A keeper...

posted on: Tuesday, 16 July 2013

I am in pensive mood - despite my imminent exit from the corporate world, longed for and life-appropriate, I still get moments of minor freak-out when I think: '...whaaat!! what am I doing??' I recognise this existential angst and know it will pass, but nevertheless it has the capacity to derail my thoughts, provoke a deep breath, even a little tear when I contemplate walking away. I am not that good at walking away - you might say I am a keeper. Same town, same childhood sweetheart, same hairdo. I stick at things. But I know with this, once a few weeks pass, I will come out the other side and wonder what all the hesitation was about.

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Most of all I am sure, with a wry and knowing nod, that every time I read an article about working mothers - either for or against - I will empathise. For so many years I fought that cause, no matter what, and now I look back and wonder why was I fighting so hard? A bit like a marriage that isn't going to last the distance; should it really be that hard? There are many reasons why this is right for me now, but I hope that the lesson from it all will be that I work out when to quit something that has become too hard. Not because I am failing, but because there are always choices.

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This warm weather gives a glimpse of what life would be like in a proper, warm country. The scope it gives to be outside and to live life differently amazes me. So many options when there is sun; the extent of the British deprivation of it now becomes clear! I am lured by the summer sales - this whiff of balmy weather makes me rush for a whole other wardrobe of rarely worn items. Those that lurk at the back of the wardrobe and only get outings when on holiday. I have to exercise some restraint from buying more as deep down I know: it may not last!

We are going to Portugal in a few weeks for our annual trip - although this year we will be going to Lisbon too, taking the children for a few day's city time. Very much looking forward to it - and everything else in the post-corporate world.

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  1. Aw.. change is always hard for me too. It's ok to have those questions in your heart. I've come to the realization that going through changes with that kind of introspection is just how I do life. I have to "feel" my way through things, and so far it's worked out well for me.
    I love the quote, and will adopt it as my new mantra. Have a great time with the family,
    Leslie aka Gwen Moss

  2. Oh yes of course I understand this. I was anxious about stopping work, as much as I was excited about it. Would I be bored? Would I replace quality time with quantity time with the boys? Would the dynamics of my marriage change? So many questions and worries... But of course it was the right answer for me at this time as well, and the entire family has benefited by having me home this year. I'm like you (in so many ways it seems!)....always somewhat resistant to change, but then when change occurs I wonder why I waited so long. (My own worries have started to shift towards next year, when I am planned to get back to work. It's still a year away, so I keep telling myself not to worry about it yet. But it's out there...)

    Your trip to Portugal sounds fabulous. My own August holiday will be to Lake Ontario (New York) - not quite Lisbon, but full of family and relaxed fun. I'll take it.

    And yes! Of course I do wish we didn't have this big ocean between us. I'm tempted to hop on a flight one of these days so we can have a proper in-person chat!

  3. You will definitely look back and maybe even think "why didn't I do this sooner", as I felt when I left the corporate world and went to live in Spain. I was never anxious about leaving work (I couldn't wait) but I did have some angst about losing the security of my salary. I then realised that at the end of the day you only have as much security as your notice period; so I stopped worrying ;-)

  4. I love your blog and I'm happy you'll visit my city Lisbon.

    Have a fantastic trip!

    Warm embrace from Portugal


  5. Hello there!

    Change can definitely be scary - i admire you for doing what you know is best for you, even though it all seems a little cloudy right now. I know from the way that you write that everything is going to work out well for you : ) good luck with this next part in the adventure called your life.

    Enjoy Lisbon with your family! It is one of my favourite places - Caiscais/Estoril is just next door and is very very charming with lots of fabulous places to eat and drink. Oh and the beach of course!

    Lou xx

  6. Dear Lou

    We will be in Portugal at the same time! Nice to know. I will be in the North though.
    When in Lishon, please do take some time to visit, as Lou above wrote, Cascais and Estoril (Pastelaria Garrett in Estoril is a great place to have lunch) but also Sintra (where Lord Byron and Hans Christian Andersen lived) and Seteais. In Sintra you have Palácio da Pena, Quinta da Regaleira and Castelo dos Mouros. In Seteais you have a very beautiful Palace, today used as a hotel that is definitely worth a visit.
    Nearby and also very beautiful you have Monserrate.
    Please do let me know if you have some questions. I wish you great and relaxing holidays.
    Warm hug, Manuela