I quit my job.
Well, that’s a bit of a lie. I walked out of my job as General Counsel for a large and wonderful company to stay home more. To bake and volunteer and write. And take the occasional calls from my former company that might crop up that they find useful to ask a lawyer. But working from home in an oversized t-shirt billing by the hour, taking occasional phone calls from doctors that have questions, isn’t the same as really working. I’ve always worked. I went to law school to earn a great salary and feed my brain and wear heels. I love heels.
But finally, I admitted to myself that I couldn’t keep up. There were select toilets in our home that even our dog wouldn’t drink from. I was forgetting to pay bills and couldn’t seem to pack lunches and was always screaming at my daughter to get her shoes on. I almost cried when I tried to bake homemade bread one weekend and the dough wouldn’t even rise. My life was starting to spin out of control. With two small children and a brain that never shuts off and writing that was finished inside my head but not yet recorded on paper, something had to give. I was tired of running. I was tired of yelling. I was just flat-out tired.
So I stopped.
It’s been exactly four days since my newfound freedom. I sent my son to day care every single day, which perhaps I should feel guilty about. But I don’t. I did heaps of laundry and sent off thank-you notes and made some tea. I read some articles I’d been meaning to read and unpacked boxes of law books I schlepped home from my office. I took a nap and read to my daughter and opened my eyes to what I’d been missing all this time. Peace, really. And clean toilets.
So here I sit. I can feel a dozen years of legal experience begin the slow process of atrophy. I can see that hanging on to my old world will not last forever, although billing by the hour is nice. I feel God tugging on my sweater and tapping me on the shoulder, like something is just around the corner – up ahead. I just can’t quite make it out with all the fog around me. I’m defogging. And praying. And trying to learn how to bake bread. For real. Someone needs to send me a better recipe.
It’s a huge leap to quit a career. It’s easy to tell people it’s for the kids. So you can be a better mother. But I didn’t think I was a horrible mother before. I think it’s more about finding your footing. Making sure the place that you stand is the place you really want to be. Right now, in this moment, I know I’m heading in the right direction. That’s something. Even though it might not involve heels.
So here’s to freedom, wherever it takes me. Probably to the grocery store. And the bathroom, to clean more toilets.