The Wake Up Call, The Kick in the Ass, and The Silver Lining

I never thought it would happen to me, but there it was. I had known about it for six months, but assumed I could right the sails and keep the boat afloat.  I got caught up in what many families are facing:  The end to a well-paying, long-term job.  During those six months, like a cornered animal, I got a tad cranky.  I felt threatened.  After 18 years of working in my bunny slippers, with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in hand, I had a wake up call. One I didn’t want to answer.

I was about to be thrown out of my comfort zone and into the world of *gulp* job hunting.

Which wasn’t easy. Especially in this small town where professional jobs are at a minimum and the lines are long for the rest of the jobs that open up. Small towns are awesome.  Small towns create a sense of belonging. I love knowing everyone at the bank or the grocery store. I love the fact that one of our busiest streets really isn’t so busy after all.

But none of that matters when the well runs dry, when I’m faced with decisions, when I feel like a failure.  A new plan was needed fast.  The more I thought about it, the more I looked at the circumstances, the choice was clear.  I needed to look outside of this town.

If I were to be honest, I’d been feeling as if my wheels were spinning and that I forgot who I was – still.  I’d been talking about a finding new direction for awhile, but since I was swimming in my comfort zone, I had no reason to get out of the pool.  Well, guess what.  Losing my job was the kick in the ass that I needed to move forward.

What I hadn’t counted on, though, was that I would be going at this alone. The boys and I had been a tight unit and I assumed we’d move together. But ‘twas not to be.  They wanted to stay with their father in Idaho for their own reasons. Reasons I understood, but still I felt I failed on many levels. Was I that bad of a mother that they didn’t want to be with me? Shouldn’t I sacrifice a few more years and stay here just in case they needed me? How much would this hurt them in the long run?

Infused with guilt, I spoke with my uncle who reminded me that, in the face of knowing we would miss each other, would miss the routine we’ve developed over the years, both boys made a very deliberate decision.  Sure, they could have taken the easy way out and followed me, looking to me to handle things, but I’ve taught them to be free thinkers and to make choices based on what they felt was best for them.  It had always been my intention to pass at least one morsal of something to them, and here I had my proof.

Feeling somewhat better, I chose to practice what I preach:  Do something that is best for me.  After putting my needs on hold for 25 years, now is my chance to follow opportunities that will further my choice of career. Opportunities I cannot find here in North Idaho.

I want to show my boys a side of me they haven’t yet seen before – the woman who waited patiently behind the mother.  I want my sons to see me as a healthy and successful person, not the overbearing, overprotective mama bear who pushed them to realize heights I knew they were capable of, all while I was feeling frustrated because I wasn’t reaching my own potential.  I want to be the best person I can be, to show them that my happiness is as important as theirs. My reasons for doing this, as painful as the process might be, will serve them as well as me.

And the timing is right.  My job had allowed me to work from home for the last 18 years and over those almost two decades I’ve seen my oldest through to graduation and my youngest get through middle school.  I’ve taught them as many life lessons as I have experienced myself, taught them social graces, and how to be kind to others.  Now the rest is up to them.

Yes, I’ll definitely miss the little things, the daily routine, the chance to hug them when they’re feeling sad or happy, but through Skype, texting, phone calls, and Facebook, I’ll still be able to nag – I mean, guide – them through the trials and successes and celebrations big and small. The moments we share will be sweeter, the visits will be anticipated events.

The silver lining to all of this is that I will have the opportunity to discover who I am and what I need to feel whole, because when we become mothers and wives, so many of us lose sight of ourselves.  It’s a continuous process, one I started two years ago. I have a very specific plan A, with no plan B, so there won’t be any falling back.  Only forward movement. By expanding my horizons outside of this town, I will be able to bring more of the world to the boys.  It’s the put-on-the-oxygen-mask-first-before-putting-it-on-the-children mentality.

My uncle also told me, “Go ahead and feel guilty if you must, but it would be a mistake not to try.”

So try, I will.

This song, The Reason, by Hoobastank, is for you, boys. You are my reason.  I love you.

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About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on July 31, 2013, in Family, Friendships, Growing Up, Parenting, Parents, Personal, Relationships, Self discovery, Small Town, Teenager, Uncategorized, Women, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Good luck, D. You’ll do great on this adventure. :-)

  2. This is perfect.
    And you’re exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what you need to be doing.
    If it was easy, everyone would do it. All the luck in the world to you, Diana! You’ve GOT this!

  3. Your life lesson is a help to all of us. Thank you. Your courage will sustain you.
    Love,
    Popo

  4. Those big life-changing decisions are tough, but you know what you are doing. You are brilliant, string, purpose-driven woman, and I have no doubt that you will find you right place. And then the boys might change their mind and join you! Fingers crossed.

  5. Terri Kane Martin Layfield

    Diana, that was beautiful……I know what you must be feeling, as I went through almost the very same thing with my two Boys…..a very difficult decision!!
    I know you’ll be fine….and so will your two Sons!!
    I love you…..<3 :)

    • Thanks, Terri. Both boys will be fine, I know. Being with their father will be good for them. I know they’ll be visiting as often as they can. I’ll be sure to head up to see you when I’m settled. :)

  6. Okay, I’m crying now. May I first say that you totally rock Diana! And you know that I have two boys. And oh how we mama bears feel such a strong connection to our sons. And you’ve been an amazing mom. Split parenting is, I think, one of the hardest things to do. You are a very brave, strong woman and your boys love you beyond words. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your job. Iy, yi, yi, do I know how that goes. Are you moving to SoCal? Let me know if you need anything. You have my number right? I am there for you sista! {{Hugs!}}

    • Thanks, Karen. This is a challenge, but what change isn’t uncomfortable? Thank you for your encouraging words. I’ll definitely let you know if I need anything. <3

  7. And try you must, for you. Loreal sad it best, “Because you’re worth it.”

    Your boys have their place in time, their space where they fit. You’ve taught them beyond well given their assertive drive. Now…it’s time for you :-)

    Good luck to you whatever you endeavor to do. The world is yours to conquer.

  8. Well, I was wondering how you were and what you were up to. Now I know.
    My friend, I wish you the very best as always – it really goes without saying. I hope you know that. You are so awesome. I can’t wait as you post about all the successes you’ve got lined up before you in this life. I can’t wait to cheer each and every one of them. Here’s a big virtual hug *hugs*, but I know you won’t need it. You’ve got this!!

    -Jimmy

    • Hey, Jimmy! You’re on my list to call since I’ll sort of be in your neighborhood. Well, at least closer. I’ll message you before I head out and we can chat. Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m looking forward to posting said successes! :)

  9. You’ll do well– no doubt about it! Of all the people I know, Diana, you’re one with her head on straight and I’ve always felt the love you have for your boys. Go out and discover a new world because your boys will always love you!

  10. *wiping tears* – Diana, I almost didn’t listen to the song right now because I’ve always liked it and, as usual, I’m dashing out this morning. The strong, beautiful voice of your post caused me to pause and click “play”. Hearing that song in the context of what you wrote today and the decisions you are making, was beautiful and powerful. I echo the other thoughts in the comments here and believe you are moving into an exciting and meaningful transition in your life. We all have your back! Onward! xo

    • Thank you so much, Patricia. Each day is getting easier, but not without doubt. I do feel like I’m shedding the self-defeating energy. My focus is strong. Not a moment or thought is wasted. If I find myself slipping back, I think of the boys and what I’m accomplishing and the sacrifices I’m making. That’s all it takes to snap me out of it and the excitement starts to build. It’s all good because I choose it to be so.

  11. Great song. Great application to your experience. Just remember: discouragement comes from a negative source. If you believe in God, then it’s appropriate to say the devil [I like to refer to him as the Adversary]. It’s great to know our kids–if we’ve loved them as passionately as I’m sure you do your boys–WILL come to know how much you DO love them and will be eternally grateful for all of your sacrifices for them.

  1. Pingback: It Never Rains In Southern California… | Diana Murdock, Author

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