Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
Which if you think about it is true for all of us, so no news there then.
What I mean is today is the first day of a new stage of my life. I have stopped being in paid employment. When husbandface got up to go to work today I had no stomach sinking sense of having to get out of bed and face the day, I had no dread, I did not have to go to work. For the last 7 months getting up well to go to work has been a battle I have lost more times than I have won. The irony didn’t escape me this morning that it was remarkably simple to bound out of bed just after 7 and get on with the day. Not having somewhere to go strangely made me more inclined and delighted to get up. Odd.
I have started what is technically known as maternity leave, but as I don’t plan on going back to full time paid work anytime soon I’d rather think of it as starting the rest of my life. I’m glad I’ve had practice in living with unstructured time, being a Staff Worker with UCCF taught me how to plan my days well, to know that I go crazy if I haven’t seen at least one person in the day and that I need to exercise. The weeks in front of me have really only one day in them where I might not see people or get out to exercise.
There are many projects and things to get on with as I live out this inbetween time. Preparations for the arrival of the boy, being involved with the lovely Festive, taking the opportunity for more writing, being involved with the life of our church, and seeking to encourage people more and more. I’d love to get to know some more expectant mothers and I want to read many books, and of course enjoy lots of afternoon naps.
I don’t think my working life is over, there is work to be done that is neither paid or with a nice neat label attached to it. I’m a kind of person without portfolio, seeking to live out the life God has called me to in a variety of situations and contexts. I want to live a rich life, to not try and label it. Frankly the title ‘Stay at Home Mum’ makes me recoil. Life is too diverse and wonderful to be shrunk to titles and labels. Even on days when all I might do is wash nappies, my title is daughter of the King, my life is to be lived in reflection of all he has done and put in me. I want to seek contentment in that, to see the value and worth of this kind of life and delight in the privilege of being able to do that. I know others would long for this life and some would recoil in horror at it. I’m aware of the danger I face of looking over the fence at others lives wanting what they’ve got or smug at what I’ve got.
I want to be thankful God has made me for this, I’m looking forward to discovering what opportunities there are in this new land. If I’m honest I’ve wanted to live as Kath without a job title for a long time now. I’m grateful that I’ve been given that and I want to live these years well. I don’t know how long they will last but I want to seek the Lord in this land of the living and trust that his goodness will sustain us through whatever lies ahead. I’m realistic, I think, I know there will be hard dark crazy times, I know my head, I know it’s temptations to despair but I want to live with hope in the midst of that. His grace has carried me safe this far and I put my tentative nervous hand in his knowing that it’s the best place to be and that He will bring me safely through whatever lies ahead.