KHP – Standing Still but Leaning Forward

I am really focused on this piece right now and this is all we will see until it is done.  My deadline is Tuesday for the birthday girl's surprise.  I feel like I am at a weird point in the painting.  The last two nights I feel like I am doing more harm than good but I keep plugging away.

I am really focused on this piece right now and this is all we will see until it is done. My deadline is Tuesday for the birthday girl’s surprise. I feel like I am at a weird point in the painting. The last two nights I feel like I am doing more harm than good but I keep plugging away.

The past six years I have been working at home, freelancing, adjunct teaching and taking classes.  I have been doing everything that I could think of to bring home a little bit of money, work on my resume while staying at home with my two girls.  My mother-in-law lives with us but still works full time at 70 years old.  She helps out with the kids when she is home. She really is the reason why I was able to complete another degree and survive teaching as an adjunct outside of my respective field.

Two weeks ago, her company made some major changes, changes that effected her schedule and ability to work.  When they told her she must work on Sundays, she decided it was her sign to throw in the towel and finally retire.  She has spent her life caring for others, providing for sons, daughter-in-laws and every grand-baby and great grand-baby that was blessed into her arms.  I have felt her quiet and unassuming support which I am eternally grateful.  Our family is ready for her to spend her time as she wishes from here on out.  On the 19th she will officially have completed her work career.

With her retirement, my life will also change.  I will work more hours during regular working times rather than in the wee hours of the night when my mind and body just want to drop into a deep slumber.  I have struggled with the idea of finding a 9-5 job and just doing my freelance work on the side.  With the girls cared for by their grandmother, I will have the time and ability to focus back on my career. In many ways this is what I have been waiting for.  In other ways, I feel as if I never was able to enjoy being a stay at home mom.  I simply could not allow myself to let go of my personal career goals and the need to prepare for my return to the workforce.

My big question now is how to I spend my time.  Many of my friends I have spoken with and my husband believe I should continue on my current path of freelancing and adjunct teaching.  This will give me the career building opportunities but still the flexibility we may like to have as a family.  The security of the full time job is nagging at me.  I see my friends with corporate jobs bringing home big pay checks and they seem to still have a great quality of life.  I seem to have been scrounging for pennies and working every waking moment.  I am not sure how this life quality will change with the extra time to work.

I am frustrated at myself for feeling lost rather than excited by new prospects.  I asked my friend her advice.  She gave up a very profitable corporate job to stay at home with her children and begin to build her own company.  She is a few years older than I and she is a model mother, community member and career woman.  She believes strongly in following dreams and doing what you love.  She felt as if my “obvious talent” would drive my career and I should not give up.  She also said that the 9-5 job was overrated and my girls will be grown in a blink of an eye.  My husband believes I am gaining momentum right now and giving up on it would be a mistake.  I feel two pulls still, one for the structure and security and the other to pursue a dream that is quite attainable.  For the past few years I feel like I have been standing still but leaning forward waiting for the gun to go off to start my sprint.  The gun will be going off very soon and I feel like I will be standing dazed and confused at the starting gate.


About khpixler

Freelance artist, photographer, illustrator, designer, athlete, wife and mom of two beautiful girls. Trying to make it daily.
This entry was posted in Art, Illustration, Kristen P., Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to KHP – Standing Still but Leaning Forward

  1. wwwmama says:

    From where I stand, it seems you are poised to find the security and financial payoff eventually if you are patient and trust yourself now. You are talented and passionate and I agree that momentum is building from what I’ve read about your life in the last six months. It’s ok to feel unsure and take some time to adjust to this change. Listen to your heart and take time to hear what it calls you to do. I am not corporate, but I do have security in my job, and it has gotten me stuck in some ways. Be unstuck and exploratory and growing as long as you can. I just know something will come to you or from you that will lead to the security you crave.

  2. Kristen R. says:

    First, a quote: “Leap, and the net will appear.” — John Burroughs

    Second, you shouldn’t be frustrated with yourself for any of the feelings you’re having. It’s an exciting, scary, overwhelming and challenging time. You have a lot to figure out — and you can’t do that right away. No, you shouldn’t do that right away. You have options. Is that so bad?

    You know that I am a 8-5 working mom and am my family’s breadwinner. I feel lucky to have the stability, the paycheck and still some flexbility to attend school stuff for both my girls. I also think I am a role model to them by showing them that they, too, can be successful at both home and work. However, the flip side is that there are simple things that I miss. I don’t see my Bean get on and off the bus – ever. I can’t volunteer in her school regularly like the other moms can. I will never be a room mom or the parent who can be a chaparone on all the field trips. I just make sure I pick my moments carefully. It’s quality over quantity. And I’m OK with that.

    Whatever path you choose, just make sure you strike the right balance for you. Ever since I’ve known you — and that’s two decades now, my friend — you have always had a job, be it one full time gig, or several part-time positions. I know you well enough to know that whatever you do, you will work. You have been doing that all this time already. It doesn’t have to be a traditional 9-5 job if you don’t want it to be. Look back at all those jobs. What has made you happiest — then or now?

  3. Pingback: KHP – Clarity and a Thank You to My Dear Blog-mates | Making It Daily

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