I miss working. I admit that, I do. Adult interaction, the ability to apply hard-won knowledge, skills, and abilities, formalized feedback, extra money, recognition, opportunities for learning, advancement, and further achievement are all things I have recently left behind.
I miss (some of) my coworkers. I miss going out to lunch uninterrupted, running out for cupcakes or coffee, after-work happy hours, spending money on cute work clothes.
But so far, as much as I do miss it, I wouldn’t go back, at least not at this point.
True, my new job involves messes, tantrums, nap-time battles, and endless cleaning and laundry. Coupon-clipping and penny pinching. Buy /Sell/Trade groups and consignment sales.
But it also has warm sunny days for stroller rides and park outings. New discoveries and learning, new firsts. The ability to see first-hand growth and development of a pretty cute little guy. Kisses, hugs, and “I love mama”. New friends and playdates. Freedom to venture out and explore at our own pace or stay in on a snowy day.
How will I feel about all of this in several years when I have been potentially left behind on the career scene and have to rebuild? It is hard to say for sure.
When I think about when I am old and gray and look back on things, I think it will be alright.
Time flies. My heart aches a bit to pack away the onesies and take down the crib. Memories of nursing a baby or having a little toddler hold my hand are things I will always hold on to. I am happy to be here for all of the moments now and I am sad about the things I missed when I was working.
Leaving work behind doesn’t make my heartache. I think it might for others that are more passionate about their profession, but not for me. I will return at some point, but missing out right now doesn’t make me wistful or bring tears to my eyes. My ego and my bank account might hurt a little, but right now it is a sacrifice that is worth it for me.
Following my heart is the best I can do.