The best-laid plans…
My plans for this year went to pot two weeks ago when I did a scary thing and accepted a last-minute teaching position at the same corporation where my husband teaches.
This was not what I had planned on! I had spent the latter part of the summer framing my mind to being home with my daughter for one last year. I enrolled her in part-time preschool, accepted an invitation to be a contributing writer with My Trending Stories, was planning my time and our budget to save more, cook at home more often, and maintain my workout routine. I was dreaming of enjoying walks and park time with my daughter, intentional time with dear ones, and time to dedicate solely to writing while my girl was preschool. And now, in a perfect hurricane of change, all of those plans have been shattered and my life feels as though it has shrunk immensely. I get up, I go to work, I pick Elizabeth up from daycare, I pick up or make dinner, I care for/play with Elizabeth, I put/wrestle her into bed, and finally collapse myself. There is very little time for what I love, for what gives me joy, and precious little energy with which to do or enjoy right now.
So, even though I know–I KNOW–that this is a good position, in a good building, with good people, and a good salary, I have to admit to having a very difficult time surrendering my plans to God right now. I am mourning the loss of them, the dream of them. The dream of what I thought God was calling me to. I miss my girl, I miss the life we had together. I miss the opportunities that I was looking forward to. Now, I am nothing if not unsure. Right now, all I know to do is to get up and go to work each day. I have signed a contract for this year; I will honor my word. I will pick up my daughter from daycare each day. I will feed my family. I will clean house when I can. I will leave work at work as much as I can (though all teachers know just how futile this can be at times), and try to live life in the small spaces.
I gave a commencement address this summer where I spoke on not being afraid of being small, that greatness can be in the small things. Right now, my life feels small, contracted down to the barest of routines with little room for the unexpected magnificent. All I can do is get up each day, keep my word, and do the best I can for my family and for myself and soul. Tonight, my daughter and I will have dinner with some good friends; a small pocket of time carved out that means so much because it shows that we are loved and cared for. All I can do right now is be small and try to live fully in the small spaces. Even if I don’t understand, even if I’m not totally sure of where I am or where I am supposed to be. I guess, for now, I’m here. I may not be entirely happy about that fact but, then again, I don’t think I necessarily have to be. Happiness has never been a requisite for me working hard and doing my best. I may not want to be teaching, do not yearn for it with all my heart. This was, honestly, a purely logical choice, for the good of my family. And that will have to do for now, I think.