I started working the summer I turned 14. Eventually I began working during the school year as well and all through college. Three months after graduating from college I entered the corporate world and stopped only for six weeks of maternity leave three times and for short vacations here and there.
It was never in my realm of possibility to not work. I enjoyed getting dressed up each day and watching my professional life grow. A normal paycheck meant financial stability and benefits took care of other concerns. I was tied to the safety of what an 9-5 (which it hardly ever was just this) job offered me. It is what most of us know.
I got to work with some wonderful people whom I now count as friends. Experiences occurred that I am grateful for. I was challenged for being a woman and a mother that worked outside the house too.
For the past 10 months I have not worked. (Well, that is not true. I have worked hard in the last few months developing our next big dream into a reality. Keep watching as we are almost ready!) But, I had my first summer off since I was 14 this year and it was harder than I thought. I always believed that staying at home with kids is harder than also working outside the home. This is so true!
Taking time off for me and the girls was a blessing in so many ways. I struggled though too. Learning how not to entertain the girls all day long, believing in myself beyond the professional accolades I received, and having faith that all the bills would get paid.
Now with the girls back in school, I am trying to find the new rhythm of working from home for myself. It is a scary, yet exciting place to be. Mike is also working from home and he sits in his office on the back deck while I sit in my office at the desk in the red room and we work. We communicate through texting as Goddess and Winston, our dogs, show no interest in being the doggie express.
Yesterday I was looking at Crystal McDaniel's Facebook page. She is a friend from high school that I would pick up for school in my teal Geo Metro and we would sing to the Cranberries or she would listen to my latest boy woes. Crystal has been driving free for 6 years as she is now a Future Executive Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay. "I chose to work hard as hard for myself as I once did for a boss. I simply made a decision everyday to go to work to build my own future because Delaney and I deserve it," she wrote on her page beneath a photo of her new Cadillac. I am in awe of her.
With what is next just around the corner, there is part of me that still clings to the security a 9-5 job brings. We are all given different paths to choose and what is right for one person may not be right for another, but I have this opportunity to "work as hard for myself as I once did for a boss" that I just have to take.
I am (almost) ready.