Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Timing is everything in life

I'm at a crossroads.

I think I mentioned before that hubby is in the process of launching a national organization, and that he needs to decide whether to headquarter it in DC or NYC. We've been torn about whether to stay or go for all sorts of reasons that I won't even go into. Instead, I'll tell you about the additional wrinkle that just came up about two weeks ago.

In short, a good friend of mine is trying to get me to take a pretty high-ranking job in NJ. In theory, I could take it and we could move to NJ and hubby could headquarter his organization in NYC.

But, it would mean that we would both have really tough, time-consuming jobs. We'd be moving farther away from family. We'd be leaving the kids' school--a place where they thrive and that we like. And we'd be leaving a nanny we love as well (who it looks like may actually commit to us for a third year, which is big for all kinds of reasons I'll get into later). And we'd have to do all of this within, say, 6-12 weeks of having our third baby.

Of course, the job itself is a G-R-E-A-T opportunity. If I were 27 or 30 or 32 and either unattached or kidless, I'd jump at it. It's possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Maybe not, but I have to assume it is because things like this just don't come up that often.

But I'm not 30. I'm not unattached. We have a family. We have responsibilities and two (soon three) little people that count on us for everything and who want nothing more than to spend as much time with us as they can. And I recently scaled back so that I can work part time from home, and it's working out great.

And the thing is, I love all of that. I love that I get to spend leisurely mornings with the kiddos without rushing out to work at 8am or earlier. And I love that this past school year, I was able to pick them up at lunch and got to be the one who put them down for their naps everyday.

So obviously, I have to pull my name out of the running for this NJ job. Uprooting the family so soon after the little bear arrives and making the transition for MG and SP to "big sister" and "big-brother" hood that much more complicated just isn't a viable option.

But, I can't lie to you; I'm so torn. I've never felt exactly like this. Even when I left my last job to take the work from home job I have now, the decision was easier. I had been at that job for five years and had extracted all that I think I was going to.

But now? Now I really feel like I'm at a crossroads. There are two paths in front of me. One heads in the direction of a lot of the career-related things I've been working towards since I graduated from college.

The other is focused on my family.

I guess I just never thought I'd have such a deliberate and distinct choice to make. I guess I just always thought that life paths were decided by the sum total of a million tiny little decisions that added up to one direction or another. And, while I'm sure thats also true, this is definitely a bigger, "road not taken" kind of decision.

I know it's the right one, of course. I know all of the cliches that tell me that, when I'm 80, this is the decision I won't regret. And I know how much I love spending more time with the kiddos now and having flexibility.

But it's still hard. It's hard to close the door on something I've worked so hard for.

I guess I just need to let myself mourn the loss and accept the unpleasant reality that, as an adult, the right decisions, while sometimes clear, are rarely easy.


Louisa McFarland said...

Hi I just stumbled onto your site after doing a google search for sticky buns, I just want to encourage you and congratulate you on your decision to put your family first, I know it is hard to give up something that you have worked so long and hard for, but at the end of the day you will work longer and harder for your family and in the end just as the cliches say they are the ones who are going to matter, and who will thank you for keeping your family together.

Sarah said...

Haha, sticky buns! I choked a little on my coffe!

So it doesn't actually sound like you really see a fork in the toad. It sounds more like as you were happily out jogging on your path one morning, you got a glimpse through the trees at someone else's path. And it was a really nice path, not better than yours, just different, and naturally you got a case of the what ifs, as you continued jogging along on your no less lovely path. With all the jogging you've been doing, you should probably have more ice cream.

Sarah said...

Umm road. No toads were harmed in the posting of the above comment.