It's actually TUESDAY'S that are weird for me, but you'll be reading this Wednesday. That and remember that Tufts commercial where they had all these excuses not to work out? Well, when I thought of a title for this post, that came flying to the forefront of my brain and I couldn't get any other title in my head. It's actually a funny commercial. You can watch it here.
My disclaimer is a blanket disclaimer for all posts that I write for the rest of my blogging and writing career... I like to talk out how I feel. Sometimes I blurt out what I'm feeling, other times it's after the fact, but I still try to maintain the happiest and upbeat cheerful attitude I can about everything. So, while times I may seem wah waaaaah... <insert smallest violin and plate of cheese to go with my whine here>, I really am laughing within five minutes of any downer moment I have. Ok, onward and upward...
So anyways, back to my Tuesday thing. My schedule has changed a lot since the beginning of the year. I was working your typical Monday - Friday, with a yoga class I teach on Sunday mornings. Then, I took off Friday from my Monday - Friday job, but started teaching a Friday morning yoga class. Then I quit my Monday - Friday job, started working for my friend for the summer, but was only working Tuesday - Thursday, and picked up another yoga class on Monday mornings. I also picked up another yoga class to teach Wednesday nights.
With any major change in schedule, and in life, comes that lovely time of transition. I was warned of this when I gave my notice at my job, and it was actually by the friend that hired me for the summer. It was one of those things I heard in our conversation, didn't spend any time talking about, but filed away in that part of my brain that knows it'll be important at some point.
Of course, I forgot about it.
When I started working for my friend, I remember having some serious doubts on the career train I was on. While I had no doubts that leaving my job was the right thing for me to do at that point, I had already begun to think of the future and what I was going to do once my job was over at the end of the summer. It's not like me not to have a pretty laid out plan when it comes to my career, and I had always had 'the next thing' in place before leaving a job. Knowing this job was going to be over at the start of my vacation with no sure thing in place yet after the kids went back to school, was a little scary.
I expressed this to my friend, and she reminded me of the transitions we go through at these moments in life. 'Oh, yeah,' I remembered, rather sheepishly, since it was her that had said it in the first place, 'transition.'
She further went on to talk about how, when we make these leaps of faith or important decisions, that we are actually, in a sense, stepping into a dark abyss of the unknown. It's as if someone shut all light out as soon as we jumped into the air, and we don't know where we'll land, how we'll land, or even IF we'll land. We might be floating for a while, or we might come down hard. We might figure out that what we decided to do isn't what we thought it was going to be, and have to try something else further down the road. We might figure out that what we decided to do is pretty pissah, and want to do MORE of it. BUT, there is always, always ... transition.
I tried to accept this, but it was hard for me. I like to know what's coming next. I like to be prepared. I like to be ready. Not just for the day, but for a LOT of days ahead of me. To know and accept that the career path I had planned to embark on after the summer was over was full of not knowing and pitch-darkness really freaked me out.
Well, I got through the summer alright. The kids finished camp, and we went on a family vacation. But I had to turn the thinking part of my brain off in order to really enjoy my summer and not put too much thought (read: stress) into my life by trying to figure out what I didn't know.
The kids started school in September, and I've added on five classes to my teaching schedule, for a total of 9 classes a week. I have added items to my Etsy shop, something I have been slowly working on since May, and I have even found the time to create some more items as well. Something that I also (surprisingly) have found that I enjoy is keeping house. Stepford wife, anyone? I like shopping on a Friday morning for the week... ok, ok I don't like it too much, but I don't loathe it the way I used to when it had to be done on a Monday night or Sunday morning. I really like that I have been able to get our dinners ready so that when it's time for dinner, we aren't preparing meals at 8:00 when we get home from football practice or B isn't prepping a meal when I'm teaching a class at night. It is made ahead of time and either ready to pop in the oven or in the microwave. Alright, you get my point; it's nice to feel like I'm contributing to the ease of the household by doing the more mundane things during the day when I have time, finding joy in said mundane things, and finding further joy to be present for my kids when they get home from school.
Sounds great, doesn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love what I'm doing, and it IS great. But it's scary as shit. I have started freaking out. The same fears that gripped me when I started working for my friend have gripped me again. But fiercer, because now I didn't have that steady income from my friend, or my old job. For the first time, ever, I was, er...am my own boss. Sure, I might be employed by some gyms that can fire me at will and work for yoga studios whose owners can let me go if I'm no longer a good fit, but the sequences I come up with are made from my own creativity, my own hard work. Which, if I really thought about it, is the same as working for someone else. I could've been fired at any point if I was no longer a good fit or didn't work hard enough. So, what is it that is gripping me? What's making me so scared and making me doubt myself?
Ah, that ten letter word: transition. I am going through another transition stage (this must be why I sleep so good at night!) now that my kids were back in school. No longer having them around during the day, I all of a sudden have these chunks of time available to me. Big chunks. Like, incredibly big chunks. Like, you-have-to-keep-yourself-so-busy-because-that's-what-you're-used-to-and-why-are-you-taking-five-minutes-to-yourself-get-working-and-prove-you're-doing-something-every-single-second-of-the-day huge chunks. Trust me, from a mom of twins, 10 minutes is a lot, and now I have multiple 10 minute chunks strung together.
I've begun to feel really weird in these moments. Almost as if I have to prove to someone that I have been productive every day. That I accomplish something every moment I am by myself. That I'm lazy if I don't. (?!) I had been so accustomed to working through lunch that I actually had pretty severe guilt the first time I sat on my deck and enjoyed a nice, quiet, device-free lunch by myself. I must have worked three times as hard after my lunch was over to prove I deserved that time to myself!
Speaking of guilt, I feel guilty if I'm simply reading about my Etsy shop. It's not enough for me just to read about it. I have to be producing and putting stock on my virtual shelves! I can't run a shop with nothing in it!
And even though I have checked (and re-checked) in with my husband every so often (ok, often) to make sure he is still ok with all the decisions we made together, I still feel that I'm not doing enough because I'm not producing the proof of a paycheck every week.
Wow. Talk about a transition. To go from being a stay-at-home mom, to a part-time waitress mom, to a part-time waitress and desk job mom, to only desk job mom, to working more than I should have (my decision) desk job mom, to cutting back on desk job mom, to desk job and very part-time yoga mom, to summer-job and yoga mom, to only yoga and my own creativity mom, this transition has been the weirdest and the one that's taking the most to transition into.
Which is why I saw Wednesday's are weird but it's really Tuesday's. Tuesday's are my 'day off' from yoga. It's weird NOT to be at a job on Tuesday. NOT to have anything to do besides make dinner. Don't get me wrong, I'm writing or creating or reading about how to make my online shop better, or making a sequence, or (hopefully soon!) making a playlist for my classes. So, I am working but it's more behind the scenes and putting in the work that will hopefully pay out in the future (as my mom puts it - wonderful words, mom!) but I'm not teaching and since that's my 'job' (and I use that term lightly), it's weird to be off in the middle of the week.
There have been plenty of days that I feel guilt and even a little depression by not working on Tuesday. Usually it'll settle on Monday at some point, after I've taught my class for the day and am home preparing dinner. Tuesday I'll feel guilty as B heads to work and I know I have the day 'off'. Wednesday it'll show up again, but later in the morning, when I'm done teaching and have another chunk of time before I get my kiddos off the bus. Thursday is a whirlwind of classes and by Friday any guilt or depression I had is forgotten about, since I will have taught seven classes between Wednesday at 9:30 and Friday at 7pm.
I keep having to tell myself that it takes time and that I need to have faith in the universe and it'll all work out. I keep having to remember to believe in myself. I keep having to remember not to be so critical and to take baby steps. After all, if you're in a space and the lights suddenly go out and it's so incredibly dark that you can't see your own hand in front of your face but you know where the light switch is, do you just start running in that direction? No, you put your hands out and take baby steps towards that switch. I guess that's what I'm doing right now; taking baby steps and just having faith that the light switch is somewhere in front of me and when I find it, and flood the space with light, it'll be worth my time in the darkness. That is, happy, upbeat, cheerful darkness full of blind laughter and Cheshire cat smiles... :)
Love, Happiness, & Coffee
~ Heather ~