When we were in Hawaii, we visited glass beach. Millions of tiny specks of glass, beaten against rocks, smooth and shined by water — turned into magical bits of glory. Those pieces of glass didn’t begin that way. They started as rough chunks of glass that could cut deep. In order to be this handful of beauty, they had to bear the force of nature. It was a long process to get to beauty.
These past seven years of working outside the home have been filled with a lot of weathering and wearing.
One of the things I’ve realized, as I step into this new chapter, is how much of ME I’ve put aside these past 7 years–particularly in the past 2 years.
To the outsider, it has appeared that I’ve juggled all the balls in the air pretty well. I still make it to the gym most days, my kids eat healthy, I bake cookies on the weekend. I have shown up to all the appointments and even managed to maintain my own routine without missing deadlines. To the onlooker, particularly if they are watching me through FaceBook, working and mothering seem to be going just great!
Social media allows us to paint a pretty face and keep it polished.
Step a bit deeper into my space and a new look begins to appear. Writing and reading have been pushed aside for more than a year. I used to go through two or three journals a year–I’m still trudging through one marked 2013. Blog posts decreased and content. I honestly couldn’t figure out what to write about.
I’ve invested so much into my job, my outside work, that I’ve arrived home with precious little to give those I say matter most. Rather than looking at the beauty in my immediate space, I just more work. More “to do’s” more “have to’s.”
I feel like I’m coming out of a fog. As the haze lifts, I’m seeing things clearly. I’m realizing all the things I put on hold because I thought I had to. In this fog lifting moment, it’s hard to not start beating myself up. Guilt is one of the biggest enemies banging down my doorstep right now.
What if I had quit my job sooner? How could I have better managed job stresses with home life? If only I had just left it at the office, would I have more patience now?
I remind myself it’s not too late. It is never too late to start over; to begin new. It’s not too late to say I’m sorry. It’s certainly not too late to pick up traditions, focused time and goal setting.
However, I wouldn’t be here, understanding the tug and pull of work and home if I hadn’t walked that road. I’d like to think that I’m shining a bit more lately because of what I’ve experienced these past seven years.