For as long as I can remember I have dreaded Sunday evening. Actually, Sunday all together. It's always been the day where I have to catch up, cram in all the work that I put off in order to meet my deadline. I'm a HUGE procrastinator and very inspired by deadlines, so throughout my school years, all the way through graduate school, I could count on very few hours of sleep on Sundays as I hammered home whatever it was I'd been averting. Once I started working in a regular, full-time job, Sunday was still a sleepless night as I began to ponder and fret about the line up for the week and everything that was to come (have I mention that I'm a poster child for Type-A personalities?). And again with my freelance career for the past 3.5 years, I would piddle around all week, testing leads, writing freeform, etc. until Sunday when it was time to get serious. It was stressful; it gave me a rush; and I was very effective in method. But God, I hated Sundays. They were not a day of rest.
Now they are. I have no job. I have no project (other than writing a novel) hanging over my head. No one expects anything of me tomorrow morning--except my husband and son, of course, but them I can handle. Not to discount the toll of parenting, but really to be able to just focus on that full-time feels like a complete and utter breeze. See, i wasn't the typical working mom who had child care and could focus solely on work for X hours a day. I did both ALL day. When I look back on the crazy juggling act I did, I'm honestly amazed I made it work. Coordinating an hour-long telephone interview with the African president of one of the hugest companies in the world and banking on the fact that I could get my 3-year-old down for a nap, to go to the potty and not throw a huge fit while on this monumental call was a feat worthy of some reward. And I did it over and over and over. Too many times I was bribing PB with cookies, typing with one hand trying to get him to be silent so my VIP interviewee wouldn't hear him in the background. My mute button was my best friend. I'm sure I took years off of my life with the stress of it all, but I'm proud i was able to do it for so long.
And beyond the great shopping it allowed me, it also was really rewarding personally. I thrive on validation, feedback, compliments. I need to know how I'm doing, and a "real" job gives me that. Now, without a formal review cycle in sight, I find myself searching for affirmation more than ever in little (pathetic) ways. "Does the chicken taste alright?" "You don't look like you like the salad?" "Doesn't the house look nice?" My husband is going to have to get used to my begging for compliments.
I don't know how long I'll be okay with this new freedom (and lack of outside validation). I need and want to do something more, I'm just not sure what that is yet. I'm lucky that I don't have to figure it out in any prescribed time frame. We're comfortable on my husband's salary without me contributing financially. Sure we could be much more comfortable, and my shopping won't be at the levels of old, but that's okay (I think? I did buy a fab new Tory Burch bag today!) ... for now. Maybe it will be my novel; maybe it will be a new business idea. I don't know, but it will be something.
For now, I'm just really happy finally enjoying Sundays.