Saturday, August 20, 2011

Things Don't Always Happen Just Like You Plan

working mothers

Every now and then I look out of my window at work and can't help but let out a big sad sigh because nice weather or even sometimes bad weather reminds me of last summer. Last summer, the Babby was a pro walker and loved being outdoors. Walking around the block to the park was just as compelling as our numerous morning zoo trips or the times we went to the state park wading pool. Last summer, the Babby and I played in the yard and we went on adventures and dug in the dirt and I nearly had a heart attack when she'd climb up on the big kid playground equipment all by herself.

Last summer, of course, I wasn't working.

I have, as you've read, done my best to replicate last summer this summer on the weekends (which hasn't always been easy with work always in the background) and in the afternoons after work (again not easy because quite often now the Babby says she just wants to go home when I pick her up from daycare). It has been a somewhat sad summer for me as a result, because an hour a the beach before hunger becomes a tantrum is not quite the same as taking a half hour walk, then going to the beach, then walking home, or biking there and back. And so on.

Not that the weekends aren't especially nice because the BabbyDaddy can participate in whatever is going on, but for some reason zoo or beach or whatever on the weekend always feels like more of an intense, involved experience than a spontaneous "Let's go to the wading pool!" ever did.

The thing is, losing the twinsplets - uh, there's no easy way to say 'a pregnancy that started as identical triplets and then spontaneously reduced to twins who then both died' so I'm trying some new terminology - was a wake up call when it came to our finances. As much as I loved the slow, lovely pace of last summer and all of the promise it held for summers to come, it wasn't sustainable.

As the U.S. economy took a dive, so did our household economy because like it or not, a small-time freelancer's income is intimately tied into the income of business owners and sole proprietors. When they're feeling the pinch, they're not going to outsource their editorial needs. I get it. Projects like the ones I used to rely on either tanked or no longer pay because people realized they could hire Indian to write (and program and design, etc.) for pennies. So why hire someone like me, who charges what's necessary to make a living here in North America?

Note to self: Jeez, stop whining!

Now I'm looking at what may be a light at the end of a tunnel, but of course it's an imperfect light. There are a few biggies on my want list right now, and sometimes it feels like I'm closer to one and so, so far away from another. I hoe you'll excuse me if I don't go into the details - I'd rather not jinx anything, and all of it may come to nothing. On one hand, there's a lot on my mental plate right now, and on the other hand, I have less on my actual plate than I did two months ago when I was just plain struggling to get things done. So much is up in the air right now, and it's kind of anxiety-inducing, if you don't mind me saying so. But I know I have a lot of support out there, so I guess it's okay.

What do you wish had happened just the way you planned but went in a whole other direction???

P.S. - Check out my post on learning to say no at work on the 72 Ideas in 72 Days Project site. And feel free to join us in the pursuit of simple living!


  1. This may sound odd from a control freak, but I like it when things head a different direction from the way I planned. It is an excuse to enjoy the freedom of a choice I wouldn't have logically made on my own, like stopping at a quaint roadside attraction and having so much fun that it becomes the best part of the trip.

    I wouldn't have chosen the specialized field I ended up in (dude, no sane person would), but it gave me much more advanced lawyer skills/interaction with higher end firms in my time practicing than most of my colleagues experienced. I can't say I'm delighted that I'm an expert in sexual perversion, but, well, it makes me a more aware parent.

    You know this (but I am a bossy eldest and will say it anyway): it will come together. Babby's got some great social development going on at school, you've got some income flow at the office and won't be struggling as much to balance working at home -- which is hell with a 3-year-old -- and you've got time to be processing a lot (the triplets/twins, the change in your working status, having to change the way you do business).

    FWIW, I don't look back at my working summers when Pea was in daycare with any regret -- they helped make her the fun, social human she is right now. Also, the biggest, best part of daycare: potty training on someone else's time. So worth it. ;)

  2. I'm a planner. I make plans to plan. When one of my plans is executed to perfection and I get the desired result it's never what I thought I wanted. but the best outcomes are when my plans go another way.


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