I have been going through the change for the last four months. I have slept better, showered less, traveled less and drank less coffee. What else has happened while I have gone through the change?
The change has me cooking more. We eat earlier in the evening. We visit more around the table and I am much less stressed about scheduling and “doing the next thing” because of the change. While Hunter’s face shows elation over his grilled steak, our life isn’t all elation. But Hunter, age almost 16, and I have communicated better and spent more time together than prior to the change.
During the first couple months of the change, I helped coach Hunter in track and field and volunteered to get an Ag Communications team organized and prepared for State FFA. From the time I started going through the change, we spent at least four hours a day together which was about three more hours than we had spent together before I started going through the change. This summer, I have taken in more of his baseball games than in the past. Baseball has ended for the season but the time Hunter and I spend together because of the change has improved and been a positive in our lives. Don’t remind me he is leaving for college in three years. I start to sob.
Because of the change, I have visited more with friends, near and far this summer than past summers. It’s hard to be a mom, whether you are at home or working, and maintain friendships. It requires time. My aunt Theresa, a dear friend and mentor told me, “In your 30’s, all you can do is focus on your kids, marriage and career. By the time you reach your 40’s, you will have less friends, but they will be really good ones.”
I have recited Theresa’s words many times to myself, hoping my friends understand. But I am thankful the change has allowed a tiny slice of more time for friends.
As a family, going through the change for me has allowed us to spend more down time together at our nearby prairie lake spot, fishing, enjoying the water, napping and of course eating s’mores around the campfire.Going through the change has freed up our family schedule so we can travel to family events and have quality visiting time with less looming deadlines. We have been to see more family this summer than previous years because I forced myself to go through the change.
Despite going through a change, I haven’t quit working. I did quit commuting 98 miles one-way each day. But the change opened more doors then I was expecting. I am writing, speaking, consulting and working with friends on the schedule that works for our family.
Four months ago this week, I quit my comfortable pay, cushy benefits, long commute, state government job. It was a leap of faith as I blogged about that week. But I could see the horizon was brighter for our family and my personal goals if I went through a change. I haven’t cleaned more going through this change. I thought I would be more organized than I am. But the change has surprised me.
First, I am happier. I didn’t realize before the change probably how unhappy in certain situations I was, how tied down and limited I felt. I have always said since I learned from my attorney friend, “a happy mommy makes a happy family”. Well, we are now a happier family. We have happier kids. Our days are more relaxed. I have a happier husband because his happier wife, me, is home more. Our checking account did not get an automatic deposit paycheck on the first of month this spring. But consulting and speaking opportunities had already started for me. While I am still working through what the best routine is for this change, I have exceeded my initial goals with consulting work which is gratifying. My husband can work more because I am home which is best for our small, growing business in rural North Dakota.
Last night while we were driving home from the GriggsDakota farm, my husband said what has surprised him most about the change is how much more relaxed and at ease we are all are. The change has been good. For all of us. It hasn’t just been my change. It’s been our change. My family supported me through this change. I could not have done it without them. I don’t know what the next changes will be but I know I do not fear change. Because going through a change can bring more benefits than you can ever see or know.
What positive changes have happened in your life recently? Celebrate them.