I wear this pencil skirt I bought three years ago that was a bit too tight then, and now isn’t. I’m changed – not just by three years and less weight, but somehow essentially – not my core spirit, but that which flows from my essence (if that spiritual stuff makes sense)!
I can only think I’ve come around to feeling more content in life through change, which sounds a bit odd because we usually change when we’re not content, when we want things to be different. Or do we?
I’m at a job interview – and it’s my son’s first day of school. It’s my youngest child’s first day of school and I happen to have a job interview! Today!! The day will be remembered of course by his major milestone, not the outcome of any interview of mine. It’s at 1pm so I still get to drop him off and pick him up.
He doesn’t cry.
I don’t even know if I want the job.
Just over a year ago I thought I really wanted the job. I wore this red power jacket to the interview, which is 15 years old, if not dated, and has stood me in confidence (many times) before. I thought I was a shoe-in.
Today I pair a new halter-neck silk top (bought on sale for a steal) with my pencil skirt, favourite heels and my ‘new’ leaner arms and feel confident, and not just because I don’t care so much.
I care a lot about my little boy, on his first day of school, even though I know he’ll be ok, despite that look of trepidation. I care about my big girl, in her last year of primary now, who’ll be fine too, despite being embarrassed (read mortified) by her father as we walked past her class this morning.
I don’t cry.
It’s only an internal interview process, casual. The words flow – the words have always flown (sometimes they fly the coop). The passion is there and good answers too, if not always everything that could be said. I just want to demonstrate my passion and knowledge, regardless of the outcome (and maybe show off those ‘new’ leaner arms, just a little).
I just want to show I’m confident, content, deserving of the job whether I get it, whether I want it, or not.
I don’t get the job. It’s Friday afternoon and my boss calls me in – this time she has the sensitivity to ensure she tells me the news before the weekend.
I’m not surprised. She’d earmarked me to step sideways, into another job which is right up my alley and in which I know I’ll be a lot happier than I have been lately. It’s really an interesting and challenging role and I can keep my four-day week (including one day working from home).
It is not the step-up (which is actually just a step back to where I’ve been before) that the other ‘career’ job would have been, which would have meant full-time conditions and greater challenges.
I know it’s a decision that works for my boss, but is it the best thing for me? Probably.
Am I content? Probably.
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.
So sing the Carpenters in their 1971 classic. How poignant that Karen Carpenter sang so many sad songs before she lost her life to Anorexia Nervosa, aged just 32 (to think I’ve lived half her lifetime over again, how lucky am I!).
So it’s Monday and it’s raining!
I’m just a bit down (and a little lacking in confidence). Sometimes a sad song helps.
But hey I get to drop Little Yang into class because it’s my work from home day. I get to ease into the week without getting dressed for the office and juggle school/activity drop-offs and pick-ups with my firefighter hubby (who has a lot of time off available between shifts, and who happens to be on holidays right now, so we can really ease into the school year). How lucky am I!
I can mourn the fact that at my age I probably won’t have that corporate ‘career’ again, or I can be content that while I may have been penciled (pigeon-holed) as the ‘competent, experienced mum who works part time’ that I have probably been penciled in just right.
Contentment isn’t perfect. It’s better than perfect because perfect is pressure, frustration, disappointment, illusion.
We can change to chase perfection and find only our tails.
Or we can change from a place of contentment and discover how much we grow.
I’m changing, mostly through contentment and with a confidence that is slowly growing, just like Little Yang is stepping up and slowly growing into school.
Yep, I’m feeling contented for a change.
How content are you with your work-life balance? Do you agree you can only really change from a place of contentment?
Linking up with EssentiallyJess for IBOT.
PS – the sun came out! Sometimes it feels like I’m on top of the world (just in case you want to leave this post on a happy note, here are the Carpenters again).