Recently, I got some wonderful advice. I am new to full-time work, having spent the last 16 years home raising the kids and working part-time. This spring I returned to the field I worked in before becoming a mom (mental health). I was excited to once again be using my degree and to be in a profession where I could possibly make a difference in someone’s life. The only problem was the drain this took on my home life. I kept at it, thinking I needed to work harder at finding that balance. My family stepped up and helped around the house (the kids even took turns making dinner and doing the laundry). This was a positive step, but I was still drained. At the end of the summer I found another job closer to home, thinking a shorter commute would simplify things. And it was in meeting with the Human Resource Manager in the last step of the hiring process that changed my focus and helped me to return to my passion.
I ended up talking to this wonderful, bright lady about my concerns with returning to full-time professional work – about how all the advice I had been given can be summed up with “yes, you’ll be tired and what you need to do is care less about the things you used to do”. She said I did not have to settle for that. What I needed to do was make a list of what was important to me and to have faith that I would find a job that would full-fill those needs. It sounds simple, but at a time when the economy is so uncertain, and I have a teen-age boy on the cusp of college – could I afford to be so picky? She said to give it time and to have faith that I would find something. And to not leave my art out of the equation.
Well, she was 100% right. I did not take the job at the facility where she worked. The money would have been nice, as well as the hours and benefits (and the fabulous working environment) – but I knew it would drain my “creative juices”. I instead found another job for a company I have long respected, for the same pay, without that emotional drain. And since making that decision, I have created countless pieces of work. I think my heart is telling me I am headed in the right direction. 🙂