This is the word that best describes how I feel about how I've been feeling these last forty-eight hours or so. Huh.
The day before yesterday was my last day of a job I've been eagerly anticipating putting behind me for many months now. I expected to feel ecstatic, joyful, delighted, free... But I did not.
I've been a full-time, fifty-hours-a-week nanny for two little boys for the past sixteen months. When I started job hunting, I needed full-time employment desperately. Our financial situation was looking more and more grim. I applied to a wide variety of jobs, to no avail. My very last resort was childcare, something I swore I'd never do. (Incidentally, it's never a good idea to say never 😊)
I found a family who were equally desperate - their previous nanny had quit with very little warning. So we entered into partnership.
I would never say it was a bad job. Challenging, yes. Exhausting, definitely. A really charming, kind, thoughtful family to work for. But it was NOT how I wanted to be spending my time.
Time - that was the issue. I no longer had any extra time to spend doing things that mattered to me; I hardly had time to do necessary things, like cook and clean and connect with my own family. (I might argue that those "extras" were also necessities; I could feel my soul shriveling as I continually neglected feeding it.)
So I decided to take a leap. I had asked God for a job, and He gave me one. I was grateful. But it was getting harder and harder to walk in the door every day with a positive attitude. I tried to convince myself that what I was doing had value (and it did), but I came to see it as a stepping stone, a period of refining and growth and learning and testing.
I asked God to release me from it. Repeatedly. And finally, after months of asking and waiting, He did. I was ecstatic, joyful, delighted... right up until the night before my last day.
Looking back, it's baffling to see how I missed realizing it would be so hard to say good-bye. It never occurred to me that there would be a hole left from removing such a significant, time-and-energy-consuming element from my life.
I'm on day two of what I referred to as "freedom". There have been moments in the past two days where I have felt and relished it - watching the sunrise as I did some early-morning gardening, taking a long walk with no stroller to push or questions to answer, making breakfast for my own kids... But there have been poignant moments of emptiness, sorrow even.
I had asked God ad nauseam to give me His love for this family. Why am I so surprised now to discover that He in fact did? ❤
I think there's another element to my uneasiness, too. As painstakingly planned, I am now fully dependent on my own devices to produce enough income to sustain us. And that is freaking me out - another sensation I didn't expect.
I'm now pursuing employment I'm passionate about - educating about the dangers of household chemicals and offering a better way; providing guidance and direction on the path to healing and wholeness. These two entrepreneurial enterprises make me excited to get up in the morning; but the fact that I have to depend on myself for motivation and discipline and consistency and effort is daunting, to say the least.
So instead of the unfettered joy I thought I'd be experiencing today, it's a mixed bag. And instead of continuing to be frustrated with myself for not meeting my (kind of ridiculous) expectations, I will apply grace.
(Grace in sunrise form 😊)