade of that lifestyle being what's regarded as normal, I don't think anyone can.

Eight months without a job has presented an opportunity to remember who I am inside, and things I used to like to do. Remember how to relax and be still is not like hopping on a bicycle after several years. It doesn't just "come back to you." It's an entire re-learning process. The hardest part of all may well be allowing myself to feel a sense of pride for things I do in this role and lifestyle. Because I never regarded them as being worth anything. Interestingly enough, they may be the most important of all. When we both work constantly, and the dishes and dustbunnies multiply, and we get clean laundry but once every three weeks, there is stress we never even realized. Life without that stress and without all that money is possibly better than life filled with both.


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