The last 14 days have seen some major endings in our household. I officially submitted my resignation to my school district, which means I’ve really got to make this freelancing thing work. And Science Guy successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, which effectively concludes the last six years of graduate school. (And the last six months of mild to moderate insanity on my part as I attempted to hold down the fort largely on my own. Except now Science Guy is out of town for an interview and Fire Monkey is cutting two teeth at once so I’m still moderately insane.)
I should probably know better by now than to expect to feel monumentally different after significant events. Don’t get me wrong…I’m relieved to have come to a decision about next year and I’m sure Science Guy feels great to be done with his defense. But there are still quite a few decisions we need to make about the next stage of our lives. And I still had to get up at 6:30 the next morning, feed the baby, change some fantastically dirty diapers, and do all the same mom things I do every day.
I realized fairly recently that one of the things I miss most about pre-baby life (besides my memory and punctuality and non-gray hair) is having regular milestones. As a Myers-Briggs J, I really like finishing things, and I’ve always had defined stopping and starting points. The school year is broken into semesters, quarters, units, lessons. Projects have concrete deliverables and deadlines. Even when I worked in real estate, there was a linear progression from listing to closing, showing to purchase.
Now every day seems fairly similar to the one before, and it’s only on the 5th of every month that I realize another 30 days has passed and somehow my baby is almost a year old already. (Shockingly, I am about 2 months behind on his baby calendar.) Freelance life is also somewhat Faulkneresque, with workflow often dependent on the client’s cooperation and responsiveness levels.
I miss being able to say, “I’m done.” In fact, I have this weird notion in my brain that if we just make it to a year, everything will somehow go back to the way it was before, like I’m gonna give him back or something. Which is totally untrue. There’s a good chance that after Fire Monkey turns one, we’ll be moving from the city I’ve lived in my whole life (minus one year), and nothing will be like it was before. But I’ve been trying to take comfort in the fact that our family will be together, which I didn’t have during the one year I moved to a different town and failed to thrive. Every day may feel the same but I’ve been through a LOT of changes in the last few years and they’ve all been for the better even if it was hard in the process.
What’s ending or beginning in your life?