Saturday, August 15, 2015

How Do You Walk Away?

The pit in my stomach, the heaviness in my heart and the anxiety as I felt as the weekend was looming has returned.

I have to go to work today.

I savored every moment of each of the past three weekends which I have had off. I had time to run errands. I had time to accomplish small things. I even had time to run in circles. I had time to breathe.

I know "this" is the job I most need to relinquish. But I also know this is the job I just can't quit.

My boss has told me time and time again that she couldn't continue doing what she is doing if I wasn't working with her.

The last time we worked together she had just returned from her eye specialist. She walked in the door and the first words that fell off her tongue were, "I am going blind. That's what my doctor just told me ..."

She has macular degeneration. She is an accountant. She lives, breathes and works with numbers all day. Numbers are to her, what words are to me. She needs her eyes.

She stays up all hours of the night working out mathematical mysteries, balancing the books and working on various financial projects she always seems to have on the go.

Numbers are her therapy.

The kinship I have found within this friend who I work for stems from many things. We have walked a parallel path.

Her husband had a massive heart attack and survived three years after the fact. He never came back to live at home again. Though he died five years ago, I can feel how much she misses him still.

Her two sons have characteristics which mirror (in many ways) my two oldest sons. There have been some storms they weathered which I could relate to on so very many levels.

I could relate oh-so-well to the years she spent in that land of limbo. So much of what Mom talked of, during the time when Dad was hospitalized, came back to me as my friend walked such a similar walk.

There are some feelings which feel so similar to how I felt in among my ex-husband's family. The family dynamics. Some of the family's challenges. The way she speaks also reminds me of my mother-in-law. Her oldest son has some of the characteristics of my ex-husband.

I relate as a friend, a daughter, a mother and even as daughter-in-law at different times, in different ways.

Our paths were destined to cross. The challenges we have faced within our lives are so parallel.

She once told me that she could talk to me because she knew I would understand. Because she knew I had once walked down a similar road.

She has told me how she looks forward to our work-days together. We work 98 to 99% of the time but we take little station breaks now and again and chat. She tells me stories of her life and reminisces with ease. She will talk of recent events and how they have affected her. She talks to me as a friend, as a mother, as a mother-in-law and as a parent.

She once told me she feels such comfort in knowing I am coming out for the day. I thoroughly enjoy our days once I get there. It is simply the discomfort of leaving my home and knowing the day is all about work, with a side order of friendship tossed in for good measure.

It is the side order of friendship that keeps me coming back for more.

She keeps telling me she wants me to earn more of a wage from her. I tell her the money is the last thing in the world I am worried about. I'm not in this for the money. I can say that without a word of a lie.

She has groomed me to do more than run a daycare. She is my mom's salvation because Mom thinks I should be doing more than running a daycare. But these things called "numbers" are like ice in my heart.

I don't want to work in a black and white world. I like the fuzzy, gooeyness of words, relationships and kindness. As much as my little people challenge me at times, they entertain and amuse me. They keep things "real" for me. They keep me at the top of my game. And I get to nurture them from the comfort of my home.

The accounting/banking part of me has taken a back seat in my life. I believe I have packed it in the emergency bag within the trunk of my car.

Like that spare tire and booster cables, I can do the accounting and numbers in whatever way is necessary. I just don't want it to ride along side me in the passenger seat of my car.

This car is headed in the right direction. I'm glad I have my back-up talents and supplies that I can bring out as necessary. But I don't want to get stuck with those tools on a full-time basis.

Saturdays are hard. They are like changing a tire. I can do them as necessary but I would just as soon call on a professional to do the job for me.

Yet at the end of the day, I am grateful I went. It is always a satisfying day. I feel appreciated and the warmth of our friendship is always sends me on my way feeling better than I did when I woke up in the morning.

How does one "quit" this? One doesn't.

And that is why so many people out there are doing things that they simply can't walk away from even though it is not fulfilling the part of their soul that needs filling. There are a million and one reasons we do what we do.

I am grateful this is only one small part of my life. I am even more grateful that I am compelled to do this out of friendship and it isn't the almighty dollar which is controlling me.

I would walk away from this pay cheque without a second thought. But I won't walk away from a friend. There is no amount of money that can compensate us for some of what we do.

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