And You Shall Take the Day Off and The Day Off Shall Set You Free

10.07.2009

I have had a steady, paying job of some sort for 27 years. I've been (among other things) a babysitter, lawn mower, dance teacher, lifeguard, mail room clerk, waitress, swim instructor, private tutor, college lecturer, Clinique consultant, and lab assistant.

I've been working full-time for 22 years - over half my life.

I've been a working wife and mom for almost 8 years. I've had every insult, judgement and wrath hurled at me about how I'm ruining my kids' lives, I'm the bane of society for putting my kids in daycare and public school and how selfish I am to leave them with others while I ride off into the sunset on a white horse to {**gasp**} CLIMB THE CORPORATE LADDER.

I love to work - I really do. I grew up with a full-time working mom, who stands yet today as my most cherished role model.

I've met life-long friends at various jobs I've had over the years. Let's not kid anyone. I had the uncanny ability to zero in on people who had candy jars on their desks and big coffee mugs. Nothing says GIRLFRIEND like a huge + steamy cup of coffee and a couple bite-sized Snicker bars first thing in the morning.

The fashionista in me loves having a reason to wear skirts, heels, pretty accessories and jackets every day. (The pantyhose I could do without - thankyouverymuch.)

As my family has grown, so has my career. As my responsibilities as a new wife and mom expanded at home, so too did my roles and responsibilities at work.

Just when I think I can't possibly juggle one more ball, someone lobs one to me from left field and I somehow manage to still stay in the game. In fact, most of the time, the more I'm lobbed at, the better I become. I thrive on the spirit of competition - the next goal - the next project - the next Big Thing.

But I'm running out of steam. I'm tired.

Not pull-the-covers over my head-and-let-me-sleep-for-three-weeks tired (though sleeping past 6am would be nice). I'm tired of the two-hour commute, the constant phone calls, the complaining customers, the insurance rates that always go up.

I'm tired of laying people off, cutting hours, cutting costs. I'm downsized to death.

I'm tired of rushing and racing against the clock. I'm tired of counting down minutes and miles.

I'm tired of being "on" from 7am until 9pm, wherein the only time I get to myself is in the shower and in the car.

So I took yesterday off.

And I didn't try to cram as much into the day as humanly possible. I didn't schedule a dental appointment, or a haircut. I didn't go to Target or get my car serviced. I didn't answer my phone or check email.

I stayed home. I slept past 7am. I lingered over my cup of coffee, and then lingered over another. I pinned my bangs up with a clippy and skipped the makeup. I did laundry and remembered to put fabric softener in every single load. Then I folded it and put it away, one load at a time.


I rearranged my bookcases and I vacuumed. I read a magazine. I finished decorating my house for fall. (I've been at it for a month for heaven's sake.) I fluffed pillows, hung wreaths and filed recipes.

I watched a Netflix show without having to hit pause even once. I wrote a real-live-drop-in-the-mail letter to a friend.

I organized the linen closet.


It was what I needed. Not enough of what I needed, but good enough for now. It was enough to give my battery a little charge.



I've never really believed the grass is greener on the other side. It all has to be mowed and it all has weeds.

But a little part of me wants to be like the people who have the stay-at-home grass. The people who get to shuffle around a little in the morning in their fuzzy slippers and sweats. I want to be like those who don't have to hit the ground running, unless it's the kind of running that works up a sweat and burns lots of calories.

Just for awhile I'd love to have the freedom to take a 10am pilates class or meet a friend for coffee at the last minute, and for no reason at all.

Just for awhile I'd love to throw caution to the wind and get more into a homemaking routine and less into financial statements and sales margin.



I'll always be a working girl. It's part of who I have been for so long I can't imagine it any other way. But when the going gets tough....


...the tough girl takes a day off.

Pass the coffee and the candy jar.

28 comments:

Kat :

Sounds like you got a lot done on your lazy day off! I hope that you treat yourself to more days off. You deserve them sweet friend.

Hugs!
Kat

Pearls To Hide My Neck :

Good for you! I've been a stay at home mom for what seems like my whole life but I am always in awe of the Moms out there who work outside the home. One look at your little sweetie shows that he is VERY loved and well taken care of. Add to that his "thoughts on life" and I would say you've done an awesome job.
Everyone needs down time no matter how they spend their days. You sound like me in that your down time is most enjoyable by "fluffing" your home. It give a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
In my house we call days like you took...mental health days. I've let the kids take them when they actually are stretched too thin and need to regroup. We even did this in elemetary school. It helped them realize that taking care of their "mental status" is just as important as their actual bodies. They've never abused it and it always seemed to have the result that they needed.
While you envy the ability to stay dressed down all day, I envy the chance to actually dress up and look like I have places to be.
Glad you had the day you needed and I hope you take more of them in the next few months.

Preppy Pink Crocodile :

Sounds like you had a great day away from the office! I'm surprised people would judge you for working in this day and age. At least 50% of mothers work- if not more. You have to do what's best for your family- yourself included. I grew up in daycare and with a nanny or sitter. I went to a public elementary school. I survived just fine. :)

Susan :

Congratulates - proud of you. It is important to take some yime for yourself.
Susan

Tiffany :

Amen and Amen! I love this post. Isn't it so crazy how we fill every.single.moment. Even on our days "off" we go from dawn to dusk, but doing the things we WANT to do somehow bring freedom. Sometimes we just desperately need a day to catch up.

It sounds like your day was fabulous. I'm so glad!

MissJody :

Good for you**
Sometimes that needs to be done. It's easy to have life get away from you. You handled it just perfect dear! :)
Looks very nice in your home :)
Very nice :)

Colleen :

I love you Jill! This post speaks to my heart! I think what it allows us all to do is to take a day off, which I know most of us need. Tomorrow is my "day off" with hubs! I've been looking forward to it for a few weeks now! So glad you enjoyed your day off and I love the decorations!

Mom on the Run :

I'm with Pattie, I've always been a big believer in the mental health day and would let my kids take one occasionally. Even though my "career" has been sporadic, sometimes you just have to sleep until you wake up, stay in your pajamas all day, read a book, do all the little nitpicky things around the house that are bothering you and answer to no one.

Hope it was reenergizing!

Kari :

Sounds like a wonderful way to spend your day off.

I know exactly what you mean. I've been a SAHM for eleven years. I've often wished that I was a working girl - wearing heels, dresses, getting up early and joining the rush hour traffic with my coffee in hand -

Great post!

Holly :

Good for you for listening to those nudges for a little down time. Though you weren't too down because, hello, look at all the FAB touches of fall around your house. Everything looks gorgeous!

I hope you are able to take a break again some time. I'm sure it was refreshing. :)

Melissa in Mel's World :

You Go Girl...your home looks amazing and you sound refreshed...sometimes a little perspective and rest makes ALL the difference, doesn't it?

xoxo, Melissa

A Southern Accent :

Great post Jill! I have to do this occasionally as well to regroup and get my home and life together. But I'm like you, I've always wanted to work and it's the best thing for me!

Wacie's Way :

I know EXACTLY how you feel!! After being gone from the house 10 hours in a day, I then have to come home to fix dinner, help with homework, laundry etc. I've been eyeing the calendar myself thinking about taking a day off when no one else will be home!! Sometimes you've just gotta do it.

Lisa writes... :

Your fall decorations are gorgeous! I think we all need a break from the status quo from time to time...and sounds like yours was a productive one!

pocket full of pink :

Oh I just loveeee YOUR decorations!! And I know, I am a complete and total sucker for Anthropologie - I should really stay clear! LOVE your decorating taste!

Steph :

Love your table decorations! Pretty!
Yes, I think the grass is greener! I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 5 years and some days I think I will poke my eyes out if I have to "stay at home" one more day!
And just for the record... I think there is nothing wrong with a child in daycare or public schools! Both of mine were/are there and they are just as well adjusted or moreso than those that were not! You do what you have to or need to do!
Have a great rest of the week!The weekend is almost here! :)

The Pink Chick :

I am so glad you enjoyed a day off! You definitely deserve it! Love your beautiful decorations!!!

kari and kijsa :

Good for you! What a blessing to have a day to yourself. And who doesn't love an organized linen closet!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Bobbie :

Amen, sister

amy (metz) walker :

Good for you for taking some time to rest! I was just thinking today how I need to run away for a few days...you reminded me just how appealing that sounds!

And I LOVE all of those decorations!

mer@lifeat7000feet :

Good for you, girl! Your day sounds like a perfect balance of rest and domesticity!

And your house looks beautiful!

Cookie Crums :

THat's sounded like a real lazy day.....or NOT! But it does sound as though you enjoyed your day and got a lot done. I'm loving all the fall decorations! Beautiful!! :)

Tina Leigh :

Yep!! How did we get like this!

Melissa @ Breath of Life :

Jill, I can TOTALLY relate. I enjoy working, but it would certainly be nice to have an extra day at home maybe once a month.

This has got to be the most beautiful post of yours that I've read.

Love you! BTW, when are you coming my way?

Happy Working Mom :

Amen to everything you said! That's exactly how I feel...there are days I think I would rather stay home, but then times (like maternity leave) I realize I would lose a piece of who I am.

But it is nice to take days off!

clemsongirlandthecoach :

#1 The house looks fantabulous. I am so glad we didn't do coffee, and you got to play house dress up.

#2 As always, I find honesty so invaluable. There are so few of us willing to admit the missteps in life.

I love you. Love this post.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) :

But a little part of me wants to be like the people who have the stay-at-home grass.

Love that. I work, too. I work "just" 30 hours a week and part of that is telecommuting on Fridays so I feel like I'm in this weird "other" category of working mom. The slacker working mom LOL. ;)

But I totally get this post. Every once in a while you just need a day off to just get things done around the house and enjoy being home alone! It recharges you.

Constant Frivolity :

Loved this post!

Your house looks FAB!

I have been a full-time working mom, a stay-at-home mom, and a part-time worker/stay at home Mom. I feel like I've been on every side of the fence, and it amazes me how women can be so judgemental of choices. I know lots of incredible moms - whether they work full-time, part-time, or stay home doesn't determine whether they are good or bad.

From reading your blog it is evident that you are one heck of a Mom, and you should be very proud of yourself. Given your hectic schedule, the only way to keep up the pace is to do exactly what you did, and take some time for yourself once in a while. Good for you!

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