It's no secret that I miss my previous job and the days when I had the option of telecommuting.
However, it has been a full two years since I was laid off and another year-and-a-half-plus since I've been working at my current job. Since then, I've kind of just been working just trying to get to that next vacation or even the next paycheck, not worrying about progress or the future or anything like that. Perhaps it was because I knew we'd be starting a family in the foreseeable future and didn't want to get myself into an unideal situation. Looking back, that was kind of an irrational way to approach things, but that's where I was, mentally. I knew that I'd have to face the whole family vs. career thing sooner or later, and with this week being my last before maternity leave, I find myself having mixed emotions about that.
Working during the pregnancy has been, well, rough. I was lucky that I wasn't running off to the toilet all the time... well, until the end, hah. Still, the exhaustion and nauseated feelings made it hard for me to concentrate. Plus, let's face it -- the prospect of having your first baby in itself is pretty distracting, anyway. It was a huge relief when I started telling people, just at the point when it couldn't really be hidden anymore. I wasn't wanting or expecting any special treatment, though there were days when I WISHED I could lay down just for a bit or have my car readily available to nap in during lunch. As I approach the end of my pregnancy, people have just been too kind in asking how I'm doing and all that. It's a little much, as an introverted person, for me to keep saying I'm doing okay when I feel steamrolled, but I think for a lot of people, it sort of brings back their own memories and a bond of some sort between us. I feel a little guilty that everyone has been so kind to me, even though I generally didn't want to come in at all. I'm pretty sure I am going to miss all these casual interactions when I am at home.
This is pretty much the last "normal" day I'll have. I have never been away from work longer than six working days, and now I'm about to do something completely different for the next few months. Months ago, I was undeniably looking forward to my last day at work. Originally, I thought I could work up until the end, but at some point, I realized there is definitely a reason pregnancy is legally considered a disability (holy discomforts! totally admire people who go longer!). As I got my away messages ready and backups trained, though, I started to feel a little sad, almost like I was leaving for good rather than just a long vacation of sorts.
Everything is about to change, and the next time I'll be coming in, I'll hopefully be physically normal again (a feeling I can barely remember) but will have a whole new home life to go home to each night. There will be no more sympathy or excuses, not like I wanted any, but still. I will have to balance my own ambitions, which sort of have been on hold during my pregnancy, with the needs of my evolving family. I think my feelings are a combination of nostalgia for how my daily routine was before pregnancy and the unknown of what is coming. I'm definitely ready for the new challenge of motherhood and excited to meet my little passenger... and finding that new daily routine and "new normal" I keep hearing about. At the moment, I don't know whether it'll be about picking up the pieces, going for my ambitions again, or simply a game of survival in 2015. I do know, though, that coming back will be difficult, but I'm sure it's the best decision for everyone.
As for how I'm going to be spending my time, well, assuming the baby stays put for a while, I hope to walk more in the Fall air, enjoy quiet time to myself, have weekday lunches with my friends, and get some last things done at my house (cleaning!) and my parents' house (packing!). Oh, and celebrate our anniversary, probably just us two, for now.