Skip to main content

Decisions

Sometimes we make decisions and we never look back because we know we made the right choice, the best choice, the only choice. Other times, we don't look back because we can't, because we are afraid we made the wrong choice, or because it will hurt too much to think about what could have been, what would have been, and we wonder if it is what should have been. We make decisions every day. Some of them are small and inconsequential and others change our lives and the lives of those around us. Some decisions are bigger for others than they are for us and sometimes we make decisions that seem small to another but are our own giant hurdles.

Nearly two winters ago, I made a choice. Six years before that, I made a choice. In 2008, less than a year after Caroline was born, I left my full-time job, in a field that I'd planned for, and trained for, and hoped to become a leader in, for a part-time, entry-level position in a new field that I was interested in but not trained in. A field in which I never imagined I'd become a leader in because, at that moment in time, I didn't see my professional future. I did not have eyes for myelf as a professional. I had eyes for a little person, a little girl, who was beautiful and full of joy and love and who took my breath away with each of her own. Along came another miracle and my life was so full. There was no room for a full-time job, a professional life that pushed me, and required 50 or 60 hours of my physical time and many more hours of my mental time.

Despite a part-time schedule, I spent many panicked days trying to work from home after calling in sick with an ill child or due to being stranded at home because of a snow storm. I spent many days feeling exhausted and trying to hide my exhaustion so I could keep up the appearance that I was "in the game" professionally. I I pumped in bathrooms while at meetings on the road. I cried in pain in a hotel shower because I forgot a critical piece of my pump and had to self express, and then I went to a work function and smiled despite feeling like I had boulders attached to my chest. Others may have spontaneously stayed in the office late to catch up. I carefully planned every after- five work night and most eves, I rushed from the office to the daycare and home, willing myself to be patient and at ease when all I wanted to do was go to bed. I made a choice to work part-time but there were many days, and many teary-eyed nights, when I asked myself, and Andy, if I had made the right decision. The decision I questioned was never about deciding to leave full-time employment. I regularly questioned if I should be working at all.

I did what I could at work and then I did what I could at home. While I worked part-time, during those years I felt like I was a full-time staff person and a full-time mom. There was always so much to and never enough time. But I wasn't working full-time. I made the decision to share my energy and time and I did that. While I was salaried, I generally worked 4 days a week. I worked 10 months and, in the first years of my part-time gig, I checked out of work almost 100% during the summer months. Yes, juggling both worlds was hard. Yes, I never felt like I was doing enough or being enough, at work or home. But I was. I was being everything to everyone, and personally growing, despite my exhaustion or doubt. It was the right decision for me.

It was right for me because I was able to spend time home with my daughters and while, in 2008, I could not see my professional future, in 2014 I could. After tears, after pain (what seems like a lot of boob pain), after doubt and through mommy-hood, raising my daughters, and summers at the lake, I made another decision. I was offered the director position in my office, a full-time, five days, 12 months, position. At the time, the decision seemed clear. The girls were getting older, Charlotte was headed to school in the fall. I worked hard to prove I deserved this opportunity and there it was, right in front ot me. I traded in Friday laundry days and said good bye to summers in the sand with my daughters for summers under A/C with a lap top.

I used to write a blog post, at the end of each summer, titled, "Reflecting on a Summer with my Girls" and last year I had to retire that post topic. I thought about writing a post titled, "Reflecting on a Summer without my Girls" but I can't bring myself to do it. I made a decision. Yet, hindsight is 20/20. As the summer comes to a close, and I come home to the smiling, sun-kissed faces of my children, I can't help but wonder if I made the right choice. Yet, I can't look back. I can only look forward. When it comes to making a decision about work and family, professional success and personal satisfaction, there is no ultimate and final best choice, right choice, or only choice. There is just the best choice we can make at any given moment.

Comments

Blogger said…
Discover how THOUSAND of individuals like YOU are earning their LIVING online and are living their dreams right NOW.
GET FREE INSTANT ACCESS

Popular posts from this blog

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

Holiday Letters- in Two Versions!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday letter. Nothing sends me into a tailspin of self doubt and depression like reading the carefully crafted story of the highs and accomplishments of those in my life. As the letters flow in, alongside the photos of the beautiful smiling faces of my loved ones, I curl up under a warm blanket, look out at the bleak, gray winter skies and think: what the fu#k is wrong with me?We are so fortunate, due to modern technological advances, to be able to experience this self doubt an average of 20-50 times per day as we addictively scroll a variety of social media channels. Yet nothing truly confirms our own personal inadequacies like a yearly summary of others’ successes and happiness neatly packed in an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, folded in thirds and slipped into an envelope alongside a card collage of beach shots, matching sweaters and smiling, happy faces. I, too, have sent along such letters to accompany our smiling happy faces, providing thos…

An Open "PM" to Polly

Hey Polly, it’s me- Melissa. Can I call you Polly? Because I feel like I know you. Do I know you? We’ve been in the same social media circles for many months now.I see from your profile that you went to Cornell. I have a lot of friends that graduated from there. It’s an awesome school. What year did you graduate? I also see that you’re self-employed. I really respect entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. What’s your business? Are you a photographer because your Facebook profile picture of Doubleday Field is fantastic.I see that you don’t have any Facebook friends, Polly. I understand that. Are you lonely? It can be really lonely around here. Listen Polly, this election got really nasty but at the end of the day are all neighbors right? Do you want to meet, do you want to talk about it? Haven’t seen you on social media since the election. I totally get where you’re coming from, Polly. It’s been hard for me, too. When you put yourself out there with really strong opinions pe…