It seems like just yesterday, yet it feels like so long ago. One year ago yesterday was my last day working at the library.
I looked back on my blog to see what kinds of things I was thinking about, and here are a few posts I wrote this time last year about the transition:
- Change is in the air... in more ways than one
- Goodbye March, Hello April
- The Lion's Tales: March 29-April 4
It really has been a good year. There were lots of uncertainties at first, but now I feel very confident that it was the right decision to make. I'm very content and satisfied with life.
Here are some highlights, and things I've noticed from the last year...
I still work at my church eight hours a week doing communications stuff (printing bulletins, managing the website, etc), and Ellie is in preschool during those hours. It's a great fit for my gifts and talents, doing so many tech-y things and design work.
I joined the direct-sales world when I started with Usborne Books & More (that one-year anniversary is coming up soon!). I went into it thinking to supplement our income a bit, but our budget actually hasn't needed it, so I've been able to use those profits toward fun things like coffee shop visits with friends, supporting other friends' direct sales businesses, and of course buying more Usborne books.
I haven't had to rearrange my schedule when one of my girls has to stay home sick. Abby has only missed one day this year, but Ellie has had a handful of fevers. There have been a few times when Ellie has fallen asleep on me on the couch in the afternoon, and I've been able to just stay with her and not worry about missing work or finding different daycare.
I've found a good weekly rhythm. My hours at the library were spread throughout the week, and even week-to-week was often different. We would get up at different times, sometimes rushing out the door early and sometimes not until afternoon. Grocery shopping would happen whenever there was a spare hour or two. Dinner would get thrown together quickly at 5:30. Now that I have more space to breathe during the week, I feel more in control of my schedule instead of letting my schedule control me.
We haven't been able to save as much money. When I did work at the library, my husband and I were able to look at our finances each month and keep a tight budget, putting anything extra into an auto fund or general savings. We don't often do that anymore, but because we had saved before, we were able to get repairs done on our cars this winter and buy a new-to-us car with cash. Our general savings account hasn't budged, up or down, but it's sitting ready for us to make a down payment on a new house in a year or two.
I've gone on field trips with Abby that would have otherwise been scheduled on storytime days. Wednesday seems to be a popular field trip day for her school, and I missed the first few when she was in preschool. I might not be able to do other parent-involved activities during the year because we live so far away from the school, but the quarterly field trip is doable.
Ellie is still clingy, but I can give in to it instead of pushing her away. One of the final factors in deciding to leave the library was having so many nights of my then-two-year-old clinging to me at bedtime and crying "Don't leave, I need you..." I would have to hold her hand while she fell asleep. There are still times when she is shy and doesn't want to leave me to go to preschool or her MOPS class, but I think that is just her cautious personality. Once she has a couple minutes to warm up, she lets go without even saying goodbye.
My house is still messy, I don't blog as much as I'd like, and I didn't complete my reading goal last year. Just because I have an extra 22 hours a week that I didn't have available before, doesn't mean my home life is perfectly put together. :)
I'm grateful for my time at the library, and maybe will go back someday, but for this season of my life I am right where I need to be.
I think it might be time to change my blog's tagline. :)