Now, The Return

Sassy and I met Mentor for sushi linner yesterday. It was so good to see her and catch up!

Mentor wanted to know all about my new job and how I like full-time employment. I was excited to get to talk about it. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t ask me stuff like that instead of things like, “Have you seen my unicorn leggins?” or “What’s the low overnight?” but I for damn sure appreciate her asking.

It’s an adjustment. For all of us. Like everything else in life, it has good and bad points.

I miss naps. Aww. However, I am too busy to get tired at work, and I sure do fall asleep faster at night. Maybe if I do this long enough, I’ll become a good sleeper. I’ve never been a good sleeper — GOALS!

I don’t have as much time.
I don’t take as many pictures, read as many books, or devote as much time to social media.
I’ve not been to the gym as much.
I think some of this will be rectified after Friday, when the madness of Christmas slows.

Did I mention I get to wear jeans at work? My jeans have met my work tops and we’re all of us thrilled about it.
How does my Kelly green blazer look with jeans? Frickin fantastic, I can’t lie.

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Taxiing children is now performed more equally between The Mister and myself, but also from student drivers and other parents.
Sassy seems to like it fine. Moo prefers us. I would have thought the other way around, but life is full of surprises.

moo1

Who works all day and comes home to cook?
Meh, I’ll cook some nights, only simple dishes. Sometimes when it’s 7:00 and my husband asks what’s for dinner, I might sometimes say, “I dunno. Whatcha cookin?”

It reminds me of why I chose to stay home in the first place. Have you taught kindergarten all day and then come home to care for a four and six year old? Many people have, but um, that was not the life for me.

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It also reminds me of times I worked full-time when all four were too little to care for themselves. These were not nice times in our marriage. I’d like to say that it’s just because money was tight, (hence the working) but that’s not exactly true. It’s that my husband, like anyone, would not like to work all day and come home to help with homework, start dinner, do laundry, and feed the baby.

spoonfed

For all these years I’ve been, as they say, ‘spoiled at home’ trust you me, he’s been spoiled, too.

EX:
I pack myself a lil lunch, how I do.
He’d never eat a cup of yogurt and an orange for lunch. I’d have to peel his orange and make him a yogurt parfait. And where’s the meat?!?
He’d never eat an Asian pear and a coupla hunks of Swiss for lunch. He’d eat it if I cut it all up and brought him a pretty plate of it — but like, as an app. Before the meat!
I’m an easier feed, so I feed me. Some cherry tomatoes, a string cheese, slice of ham, olives. Perfectly suitable lunch for Joeys. I sent The Mister a photo of my lunch, and he said he’d like that, BUT ON BREAD.
When we have vittles, I still make him a fine lunch, but when we don’t, well, they have a cafeteria at his work. He won’t starve.
Now, I believe he appreciates his delicious lunches more than he used to.

resentment

I told Mentor I cannot be wife who makes bank while being wife who cooks elaborate foods, and she asked me which wife I prefer being.
“THIS ONE.”

Now. Not before. It’s because Now. Now my girls are quite capable. Now they’re much more self-sufficient. Plus, they’re like their mama, and are perfectly content to nom a nosh.

I told my husband, “You remember what it was like when I lived alone. I’d graze all day, and if I was hungry at night, I’d steam some veggies, make some pbj, eat some cereal.”
“But you’re not single.”
SIGH.
but i’m not a housewife, either

daze

I know women (like Mentor) who get up with the rooster and cook hot breakfast for their families before going to work. I consider that a kind of madness I’ve been fortunate to avoid. Like whatever syndrome it is that causes people to get up and jog before work. These are not my people. Cannot relate.

mornincat

I’ll never regret a single day of stay-home motherhood. I didn’t want to work when they were small. Sure, there were times I missed work, to be someone called Jolene and not Mama. There were times I felt lost, and even martyred. (What mother hasn’t?)

There were even times I envied my husband his commute. Traffic? You mean peaceful solitude?
Colleagues? You mean people who have mastered building blocks?

Oh all the people, rotating around me — I held the center. Maybe I still do.

I loved being home as much as possible, for there were many, many more days I was glad to be Mama and not Jolene. Grateful to be with my children on field trips, home with them on breaks, caring for them when they were sick, watching them discover the world. And to do it so often in pajamas and sweats.

tt3

Still, how sweet it is … you guys, this will sound odd, but it’s like I’m young again. I get up and go to work all day. It’s not something I do half-day to pad the coffers and get my feet wet, it’s legit what I do, ferreal. I really haven’t felt that way since I was 25. Strange sense of self-importance. That’s what it is. Familiar, from a younger memory, a former mindset:
“Can’t. Gotta work.”

I resent this time of year for how early it’s dark. I never quite get used to it. Even when I worked part-time, I didn’t like drivin home after dark, feelin anxious, feelin like it’s 10:00. The light will return and it’ll get better. Until it gets dark again.

But!Β Work = Money, and it’s not like I’d rather sleep at work and avoid the dark drive home, so …

Have I mentioned I don’t have anxiety at work? Never have. It’s a good thing. It’s rewarding to be focused, intellectually stimulated, productive, with constant measured results.Β Being home all the time again in the months between jobs, anxiety tried to make a decent comeback. No, thanks, Anxiety.

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I’m sure by now you’ve gathered I’m excited about my new chapter. It’s something I knew I would do, when I was ready, and in that way alone, it’s satisfying. The Return.

I stand by my theory that you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time.

Do you have a lot of experience with new chapters? Do you like the wrap-ups?Are you on the threshold of somethin old made new again?

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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57 Responses to Now, The Return

  1. Benson says:

    That is great news especially the lack of anxiety. I can see where staying focused can help alleviate anxiety. I like to stay focused because it prevents my mind from “free associating”. I would say that the You Joey is now is the You Joey is supposed to be. Now. Bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. When the mood hits. Enjoy the count down to Christmas. Oh I am doing a big ass prime rib for Christmas so I fully expect meat comas for me and Clara. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your having it all but not at the same time idea. When we had our girls, I stayed home, but had started a small personal training business. My husband didn’t make much money, so what I made helped a lot, but I could train people at their homes early enough that he could be home with the girls or on the weekends. I homeschooled both girls through high school, so although I didn’t have to go anywhere to work, I still did the home stuff, the teaching stuff, and didn’t make any money. πŸ™‚ It was, for the most part, rewarding and we’re all glad I did it. Now I’m working part time, partly to build up a bit more Social Security (if it’s still around for me to take in not too many years), to make a bit of money, and to get out of the house some times. It’s fun for the most part, although I’d like to work for myself, with my own hours and really needs those goals you mention so I can work towards that.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Sounds like you made similar family-driven decisions, Janet. My ideal job would be set up around my family’s schedule, but that’s never the type of work I desire.
      I continue to work toward sleeping well, and wish us both more success! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I am happy that work works for you. It would be awful to be anxious going to work all day. I haven’t turned to a new chapter in a long time. The next one will be retirement, but that’s hanging about two years in the future.

    I remember the years when our daughter was small and my wife was home, and took care of everything. I was traveling extensively, and it was a wonderful thing not to have to worry about stuff on the home front.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post. Most of us bitch and moan about work, commutes, etc. There are times when I enjoy the office more than home. It’s a balancing act. Old What’s Her Face works too, always has. We call it fend for yourself night, and that’s what we have for dinner. She likes to make big things that will yield leftovers. I used to cook a lot, but haven’t done so for about two years. My style is more like a big old pot of beans, or an electric skillet full of kielbasa and kraut. (Maybe that’s why she doesn’t let me cook these days.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Fend for yourself night is important. We used to have maybe two a month, now we have at least one a week! I’m not big on the kraut, but I love a pot of beans πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you liked the post, and appreciate work as well. I’m not good at idling, and I know you’re not either.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ghostmmnc says:

    I’m happy that you’re happy to go back to work! Hopefully sleep will come easier, too. I like your green blazer! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. scr4pl80 says:

    Happy for you. I am enjoying my new work experience a bit more now that I have a schedule I can live with. No early mornings or late nights. True, I work the weekends and will probably have to work the holidays but it is fun stepping out of my normal routine for a while. I have applied for Social Security to start on my birthday in March though, so if it works out, I can go back to just working from home and spending more time on my creative endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    Life is a series of chapters, for sure. I’ve experienced both the chapters of staying home with my kids and working full-time with them. Both had their ups and downs. But like you, I never got up to cook my family a full breakfast! Toast and cereal be fine. I may be guilty, however, of getting up to exercise before work… 😁

    Glad you’re enjoying your new chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Oh you morning worker-outer you! I haven’t done that since I was teaching. I was YOUNG then, Carrie, and seemed to need almost no sleep…
      When my kids were small, we’d visit my mother and she’d make them cinnamon-sugar toast every morning — which they thought was magical πŸ™‚ I had to endure many complaints that my toast wasn’t Grandma’s toast! lol

      Like

  8. orbthefirst says:

    So glad youre enjoying your new time. It sounds very fulfilling for Joeys. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. eschudel says:

    Glad you’re enjoying this next chapter in your life! And, while I can’t relate about the kids, I CAN relate about this time of year and the darkness that enshrouds us all after work. Hits me by surprise every year. But soon the days will get longer and I’ll actually want to do something after work again! Have a great Monday πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. marianallen says:

    I love this the most of anything: “I stand by my theory that you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time.” So many wisdom! Such joey! Congratulations on your happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. pluviolover says:

    I retired 3 years ago. I loved working, but I’ve not missed it. New chapter? Moving this week, back to Texas, where we lived for 37 years. I am very anxious about it all: the leaving here, the moving, the new place, and getting settled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I sense a lot of anxiety and ambivalence about your move. I hope it’s a good thing overall. I love that you worked so long. I think/hope I’ll be a long worker, too.

      Like

  12. JT Twissel says:

    I’ve been both a working mother and a stay at home one. They both have their difficulties. Ideal is a job where you can work from home every now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      True. I’ve not had to ask for more than a morning off yet, but from what I’ve seen with coworkers, Boss Lady is reasonable about the needs of family.

      Like

  13. Congratulations, Joey. You really do sound so upbeat and happy. I agree with your husband with the lunches. It is not a meal if it does not contain meat! I hope the nights are soon lighter (I also hate driving in the dark)! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve worked full time, part time, stayed at home, finished a degree while working a corporate job, and am now retired. They all have pluses and minuses. But, enjoy this moment and your new job. It is fun to be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Joanne Sisco says:

    Yay for new chapters! … and congratulations that you are loving this new one.

    I loved the quote about being able to have it all … just not at the same time. Those are wise words to remember πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. larva225 says:

    Aaaah! I’ve missed so much, it sounds like. Congrats!
    I have mad days where I try to do it all – the hot fancy food, the clean house, the job. I’m a boss. The next day I’m a mess. My trick is to not judge myself for the mess – to balance with the boss days.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m so happy that you are so happy about this new phase Joey!! That’s the best part of it all. πŸ™‚
    Like everyone, the line about “you can have it all…but you can’t have it all at the same time” really resonated with me.
    I do feel like I am in a new chapter with the blogging and the photo taking and the finding who I am outside of mom and wife. I’m still at home to meet everyone’s needs, but I’m making myself a priority as well.
    I love that kelly green jacket…and jeans, yay! No anxiety. Double yay!! Better sleep. Even more yay!!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I’m glad you like my having it all theory, too.
      I am glad for your exploration, internal and external. I love reading about your journeys and looking at your photos.
      I still can’t get over wearing jeans to work, even a month later, I’m SO pleased, lol!

      Like

  18. darsword says:

    I liked being stay-at-home mom. I hated being maid of never ever clean house, no matter how hard I worked at it. I loved working. But the never ever got worse.I love now. This hubby is starting to get that dishes and house aren’t mine to clean and never ever enjoy. But I still miss work. Just know my body won’t let me. So I do charity knitting and writing as my jobs. More content now but missing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ally Bean says:

    Congrats on finding a new niche. You sound like you’ve got it going on now. I’ve had lots of new chapters in my life, and lately have been thinking that it’s time for me to pivot again… into a lifestyle more active, less think-y.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      So I read. I repeat, I’ll miss your words. New chapters always bring new good things, and I’m sure there are plenty for you πŸ˜€

      Like

  20. Erika says:

    I’m with the Mister, gotta have that meat! πŸ˜€ I’m glad things are going well, and the no anxiety at work, niiiice. ❀

    I started a new writing job recently, and getting in a good rhythm has been tough. I need quiet to work, but the other three in my house are not about being quiet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Oh E, I totally relate to needing quiet. Totally! It’s one of the drawbacks of having a happy, playful house — the need for quiet is sometimes heavy.
      Thanks so much, I am really glad I found this job.

      Like

  21. This is fascinating: work = no anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      It is. For me. Now, I cannot say that about every job. Let me be clear, it depends on the job. Volunteer work at the Red Cross did NOT relieve anxiety, but the last two jobs I’ve had, have.
      I remember when I first read Dr Claire Weekes’ books, there was a section on how housewives and retired people suffer from the most nervous illness, because of lack of occupation. I believe that, completely. I learned in therapy that’s why I cleaned obsessively, why I had twenty projects at a time — a busy mind, a focused body, don’t allow for much anxiety.
      Now, if I could just get it to stop when I drive at night…

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Joey, how truly wonderful for you! You make me drool, positively! To be able to work and enjoy it and get PAID for it …. *sighs* …. Much of my day is the same and having been the type I LOVE to chitchat, this being home is rather challenging at times. Yet … I CHOSE (I need to seek a doc. ASP!) to do what I do today yet IF I had known the work and the sacrifice involved back then, I don’t think I would have made some choices I did. OK. Furreal. I have grown hugely since this gigantic change in my life, going from a career orientated person who worked her butt off in college to get said career (RN) to a stay at home Caretaker and Healer of cats. I am known as Mom so much I loose who I am at times. Whoa! Now for the upside. Hubby is no longer spoiled with dinners and perfectly clean house and a wife who dotes on him. Now that he is retired he has taken over all grocery shopping, errands, makes sure both vehicles are always filled with gas (I hate filling up my car!), AND … get ready … he cooks dinner and washes up the dishes afterwards. NICE??? He does a whole lot of other stuff too which to tell you the truth, IF he didn’t do, he sink into his PTSD and depression. I’ve become so involved in taking care of these special cats, some who are quite ill now and need a lot of attention, I don’t have the time to be wife and doter. This man whose Mother did everything for him (GROAN!) is now learning independence. How cool is that? And as for my chitchat … there is nothing better for me then face to face but I make up for that with my fingers. I also love Google Speech just to HEAR my voice. LOL Anyways, from a drooling woman over here who would love to have a career I congratulate you for working and loving it. I say GOOD FOR YOU! And yeah your blazer looks totally awesome on you! YOU GO! If I don’t see you again have a very very Merry Christmas!!! πŸ’žπŸŽ„πŸ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I am fortunate, I agree. I love this kind of work. This kind of work, like nursing, is always available – for me, it’s more the environment. I’ve long contended I could enjoy most work, but it’s so much the people you work with and the atmosphere that make us love or resent a job. I feel completely blessed.
      I am way impressed by the growth of your husband, taking on household responsibilities like a champ! Rather than think about all the things my husband doesn’t do, like roast a ham and order all the presents, I think about how he’s tidy and helpful and supportive AND how I never take out the trash, maintain my car, or clean up sick! lol It’s good to appreciate what our loves do ❀ Makes for better partnership.
      I find that around the 40-50 range, regardless of lifestyle or home life, people seem to seek balance. What am I working for? What makes me feel intention? Why do I think this is so important? How can I live better? I think the best people do this regularly — take inventory, seek improvement. I know you do that.
      Have a very Merry Christmas yourself, Amy ❀ xo

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Happy to hear you are happy with the new chapter! I agree good things about both work and staying at home. I’m about ready to go back to working as well. πŸ™‚ Kudos to you for making your lunch, I’m not that organized in the morning. LOL My boys will eat a quick snack in the morning. Sometimes I will make eggs after I have taken them to school, ooops. πŸ™‚ I like the green jacket as well. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m truly happy for you. I miss exactly this, it’s been ages since I worked in a working environment with other people. And I could bring my dog to the office…

    I wish that your joy continues into the new year. Cin cin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I often wondered why we didn’t take our dogs to our last office. It was so low-key and quiet, I do think Sadie would like it. While now it would be lovely for me, I don’t think Sadie would like all the busyness in this new office.
      Thank you so very much. One day, you may have a return as well, and I will read of your new chapter.
      Cin cin! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Glad your enjoying your full time job. I can see how work work is exciting for you after being away from it for so long. I liked the lighthearted humor in traffic being solitude and missing being being called by name and not mama. I think it’s sweet though how you took time off and soaked up every moment you could not regretting one bit of it.

    Like

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