We had a lovely day yesterday. What I would call the perfect Thanksgiving. Good food, good people to be with, and I only had to cook 2 things!
We weren't going anywhere this year, and John wanted to have people over so that we weren't celebrating alone. I was a little nervous as the guest list grew, and I didn't know how we were going to fit everyone, but my fears came to naught (and I had a good excuse to get John to help me deep clean before hand...). We had enough room, and everyone had plenty. The total count came to 10. 8 adults and 2 toddlers. The toddlers didn't eat much. They were too busy fencing with their spoons across the table and hamming it up for everyone else. But the rest of us had plenty, with all kinds of leftovers. I made the stuffed turkey, and my Aunt's sweet potato casserole, and someone else made green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Another person brought delicious yeast rolls, and the pies and home made ice cream were provided by another couple. I think I will definitely do Thanksgiving this way as long as I can get away with it. None of the stress of cooking all morning, just pop stuff in the oven, and relax with the family.
(Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of this event. I completely forgot about the camera until all were gone.)
After the lovely dinner, I had all kinds of help with the clean up, and then the guys watched the football game, and the wives traded stories in the dining room, with the small children running between the two groups (Except then they would decide to watch the game - much to the consternation of the guys, as they would stand DIRECTLY in front of the television) It was a great, relaxing day, and one that I am very grateful for.
I think I needed just such a day right now. It's been a week of ups and downs, as today was my last day at work. I found out a week ago that I would soon be more affected by the unemployment rise than I ever imagined, as I too have been laid off. It's been hard, but in many ways it's a good thing. It has forced me to be honest with myself about a lot of things I've been avoiding.
The last 6 months have been the dying of a dream for me. All my life, all I ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. I wanted to stay home and raise my children. I wanted the American dream. I didn't need the big house, or lots of cars, just a small yard and the freedom to be home with my kids. Most of the major choices in my life have been directed in some way by this dream. I chose my majors in college, and most of my jobs since then, because I never saw it as a long term thing. This was something to do while I was waiting. I acquired knowledge of course, I want to be an intelligent mother to my children. I want to be able to teach them, especially to love learning. But I rarely made a college or career choice with the intent of doing it for any amount of time. I just took what was available. What worked for now.
Recently though, I've had to come to grips with the realization that my dream isn't possible. Maybe someday I'll have that dream, but not anytime soon. Where we live, and need to live for John's career, is expensive. It's not going to be possible for me to stay home with my small children. Not unless I wait until I'm too old to bear them. It hurts me to think of other people raising my children, no matter how much I may trust them, but I need to have that trust. And I need to find a career instead of a job.
This scares me. It scares me a lot. This is not the easy way out, and I, being human, am a bit lazy in this. I like the easy way. Let me save the hard stuff for things that I don't find that hard, like cleaning, cooking and childcare. But unless I start making decisions about a career, and find a job I love, I will spend half my life being miserable, and resent the time that my job takes me away from my children. I don't want to do that. I've spent the last 6 months that way, and it's showed. My job itself wasn't bad. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. I've done if for 2 1/2 years. But it's not what I want to do with my life. Not by any stretch of the imagination. It was a job, a means to a paycheck, nothing more. So it's good that I'm gone. When things pick up again, they can hire someone who loves the job, and wants to grow with the company.
As for me, I'm going to be frantically applying for work (now that I'm home a lot, I can really get frantic), but I'm also going to make sure that this time, as much as possible, it's something that I want to do for a long time.