Something I love about February is how the cold air seems to bring with it the first hints of spring, the scent of freshness, and somehow the tingling feel of change.
For all it’s shortness, February can seem to last for years, and then suddenly, skitter away and be gone in the blink of an eye. One moment there are green shoots cautiously poking their way through the cold ground, and a heartbeat later, there are golden daffodils everywhere.
But before the daffodils, the crocuses, and before those of course, the snowdrops. They all unfurl like a procession, each change heralding the next, the same as every year, and special and different in their own way.
And so this year, the scent of change on the February breezes is stronger than usual. It feels like nothing will ever be the same again, and yet the changes will soon become familiar, and it will be as though this always was in no time at all, I am sure.
I am sure I have mentioned before, but we will be leaving our home soon, and off to live in another – as yet unknown. We are on the first floor and although our dear little flat is larger than our old one, it only has one bedroom, and we really need another for our little May baby. We were seven years in our last flat, three in this one. It somehow feels like longer, but in a good way. We are so conveniently located, it makes me a little worried that we won’t find anything else as nice, or close to the city centre while keeping a feeling of not being in a city at all (although we surely must be one of the, if not the smallest cities there are in England!). This weekend we will start our search properly.
We are not the only ones spreading our wings. My little brother (all six foot whatever and twenty six years of him!) sent me a facebook message last night to casually mention, as is his laid-back way, that he happened to have moved out of home that day, and into a shared house in Mile End. That is Rob all over – hopping off to Spain or Iceland or America is little more to him than getting the bus to the next town, so to go from living at home Thursday to moving out on Friday is really only to be expected. And while I am happy for him, I did cry last night, because that is it now, the last of us have left home. It was easier for us girls, as we were always leaving at least one behind us. And now Mum is on her own with Dad, and Dad is still requires full time care since the stroke, and if we are being honest, has never been the greatest conversationalist. He is quiet, that is his way. But I think having Rob at home has been so good for Mum, someone to talk to, to watch a film with, he passes her over his latest bottle of fruit cider to try. She is pleased he is spreading his wings, but at the same time, I know she will miss him. She misses us all of course, but never has there before been nobody left.
Carl of course pointed out that it won’t be long before I am on maternity leave, and have more time to spend with her, and then of course, there will our baby, and although all of us have moved out of home, it is not often more than a few weeks before one or more of us has popped back for a visit. But still, change, and this time, so sudden.
Maternity leave – it is pressing closer, and I have to say I cannot wait. My work is busy, it fills my mind and leaves me with little room for other things. I do not sleep well, and when I wake, I am often thinking about a problem at work that I need to solve. I want my mind to be still so I can think about the baby, think about our new home, our new life, make plans…but it is not often still. Sometimes I can hardly imagine what it will be like, when I don’t have work to fill my mind with any more. Who will I be? We will see…
Because you see, when I go on Maternity Leave, it will be a bit more final than having six months or a year out, and then splitting myself into two, to step back into my work life, while still being a wife and mother. When I walk out of the office for the last time in April, I won’t be going back. I am going to be a full time wife and mother. Even typing out those words, it hardly seems real. I am beyond happy – it is something I have wanted for a long, long time. But I have worked since I was 14 and never known a day without at least one job, at one point, three.
I am not silly enough to think that being a mother and running our home won’t be work, I know it will be. Too many friends with babies of their own have made jokes about sleepless nights and washing machines that are perpetually running for me to think I shall be at leisure. But it does feel odd, how quickly and quietly it was accomplished, something that will change my life so utterly.
My plan is to spend a year in the home, and then look for a part time job, but what that will be, I do not know. It feels exciting and terrifying in equal measure, to suddenly have so much choice. I have a book that a friend lent me, called ‘I Could Do Anything I Wanted, If Only I Could Figure Out What That Was’. I received an email newsletter the other day called ‘How To Turn Your Dreams Into Reality’ and I thought – well then, I had better remember what my dreams are. My gaze falls on a framed card that must soon go back to it’s owner, after a lengthy visit with me. It reads ‘the best way to your future is to create it’. It sounds to me like the universe is trying to tell me something!