Yes, gurl. It’s been one year since I left my full time job and started this crazy sabbatical/career break business. How did a year go by so fast?
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Truer words have never been spoken, my friend.
Today, I took some time to look back on the notes and plans I had for my career break and I’m seeing how I fell short in so many ways. I had all these good plans and great intentions – I was going to start a business, lose weight, get my dog certified as a therapy dog. None of those things happened.
A year ago, I would have beaten myself up over this lack of accomplishment. Twenty years of working for other people taught me that when you have a list of tasks, you complete them and then, you have success.
One year of working for no one taught me that life isn’t that straight forward.
"They say life’s what happens when you’re busy making other plans. But sometimes in New York, life is what happens when you’re waiting for a table." – Carrie Bradshaw
Believe it or not Carrie Bradshaw, the same thing happens in Denver. Life happened and my little career break to-do list walked straight down that road to hell with a whole host of good intentions in her coach bag.
So while life happened, I accomplished other things – some things that weren’t even on my to-do list.
- I learned to bullet journal – which kind of isn’t really a skill, just a way of doing things, but it has made my life and Fury’s life SOOO much more productive.
- I’m a meal planning ninja. Seriously. I’ve developed this killer meal planning system that is kind of a work of art. I’m so proud of it that I’ve been thinking about making a whole niche site out if it. It’s crazy adaptable and flexible and it takes all the frustration out of the question, “What’s for dinner?” It’s that good. Message me if you want more info.
- I read a ton of books. Well maybe not a ton, but I definitely read more books in the last year than any single year since I left college. Don’t believe me? I have a stack of unread magazines from the last year to show for it.
- I became more confident. It’s not easy telling people that you are a stay-at-home-wife. Not a stay-at-home-mom. A stay-at-home wife. No one understands why an able bodied, educated woman with no children is not working. But you know what? They don’t have to understand. I learned to stop lying to people about what I do/don’t do and just own it. Confidence. Check!
- I make sourdough bread. And like really, damn, good, sourdough bread. Bread so good, that I might not eat commercially yeasted breads again. Yeah, that good. And forget all that noise you hear about high altitude baking, you can bake good bread in Denver.
- I own a house! Which is kind of crazy nbecause I remember “playing house” as a kid, and now this is my life with a husband and a dog, and a mortgage, and a garden and a LOT of freakin’ squash in that garden, and it’s awesome, and I couldn’t be happier.
- I learned what a crazy, incredible, amazing, inspiring, stupendous person I married. Like, I kind of already knew some of those things, but being on this break, where we are home together all day every day (have I mentioned that he works from home) taught me a lot about my husband and our marriage. Like for real y’all, I’m not even sure I would want to be with me all day every day. There he is, a full year later, just in love with me as ever. Isn’t that crazy?
Aside from owning a house, none of those things were really on my to-do list. But they are all really awesome things that have come out of spending some time out of a full-time job and more time at home. There are a lot of other accomplishments that I haven’t mentioned here, and a lot of other mis-accomplishments too (is that a word? I don’t want to call them failures, because they are not – just things I haven’t accomplished yet). But I am okay with that, because I’m happy, and blessed, and many days, feel like I’m living my best life.
So the million dollar question is: When is Monique going back to work?
That’s a bit of a loaded question, because I do work. Being a stay-at-home wife is work. It’s unpaid work, but it’s work. Aside from nursing wounds and helping with homework, I do all of the things on this insure.com article which shows that stay-at-home-moms should make at least $68,000 annually. Plus, I am working on my writing (on this blog and elsewhere) and gearing up to maybe a start a business venture with my husband in the next year (I’ve kind of abandoned my previous solo venture).
So to be more specific, when am I going back to paid-work for someone else? Maybe next month? Maybe never. I’ve been looking for part-time skilled labor jobs (of which there are not many) and I haven’t found anything yet, but if I do maybe I will do that while we work on our business venture. If our ventures fail, or we really need the money, then I will go back to work full time. So time will tell. But for right now, this kind of feels amazing.
In the meanwhile, I’ll keep enjoying this gift life has granted me. Over the last year, I’ve been less stressed, less anxious, less moody, less tired, and kind of a better, nicer, happier, and more optimistic person to be around. Special shout to my husband, aka the bread winner aka Sugar Daddy aka Fury for making this last year happen. We’ve come a long way in the last year – from me feeling anxious and not knowing how to navigate this career break to feeling simply amazed and blessed for every day of it. I couldn’t have done it without you supporting me every step of the way.