In three short weeks, J will turn one. ONE. When I look back on these last 344 days, I can't believe how much we've gone through and how much kindness has come our way. I admit when I lost my job a scant five days after giving birth, I felt absolutely terrified. The raging hormones didn't help, nor did my feeling like a complete novice as a new mother (no, nobody ever told me about pedaling/pumping poor baby J's legs to help with gas. WHY NOT?!?). T and my parents took care of absolutely everything, including T getting our health insurance taken care of in two days so we didn't lose coverage. Our parents came by daily, offering food, support, and another pair of arms. I couldn't do anything strenuous, post- surgery, so my mom did laundry, vacuumed, and cleaned when T was at work (he did quite a lot of the housework as well). My sister M and various other friends called with mommy advice and just kept me sane. I cannot begin to express my gratitude during those first few weeks, challenging with a new baby anyway, on top of the extra wrinkle added to our lives.
Since then we've made a lot of mistakes but a lot of progress as well. We've learned what we can do with and without; again, our parents have been generous with their time and support. We got creative in terms of gifts and stayed on a budget, one I suspect we'll keep to a great extent once I finally have a job. Looking for work has made me examine my other interests, as I've written before, and consider a career outside of teaching. I have definitely had (too many) "Why me?" and "It's not fair!" moments where I wondered how in God's name I could distinguish myself from the 100 applicants for the same position. If only they'd let me get to the interview portion, I could just show them. No, I don't have the exact requisite skills you want, but see how my skills I do have can transfer over? Total strangers I've met or e-mailed through mutual connections have
helped me with resumes and job suggestions; again, I feel so grateful
for their help. They didn't need to help an unknown, yet they did.
I've looked at jobs I wouldn't have even considered before because personal pride simply has no place in my life right now: I need a job for financial and, frankly, social reasons. I want to start building our nest egg back up, and I've loved spending time with J. It's a gift that I'm so lucky to have had. I just need to interact with adults in a job setting again, too. I know full well that I'll look back on this time wistfully one day, but both J and I need a little socialization!
So we'll see what comes next. Immediately, my sister's wedding next weekend. I'll focus on J when his birthday comes around. This post is about me. It's been a hard year, but I honestly wouldn't trade it because it's been a wonderful year in myriad ways as well. I have my sweet boys, a wonderful family, good friends, and a lot that others don't. It's all about perspective.