When I was working outside of the home, I was inspired (or so I thought) to be successful in a variety of areas such as: Have better people skills, Focus more and make the sale or fill the job, Be the most productive, Earn a higher salary, Bring in the highest commission, Be certified in my area of expertise, Come in early/leave late and take calls after hours and on weekends or in other words do whatever it took even if that meant sacrificing my personal life.
At the time, I was fine with this and I truly thought that I was inspired. I did love what I was doing and as a Recruiter, I got to assist others in finding great jobs as quickly as possibly that were the "perfect" fit for them. However this was not without benefit to me from a financial perspective and I have to say is one that at times I did tend to focus on. Had I not got pregnant and then lost my job, I would probably be back there now continuing to do all of these things all the while sacrificing my personal life which now would have been far more busy than it as just a few short months ago.
They say that "hindsight is 20/20" and I believe this to be true. For one thing, I no longer look at what I do professionally as defining me (should I return to work) and am 100% positive that the career path I was on is not one that was really inspirational or making me a better person at all.
I came to this realization today, as I was sitting on the floor playing with my daughter. She has just learned how to clap and wave and as far as she is concerned having the ability to do this, is just about the best thing in the world...apart from her bottle, of course! Seeing these accomplishments in life bring so much joy to one so small tend to (at least in my case) make one re-evaluate what it is that is truly important in life. Sitting there, I began to think about what it is that is really important to me personally and while I would like to go back to work at some point, I believe that I need to find something completely different from what it is that I did before and this is in part for my daughter.
It is funny how having a child makes one reconsider your own wants and needs. We all hear this before the baby arrives that, "it is no longer about just you" but coming to that realization is very different as it doesn't necessarily happen overnight. With me, it started slowly and as corny as it sounds, I honestly feel like certain things are beginning to become clearer to me. I feel like I have been going through my life looking through a sheer curtain and having my daughter has lifted that and made me see just how many opportunities there are out there for me and if there is something new that I want to do...that I shouldn't be afraid to go after it.
First and foremost on my list at the moment is to get healthy, once and for all. Weight has been an ongoing issue in my life for years and is one that I am completely sick and tired of. Therefore, I have re-joined Weight Watchers and this time, will meet my goal. I was halfway there before when I hit a plateau 2 years ago and let work and working extra hours get in the way. I then got pregnant, gained weight and while I have lost all but 3lbs I am back to where I was when I hit this bump in the road. So, with the support of my family I am back on this journey and as my sister reminded me the other night on the phone...this time I am starting at what was the halfway point for me last time so I am already ahead of the game! (I really need to start listening to my little sister!)
I was a bit hesitant walking back in to Weight Watchers yesterday for my first weigh-in and meeting but what I found as I sat there and listened, is that I was comfortable and actually relieved to be back. I tried it on my own...it didn't work for me, and having this sort of support makes me feel like I am lifting some sort of burden off of my shoulders. In a way I have finally admitted to myself and those that I love "okay, I stumbled a bit and might not be right where I want to be just yet, but I can do this and will". It was as if, I had to come to those terms myself but what held me back was the fear of admitting that not only to myself but to my family. For some reason, I thought that they would think less of me (which they would not have) but this didn't happen and nor did my world come crashing down or anyone laugh at me. As a child, I was made fun of because I was heavier and taking ownership of this in my life is one thing that I have always struggled with....I feel like I finally have.
I also thought about what it is that I want to be doing professionally that will bring me joy and as I sat on the floor watching my daughter giggle at her talking puppy (who by this point was singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes for the 40th time today) I found that I kept coming back to the thought that it has be creative. I have always loved reading, writing and art and in fact get a certain charge out of putting together a well thought out paragraph, reading a book that makes me think and stays with me long after the last page has been turned and looking at a painting for the first time that literally "speaks" to me and makes my heart skip a bea> Hence why the reprint of Vetriano's "The Butlers Dance" hangs on my kitchen wall.
I know that I was not cut out to go and work in a cubicle or a stuffy office where I have someone looming over me and watching my every move or telling me what I "need" to do and when etc. Been there..done that! I am still not sure what this will be exactly but I believe that I have been given this time that I have and that my old job ended in the way that it did for a very specific reason. I believe that this was so that I would be able to have this particular time with my daughter but also so that I can decide what it is that I want to putting my other energies in to. I want my daughter to look at me when she is older and think to herself "Mom went after what she really wanted and I know that I can do the same".
I used to think that having a great job had to do with making the most money, having really good health care and moving up the ladder as quickly as possibly but now, I don't feel that way. While money is great and as we all know is a necessity in life, I don't want my life to be about that and I don't want her to grow up believing that she has to keep "going, going, going" in order to have it all. That term "have it all" is one that as a woman I have heard over and over and over again and now, I am not sure that I want it all especially if the only reward in the end is a larger bank account. I want to really enjoy what I do and feel that it is beneficial to not only me but also to my family as it makes me a happier person and not someone who is tired and stressed out all of the time. I know that if I were back in my old job right now that I would be this way and I can only imagine how this would negatively impact my daughter and I sometimes wonder if she would be anywhere near as happy a baby.....
The long and short of it is, is that my new inspiration IS my daughter. She makes me want to be a better person and to really go after my dreams. My husband always encouraged me to do this but having this new little person in my life who is experiencing so many firsts at the moment and getting so much joy out of them that it makes me want to experience this for myself on a personal level again instead of just watching it. In the next year, I would like to be at my goal weight for the first time in a very long time to be doing what it is that I would love to be doing professionally for the first time ever and not just settling or taking the first thing that comes along.
As I continue to ponder what this is, I know that I will continue to be inspired by my little smiley girl and in the meantime let her make my heart skip a beat on a daily basis.