Once upon a time I was a young professional in upper management. I was even a young professional mother for a time. Then one day I walked away from that office and all its trappings (though really it was a small company, so not so many trappings). I started my own consulting business. I called my own part-time hours and focused on my family.
Most days I love that choice.
But some days I resent it.
I wake up and 90% of the time put on some form of workout clothing; attempt to make my hair look like I don’t have bed head; take my kids to school and go exercise and run errands. (Yes, I run errands in my sweaty workout clothes with my messy hair because I’m klassy like that.) But some days I miss getting up and putting on nice clothes with fancy shoes. I miss wearing make-up and leaving the house looking put-together. I miss having a job that lets me afford nice clothes and fancy shoes.
I spend my day bouncing between work projects and kid-related projects. I volunteer at school and at church. I run all the household errands. I write lots of copy and manage various websites. I do laundry and a respectable job of keeping the house clean. But some days I miss having an office – a real office, with a door and a dedicated phone line. An office that I can work in uninterrupted and without distraction. An office I can leave behind at the end of the day.
I miss grabbing a Diet Coke or cup of tea on my way to work. I miss setting lunch meetings. I miss managing people.
But you know what I never miss? Good morning hugs. Walks to school. The bursting through the door that only happens at the end of the school day. I never miss trips to the beach or reading to my son before school or being able to look up from my desk and see my children running past. I never miss them because I’m here.
It has its moments this choosing to work from home. And it’s true, *sometimes* I resent the “grown up” I used to be. But mostly? *Mostly* I am thankful for this path I’ve chosen.
Last week I laughed out loud reading a comic. The punchline was somewhat subtle but played on the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken.” My children asked what was so funny and I tried to explain it to them, which of course meant explaining the poem. I think they understood the premise… I haven’t been able to get these lines out of my head though because in some ways, it is the story of my life (emphasis my own):
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.