For a while now, I've been contemplating life after three little girls are in school full time. I'm finally at a point where it is within grasp... just barely beyond the horizon. I can taste it sometimes:) I have a bit of freedom every afternoon and I love it. Thats not to say that there aren't days where I complain to myself that the freedom is not nearly long enough to accomplish all that I need to accomplish, but it is freedom nonetheless. And much cherished - I rarely let anyone in to my afternoons. Call me selfish, but its been 8 years since I've had regular periods of alonetime... even after Georgia started preschool last fall, many of my afternoons included my neighbor's son whom I babysat. Babysitting is over and now EVERY SINGLE day, I have 2 1/2 hours to myself. I do chores. I run errands. I eat lunch. I rarely answer the phone. I love it.
And my family benefits from all of this. I am a much calmer, peaceful, tolerant mother and wife. I have time to sit with my thoughts instead of having them swirl around up there driving me mad.
Two and a half years from now I will have every day - all day - to myself.
For almost 8 years I have intended to enroll in nursing school the second my youngest darling daughter steps on that bus to all day first grade. I've had periods of yearning for that future career. Times when something inside of me stirs and becomes a bit restless because I know that I will be a good nurse. I know I will. And I can't wait to do it. Something in my soul longs for that.
Over the last year and a half my position has changed. I've had time to think about things. I've watched my neighbor go through nursing school with little kids at home and witnessed the chaos that entails for the entire family (some people do well and thrive in chaos. Jana does not). I've taken some time to recall how life was when Dave and I were both working and had separate lives outside of our house... we had other responsibilities drawing our attention elsewhere and other people affecting our lives (and sometimes causing quite a bit of stress). I've had the opportunity to really witness and examine how my undivided, 100% attention and support of my family affects our homelife, Dave's career, our marriage, my relationship with my girls.
I've also learned to take pride in the stuff that I do around the house. To take joy in providing a home for our family rather than just picking up the house and seeing everything as a chore to cross off of my list. I have learned - sometimes begrudgingly - that not working outside of my home is a luxury and one that I am not resentful of, but rather have learned to be grateful for.
I've been on one. It has been slow, sometimes infuriating. I've been impatient - at times wishing my children were all 5 years older because "life will be so much easier" then. I've craved moving on from all of this... becoming who I'm supposed to be - a really good nurse who takes care of people who need me. Hmm. Even writing that seems laughable right now - who could need me more than my husband and children and myself?
I am good at what I do, even though I never have to start an iv or give someone a catheter (I hope;) And being wholely and fully present in my life and being intentional about how I live creates a home for our family. Like it or not, I am fully responsible for making our house a home. Dave contributes when he is able, but I'm in the drivers seat on this. Me. It is me. I affect our family life probably more than any other person in the house. It is my duty - my honor - then, to take care of myself and do what I can to create a peaceful, supportive environment for all who live here. I may never have a degree that calls me a nurse, but already I have achieved so much more in my life than I ever dreamed.
I am blessed.