Friday, March 15, 2013

Rythm and Routine

I just haven't been able to write as much lately because, frankly, things are going pretty well. I actually have a real, full time job that I work from home. I work for a company called Telenetwork, which if you look at WAH sites, you've probably seen or heard of. The pay doesn't start out all that great, but it gets better FAST if you work hard at it. I think the best part about it, is that there is little to no sales involved or required. It is straight technical support help desk stuff. All calls are inbound, so I don't have to call people myself. I actually have come to enjoy it. I get to help people and that is what has always mattered to me. Sure, it is just helping people get their internet up and running, but that can be a very valuable and vital part of life. Especially, if you are in a rural area like so many of my customers are.

Working from home can be a challenge for a lot of people, but for me it is the most important aspect of this job. Because I need so much more rest than a normal person does, spending the time commuting cuts down on either my valuable family time, or the time I need to spend taking care of them. I typically need to be in bed about the same time the kids do, so I don't get those valuable post-bedtime hours that a lot of parents rely on to get stuff done. Working from home means I can be in bed literally 15 minutes before my shift starts and I can still be logged on and working on time.

Of course there are some disadvantages, working weekends being one of them. As weekend work goes, though, this is pretty easy. Many customers don't even know that we are available 24X7 so we get much fewer calls on the weekends than we do during the week. What this means is, the pace is much slower, and there is plenty of time to relax between calls. What this additionally means for me is that I have to juggle weekend errands and events. The trade off there, is that I typically have a weekday off so I am able to schedule appointments and such without having to miss work.

After two months of this, I'm starting to get the feel of how things work and how to balance working and being a mom. My kids are old enough now that they (usually) are able to keep themselves busy and quiet when they are home while I am working. We are still working out the kinks in that plan, but they have had experience with this while DH has been working from on and off over the last several years. Most of the time it just takes a gentle reminder (usually something soft thrown against a wall) to get them to quiet down. We've been blessed with enough computers around here that everyone has one to use, so most of the time they've got something fun and quiet to do. I don't have to worry about them watching endless hours of Disney to keep them occupied.

Today was one of the first days I have been able to really enjoy the fruits of my labors. It's Spring Break, so all the kids are home. It was also payday. For the first time in as long as I can remember, we weren't financially in the hole before we got paid. We haven't been draining our bank account by filling up the gas tank twice a week. All our bills are on time, so no late fees or disconnect/reconnect fees have been chewing up our financial cushion, either. I got to take EG and TD shopping for Easter dresses TWO WHOLE WEEKS before Easter! I got to drag the niece along, and it was so nice not to stress about everything from the cost of this dress nice vs that ugly dress to the gas it cost us to get there! Just being out and about with the girls on a weekday was a treat.

Another bonus I've found is that I haven't needed to eat out very much. In fact, I've been eating very well since I can stock the pantry with the sorts of foods I like without needing to worry about the transportation or serving size of packing lunches. I only have to think about it when I'm at the store, not every morning while trying to rush out the door. If I'm hungry, I grab a snack during a break instead of having to wait until I have a full hour to eat. If I'm not hungry enough for a full meal, I can eat only what I want without having to worry about the rest of the meal going to waste. Most of all, I have my trusty coffee pot nearby. I can have MY coffee the way I like whenever I like. Caffeine intake is handled at 1/3rd of the calories of a cola. And yes, I have my fridge here with nearly unlimited filtered water.  I'll get around to drinking some of that... eventually.

I know you have all read of my trials about work, and family, and diet, and money. I'm glad that things are getting easier in all those respects for me. I'm not quite ready to say everything is better yet. I've been here and back in the depths of my hole too many times to be able to say that too soon.

Realizing that I'm feeling good about things, but still nervous that everything will fall around my head made me remember a story about a man watching a butterfly come out of its cocoon. You see, this man had been patiently watching this butterfly struggle for hours trying to break free of its prison. After several hours of what seemed like hopeless struggle, the butterfly seemed to stop, exhausted as if it could go no further. The man decided to help things along and fetched pair of scissors and carefully snipped open the cocoon so the butterfly could be free. The problem was, once the butterfly had been freed, its wings were all shriveled and its body was too big. It was never able to fly far and free like the other butterflies. The very struggle to free itself was what properly prepared the butterfly's body and wings for life outside the cocoon.

Maybe that is what I'm supposed to have been learning through all these trials? Maybe I'm destined for a happy, comfortable, healthy life after all. I just have to be able to learn how to handle it before I'm ready for it. I wonder, if all the chances I've been given and wasted, and all the opportunities I lost or ruined, were really for some bigger purpose? Have I been given these struggles to prepare me for something better?

I may not be able to handle it all, but I know I can at least stand up to it. I've known love in my heart to be true and strong even with no hope of it ever being returned, and it was returned and I have an insanely wonderful marriage. I've handed my daughter over three times, never truly believing I'd be able to hold her again in life, but she fought and survived and then I went ahead and had TWO MORE little darlings. I've been jobless, foodless, penniless, even homeless (although, thankfully, never without a home to sleep in) and now, I've made it this far. I've dealt with depression, injuries, and now pain and fatigue and there is nothing I can do to push it away. I have to just learn to deal with whatever energy and abilities I'm able to muster from day to day. It is both humbling and empowering at the same time.

Look how little I have been given!
Look how much I made with it today!

Every day I go through the normal routines of my day and I feel a little stronger. Every day I can work, and be a mom, and sleep at night I feel blessed and thankful because I remember what it is like to be unemployed (yet, again), too depressed to function, and too sick to know day from night. I'll never be a high paid executive. I'll never see the inside of a pair of size 5 jeans. But I will always know how blessed I am to have what little I've been given so that I may turn it into the greatest thing possible.
God only knows what waits for me next, but I feel like I'm supposed to be ready for whatever it is.
Deb "Patience" Lollar

If you like this, please share it with my permission. If you feel like I do, or have felt the way I did, or know someone who has, leave a comment and share with me.


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