Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Saturday That FELT Like a Saturday!

It is not that I haven't had a Saturday off in a while. I have. It is not that I haven't had leisurely Saturdays. I have had those too. It is not that I have lacked in days off. I have also had my share of those. But yesterday was the first Saturday that felt like a Saturday in a very long time.

The past three years have been a little out of the norm for me.

The first year, I was in school. I had to put the required amount of hours per week, I babysat before and after school kids and I worked part-time at my bookkeeping job. I definitely had weekends and I could easily make plans. But the bookkeeping job was one of those jobs that could infringe on my weekends. If I didn't get all of my school hours logged, I could go in on a Saturday. I have no real memory of resenting anything that infringed on my weekends but ... weekends were not a 'given'.

The second year, I worked at my bookkeeping job. The work came in ebbs and flows. I could pretty well do whatever I wanted to do in and around my bookkeeping responsibilities, but there was a price to pay. If I took days off during the week, there could be a payback of having to work the weekend. When the work was available and I hadn't worked enough hours in the month ... I worked whatever hours were available, whenever I could squeeze them in so that I could to make up for lost time.

Eventually, my work was moved out of my home and the hours were confined to Monday to Friday. I had weekends at that point in time, but the restlessness from working out of my home was so prevalent that the memory of savoring a Saturday does not stand out for me in a big way right now. I know that weekends happened ... but there was a restlessness within me throughout those months. Making it to another weekend meant that I survived another week.

Then came my year of working at the school. The hours were clearly defined - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday through Friday. The only problem was ... that they weren't guaranteed. The first months were full-time, but the stress levels were so high that all that stands out, is that I slept. Alot. That period was followed by being on call for the rest of the year. Sometimes I worked. Sometimes I didn't. I ended up with unexpected days off throughout the week. I often ended up with long weekends. But when days off are a surprise and your budget is severely affected by all of those days that you don't work ... weekends came and went ... but I did not savor them in a way that you do when you work five days and earn your two days off.

Last of all, came The Summer of 2012. The summer of a job that was 'the final straw'. The schedule was all over the map. Working weekends was (almost) a given. Yes, I could book weekends off. Yes, I actually got a weekend off. But days off at that job could be changed with one phone call. I learned not to count on the schedule because it changed like the wind (not really, but it felt like it when I was on the other end of the phone agreeing to work when I wasn't scheduled).

Then came The Decision That Changed My Life. The decision to reopen my daycare and quit my other jobs. I gifted myself with two weeks off at the end of August to transition back into this lifestyle. One week of holidays, followed by one week of reorganizing our home and getting ready for the grand reopening (not so grand really). They were two very busy weeks.

This was followed by ... last week.

A week where I started a part-time bookkeeping job. A week where my daycare doors welcomed two little people into our Daycare Family. A week where I delivered flyers and completed that task - for the week - at 9:00 Friday night. It was a week that I ... worked. It was a week where ... I earned a weekend. It was a week that marked the return as Life As I Knew It ... and it felt good.

Saturday arrived and I had an excess of words. I blogged. I sent off a few emails. I called my mom. Then I sat still.

I ate when I was hungry (and when I was not hungry too). I watched TV. I did the crossword. I dozed off and on throughout the afternoon. I relaxed. I felt like a cat in a sunbeam as I felt every inch of my body melt into the couch and thought to myself ... "This is the life!"

The phone didn't ring and I didn't have the strength to lift it up and dial it after I talked with my mom. There are several people that I wanted to call ... but I just ... didn't.

I have had days like this throughout the years of transition that preceded it. But yesterday was different. There was a sense of coming home again. I was peaceful. Inside and out.

I look back at where I've been and I'm glad that I travelled that road. But I am not a thrill seeker. I don't want to live a life where my senses are on high alert at all times. I think I ran on adrenaline a lot of the time. By the end, I was riddled with anxiety and doubted myself on every level.

The thrills and chills are behind me now. I know that I tend to shake up my world a little from time to time. I'm sure that I will probably eventually raise the bar a little from where it is at the moment.

But for now? This moment? As I sit here and live and breathe my New Life? I am calm. I am happy. I am at peace. Add those sensations to a Saturday that I actually earned ... and it was a Saturday that actually felt like a Saturday.

I am home again.

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