If life is a stream, the past 5 years I’ve been in an eddy current floating around and around off to the side. I woke up today thinking about my lack of social life and how much I am enjoying this period of relative isolation. In past similar times, I have been told by others and myself that I was depressed and therefore isolating myself, but for now I am finding great bounty in my solitude, my gratitude journal, and my cozy slow-cooker, shawl knitting, solo walking, meditating moments.
I remember times in my life I was in the flow of humanity and never happier: Five years living among roommates from several countries, weekly pot-lucking, dancing, music concerts, and then the year I lived at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House surrounded by families from many states, many ethnicities, communally cooking, sharing stories about how we all landed there in that moment, buoying one another day to day. Even though I do not wish a life-threatening condition of a child on anyone, I am forever grateful for having experienced a period of time connecting to people sharing a life raft, feeling support from complete strangers.
I sleep a lot more than I used to now that I am refraining from the constant itch to work a 2nd job in order to afford some of the things I would like to be able to do. The list of fabulous things will still be there, waiting for a time when I do have more income, but for now it’s me and my thoughts, coming to terms with liking myself and where I am in order to take the next step.
One task I am working on is to identify all the skills involved in my present job of 17 years that might crossover to other jobs. I am great at being a medical transcriptionist, tolerate it enough to do it well, but when you are paid the same rate for 17 years and during that time you shift from supporting 1 person to 2, with ever-increasing costs of living, you know it is worth considering a big change. I did consider it and last year was accepted to a graduate program in Health Information Technology. I only turned it down when I looked at the 2-year price tag of loans: $100,000.
I know I am capable of more complexity, communication, and definitely desire to find work that serves people more directly. The catch, however, is finding something that I: 1) Enjoy doing, 2) Allows me to work around my daughter’s schedule, 3) Provides health benefits for her. All her life, I have settled for the last 2. I am also well aware that to even have a job when adjusted unemployment rates in my country are 15%, is a blessing.
Months ago, I inquired about permission to post a blog at Working Mother Magazine (http://www.workingmother.com/), and I never heard back. I assumed there was a computer glitch in my submission so I forgot about it. Well, this week I was invited to begin a blog there. So that got me thinking about defining a blog around working and mothering and wondering what I have to offer. It will be an interesting project to define a blog around a sense of self with something of value to offer in work and motherhood.