winds of change
Today begins my last week of work before I start 12 months of maternity leave. Not being due until October that gives me a month to get everything finalised for baby Carson’s arrival. Given that I haven’t worked a full week in the office since returning in May because most days are still a struggle for me with illness and pain I have been counting down to these final days of long commutes to and from work.
Work coming to an end also means paydays coming to an end and that’s a strange feeling. Here come 12 months without a regular pay packet. Seeing my final wage deposit hit the bank last week was bitter sweet. While I am excited about being able to take time to rest and prepare for baby, and then the excitement of having baby and getting a year to get to know each other, I am going to be totally dependent on my husband and our savings.
Hubby and I are planners and we’ve been preparing for this moment for a couple of years, so unless he happens to lose his job unexpectedly or some injury or financial tragedy befalls us, we’ll be secure and comfortable for the year I am “unemployed”. There’s even enough set aside to take a few little holidays and get our new family’s feet in the sand.
My boss asked me this morning how I’m going to handle letting go of everything next week and we both agree it will be easy physically, but mentally it will be hard for me to “log off” from work and trust that the wheels won’t fall off without me around.
This year has been a year of huge change for me. Letting go of the choke hold I’ve had on my life for the last 33 years has been a struggle most days and even now as the birth experience approaches I am trying to think of ways I can control and plan out the process while every mother on the planet knows how impossible it is to predict. And don’t even get me started on how unpredictable children can be, goodbye certainty and reason for the next 18 or so years!
In my tunnel vision of pregnancy I can still see that most of my girlfriends are going through their own changes and struggles and we’ve all had big things happening this year. It’s like you hit 30 and suddenly believe you have to change your life and grow up. The last of my single school friends is getting married in October, my sister is running her own business, 3 of my girlfriends are pregnant and all due this year and my close girlfriends at work are all considering their future and where their careers will take them in the next 12 months.
With all this change I find myself wondering, where will we all be this time next year? Will our friendships survive all these big changes or will we be torn apart by our conflicting priorities? Of course I will have my other pregnant girlfriends to bond with over baby spit but what about my workmates who will be forging new paths and building new careers? Will the changes we make in our lives end up being a wedge between us? How do we meld sleepless nights because of high fevers and sleepless nights because of product launch parties?
I want to stay connected to my old life. One day I even want to reclaim most of it. But in my year off from work will I lose touch with the people I want to share it with? Buried under nappies and Bonds onesies, will this year off make me a year too late?