I made homemade, fresh-squeezed lemonade this week which was an unremarkable (although tasty!) event except for what it symbolizes to me. When I was in the working world, homemade lemonade represented the true luxury of staying at home full time. A life where you could choose to slow down and enjoy simple pleasures. Deep down I knew that your attitude, not your profession, dictates how you enjoy your life. Still, it was a symbol to which I clung. Thus, making lemonade this week triggered some reflection on my new profession - a stay at home mother.
Someone asked me if I missed working outside the home. Unhesitatingly, I answered, "Yes!" I swiftly and sincerely followed by saying that I wouldn't choose any other place to be right now.
Now that I am more comfortable in my role as a mother, I can more clearly see what I miss about the workplace. I loved having tangible results and achievements. I loved the conversations which stretched me intellectually, spiritually, professionally, and personally. I loved working with a team to accomplish something worthwhile. I worked with talented people and for organizations with tremendous missions.
And yet...there are a lot of "I's" that paragraph. You see, my job has always consumed too much of my identity. Leaving the working world was a much-needed challenge to my sense of self. Our society places great value on knowledge-based work. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but it's easy to under-value the nobility of tending to the mundane aspects of life.
Oh how motherhood is full of the mundane! I'm learning that is not necessarily a pejorative statement. I'm learning there is great satisfaction in being the one who helps life happen. Who wipes up the spills and the noses and the bums. Who carries Cheerios, burp rags and chew toys in her purse. It's also a life laced with the sweet smiles, heart-melting laughs, and wonderment of Desmond experiencing countless "firsts".
My character and attitude are being re-shaped to see the nobility of the mundane. The beauty in a hard day's work that required more patience than brilliance. Experiencing the nitty gritty details of life that we all deal with, but don't always dwell on.
I won't be out of the working world forever. In the meantime, I'm trying to not let these precious life lessons slip away.