Reality. Cold, hard, reality knocked on our door a few weeks ago.
My business has not grown as quickly as I had hoped. Cancer and it's complications slowed me down considerably in regards to getting a business up and running. It also took a significant toll on the family budget.
After the surgery, it was several months before I could get back into the swing of things and once again pick up the household reins. I' m thankful for the fabulous job Henry and the kids did in keeping things going. We couldn't have gotten through as well as we did if they hadn't pitched in and just gotten things done.
But . . . Keeping an eye on the budget and our finances is my job at our house. Watching prices, looking for sales and planning our meals accordingly, paying the bills, keeping track of what's coming in and what's going out . . . That's always been my job.
None of that happened while I was recuperating. The bills got paid of course, but the sharp eye you need when you are on a very tight budget just wasn't there. Truthfully, even after I was better I let things slip. I didn't want to think about restrictions, I just wanted to live life and enjoy it. Still rather modestly mind you, no wild and crazy trips to exotic locals or fabulous shopping sprees, just dinner out when we felt like it, very little forethought when grocery shopping and some rather self indulgent purchases for our home and personal hobbies.
While checking into our upcoming mortgage renewal, one thing became abundantly clear.
More money was going out than coming in. Much more . . .
Time to act like a grown up again. Time to tighten the belt and start bring in more money.
So . . . although it startles me as much as it might startle you, I'm going to be driving a school bus again!
My leg may be cancer free, but since the surgery it's not quite the same as it was. If I stand around for much more that an hour it starts to swell. Not a lot, but enough to be uncomfortable. If I go longer than that without putting my leg up for a while, it starts to hurt. Sitting at my desk and working on my computer it seems to pinch the muscle that was moved so I have to work in bits and starts there as well. I have to be very careful not to get any cuts or sores on my leg. With the majority of my lymph nodes gone, an infection would be a serious problem.
That lets out a lot of jobs, even assuming I would want a regular job, which, quite honestly I don't. I'm not ready to give up on any of my dreams yet, but they need more time to grow. And more money . . .
Enter bus driving. I've missed the kids, but not the cold, early mornings or climbing on the hood to hack at the frost/ice on the windows. Then it came to me! What if I skipped the early morning thing and went straight to the afternoon???
When we first started driving and we still had small kids at home, Henry drove in the morning and I drove in the afternoon. Aside from finding nap time a bit tricky I liked driving in the afternoon. I didn't even consider it a 'job'. It was just a regular part of my day. If you would have asked me if I was a working mother I would have said no. Henry and I shared the route until Jesse started grade one.
Driving twice? That's a job!
All of a sudden last week I thought. . . what if I went back to the beginning? What if I just drove in the afternoons? I would get my kid fix again, along with a regular dose of sunshine. I could also enjoy conversations with other women on a regular basis, something I miss being at home all the time.
Hmmm. . . Could it work???
I mulled it over and prayed . . . a lot . . .
Somehow, surprisingly to me, it felt right. I had always thought that going back to work would feel like I was going backwards.As though I had failed to achieve my dreams.
In actual fact though, I'm kind of excited about the whole thing. I'm wondering if the Dollar Store has any fun window clings and how John, who's driving in the mornings, will feel about me cluttering the bus up with all kinds of cute stuff. I'm hoping there are a few 5 and 6 year olds who like to chat. Maybe even some slightly (only slightly though!) mischievous, older boys who will keep me quietly chuckling at their antics.
So, starting next Tuesday, I'm going to be driving a school bus every afternoon. I'm hoping my leg won't mind. ;D and I'm feeling incredibly blessed that this option was open to me.
Yes indeed. Change is in the air.