Rainy days and Mondays

Kathy Krugercontentment, work-life balance29 Comments

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)!

interview outfit_edited-1

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).

Namaste sign off_edited-1Kathy X

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Kathy KrugerRainy days and Mondays

29 Comments on “Rainy days and Mondays”

  1. Min (@riteofthemiddle)

    Yay for you at being leaner and slimmer! You look amazing in that pencil skirt and halter silk top! You know what – you probably weren’t meant to get that job. There is something better for you! I climbed the corporate ladder … kept climbing and climbing. I was feeling so proud of myself. I was earning the most money I had ever earned! BUT … the higher up there I got the more crap I saw going on at the Executive Management levels and the more stress and workload I carried on my shoulders. Understaffed, overworked and more. Stress became my new norm. I didn’t even know I was stressed. The ending was not pretty but resulted in me walking away from that life, and here I am …. rediscovering and reinventing myself – earning $0 but finally giving myself the time and attention I deserve. I am hopeful I will find where I am meant to be!

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Min – I feel like my career has been a bit all over the place (the infertility/IVF/long adoption process played a bit of havoc). I don’t want the stress or the climb, just the sense of satisfaction. I guess it is just a sense of resignation that maybe this is it, but then the balance is what I really do want, and who knows what other ways I can channel my own drive and ambition in that reinvention. I think you are where you are meant to be and can only grow.

  2. Denise

    You look amazing Kathy! It is difficult being a working mum when you’re ambitious and want to get ahead. It’s not fair, really it isn’t. I think we all end up having to compromise in some way. But it sounds like you’ve got the balance you need for the moment. How cute is your boy starting school. I hope he had fun x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Denise – it isn’t fair but I guess it is my choice to still feel lucky that I have flexibility and can achieve some work satisfaction. Little Yang is settling better each day into prep and that is more important than work really.

  3. Lauren @ The Thud

    Well done you for being so positive about disappointment. It’s so hard when you feel like you deserve more but other people are making the decisions for you and you feel like you’ve been dealt a bad hand. I’m not very good at processing stuff like that. I need to be more like you!

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks for visiting Lauren and your supportive comment. I’m sure things will work out and I guess the post was a way of processing it and working my way around to contentment again. No point hanging in sad land.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Sarah – it sort of felt like the disjointed feelings coming together in the way I wrote it and that’s how the day felt – life is like that as we try to find that middle way of contentment.

  4. EssentiallyJess

    I’m sorry you missed out on that job, but I’m glad you’re content with what you have. I can understand that you might feel a little down. I think I would be too.
    Also, I’ve been working on toning my arms, and am in awe of yours! You look sensational. xx

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Jess – I think feeling fit helps you get over the disappointment and move more easily into contentment – a good hot yoga class has me feeling good again and because I’m cleansing at the moment I’m not tempted to reach for the wine to console myself – and I feel better for it.

  5. Deborah

    You look stunning in those pics!

    So sorry about the job. I understand a little how you feel. I left full time work after 20-25 years on a high in late 2012, to make my seachange. I was confident I’d find something part-time or other opportunities however they haven’t really appeared. I’m happier than ever but have pretty much completely lost confidence in a professional sense.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Deb – it sounds like your happiness outweighs the career, and mine does too. I think it is mostly a fallacy that you can really have both that balanced lifestyle and a challenging career. I do hope you can get your proffessional mojo back in a different capacity. Here’s to reinvention!

  6. Bec @ The Plumbette

    Kathy this is such a different style of writing and I really enjoyed it. You are rocking that pencil skirt. While the job may have fallen through, this sideways position sounds like the right one for you. I also think we need to look beyond our current circumstances for different opportunities to grow and I think this blog is the perfect example of this.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Bec – it is fun to experiment with different writing style – I should have the confidence to do it more often – and look how your post did last week that you wrote in a different and powerful way. Enjoying experimenting with new and old clothes that I feel comfortable in.

  7. always josefa (@always_josefa)

    I especially love the idea of changing through contentment – I am trying to a whole lot of that this year. Positive voice inside my head and my heart – speak up, be loud, be vibrant. Negative, snarling voice inside my head – be quiet, don’t speak! And you look AMAZING in that outfit, love the skirt love the top! But then again you are amazing, it shines through your words, the smile as your take a photo with your kids – that’s what really counts doesn’t it?

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Josefa – such a nice comment. I love the pic with the kids too, even if Little Yang has a funny look on his face – we don’t often get nice family photos and of course it was a big occasion. Yep I really believe that if we try to force change to escape where we are we are headed for trouble. Acceptance comes before change and then we get to call it growth.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Malinda – I work at contentment but in the end you don’t really have a choice – or the choice is to be unhappy. It is a nice skirt that I’m glad to fit into.

  8. mummywifeme

    Kathy, it sounds as though I have been going through a very similar thing at my work. I never like to say too much about work online, but I applied for a different job within my division. It was for the same level, but the work would be different, more closely aligned with what I want to do and a challenge. I got the job, but my boss wouldn’t release me. Long story. Anyway, you know what? After feeling blue about it for a little while I told myself that it happened for a reason and there is something better around the corner. I wish I could say I’m feeling content with this situation. I think I’m just accepting of the fact that it is what it is. Meanwhile, you are looking absolutely amazing. I especially love that white top with the green leaves. It looks great on you. Must be a great feeling to show off those lean arms. As for Little Yang, what a little cute heart. Glad he’s going well 🙂

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Sorry to hear about your work woes. I’m careful what I say too, but I think we can face a certain stereotype as part-time Mums that doesn’t really make use of our experience. For me, at my age, it is about wondering whether the whole career thing is behind me, but also wondering whether that matters. I’m sure you will have other opportunities Renee.

  9. mummywifeme

    Sorry, I talked about myself for most of that comment. So rude! I’m sorry you didn’t get that job and I’m pleased to hear you are okay with it and are moving on xx

  10. Pinky Poinker

    I’m sort of sorry you didn’t get the job Kathy but usually fate has a way of giving you what you need if that doesn’t sound too corny. I want slender arms! You look fantastic and I’m green with envy x Your kids are growing up 🙂

    1. Kathy Kruger

      You look great Pinky and I’m glad to be getting my old arms back (even if my body is getting older). Yep the kids are growing fast – where does time fly. And I’m trusting the universe on the job and other fronts.

  11. Tegan Churchill

    I think the best kind of change comes from a place of contentment. I feel that when we change because we aren’t happy where we are, we have less time to consider our options. That means that we can often take the first thing that comes along, because it is different, rather than because it is good for us.

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