While in Florida with my mother-in-law, I fell in love with Bradenton. It is beautiful. A bit too hot for my taste, but it is a nice place to visit each year. My mother-in-law kept hinting about jobs that were in the area in case we ever decided to relocate there. I listened politely. Finally, she came right out and asked me if I missed leaving my husband for eight hours a day to work. I said, “Nope.” She said, “Really?” I told her I had no desire to re-enter the workforce. She was astounded. Then when my husband said, “You don’t miss having to get up at 6 a.m. every day and deal with all of that politics?” My firm answer was, “Absolutely not!” Then my mother-in-law said she missed working, but she understood that I worked a lot longer than she ever did. It was nice the she gave validity to my side of the argument.
I eventually shared with her some of my experiences in my twenty years of working. Until she heard my side, I think she felt I was missing something and I assured her I wasn’t. There is only one place I would even consider working on a regular basis and that is at my son’s school. Other than that, not a chance.
I have an income based off of the interest of a well deserved, large settlement and a very big retirement plan I had to cash out. I also am partners with my husband in his businesses, home rentals and publishing. So, I have a job(s), I just don’t have to be on time anymore for fear of being reprimanded and written up.
Thankfully, I don’t have to work anymore. When folks realize that I don’t work outside of the home, they get a certain look on their face. It’s a look of disgust. I don’t even care anymore. During my last check up right before we left for our two week honeymoon vacation, my blood pressure is the lowest it has been in years! YEARS! It took me a solid year (365 days) to decompress from all of that time working, those nine years in the child welfare system, and those seven months of working in various jobs just to make ends meet.
I don’t miss getting up at the crack of dawn, being on high alert all of the time, dealing with hate, politics, and poor management; bosses that don’t have a clue how to do their job, lazy employees that wanted me to solve all of their problems, backbiting, jealousy, hate, and, last but certainly not least, having to walk the line for people who didn’t truly understand what was going on around them. Don’t get me wrong, not all of the employers were horrible. The jobs, however, weren’t always the greatest. I had some really great working environments centered around understanding, outstanding, and fair leaders. However, all of that positive didn’t match up to all of the negativity.
Someone sent me a text message a while back about a case I was involved with. It was a child abduction case that I dealt with at my last employer. It was one of the most stressful cases I had ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I did everything right as the director of that case. Luckily, the child was found. I remember talking to the local judge, asking him to order that the child be taken out of the home. That was two weeks before she was taken and almost killed. The reply I got when I petitioned was, “Things have been like that for twenty years. Nothing’s going to happen. Those people will never change.” I shook my head at his callousness and his complete disregard for child safety. I thought, “Why am I even here?” Anyway, the text was to tell me that the man who took the child got convicted with two life sentences. Do you know that I didn’t even care? I thought, “Great, but not my problem.”
That is what happens to your mind when you work in a job where you have no choice but to compartmentalize everything so you can survive free of nightmares. I don’t have to do that anymore. I love what I do. I love waking up at 10 a.m. and staying up as long as I want. I love taking naps during the day. I love not punching a clock. I love being my own boss. I love writing and working my husband. I LOVE IT! I wouldn’t trade this!
This time last year, I was working two jobs and getting ready to take on a third one because I was waiting on the ruling for my settlement. I was worrying about putting food on the table and keeping my house payment going. I was dependent upon my parents for charity. I was alone and struggling in the worst way possible. I was battling deep depression and anxiety. I felt like my world was ending. So, if you think that I would even consider going back into that hellish rat race, think again! I paid my dues. For twenty years I worked and worried and stressed and kissed up. For nine years I saw the worst of the worst parents and heard testimony from countless children about the horrors of their lives. I listened to them explain their sexual abuse to me and how their parents were too busy shooting up to even cook for them. I pulled children out of run down houses because mommy was too busy snorting pills to get the kids to school. I worried each day that I would be brought in and told what a crappy job I was doing and all of the things I was doing wrong. I spent time working with the ungrateful public and scrubbing the floors in houses to make sure bills were paid. I listened to people yell at me because their prescriptions were too high, like I could help that. And you think I would go back there? Um, no!
Like I said, there is only one exception and that is my son’s school. Besides that, I think it’s different when you know you don’t have to be there. You don’t have to have the money to survive. It takes on a different meaning when you work. You work for fun. When it’s fun, it doesn’t feel like work at all. When I substitute, it isn’t stressful. I love those kids at my son’s school. They make me smile. I didn’t smile much when I worked before and if I tried then I got in trouble for having too much fun.
There have been some challenges, even after it seemed that the clouds were clearing. Everyone faces challenges whether they are working or not. The separation from my last publisher was the final chapter; the final change that needed to take place for transformation and peace to truly be achieved. But, in comparison to the other hurdles, it was a simply overcome.
So, when you see me on social media a lot or blogging or see statuses where I’m working on my book or things for our publishing company or traveling with my husband places, don’t wonder if I’m happy or unfulfilled. I’m doing just fine.