You see, the whole thing has been a long time coming.
Dang economic downturn.
I take some comfort in knowing that I made it all the way to "the end". Of all of the employees in our tiny company, I was the last to be let go. And it was visibly painful for my boss to have to say the words. I know that he didn't want to do it. I also know he kept me too long because when it comes down to it, he's not a business man. He's an engineer - with a big heart and not a lot of savvy. It's okay. It's one of the many reasons I like him.
This job isn't perfect. I've been [grossly] underpaid for the duration. The benefits are pretty much non-existent. I have virtually no opportunity for advancement. But there are a few perks. My boss is a good Christian man, whom I deeply respect. He values family and has let me bring my kids to work with me on countless occasions when there seemed to be no other option. He let me move hours around here and there so I can attend my kids' school functions, basketball practices, and doctors appointments. He let me work through lunch to pay back the time it cost me to pick Ben up from school two days a week. He lights up when the kids stop by for visits to see me. He has told me countless times that "when 5 o'clock comes, you go home to those babies."
And he provided the afternoon chocolate too.
There simply isn't enough work to keep me on right now. I get that. I've been quietly anticipating it each payday...the conversation that would start out with "Have a seat"...just like I've heard many times before me. Only, that joker changed things up and did it on a random Tuesday instead. When I least expected it.
I guess he wasn't expecting it to go the way it did either.
The final decision was that I would work as needed, from home, with the promise to check my email once a day and keep in touch. He insisted that he can't do it all without me. (But I really think he can.) I suppose it's nice to feel needed. I left work that afternoon to pick Sarah up and told the director that I was going to have to pull the girls from the school. And that's when it all sank in.
My greatest fears realized: I am going to be at home with my babies.
This shouldn't terrify me but...it does.
My mom asks me pretty regularly how I fit everything into a day - from work to chores to fun times. My answer has always been the same, "I don't know any differently." Since the moment I became a wife to the moment I became a mom to right now, this very moment, I have always had a somewhat chaotic lifestyle.
And now...I am facing the unknown. A whole different kind of chaos, I'm sure.
I really am going to miss this place. The truth remains, this is part of a master plan. I might not get that, but God does. And there is a plan for me. I just have to listen - and figure out what it is.
For now, the plan is for me to take a breather for the first time in my adult life. I am going to enjoy every minute of this holiday season. We are going to tear up the kitchen making cookies. We're going to burn some of them because we will be distracted from dancing to Christmas carols. We're going to play school. We are going to keep working from the workbook that Abby loves so much and have our own "circle time". We're going to break the new backyard playground in. We're going to stamp our Christmas cards together and I'm only going to mind a little bit when my four year old helper puts them on upside down and crooked. We're going to take walks in the middle of the day around our quiet neighborhood. We're going to put tinsel and garland on every flat surface in our house.
And no, Julie, I will not prepare myself for the weight gain that supposedly plagues the stay-at-home crowd. I have heard your challenge. And I accept.
But I am still going to have my afternoon chocolate. And my morning coffee.
Because some things, no matter where I spend my 8-5, just don't need to change.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, prayed for me, and ridden the ride along with me.
"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Proverbs 16:9 (New Living Translation)