Friday, June 8, 2012

Upside, Downside

I am looking for balance.  Life has felt perpetually off kilter for quite some time now, and I'm attempting to give it a kickstand.  In an effort to temper my incessant whining (you guys, I know... I'm sorry!), I've decided to look at the glass as half-empty AND half-full.  Both sides of the coin.  Cloud with silver lining.  Yin and yang.  Luke and Darth.

You get the drift.

We all know I can't stop whining all together.  It's in my DNA people - I couldn't make it stop if I wanted to.  I grew up in a house where sour moods spread like wildfire.  But I also grew up singing "Shiny, Happy People" and Ren & Stimpy's "Happy Happy Joy Joy" with my dad whenever anyone (usually my mom- sorry, Mom!) got a little pouty.  So if I can buffer the whining with a little sunshine and lollipops... well, that doesn't sound so bad.

Accordingly, I'm playing a little game of Upside, Downside with myself.  Every time I want to wallow in self-pity or complain or be a generally hellish human to be around, I'm going to attempt to find the positive side of the situation.  Because I don't want people to stop talking to me.

Anyhoo, I don't know how long this happy-happy-joy-joy will last, so fair warning.

Upside, Downside: Episode 1. Going Back to Work

Upside: While I was working at "that store," I learned to relish the time I have with my kids.  As in, the book-it-as-fast-as-I-could-out-of-the-mall, leap-into-the-car, and speed-my-way-home kind of cherish.  Leaving "that store" and just doing tutoring now has not lessened the effect, despite the fact that I ADORE tutoring.  (OOH!  Upside!  I HEART TUTORING!!!)  I've always loved my time with my babes, but now I genuinely treasure my time with them (as barf-tastic as that sounds), because I've experienced having that time taken away.  The time I took for granted is limited, and that's a tangible concept to me now.  Even amidst all the screaming.

I have come to realize that I do want to teach- in some form- and to be involved with everything I have always loved: kids, literature, writing, and learning.  Tutoring has been absolutely awesome.  It's helped me readjust my view of who I am and who I want to be... something I was struggling with as a full-time stay-at-home parent.

Downside: Holy adjustment, Batman.  My kids struggled BIG TIME with my going back to work.  They were totally pissed off at me and misbehaved WAY more than they did before.  The Big One cried when I left for "that store" (not in the dramatic way, but in the quivering lip, slight whimper, ask for a hug and try to be brave, but totally break your heart kind of way) and told me daily that he was sad/scared when I left to go to "that store."  We didn't get family time or weekends at all for a couple months.  My husband had a hard time getting all of his school work done and we were all exhausted.   We realized that working for $10 an hour, getting a stress fracture in my foot, and having stressed out kids and no time together was not worth it.

Upside: I quit "that store" a few weeks ago.  It was awesome.  I've never felt so good quitting a job.  And it's not that the job was all that bad, it was just a bad fit for me and my family.  Nonetheless, I'm delighted that I no longer have to take bullshit from people who feel, apparently, that anyone working in a clothing store deserves to be treated like vermin.  I'm tickled frickin' pink that I will never again have to experience the heartache of looking in newly vacated dressing rooms to find giant piles of inside-out clothes next to giant piles of hangers.  Oh, the horror.

Now, I get to help people- little people and their families who are authentically thankful (wha?) and students who want, want to learn (WHA?!?).  IT. IS. SO. GOOD.  And on top of all the goodness, the money is significantly better than retail, so I can work fewer hours for the same piddly money I was making at "that store."  We have weekends and family time again.  My kids are happier.  And my family is happier.  And I am happier.  Happy, happy, joy, joy.


  1. I'm glad you are finding yourself in this valley of uncertainty, and that you are doing something that you love. Best wishes and kisses, my friend...

  2. As am I, my friend. You were so right... tutoring is amazing. Hope you are getting some well-deserved relaxation! Love to you. With summer comes opportunities to get together....

  3. Hurray for you! Glad you are finding balance (and attempting to find the Luke and the Darth in each situation). Let's get our little people together this summer!

    1. It's a teeter-totter kind of balance, but I'll take it! I have much to learn, young padawan. We must DEFINITELY get the tiny people together. ASAP. The hubs in on break in a few days, so let's talk! Love to you and the fam!