This I Believe

Cindy - Scarsdale, New York
Entered on September 2, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

Is it true that real achievers have a hard-driving game plan from the get go? It’s a competitve, fast-moving world out there. But what if you decide on a bit of a zigzag and take break just after you’ve begun?

To be fair, my “break” was not really a rest. What I did was in a world where people are very much defined by their business cards, I gave mine up. I have a husband and three children and assorted cats. I’ve packed thousands of bag lunches and whipped up even more dinners. I do housework…badly. I do laundry constantly. I drive and drive and drive. I am a housewife. This was not what I expected to be.

I am, however, a believer in rhythms and timing. In my case I did what Cary Grant boldy did in the movie Holiday. If you haven’t seen it, Cary’s character wanted to stop and enjoy life first and work hard again later. This was a plan.

I worked in book publishing for many years and loved it. It gave me a sense of purpose, a sense of control, and some degree of respect.

My decision to give that up, to stay at home to raise my three sons was both selfless and selfish. Being at home and giving up my job meant I would have no extra help. It would be lonely not seeing people in an office every day. And yes, we would feel a serious financial pinch. Moreover, without a formal job I wasn’t quite sure who I was.

But for my boys? My feeling is that you can do many things with your life, but you can’t roll back time. If they wanted my company walking to school I’ve been there to do it. We read together a lot. If they were upset they knew where to find me. Being home meant that I didn’t have to create special moments with my children. Being home meant that I never knew when the next special moment would catch us all by surprise.

So my achievement to this point in my life is not attaining the corporate status I once aspired to. Rather I know I was brave enough to do what felt right for me when the moment presented itself. Anyone who’s being honest knows that achievement in life is more than can be scrawled on a resume.

So here we are. My children are older now, they don’t need me at home as much as they once did. They need the space to create their own lives, make their own decisions, make their own mistakes. It’s time for me to zig back and change my life once again. I embrace the zigzag.

As that winking sage, Fats Waller, once said, “One never knows, do one?” This I believe.