Something I have mused on from time to time is the unexpected things that can happen in a day which starts normally. Yesterday was such a day, the kind where the winds of change pick you up, swirl you round, turn your world on it’s head, and set you back down in a completely new place.
I am still not ready to go into details, but yesterday I was signed off of work until my maternity leave starts. And 23 days into my maternity leave, I will become (voluntarily) redundant.
Both of which are good things…it is a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, and although I knew I was going on maternity leave in May, I am finding it a rather sudden adjustment.
I have not been tied emotionally to this job in the same way I was to libraries (incidentally, I officially leave libraries tomorrow!) but even so, suddenly I think ‘what am I?’. If someone asks me what I do…right now, I don’t know. In May I will be a full time wife and mother. But for now…I don’t know.
I can’t quite get to grips with the ideas of weekends not necessarily having the same feel anymore. Of not having somewhere to be at 9:00. Suddenly, being free.
Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful, and I really need this time off, but the sudden changing of hats is just a bit difficult to get to grips with. I chose to change my library hat for a PA hat, and I loved it in a different way but almost as much. Besides, you never really leave the library. Changing my PA hat for my Office Manager hat was more circumstance than intention, and it never really quite fitted as well as it might. I have long been coveting my Motherhood Hat, and can’t wait to put it on. But today, it feels like I have suddenly tugged off the Office Manager hat, scattering hair pins and leaving me with mussy hat-hair. And I don’t quite know which hat to wear until it is time to take the Motherhood hat out and put it on.
Such wise words from friends, though. I am so blessed, both with my blog friends who visit me here, and my ‘real life’ friends too. When I said to one that I felt like a cat who has been let out of their travel carrier, and rather than bolting out, was sitting poking their head around the door, she replied ‘who said you have to bolt anywhere? Have a gentle nap and take it at your own pace, relax into your new life’.
Wise, wise words. Although things are really going to be alright, I have had a tough few weeks, and my friends have been like sticking plasters for the soul. Little text messages to let me know they are thinking of me. Invitations to lunch, the most wonderful lentil soup….
One thing that I am relishing is having time to cook, or as Carl put it ‘fall in love with cooking again’. For quite a while now, I have been home late in the evening, and without any energy or enthusiasm left to cook. Having time to plan a dinner, get the ingredients, and have it ready to serve not long after Carl is home from work is just lovely. Tonight I kept things really simple, with poached salmon, steamed carrots and peas. I served alongside it new potatoes that I roughly crushed, and stirred in some finely chopped spring onions, a squeeze of lemon juice, some creme fraiche and of all things, some Dairylea cheese. It was really nice, and something that will be making an appearance again before long, I think. If I had made extra, the potato mix was the kind that you could have stirred some fish into and made fishcakes with.
On the reading front, I have just finished Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen. Slightly different in feel to her previous novels, but really enjoyable. It still had a healthy touch of whimsy, but felt slightly more grounded in reality than her previous stories. If you are new to her, I would start with The Girl Who Chased The Moon. I love how her stories gently sweep you up and into them. In this one, after her husband dies, Kate returns to the Lake where she spent a happy childhood summer, taking her daughter with her. The little resort is run by her great-aunt, but her great-aunt is selling it. There is a mysterious alligator, relationships to be healed, the ghost of a lover, and a sinister property developer. I was sorry to reach the end!