Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer's End, Peace, and Gratitude

Summer is rapidly winding down to a grinding halt.  This seems barely possible as it seems it only started a week or so ago.  Summer's yearly end brings with it big changes for our family.  It marks the end of the Stay At Home Mom portion of my year and begins the Frantic Working Mom part. 

Every year I try to enter this transition with gratitude and peacefulness but it doesn't always work.  Gratitude for the fact that I get to have the best of both worlds...I get to spend the summer home with my babes and I also get to spend a portion of the year focusing on the career I've worked so hard to establish.  The career I spent so many years in school for.  I get to make a difference in the lives of children and their families and I have time every day with other adults...many of whom have grown to be great friends.  Gratitude that I have a job at all when so many are without one now a days.

The real truth though, the truth that's hard to say out loud, is that the career is not where my inner heart lies. That, if given the opportunity, I would give it up in three seconds flat.  The most raw and honest parts of me would give anything to stay home full time.  That desire came as a shock to me...I never saw myself as a SAHM while I was in college and grad school.  I knew I wanted to be a mother and I purposely chose a career that would give me more time at home but I never ever expected that I wouldn't want to work.  That I wouldn't need the title of "Psychologist" as a building block for my identity.  That "Mom" would be enough. 

The harsh reality is that due to an intricate web of circumstances both financial and otherwise, staying home full time is not an option for me.  So that's that.  And that is where the need for gratitude and peace comes in.  I have compromised as much as I can and reduced my hours starting last year.  This year I will be working every day from 8:00-2:30, which means I get to be home to get my boy off the school bus at 4:00.  There are so many working moms who would kill for my schedule and I need to remember that.  I have it pretty good and complaining seems selfish and ungrateful.  So I rarely let myself go to that place. 

 Last summer I spent the last week before going back to school in a crying jag.  I was angry and desperately sad and feeling sorry for myself.  This was due in part to the horrible summer of stress and anxiety we had in trying to sell our house and all of the complications and set backs we faced.  I entered the school year in a tizzy of uncertainty and angst and I think that set me off on a path to have one of the worst years of my life both personally and professionally. 

This year is different...I can already feel it.  We had the most wonderful, relaxing summer.  It was filled with fun and adventure and quality time and bliss. We gratefully enjoyed every minute in our new house and our new town. I took time to take care of myself and do some things just for me.  One of them was starting this blog....which has upped my happiness factor immensely! (I have successfully been filling up my cup if anyone is wondering).  While I'm a little sad about the end of my favorite season...for the first time in many years parts of me are actually looking forward to the school year ahead!

Whenever people have said that they can't wait for Fall and all of the things that come with it...cool weather, big sweaters, football, apples and pumpkins, beautiful colors in the trees....I would always think to myself, "I love those things too, it's too bad I can't look forward to Fall."  I had an epiphany this year....I CAN look forward to Fall if I decide to.  Huh.  Imagine that!  And so I am.  And that's that...PEACE!

Here are some pics of one of those adventures this summer.  We started off just going on a quick walk to the park and ended up jumping into one of the lakes in our clothes with wild abandon.  I took these shots with my iPhone!  I used the Instagram app on my phone to process some of these....I'm so in love with this app!  Check it out!










See what I mean?  Bliss. 

Savour these last weeks of Summer everyone!

xoxo
Jen

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