I was happily chatting away to one of my bestie’s friends at her birthday drinks when she declared, “you are one of these career women aren’t you? I can tell!” I was not quite sure how to react to that. Was it a compliment, a reproach or just a statement? As I sipped my martini I wondered what exactly gave her this opinion of me within 5 minutes of us chatting. I was wearing a floaty black dress and a dainty flowery pink cardigan with some matching heels. Nothing I wore spelt career woman. We had not even spoken about work as I had been off work for a couple of months.
I started toying with this idea of whether she had defined my being. Was this me? Could one either be a career woman or a housewife? Was there no grey area? And in this era which one is more accepted?
I have voluntarily taken a few months off work as I felt I needed a change. After a few weeks off I started second guessing my decision. Was this the right choice? Had I made a mistake? Are my friends judging me or seeing me in a different life now that I’m not working? Was I perceived as being lazy? I guess these questions did support her views of me. I found myself with loads of time on my hand and no distraction as all my friends and family were at work. I realised very quickly and very sadly that the last three years of my life had been spent working during the day and just being exhausted on the couch in between travelling which was one of my passions. But what else? What were my hobbies now? How could I fill my time? I didn’t even know what activities would make me happy and I felt like I had lost my identity. How could that have happened?
With all this time on my hand I started thinking about my career. Was I doing the right job? What was the right job. Is there a dream job for me? I’m nearing the end of my time off and I can honestly say I have no answer to that. Then again I don’t think I’m the only one asking myself these questions. Surely the answer will come to me one day. So I pushed these thoughts to the back of mind and decided to listen to the advice of all the wise women in my life and started investing in myself.
My grandma once told me that it was a waste for able young women to stay at home and that such women did not get the chance to enjoy life to the fullest? After these few months I beg to differ. However I have to say that my brain has not been mentally challenged much. I had a flurry of activities dotted across my weeks which involved lunching with friends, watching cooking classes, trialling amazing dishes, going to the gym and giving barre core Pilates a go. I also was reigniting my love for reading. I also quickly realised the other benefits of staying at home. I no longer had to wait for weeks to find time with my hairdresser and I could avoid the busy periods at the nail salon. I finally saw how the other half lived and I could see myself getting used to it. I became a changed woman and honestly started loving being at home and understanding what made me happy. I actually even started enjoying doing chores. It made me view housewives in a whole new light and really opened my viewpoint. Maybe they had it all sorted in the 50s and they really knew what they were doing. If you are feeling a twinge of jealousy please don’t as I’m about to start my new job and I will soon be slaving away in front of the computer looking wistfully out the window (if one has the luxury of even having a window view) and counting the days to Friday. Gone will be the days where Sunday didn’t bring the dreaded feeling that Monday was coming. it’s with sadness that I realise that I won’t be able to do whatever I want and will need to go back to juggling. However this time I’ll be sure to make sure that my work does not become my life and that I balance my work with creativity, continue on my journey to achieve an amazing body and enjoy memorable experiences with my family.
I think that at different times of our lives, we might move between wanting to be a career woman and a domestic goddess. I think that the next time I’ll be able to spend endless days at home will be when I have a baby. Somehow I have this niggling feeling that time at home will not be the same and that work might become a haven of quiet and me time. Only time can tell….