It’s just dawned on me that I have about a month to go before I stop corporate life for a year. My theoretical last day in the office is Friday 3 June, barring any last-minute complications or maybe a change of heart. (Kidding, boss.) I’m not sure I’ve made the mental gear change yet. But today, I looked at Tony’s watch, realised that April doesn’t have 31 days, nudged him to adjust his watch and then – bam! It’s May. 25 working days to go. Holy cow.

I’ve worked for a decade, thereabouts. And even though I will be getting paid to an extent while I’m on leave, the idea that I won’t be actively bringing in any dosh is still new and not altogether welcome. It’s got nothing to do with how Tony and I view money in our marriage – we pool everything we have in the one account, and have never counted pennies the other’s spent. (Which works out really well for me, since I’m the one that shops. Heh.)

But I remember the early days of our marriage when my working visa was still shiny and I was an employment campaigner. I had never felt so miserable. My secular worth, I realise, has always been tied to my contribution to the workforce and those awful first three months really drove that fact home. I didn’t go out, tried really hard not to spend any money, and just felt guilty and useless. The house was immaculate and I cooked up a storm, but I still didn’t feel I was pulling my weight.

I didn’t feel I had a right to enjoy my life, until I found useful employment.

Tony has never, ever made me feel any less for being a homemaker. I want to get that fact straightened out right here. He grew up with a lovely mother who alternated between homemaking and working as a part-time librarian, and so it doesn’t bother him whether I stay home or play Super Corporate Gal. But for three generations, all the women in my family – through necessity and nature – worked their backsides off. And while I have nothing against women who choose not to – while I hugely admire many women around me who are fantastic homemaking wives and mothers – those three months taught me a lot about myself. I am not a homebody. I get massive cabin fever. I need to work.

And so here I am, on the cusp of leaving the workforce – at least for a little while. And yes, I know I’ll still be gainfully employed these next 12 months, except the pay is crap, every day will be casual Friday, and I’ll go from 50 stakeholders to 1. And yes, I know motherhood is work. I’m not knocking it. And no, I don’t think I’ll be sitting around the house having it easy. But I’m still nervous. I guess any time we’re called upon to embrace the unknown, it’s bound to cause some level of anxiety. So this is me, doing the verbal equivalent of wringing my hands.

In typical Velle fashion therefore, I’ve lined up a couple other projects to try and take on through the year:

  1. Baby craft.
    Yes, I will try my hand at cute-ing up the nursery with my bare hands. This includes making my own baby mobile. I will probably make a complete mess of things or get half an owl done, but this is the good intention for now. Ask me again in 2 months.
  2. Advanced diploma in project management
    Considering I’m now working weekends and public holidays, talking about good time management seems a tad hypocritical. Nevertheless, I’ve done the training and now have to find the time and motivation to do the course work. In between breastfeeding and falling asleep in the middle of laundry. Wish me luck.
  3. Cleaning up the church website
    You know what they say about chefs and advertising agencies – they’ll do great work for others, but their own house can be in shambles. The church website has fallen by the wayside, even though some of us know a thing or two about good web practice. Time to take out the feather duster and start re-thinking our online communications commitment.
  4. Writing
    I desperately want to get stuck into writing, my one true hobby and love. This may include attending actual courses that can give me some form of structure, discipline and motivation. I get sent the odd one to attend now and then, but just never find the time to actually go do it. Today’s invitation was probably the funniest one I’ve received to date: 

    “You’ve got two weeks to sign up to attend my workshop on writing sizzling sex scenes at the ACT Writer’s Centre.”

    What’s not to like!

And who knows… maybe I’ll fall in love. Maybe I’ll take to this like a duck to water and never, ever want to step into an office again. Never underestimate God’s ability to change and reform the individual. Plus, He’s always had a rather ironic sense of humour, so we’ll see.

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