Some decisions suck the blood sugar out of you (this is research by the way) and some come so easily that you suspect something’s wrong.
I’ve mostly always taken emotion-based decisions, which isn’t really a good idea, I know. I often regret it later, I often cry, I often go through difficult moments of doubt and self-blame — mostly because all the big decisions of my life have affected everyone around me as much as me.
But the decision I took three days ago — to choose between a full-time job in the same industry I was coming from, or a work-from-home position with lesser pay but greater flexibility to try out new things in my life — has been both crystal-clear and difficult. I’ve been vacillating between “It was the right decision” and “Was it?” for the past 72 hours.
I chose to stay home. I chose to spend time on my kids and my dashing new husband and our lovely new home and my own spiritual growth. I chose to take a risk with my life, knowing full well that my income will go down but my happiness quotient will go up. I chose freedom over security, God over people.
It sounds like an obvious choice for someone like me, but it’s been hard too. Hard not because of my own thoughts but because I had moments of worry about what others would think of me. Hard because I haven’t sat at home for years, there’s always been an agenda even on holidays. Hard because I am not yet the superwoman like all those work-from-home moms who juggle housework, kids’ work and office work efficiently, day after day. I’m still learning how to draw my boundaries at home.
I tend to drift. I tend to get involved in chats with the neighbours, buying vegetables from the roadside vendors, doing the laundry, fixing the cupboards. Then I remind myself of my dear friend R’s advice (she was one of my most efficient freelancers): “Housework will in itself not give you any lasting value; your work will. So be disciplined.” And I get back to my computer.
The past few days have shown me strange new sides of myself. I saw myself being crabby at the end of the day when the husband came home. I saw myself hesitating to leave the house at all, it was too much of an effort. I saw myself compulsively reading blogs and watching videos online. I saw myself struggle with writing a new story. In short, I saw in myself remnants of a younger me. The fearful, insecure being I used to be. When, after 11 years of working, I found myself a homemaker again, the old psychological habits popped back up too.
Luckily, though, this time I’m different. I can sense God in all that I am going through; it is as if Life is testing me: Have those lessons been learnt? I can see myself from the outside, and check my behaviour before it leads me to trouble. I can reverse my self-conversations, and choose positive over negative self-speak. I can apologise to my loved ones, and request their patience while I go through all this re-adaptation of identity.
It was yet another big decision that I took with a bit of an emotional quotient, but I am able to control the damage this time around. And every day, as I get better and better at managing this, I am more and more excited about the possibilities. I can’t wait to see what I am going to do next.