The hardest thing I’ve had to do


The Hard Things

I’ve done lots of hard things in my life, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Physically, giving birth to three children is far from easy. Emotionally, dealing with multiple diagnoses for two of those children has been more than difficult.

And mentally, coming to terms with my stress-induced-episode-that-might-have-been-a-stroke was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do.

But I think the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is just around the corner.

A few weeks ago I posted this cryptic message on facebook:

Cryptic FB Message

I was cryptic at the time as I was still unsure of what it all meant. I still don’t know but I think I need to put it out there to try to come to terms with it and come to a decision. If I can.

On June 3, I submitted an expression of interest in a voluntary redundancy. This means that I may be offered one in the next month or so or I may not. It doesn’t mean that I am guaranteed an offer or that I am compelled to accept one if I do receive one.

It doesn’t mean a lot really, except that, for the first time ever, I am considering leaving all that I know and doing something completely different and completely unknown.

It’s scary and exciting at the same time. Not at all conducive if you have an easily upset stomach!

I am torn and I have been since the moment I submitted the expression of interest. Even if I do receive an offer, I may not accept it. It will largely depend on the package offered and how confident I feel that I will be able to find other employment.

Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of being able to afford to live off one income so I will have to draw an income somehow, down the track.

There are a lot of reasons why I am deliberating this right now. Undoubtedly, my stress-induced-episode-that-might-have-been-a-stroke has been a huge factor. I don’t want to be in that position again. I want to maintain my health – physical, mental and emotional. That is really important to me right now.

I also want to spend more time with my family and be more present. This has always been a problem. Working through the week means that  have lots of tasks to attend to on weekday afternoons and weekends which means that I am less available to my kids. I really want to stop being that mother that says “just wait a minute” 100 hundred times a day.

There’s a part of me whispering, “don’t leave a job that pays you well and that you really do enjoy – what are you thinking?” And yes, this is true. I do like my job and I am well-respected there. Why on earth should I even consider throwing that all away when I know I will need to keep working anyway? They have stuck by me and understand my circumstances – why start all over again from scratch?

And there’s another part of me insistently whispering, “you’ve spent half your working life with the one employer, are you too scared to take the plunge and try something new?” And yes, this is true too. Maybe it’s time to try something new. Time to work on other things close to my heart like helping kids with special needs. I do have another 30 years of my work life ahead of me (thanks Mr Hockey – not!) and I would like to use it to make a real difference.

And then there’s another part of me, screaming, rather than whispering, “either way you need to make a change. You need to de-stress. You need to find a balance for your family. You can’t go on believing things will change if YOU won’t change”.

And that’s truest of all. I have tried to cut back and work more hours on less days – being able to work from home has really helped me with that. I’ve tried to take time out for me by having a day a week away from work.

But I’m finding myself feeling the need to work at night and on the weekends to make up my hours. I’m feeling guilty when I can’t get everything finished and most nights I sit there unable to do anything productive (like blogging) as my mind is endlessly engaged with work issues.

Is that the way I want to continue to spend the next 30 years of my working life? Is that the way I’m going to avoid another brain meltdown?

But it’s not as easy as that. There are other things I would love to do but they require funds. Funds I am guaranteed on my current salary but may not have if I choose another path.

For instance, we would love to travel more as a family. Our trip to New Zealand in January gave us a tantalising glimpse into a life where we all thrived on sharing new experiences, even Gilbert. Either way we are planning on a 3 month sabbatical next year to travel further afield and I can’t wait.

But before then I have to make the hardest decision in my life. There is no doubt I need to change. But does my best chance of change and life happiness lie with staying with safety, security and the known? Or does it lie with embracing all the potential of an uncertain path with the risk of a happier life but equally risky financial future?

Either way, changing my life is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. By far.

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14 Responses

  1. Lydia C. Lee says:

    Good for you! You know what? Whatever the outcome you will make it work for the better…and I love the news that you are taking three months off to go travelling. That is the best news of all!!!
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..Watch me.

  2. It’s a tough one isn’t it? But if you feel as though you’re not being the person you want to be with your family then I think you know your answer. It must be so hard working out of the house with 3 children and with 2 who need more attention than most. Pretty cool you are going to take 3 months off, what an exciting thing to do, wish I could convince my hubby to do such a thing while the kids are young, but maybe it’ll be too hard because they are young. All the best with what comes your way, things will unfold as they are meant to and good luck with your decision lovely xx
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted..Why nice girls come first – Laugh Linkup

  3. Suzy Mac says:

    It is a tough call. I feel for you. But change is good. I’ve discovered through my life and several professional re-inventions of myself, that stepping out of your comfort zone (more like busting if it’s been a while), makes you so strong and resilient and in the end fearless. It opens your eyes to a new self and a discovery that you’ve probably underestimated yourself for years. follow your gut rather than your fear and you’ll do great.
    good luck :0)
    Suzy Mac recently posted..Let It Go

  4. oh wow. Either way, you are already so brave in nominating yourself. See that and congratulate yourself. The next step will reveal itself. Goodness! I cannot believe I have become, someone that says that!! But, truly, believe that whatever it is that you decide to do, it is the right decision for you and your family. Good luck, xS.
    Sarah from Creating Contentment recently posted..Dinosaur Adventures

  5. Suz says:

    The hardest thing I’ve tried lately is sitting through marriage counseling when Elvis has clearly already left the building. And whose idea was it? not mine :0)

    Don’t stress, look at the offer when it comes and if it’s a goodie – go for it girl. xo
    Suz recently posted..Tears

  6. What a massive decision. I was made redundant when I was on maternity leave with my first child 16 years ago now and haven’t looked back but I do crave a position that is full of security, pays well and is something that I love.

    I’m just popping in briefly and will be back later tonight to link up. I’m really enjoying my internet free time a little too much and still struggling to get back into the blogging on time scheme of things.
    Mystery Case helper recently posted..Show & Tell Saturday | Grace is the Word

  7. What a huge decision Kirsty. I don’t know what I’d do. I was petrified of going on maternity leave because I’m so used to working fulltime, for the first few weeks I kept thinking I needed to set my alarm clock for work or that I’d forgotten to go to work. I was so conflicted, but now months on I’m used to it and I can’t imagine going back so I extended my mat leave. I think everything is scary until you do it a few times. Not sure what you should do, but just keep in mind if you do leave your job it will be scary for a while but then at some point it will become the new normal.

    P.S – Im cheating this week and linking up the post about leaving my husband because it was also the hardest thing I’ve ever done as well as the biggest chance I’ve taken.
    Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted..The new little black dress

  8. This is a huge decision for you but you are absolutely right – your health needs to be your first priority. Go with your instincts on this one. xx

  9. Gawee says:

    Wow Kirsty – big decisions lovey. I too have put my hand up so we’ll see if I get an offer. My considerations are nothing compared to yours. Well lets face it, I’m OLD and there’s no kiddies to think about.

    We should catch up for lunch and have a debrief.

    G. xx
    Gawee recently posted..Tough call

  10. It’s no doubt that it’s a tough call. All the best with the decision!
    I’ve taken the change you are describing about 18mths ago. I was made redundant and decided to ditch the corporate life for a creative one. Currently I’m embarking on something that I really want to do, sure we are living only one income but life is much less stressful, and I get time with my boys.
    stephanie@stephsjoy recently posted..Tonsillectomy

  11. Zita says:

    That is big news and well done for taking that first step in applying. Exciting times ahead and I look forward to hearing more about your journey..
    Zita recently confess the hardest thing I’ve ever done

  12. That is a huge decision, Kirsty…I feel for you ♥ If only there was a crystal ball to gaze into, hey?! I suppose the safest bet is to wait to see what your offer is like, and then make the call from there…I always believe in trusting your intuition, but I am realistic to know that this doesn’t always pay the bills! Wishing you luck in your decision-making 🙂 P.S. I am sorry, only just made it back to your page now after I linked up this morning ~ had a crazy busy day! x
    Chantell@MissUnderstood recently posted..My four munchkins, my inspiration… ♥

  13. Tegan says:

    Wow what a huge decision. I hope that things work out for you!
    Tegan recently posted..Where are the suicide campaigns?

  1. June 23, 2014

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