Thursday, June 26, 2014

Deep thoughts, not Jack Handy deep, but you know, deepish.

 This is my work uniform. Sometimes I take off the flip-flops. 

For the last 6+ years I have had the good fortune of being able to work from home. When I decided to go back to school one huge reason I was able to jump right in was because of the flexibility of my work situation. I have always tried not to take being able to work from home for granted. I never planned to be a stay at home mom, but as soon as I was one, I was in it. All the way. I wasn't planning on working while my kids were still in school, but this job was too good to pass up, and you know how it goes, you start earning money and it's hard to go back to NOT earning money. Stupid money. 

Not making plans could easily be the theme of my life. I didn't plan to join the Army, I just did it one day. I didn't plan to get married, I didn't plan to have five kids. I didn't plan to do anything and and that has been both a blessing and a curse. Its certainly easy to go with whatever if you weren't really headed someplace else anyway, on the other hand, I think we can all agree that not heading anyplace gets old after about 40 years or so.

A few weeks ago I found out that some changes have been made, and the company I work for will no longer be allowing any employees to work from home. If I want to keep my job I have to put on non-elastic waist pants and show up in the office everyday. EVERYDAY. I will probably have to wear make-up too, or at the very least comb my hair.

When I got the news I cried. I thought about what I was going to have to give up. Then I made a list of those things and cried some more.

1. Taking my kids to and from school
2. Being at home before and after school with my kids
3. Making dinner HAHAHA!!( I don't make dinner!)
4. Doing laundry on my breaks
5. Long lunches
6. Talking to my brothers on the phone in the middle of the day
7. Eating cereal at my desk while wearing sweatpants
8. Looking out the window while I work

Those were just the first things that came to me, there are more but I'm trying not to think about them, and I'm not going to show you the list of uncomfortable things I HAVE to do now. I know that so many people don't even have the luxury of making a choice in a situation like this. They work or they don't eat. I know I've been lucky. I'm trying not to mess up my karma by complaining too much.

Comparison really is the thief of joy, isn't it?

I may not have made too many plans, but I definitely have a ideas about what being a good mother looks like. Which is dumb, plenty of good moms work and plenty of bad moms don't. Having a job isn't what decides what kind of mom you are. My mom worked when I was growing up. She had to. And somehow, after working away from home all day she managed to come home and cook dinner every night. Like a real dinner, not grilled cheese or frozen pizza. There was fried meat, REAL mashed potatoes and gravy, and at least one vegetable that had been cooked beyond the point of its nutritional value and covered in cheese. Every night. How did she do that? My mom got A LOT of crap done. She IRONED, not only her clothes, but ours too. I know that she did what she had to do, and she was there when she could be, but my brothers and I were on our own a lot, and I never wanted that for my kids. They aren't babies, our youngest is 14, but in the grand scheme of things, 14, it's not really that old, you know? 

I've been thinking about courage...and how little I have compared to so many other people. I really think that's why I don't make plans. Failure scares the living daylights out of me. But I'm trying to live differently. Learning lessons from being alive and all that stuff. So now I've made plans, I'm going to school, I'm excited about my future and as Scarlet O'Hara is my witness I am NOT going to change those plans. I'm just going to adjust.

Pearl S. Buck, who I think was very wise, said, "Many people lose the small joys in the hope for big happiness."  I know that is true. I try not to be someone who is always searching for something better, but I believe if you work really hard at keeping things in perspective you can have both the small joys and the big happiness. I'm going to keep going to school and I'm going to be available for my kids and I'm going to go to work and wear real pants and make eye contact with actual humans everyday and it's not going to kill me. Other people have done it and not died (or so I've heard), and I can too. 

And with that I leave you with a small joy...

This is so much more hilarious in person. I spray painted those dinosaurs silver and I love them so much that I arranged them at the feet of my sparkly Virgin Mary penny bank. Every single time I see them it makes me laugh. Do you think I can get by with taking these to the office with me, or is this some kind of HR violation? Would I be offending both the religious and the evolutionist? 


Ginger said...

I LOVE you! This post is so awesome, I can't even give you a real comment. Just know that I love it. Seriously! If it wasn't so skinkin' hot there, I would come visit you! But now you won't have time to go on a long lunch with me. :(

lori.huffaker said...

Just remember, when those people try and engage you in conversation, I think your charming AND hilarious. I will help you any way I can, and if I had to name one person who could be successful at all of this, it would be you!! Sorry I added no humor to my comment. Please text me the funny crap from the office, pictures would be great!