It all started with a broken finger. It was the first full week back to school for the kids and I decided to take our dog for a walk. I turned to close the door behind me but enthusiastically our pup had already started his jaunt. My finger was the unlikely hinge in this unfortunate twist of fate.
X-rays revealed a spiral fracture to the ring finger on my right hand and yes, I am right-handed. Surgery was scheduled and three pins were nail gunned into the bruised digit. In my naivete I thought, it’s just a finger, they’ll probably just splint it to another finger and the I’ll be on my way. Instead, I awoke from surgery with a full cast over the finger tips of three fingers to half way up my forearm. No mobility. No flexibility.
I began the process of rediscovering how to do simple tasks like open a bottle top or fasten a bra. I was useless in the kitchen, unable to lift a pot or pull a dish out of the oven and worse in the shower washing my hair or shaving my legs. Frustration tapped me on the shoulder at every turn but I was able to brush it away thanks to the help from my mother-in-law and all those who pitched in. I figured it out. Squeeze bottles were replaced with pumps, dental floss was replaced with floss bows and I met a new friend – Siri.
My to-do list got reprioritized and I found myself with more down time. My nascent business, Words Around the Block, was in the doldrums and I wanted more. I realized that after twelve years as a stay-at-home mom, that the family was in a place where I could explore fulfillment outside of the house. I dusted off an old copy of a resume and took stock of my activities and skill sets. To my delight I found I had been busier than I thought.
With my resume completed, I pounded the job boards on LinkedIn. There wasn’t anything part-time and most jobs were too far away. I needed something local. That’s when I saw an ad in The Sun Chronicle for a multi-media sales consultant. Seemed like it could be a good fit. One interview led to another and finally to a job offer which I accepted.
During those weeks I had time to work through my anxieties. What would this mean to our family? What about child care? Vacations? Summers? Sports schedules? Oh yeah, and how about all the crap I do during the day? Who’s going to do that? What had started as a simple finger realignment had suddenly realigned our entire world. With big changes come stumbling blocks and hurdles. I won’t get it right the first time. I’ll miss out on something. I’ll discover the challenges of a full-time working mother. I’ll yearn for my former life just as I had when I stepped out of the work force to stay at home.
The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow it. I remind myself that this is a realignment not an encasement. There can be mobility and we’ll find flexibility. If we need to do some repositioning we’ll do it. For now things are set and the preliminary pins of this new journey are in place.