Saturday, September 1, 2012

Looks Like We Made It

Remember that old Barry Manilow song, Looks Like We Made It?  Well, that's how I'm feeling at the end of these last two weeks.  Teachers were back to work on August 20th, and students showed up this past Monday.  As stressed out as I've been over the prospect of leaving home and children and dogs behind and going back to work full-time, I survived.  I made it!  We made it.

You know all those little projects around the house that nag and nag and beg to be done?  Well, I haven't thought about those at all this week.  At the end of my 10-12 hour days, I'm just so happy to be home. I don't really care that this slipcover desperately needs to be dry cleaned.

And this little girl here?  She's a tad sad not to have me around.  How do I know this?

Because Iris makes me feel like a rock star when I arrive home.  I've never seen such tail wagging.

When we first moved into this house three years ago, I killed myself painting and picking out fabrics and arranging and rearranging.  And I'm so glad I poured my heart and soul into my home back then because I sure as heck don't have time for that now.  Do I miss decorating?  Yes.  

But the house is mostly (I said mostly) the way I want it.  For now.

Maddie may not be quite as enthusiastic in the tail wagging department, but I know she misses me, too.


To make things easier, I hired a cleaning service.  I have never been big on this.  I don't mind cleaning all that much, and I've never really trusted anyone else, mainly because I know they won't be as picky as I am.

Guess what?

I'm totally over that now.  I haven't scrubbed a toilet in a month.  

Guess what else?  I haven't missed scrubbing a toilet.

In the evenings I don't feel like gardening, and I've mostly given up on weeds now.  I just look at what we've planted and enjoy it.

Is this going-back-to-work-full-time thing easy-breezy?  Nope.  It's hard and I get a teeny bit sad at times.  For instance, I missed my girls' first day of school. But while sitting at my desk in-between classes, I got two messages from neighbors.  They snapped that first-day pic for me.

Nothing is perfect.  But I feel lucky to have been asked to take this job.  At 48 I worry these offers won't last much longer.  Getting my first paycheck was nice, too.  I've had my eye on some powder room wallpaper for a while now.  My husband no longer has to purchase health insurance because I have great benefits at my new job, a major savings for our family.

When I have those moments of sadness, and they do come, I try to remember that being home with my children and my dogs and my house and my garden was a season of my life, just the way this new position at work is a season.

And I am so lucky to have my pretty home and my family and my new job.  I was so lucky to be able to be home for those years when my girls were little.  So many families don't get that.

I know there will be tough days ahead.  I'm on a major learning curve.  Getting up at the hideous hour of 4:30 AM will be even more hideous come January.  There are field trips I will miss, activities my children will have to opt out of because of our crazy new schedule.  This is a sacrifice for all of us.

Still, there is satisfaction in what I'm doing.  I love my pretty, clean classroom and the wide, well-lit hallways.  I love teaching young writers and the good feelings that come with that.  Writing this blog post makes me think of another song—The Times They Are A-Changin'.


  1. I'm so glad things are working out for you Suzanne! Adjusting to new beginnings is always tough, but when it's for something good we adjust must easier. Great shots of your beautiful home!

  2. With such a great attitude, I'm sure you will do just fine and your kids will have experienced how Mom handled both styles of living. ~ Maureen

  3. Oh sweetie--you have this in the bag! I know it seems a tad overwhelming but you will find your groove soon enough. Your positive attitude will pave the way. Kudos to you for knowing what you can/can't control and being wise enough to accept it. I am soooo happy things are moving forward for you and your family.

  4. Going back to work is a real commitment, isn't it? You have a really good attitude about it. Hiring a cleaning service is the smartest thing you could do. My son/dil just hired one-they both work full time and have a little baby- and he said he could not believe how much easier it made their lives- xo Diana

  5. What you are doing is so important, Suzanne. Your home is beautiful and will be the perfect haven with your family in the months to come. :)

  6. Congratulations on your new job! You will be great, I just know it! You are an excellent writer, so your students will have a great mentor.

    Your home looks wonderful and your doggies are so sweet!

  7. Good luck to you on your new season in life, everything will work out, you will see♥

  8. Best of luck with this new chapter of your life. Everything can be an adjustment in the beginning but before long, you will be in a new oomfort zone. You have a beautiful home and family to come home to and were very lucky to be home with the kids when they were young. I am a stay at home mom too, but I wonder what is in store for me in the coming years. Congrats on the new job!

  9. Visiting via Lines From have a very pretty home and I'm enjoying looking at your photos. Especially love the floral curtains with the china plates in between! Best wishes with your new job!

  10. Best of luck to you, everythng looks amaizng!


  11. Don't you just love having a pet greet you when you return home after a long day's work? Makes leaving all the sweeter. Good luck with all of the changes, and I'm sure you'll get to washing that slipcover eventually... ;)


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