In nursing school, we learned about how we need to let families mourn the life they thought they would have. That was a really new concept to me. I thought you only mourn death, but the truth is that when a big event (like a sick child or a disabled child) happens, you need to allow people to mourn the life that they had pictured — because that is dead.
In the spring of 2015, my husband left his job. He was absolutely miserable teaching. In California, he had absolutely adored teaching. The administration always had his back, parents were so helpful. Here in Arizona, he just felt threatened everywhere he went. He was losing his mind, I was losing my mind, all for a distinctly poor teaching salary.
A year before that I had really started to amp up my blog, and the income was starting to increase. I just laughed and laughed when people mentioned that my blog might be able to support our family during this transition time.
But, the income increased and I started to feel really competent at the things I was doing. I picked up a few extra shifts, my husband got a small work at home job, and we were slowly able to cobble together an income with it all.
But, my husband felt defeated. He truly enjoyed teaching music, the red tape and parents had put him over the edge. He had been the majority breadwinner in our home for much of our married life. He felt he wasn’t contributing (even though he started doing much of the housework around here). In reality, I wouldn’t have been able to continue working nursing shifts plus keep up the blog without his support at home. We really learned to support each other in new and different ways.
I won’t say that I didn’t have days where having to make all of our income wasn’t REALLY overwhelming. It’s scary running your own business!
I was really hopeful that he would be able to find something this fall. As the summer drew to a close, we just sort of gave up hope. He’d emailed a couple of community college with little response.
Then, within a week of school starting he had a couple of offers to teach classes and they were hopeful they would be able to offer him more next semester.
It is, absolutely perfect.
The reality of adjunct faculty at a college is that it doesn’t pay all that well. So, we are super lucky that the blog is still doing well and it is able to give Drew a foot up into the community college arena to hopefully move into a full-time position sometime in the next couple of years.
While not working full time, he’s still able to be around when the kids come home from school and he has full days where he can still help me a lot around the house.
But, it’s not what I’d always pictured.
From the time that I was little, I always pictured me as a full-time mom and my husband supporting my family.
Every time we have moved I have hoped that I would be able to retire my scrubs and be home full time.
I have slowly come to terms with the fact that is not my path. I really do enjoy nursing (most of the time) and I can’t believe that my current workspace is so flexible and allows me full flexibility in the blog world (my manager is a saint, and has been so supportive during this time). I really feel like I needed to be there, to become who I am now.
I spent far too much time wondering if we had wrongly moved to Arizona. But I really think we needed to be here, and possibly, we needed to be here for me.
It’s just not what I had envisioned. And that is OK.
How is your life different than you had envisioned? Do you find that when you get too stuck in that vision you end up unhappy all around?
How can you have a vision for your life but not be stuck in it?
Tell me in the comments!
For me — I think the key has been to look at the right now and realize that we are fine right now. We are probably in a transition stage. Life is changing and things might be different in a year. but right now we are ok.
If you liked this post, be sure to sign up for my newsletter below.
And check out all of my other job hunt posts.
My husband and I had always planned to serve a mission (s) for our church when we retired. Well, an adult child is mentally ill and somewhat unstable and must live with us. It took me about a year to adjust to the idea we won’t be going anywhere. But that’s OK now — there’s lots of service opportunities right where we are and we have 4 grandchildren that live locally. We will be able to visit our “away” grandchildren more often and for longer times.
I retire in 7 months, and I hope to spend the first year taking care of some health problems and deciding what I really want to do. Most of all, I want to quit rushing around!!.
I’d also like to blog, as a record for my family and for fun.
The key is just loving whatever your life gives you, right? Sometimes it just takes me a bit to get there. 🙂
I don’t think anyone’s life goes exactly as planned. Things go down and then go back up.
Hilary, your blog has touched and strengthened me. I too have had the life that wasn’t as I envisioned and it is so good to hear you and others express these same feelings. I utterly admire you and what you are doing! You have an amazing family! I am proud of you!
Hilary Erickson says
Awh, thank you so much!