If you’re keeping track at home, I’ve had three jobs this year (Instacart, the farm, and the law office). On Monday, I’ll start my fourth job of 2018… returning to where I used to work way back in 2013, before I was a SAHM, before I had a blog. It’s a full-time position, which means that tomorrow I say my good-byes to the law office. I am really going to miss it there! I hate good-byes 😦
I’ve spent much of this year (and the prior few years) with scant money but adequate time. Time enough to plan meals around what was left in the pantry, to wash clothes frequently rather than buy more of them, to volunteer at the school, to pack lunches for myself and the kids. From here on out I suspect the equation will invert: adequate money but scant time. It’s going to be a challenge to hang on to some of my thrifty ways.
The good news is that things are so different now compared to 2013. At the time I left the company, my kids were 6 1/2 , almost 3, and 18 months old. It’s mostly a blur, but I’m sure they were still getting up in the middle of the night a lot, or else just waking up every day at 5 a.m. I was home with them Monday-Wednesday, then worked Thurs-Sat. Sundays were our “fun” day, so that was when everyone would get stomach bugs. In short, I was a mess. Now, they are 12, 8, and 7, and I could probably leave them all alone for a week if I had to. They can cook things, clean things, clean themselves, write persuasive essays.
Another striking difference between now and 2013 is that back then, I felt so lost. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing. I was lacking a guiding principle. In the 5.5 years I’ve been away from the company, I got a lot of stuff figured out.
Well, I survived my first week! Better than survived, I’d say it went really well. I definitely feel as though I have traveled through time. It’s virtually all the same faces at work, and the same types of work to be done. It’s been great to catch up with them all, and everyone has been so welcoming. 🙂 Also, the firm now offers free Wawa coffee all day and I feel this is a sign that I made the right decision.
Hubs did a great job picking the kids up from school, taking them to various appointments, and making dinner each night. I made sure to buy a ton of food on Sunday so we had plenty of options for all meals. I also did every last bit of laundry on Sunday. Gemma, virtually on her own, made whole wheat chocolate chip muffins that we enjoyed all week. (The kids and I have been on a bit of a baking tear, making chocolate chip cookies twice recently also.)
I arrived home on Friday night in great spirits, with a hot pizza I grabbed on the way. Part of the celebratory feeling was that I found out that day that I can keep working days (originally I was hired to work 5 to midnight, long story, but days will be easier!). Also, I got paid (yahoo!). After dinner, Gemma and I bundled up and went to the town’s Parade of Lights (lit up fire trucks, etc.) Had never been before but we really enjoyed it. It was lovely to be out at night and see all the decorated houses with their trees in the windows, and the still darkness of the trees in the park at night, under a clear sky filled with stars, and the smell of fireplaces. Next year I hope to be invited to one of the parties held by people who live on the park. They looked like fun!
Saturday morning, I took Gemma to basketball, nursing my coffee on the bleachers. Then it was kamikaze clean-up time, for everyone, since no cleaning happened during the week. Had food delivered from Shop-Rite in the afternoon. I’ve gone straight back to food deliveries since accepting the job, no questions asked.
Which brings me to my main theme here — how to keep doing some of the things I want to do, that have become important to me over these past five years, while working 9 to 5? It looks like the weekends will be my main opportunity for cooking, baking, decluttering, searching out local/organic food, crafting, selling stuff, and other thrifty adventures. Already this weekend I have a list a mile long of things I’d like to do/need to do (not to mention all the holiday-related stuff on top of that). I’ve already instructed myself to chill out — not everything is going to happen this weekend, and that’s OK. Today for sure I need a real haircut and need to finish the wash. I’d also like to make gravy for dinner. Blogging was on the list (check). Baking banana bread or pumpkin bread would be a bonus. Gemma is clamoring to get the Christmas tree. And last but not least I’d love to squeeze in a trip to Once Upon a Child for a winter coat for Aidan. (Maybe Village Thrift — it’s closer and I haven’t been in quite a while).
Last Sunday, I roasted an organic chicken along with red potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions and garlic. It smelled divine and tasted even better. I made stock with the carcass later, and last night we had chicken soup with the stock (with tortellini and carrots added).
Later we had ice cream and watched “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” together (except Aidan, who preferred to play Fortnite). Our living room is very cozy at Christmastime — I put up the lights and stocking on the bannister the other week, and started to decorate the china cabinet as well. We have continued the plan of not heating the family room/playroom that we started last January, and it seems to work well.
OK — time to start cooking. I’m so mad that I didn’t freeze all the basil I grew this year. Wishing I had some for my gravy.