Monday, May 18, 2009

March BJP Complete

"Flight Delay"


This August it will be 7 years (!) since I stopped working as an executive at a large senior housing company and returned home to my nest. Jack was in first grade and I know it's cliche to say, but I can't believe how time has flown...

At the time, there were two main reasons driving my decision... the first, they were eliminating my job as I had known it and, the second, and most important at the time, I wanted to have another child. For two years prior, I had been in a fertility program trying to have another child. The heavy doses of hormones I was receiving plus the monthly emotional rollercoaster of hope and despair wasn't helping my mental state. So, I bailed. I needed a break. With both Jim and me working full-time, my frequent traveling and Jack being a young child -- I was not living the stress-free-lifestyle that was conducive to baby-making-love-making, if you know what I mean...


I had "unexplained fertility" and was a "poor responder" to treatment which led everyone taking care of me to say it was all related to stress. I just needed to "relax" and it would all happen. I was seeking treatment from anyone who I thought could help me...alternative practitioners, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and medical doctors -- They were all trying to help me relax and conceive -- But the reality was that I just needed to step down off that crazy treadmill which I had worked so hard to get to...and give myself a break.


If I really wanted to be honest with myself, I needed to make a paradigm shift in my life...

And so, 7 years later and no second baby to show for it, I'm still here in the nest taking care of the one child I am blessed to have. I miss my old job and the work I used to do. I had always loved my job, loved the company I worked for, and loved all the people I worked with...But as I've gotten further away -- I feel blessed to have had the experience and have begun to wonder if I will ever have another work experience to match that again? I begin to worry that I am becoming a little stuck here in my nest...


I won't go into all the benefits that both Jack, Jim and my family have experienced by my being here in my nest. Suffice it to say that our nest is stronger than ever and able to withstand many storms -- we're fortified now with love, and constancy, and routine. I absolutely see my "worth" here at home with Jack, especially now that he's going through that horribly-insecure time of adolescence when everything else is changing for him...it's nice that home is pretty constant. In fact, I think it's more important now for me to be here than when he was smaller. God (and the economy!) willing, I can see the benefit of staying at home until Jack goes to college.


And yes, I understand that this time is fleeting by and will be gone before I know it. In March, the cherry blossoms were blooming here in Baltimore which led me to think about the transience of life and how quickly time passes. How Jack will be grown and gone before I know it. And how, in this life, it is not what job I am doing at any one point in time, but that I've tried to live each moment as best I can...


But then, my anxieties creep in...If I'm really honest with myself, Jack won't be the only one leaving the nest in five years...I'll be leaving it too...moving onto my next "career" because I DO want to return to work. But maybe I can't wait five years? What if Jim loses his job, it would be better to have a back-up plan already underway... But then, I settle myself and have faith that I must be in the right place because it feels that way... it feels "right". And I can't help feeling rooted in this nest, surrounded by the people, the hobbies and the home that I love...

Will I be able to fly again when the time is right? Boy, I can really appreciate the fear that others experience associated with this new flight -- and I have never attributed those fears to myself before. But, they are there.

I'm not sure anymore where I should be flying and what I should be doing. I have been trying to live in the moment but remain unclear as to where all those moments are leading me?

Will I know when it's time to fly? Will I remember how?


For now, I just know that my flight is delayed.

Until further notice.

36 comments:

Carol said...

What a magnificent post. Your work is amazing, both in your creative thinking and your marvelous skill.

I heard every word you spoke in this post and even read between the lines.

I stayed home until my daughter started first grade. That was 1980 when the last recession that effected us significantly happened. Terry didn't work for 2 years and I returned to work out of necessity. When he returned to work, I was scared it would happen again and never quit work. I also had hoped for a second child that never happened. Terry worked midnights and was home during the day as Laurie grew.

Now I am pretty much raising my grandsons.

My advice from experience, though not asked for follows!

Stay at home as long as you possibly can. There are so many things out there today to undermind the values and morals that we teach our children. Even the best parents must be alert and if possible, be there to guide and advise.

If you need $$ before that college year, man, look back at your blog. You can surely supplement your family income with your talent.

And speaking as the wife of a man that has a degenerative disease, go back to work before you grow too old for those young bosses to think you are capable of being an asset to their company.

Whatever you do, you will know what is best when the time comes.

Fogedaboudit!

Lynn said...

Susan, thanks so much for your honesty and the insightful, creative way you can transform your feelings into a visual masterpiece.

It seems to me you are doing the right thing at the right moment in time.

I stepped off the "career" track after realizing my priorities were all out of whack. I have those doubts when I think what we could "have" if I had stayed in the corporate world. But I quickly put those materialistic thoughts out of my head and relish every memory of the field trips, volunteering etc. that I was able to do with my girls and their school. And now that my babes are all teenagers and seem to not 'need' me anymore, I still am home when they get home from school. I just know that small connection with me at the end of their school day will some day mean a lot to them.

My 14 year old asked me to find this one book she remembered was one of her favorites as a child. I knew right where my stash of keeper books were and as we went through the box reminiscing on the stories, she said something like "good times" and I realized that all the extra spending money in the world couldn't replace the memories she has of our story times together. Sweet.

Allison Ann Aller said...

This BJP is the most beautiful I have ever seen, bar none.

Not to mention the photography, and your writing...

Susan, whenever the time is right for you to fly, so many opportunities will come to you that the hard part will be choosing. But whichever direction you end up flying, I know you will totally excel, find joy, and bring the world and yourself so many amazing surprises.

And those nests--your home, and the bird's here--are AWESOME!

Ati. Norway. said...

I have first admired your beautiful work.The bird in its nest and the bead flowers are wonderful.When i read your story, I agree with the others who left a comment. Stay home with your teenage son as long as possible. It is so important for those teens that they always can come home and have someone to talk with. I was a 'stay at home mom' myself with small part time jobs and now my daughters are mothers themselves they say that it has been very important that I was there when they came home from school.

Anonymous said...

Oh My....
Such beauty!!
Thank you for sharing your beading, it is truely amazing!
Life is always changing,as soon as I feel I have a hold of my life, I discover some new challange that I must learn to deal with!
I wish you peace with your life choices, whatever they may be.

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

I too felt that being home with my children during their teens was very important!

Right now I also have my mother,88, living with us, the last child, 18, about to graduate and hop to college, the oldest going through a divorce with his 2 babes [he is getting custody] and the middle child growing daily with her own babe. I can't imagine what I would have missed and wished I hadn't. [i have missed enough, living with panic attacks]

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

oh, sorry, that sounded to selfish.

I think you have 9 nieces who are glad you stayed home too! Think of all you would have missed of them!!!

flyingbeader said...

This is probably one of the most gorgeous pieces I've seen for the BJP this year. Everything about it is superb & so unique. I see this really means so very much to you.

I myself don't have children, so I've always been in the workforce, but 4 years ago my spouse lost his job. He looked for 3 years until finally I told him, I'd keep working full time & he could retire. He is so much happier now & even is creating art. And me...I don't mind either as I really do have more time for myself as he does everything to the house inside & out. I think we find what makes us happy & that is the biggest reward in life
dot

paulahewitt said...

thanks for writing this. I have been out of the workforce ten years now, and our youngest will start school next year - the question is -do i get a job (part time in school hours if possible) or not. i can see even part time work creeping over into family time - an insidious creep into afte r school child care, and housework on weekends. BUT if i wait i will be out of the workforce 20 years...
i am thinking that they need me at home more, so i think my flight will be delayed too. lovely bjp of course!

Brenda said...

This is a beautiful post, to go with a beautiful page. Thank you for opening your heart to us.

verobirdie said...

A beautiful and moving post. Thanks for sharing your feelings with us.
I'd say you'll know if and when you need to leave the nest, and then you'll have the courage and skill to do it.
In the meantime, enjoy this time with your men. And with your creativity.

Cathy K said...

Oh Susan, as I read your post and drooled over your BJP, I was so glad I dropped in. First of all, I agree with Allie; your piece is the most beautiful beaded project I have ever seen, PERIOD. You are a gifted artist as well as a gifted writer. I applaud you for laying your thoughts out so clearly; it appears they echo not only my own, but those of so many other women.

I left the Corporate rat race two years ago, a victim of the slowing economy (I was a regional credit manager in a construction supply company). At first, staying at home made me feel like a fish out of water. There was no other work I wanted to do, but the jobs weren't there. As the weeks went by and I "decompressed", a new world of possibilities opened up. I revamped our budget, cut the financial apron strings to all our kids (we're empty nesters), and found the best part-time job at the local farm. I've had more time to be with family, read, and do my CQ and other art projects. More travel, more friends.

Like you, I may go back into the workforce as circumstances dictate. DH retires in 4 years, the house will be paid off, and I'll need health insurance. But opportunities will present themselves, and I'm confident I'll fly at that time if I need and want to. Right now, I'm loving the nest.

Thanks again for this great visual and thought-provoking feast! Big Hugs, Cathy

Tracey N. said...

OH MY GOODNESS! This is completely utterly stunning in every way! Your talent is amazing, truly amazing! I love each and every aspect of this piece. The colors, the composition, the techniques used, your eye for design is incredible. I am completely blown away! So much so that i couldnt read your words, I just sat staring at the pictures with my jaw in my lap! Gotta go back and read what you wrote now...lol!

Debra said...

I really don't think you have anything to worry about--all of your journal pieces could be framed and become the beginning of your art portfolio-with an art gallery opening. Then, you could have them photographed for a book with matching stories and poems to go with them--a best seller for sure. You are waaayyyy too creative and talented for the corporate world. Wayyy too . . . . and your work is so beautiful and meticulously done too.

TattingChic said...

Absolutely gorgeous! :)

anusha said...

hi susan, have always admired your work ,its beautiful,i would say its the reflection of your heart.
just wanted to say nothing can beat the feeling of having your parents with you, i've just resigned my job ,much as i love designing,it doesn't seem to work out ,but am lucky to have my mom ,dad & sister who are the pillars of my strength,though am still cluless on wat to do :),lotsa luv,anusha

Robin said...

If we saw Lady Bird's nest and egg prior to this post, I missed it in all the splendor of the bird. The nest is awesome, woven of so many materials and obviously so much love. OMG! I don't know how you can put so much in one small square of beading!

When the time is right you will fly true and strong. Like riding a bicycle, it comes back quickly. Or, as in my case, like learning to ride a new machine (faster, incredibly heavier and more dangerous - a powerful two wheel version of the bicycle), you'll just practice until you learn the required new flight patterns.

Hugs and congratulations on another magnificent BJP piece! Robin A.

robin michelle said...

I agree with the others - this is the most beautiful piece I've seen. I loved your explanation that went with it also. I disagree that your flight has been delayed though. I think you're flying now with the beading you're doing!

Chris said...

A beautiful work of art and a precious egg to care for.

I think Carol has summed up my thoughts quite well so I will just leave you with this...
Enjoy the journey. The future will become clearer as time passes. I see you teaching, passing on your talent and creativity to others. you inspire us.

beadbabe49 said...

Love both the piece and the great story that generated it...bravo!

morvoren said...

Dear Susan,
What a lovely bead/embroidered project..you never fail to amaze me.
We have 5 grown up children... a few years back one nearly died from rare illness, was a miricle she pulled through only 1 in 6.000 survive...she lay ill for month's on end was touch and go ( heartbreak) each visit wondering if she would last out...and on every visit when she was lucid enough to talk..always said ''What a wonderful childhood you gave me''....... never shall I forget her words as long as I live,this was her ongoing thoughts'' HOW Glad I /we were there for her childhood as you are.
Although its what feels right for you. Just thought I would share these thoughts as you have been so open and honest yourself.
Its a pleasure to know you....and you will be good at whatever you decide to do!
Big hugs Pam

Judy S. said...

Hi Susan,
Love your new header and that it makes it possible for us all to enjoy your beading project for a while longer. Your journal is exquisite down to the last little detail, and as you can also see your forthright post engendered a big response because it touched a chord in each of us who read it. Your talent and skill seem to be growing daily, and like the others I am certain you will fly when the time is right. Your son will always remember that you gave him a precious gift, your time and your love. Thanks for posting.

coral-seas said...

Oh Susan, beautiful, simply stunning. I love your art and all it conveys and then I read your words and appreciate it 10 fold.

Flight delayed? I think you are soaring, and every one around you is enjoying the ride.

Lisa said...

What a feast for the eyes! The depth and texture of this piece and the variety of techniques used make Lady Bird sing! Stunning!

Enjoy this time with Jack. As he moves into his teen years, he'll need you more than ever. I was a single/divorced parent to 4, working three jobs to make ends meet when my kids asked me to not work so much so that I could be home more for them. It was worth every stretched penny and I only wish I could have given them even more of my time.

When the time comes for you to return to work, I have no doubt that you will soar to new heights! I was 46 when I returned to school and got my nursing degree. Life is full of so many possibilties! Isn't it a wonderful thing?

freebird said...

Stunning! You've put a lot of care into your nest and bird and all the surroundings to them.

There are all kinds of jobs and some of them even pay in money. There is a certain freedom to staying home - one I won't trade away unless I am starving and I know how to eat cheap! But some people like to be with people and have something scheduled to do each day. You'll decide someday - there isn't any rush is there? And once you do decide and if you get that job - if you don't like it after all remember there is nothing making you stay there either.

Bear said...

wow Susan
I can see a writing career ahead for you, and if it should be that you find yourself writing from home and doing a book on your magnificent artworks I wouldnt be at all surprised.
I read the words first, then I read the emotions behind them and then I looked at the piece of beautiful artwork you had produced to explain those feelings and the emotion came straight into my heart.
Susan your next working experience could still see you in your home and caring for your nest. I hope that you will find that for which you seek but for me I think you have it already in you and its all there waiting for you to catch up and realize exactly what you will be doing -Next in the nest or of the nest wherever it is Susan -Listen to your words and your emotions its there believe me its there
Love n hugs bear xoxoxoxox

Marty52 said...

Both the project and the post are stunning, Susan. You are flying high now in your creative life, no need to wait!

pam T said...

First of all - gorgeously stunning page!!!! WOW!

Second, you ARE incredibly talented and could find some way to be creatively and monetarily fulfilled in the future! Your words and skills always fill my soul, and others too, by the comments above.
Whatever happens in the future is not to worry about right now though. For now, you know you can stay home in your nest and when you need to fly, you will, because we women always do what we need to do when we need to do it. It's that simple, I think.

Vicki W said...

Flight Delay is absolutely stunning! I love all of your work but this has to be my favorite so far! Great post all around. I've got no words of advice. I am approaching 49 and have been in the corporate world since college. I don't have kids but I am contemplating how to leave the corporate world. I feel like I've done all I can there.

Wanda said...

I left my high-stress job two years ago when I realized that if I didn't, I'd have a nervous breakdown or worse. Or had it already begun and I was lucky enough to get out before it got the best of me? I don't know and I don't care.

May you trust that you are
exactly where you are meant to be.

Your piece is...wow...how to put it in words. It is so personal and it is a mirror to who you are. It is wonderful

CC said...

Hi, Susan!
Wow...I'm almost alway afraid to look at your blog 'cuz I know I'm gonna cry! And I did again! You do such wonderful work, & speak so truly from your heart that it touches something in all of us. Thank you so much for sharing! You are a gift!
Warmest aloha,
CC

Cindy said...

This is beautiful. Your flowers are gorgeous!

Heather J. said...

I’ve had this post sitting in my Google Reader for a while now and I keep marking it as unread so I can look at it a while longer. I guess it is finally time to post my thoughts, huh?

First, this BJP is simply gorgeous. I love the colors but mostly I love the texture. Looking at it reminds me of being a child and running my fingers over beaded embroidery on something belonging to my mother or grandmother, just sliding my fingers back and forth to feel the bumpy smoothness of the beads. That’s something I hadn’t thought about in many, many years.

Second, it is strange how similar our lives in are some ways. You’ve been home for 7 years, I’ve been a mom for 7 years. I was home with Kiddo for the first 5 and went back to work when he started Kindergarten (and Hubby could stay home with him). Like you, I long for the life I gave up while still appreciating the life I have now.

And the infertility issues … girl, don’t get me started. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt (um, I mean scars) to prove it. And despite all the heartaches of not being able to have another child, our family of three seems like everything is was ever meant to be, and in a very good way.

So here’s three cheers to delayed flights and comfortable, consistent nesting patterns … and enjoying every minute of the life we were given.

Hélène H said...

This is a beautiful piece.

sue said...

抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信社,徵信,主機代管,虛擬主機,專屬主機,實體主機,獨立主機,網域申請,網頁空間,推薦虛擬主機,網域,網域註冊

Dees said...

Dear Susan, I only now read this post and are touched by the way you have opened yourself up to flow with time. You have really listened to yourself and I admire that in you! Right now I have to make a "paradigm shift" myself and am still having cold feet...
Maybe what you have given yourself is bigger than a second child, I can feel the love that binds your family in your words and work.
Thank you so much for sharing your life lesson.

Related Posts with Thumbnails