>> Monday, October 24, 2016
So, fall is upon us. Sheesh, looking out the window the last few weeks, you'd've thought WINTER was underway! It was gross. Two days of wind and almost non-stop rain, which became another four days of rain and snow flurries, followed by cloudy windy days and then more rain... Seriously. We had a beautiful day the first of October and the next one didn't come until the 21st ~ and that was after a rainy morning! The three intervening weeks were just one cold, grey bag of suck. I am not even exaggerating. This does not bode well. I was still banking on a chance to rake the other half of my house and mow the lawn one more time! Now it will take forever before it's dry enough. I feel for those farmers who weren't done harvest yet.
School started last month, of course. The girls were excited to get back into a regular routine, if not necessarily the school requirement of it. AJ is now in the junior high and Mack started high school. For AJ the format and people didn't change a whole lot, just the location, but Mack's entire school experience is new ~ new school, longer class times, the semester system, exams, not necessarily having her friends in all her classes. Not to mention all the homework. Yikes! For Mack, the transition has been a challenge.
For me personally, this has also be a season of major change. I accepted a permanent, 3/4-time position at the accounting firm where I've worked the last several tax seasons. For four days a week ~ year round ~ I will be at the office all day instead of puttering around the house. It isn't just a huge transition for me, alone, but for the whole family as well.
In light of the post about how I prefer to earn my aches and pains, and especially the post about not liking the person I become when my focus is work outside the home, I felt more than a little hypocritical committing to a 30-hr workweek so soon after deciding against it. I really struggled with that. I still do. I still often feel like it just became about being able to increase our recreational spending. And I miss being at home. I never minded making the girls' lunches, and now I actually MISS it. It feels wrong to expect The Man to make his own fresh veggie containers to take for his lunches.
But then I add up the expenditures this year on things beyond our control ~ $3500 in vehicle repairs over the last few months; a back-taxes bill of $7000 resulting from the government's decision to reassess a couple of old tax returns; and a couple of other, only slightly smaller expenses ~ and I think this job was God's way of providing for those financial burdens. He knew they were coming long before we did.
The girls are older now, too. We're not concerned about them becoming latchkey kids anymore, and requiring them to develop cooking and housekeeping skills is good for them. That wasn't happening while I could just do everything while they were at school. It was tough for them at first, to accept the idea that I wouldn't be at home when they got home. I think there was a measure of security they felt they were losing. But really, I'm much closer to them during the day now ~ both schools are within easy walking distance of the office. And should either of them need a ride home in the middle of the day due to illness, I have the freedom to do that. And it won't require an extra trip into town to pick them up. (except on my days off!)
I still get more satisfaction from a day at home of baking, housekeeping, and yardwork; the opportunities just come less often. Which actually seems to be helping me savor the labor where I didn't before. It also seems to be helping me get more done in the time I have at home. It seems that when you have less time, you waste less time.
I really miss being able to go for a walk virtually any and every day of the week though. There just isn't time at the end of the workday, and the odd evening when I do feel like I have the time, my hip/back has already called it a day. Plus, now it's dark after supper. But this, too, makes the walks I DO take on the weekends that much more enjoyable. Like a literal AND figurative breath of fresh air in my week.
So we are still adjusting; there are still kinks in the routine. Sometimes, even though I think I've prepped everything ahead of time and/or delegated supper duty effectively, we still don't end up eating till almost an hour later than usual. I get frustrated that I still seem to be the only one who notices what hasn't been done around the house or who knows how a clean bathtub or a swept floor should look. But we're getting there.
At least it's all feeling pretty routine around here again.