Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Less than a month of summer left

School re-starts in less than a month from now.  That hardly seems possible.  I have my fall schedule printed off and ready to go.  Its a busy, full schedule.  Very busy.  Very full.  Paediatrics and L&D rotations and classes and labs await.

The problem is, I can hardly fathom actually living that schedule right now.  Right now, we're still in the middle of summer bliss -- no commitments, no real schedule, no morning rush, no lunches -- a whole bunch of nothing.  The kids and I are still doing tons of stuff; this has been one of the busiest summers we've ever had, in terms of doing fun and interesting things.  But the difference is that we're doing things on our schedule and on our terms.  If one child sleeps in one morning, that's OK, we'll just start our activity a bit later.  That's what I mean about having a 'schedule free' summer.

It's truly bliss.  This summer and last summer, I am enjoying my kids like never before. Before I started nursing school, summers we're just another marathon we had to somehow get through, and they basically had to be planned by late March, when the day camps filled up.  I now look back at those frenzied, stressed and over-tired days, and wonder how we did it all. 

Add to that, my going to a job every day that involved me putting in time, rather than enjoying it and looking forward to a fulfilling day, and it just made the entire situation even less pleasant. 

I want to stress that when I did work, I put in my best effort and did good work.  I was not a slacker, and on the surface, nobody would have had any idea how miserable I truly was at that job.  But from my perspective, it was simply a question of putting in the time, and getting through another day.  One more day closer to eventual retirement, several decades from now.  That was my perspective, and it was neither healthy nor living the life I wanted to live.

I really don't know how we did it, without the entire family unit falling apart.  It was having a detrimental effect on the kids -- they were showing signs of fatigue and stress.  My oldest was at the school's before-and-after school daycare, and was there from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm -- 10 hour days.

I'm not saying that such a lifestyle is not possible.  I am fully aware that this is the reality for many, many families, and they don't have the option to leave it. 

What makes me shake my head in wonder, is the fear of change that kept me back for so many years, and how it negatively affected the entire family.  We had been talking about this career change for over a decade, planned for it, saved money for it -- basically had all the parameters in place, except one.

That one was me actually having the guts to make the change.  Change is scary.  High job security is a strong force.

Now, having made the change, I cannot understand why it took me so long to make the change.  How I wish I'd done it so much sooner.  Yet, I am so grateful that I did make the change.  It would have been soooo easy to still be sitting in my office with the window, waiting to finish yet another work day...

Yes, I am so grateful to be where I am right now in my life -- even if it took longer to get here than I think it should have.  At least I'm here now.