Time enough for simple things

simple-pleasuresWell, it’s been three years since I’ve posted here. I seem to only blog when I am unemployed, so good news, everyone… I’m back.

The last time I posted in summer 2010, I had just been laid off from a job. I was overcome with tears and general feelings of devastation. That organization paid big bucks to move my husband and I from the East Coast to the Midwest, so we said goodbye to friends, bought a home, and expected that the move would be semi-permanent. Turned out only our mortgage payment was semi-permanent!

Here I am again, unexpectedly unemployed. But honestly, despite the situation being surreal, I am feeling happy and hopeful, even grateful for the change of pace. (Just last weekend, I was talking to a pastor returning from a three month sabbatical and said that I wanted a sabbatical, too… ha! Be careful what you wish for.) But really, I don’t believe I’ve shed a single tear. I knew it was time to move on. I would rather have made the change on my terms and timing, but oh well.

While it has only been three days, I’m already doing things that are making me happy and giving me life and energy. Simple things, like…

1. Making our bed each morning. I read in a Zen organizing book that if you never make your bed, subconsciously it’s as if there is no beginning or end to your day. There’s no fresh start, no healthy sense of closure, just days of busy activity rolling into each other, one after the other. The simple 30-second act of making our bed is a rhythm that reminds me that God’s mercies are “new every morning,” allows me to consciously acknowledge the end of a good day, and get better rest (the sheets aren’t hopelessly tangled together at my feet). I was only doing it about once a week before… now, three days in a row.

2. Making real food for dinner. I admit, we are convenience food people. We get frozen dinners from Trader Joe’s and go out to eat. Yes, we make homemade meals from scratch too, but it’s just tough to plan and cook real food meals with a baby and jobs. My husband has done most of the cooking since Tommy was born, which has been a real blessing, and he’s talented (especially with Italian dishes and meats) but he doesn’t try new, creative recipes. I’ve enjoyed going to the grocery store to buy stuff just for the day (not the week… $20 instead of $100!), and trying new recipes like roasted veggie tacos and not-fried tomatoes (like fried tomatoes, but cornflake-crusted and baked). Mmmm. With enough time, I love cooking, and the whole process nourishes both body and soul.

3. Mowing the lawn. Again, Tom has been doing almost all the yard work since I’ve been working full-time and nursing Tommy (read: doing more than 50% of the baby care). Yesterday I mowed part of our super-overgrown backyard, and enjoyed just sweating it out a bit.

4. Getting organized online. I have a crazy amount of clutter to sort through – clothes, papers, etc. I’ve started with uncluttering my online life. I discovered that my Twitter had been hijacked and I was involuntarily following hundreds of people… many of them models, rappers or Arabic speakers. I left all the LinkedIn groups that I had joined as part of my last job. I’m deleting services like Dropbox that I don’t need or want anymore (Google Drive is so much nicer). This is going to take awhile, but deleting and organizing anything is a wonderful feeling.

5. Dreaming. I’m once again thinking about what my unique skills and talents are, and what I want to do with my life. There are some limits to my dreaming because I need to secure new full-time employment in the next few weeks or at least months, but I feel that within that constraint, there are so many things I could do and would enjoy doing. I may go back into the nonprofit arena, or I may stick with a for-profit business, or maybe join an ad agency.  I have experience in each of these environments, and they each offer their own benefits. I don’t know where I’ll land, but it’s fun to look and dream a bit.

In this in-between time, those of you who actually enjoy blogs may get a few out of me! I also look forward to catching up on many of your blogs and even – gasp – talking to some dear friends on the phone. Thanking God for his unusual way of giving me a chance to catch my breath.

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