Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I Have It Made

I've been doing a bit of thinking lately. Re-positioning perhaps. You see, I've spent the last 4+ years taking care of other people. It being the primary objective every single day - all else in life set aside, or taking second.

Five years ago I was a single mother with two happy, healthy children... an office uptown on the square and a thriving local business. I had a new car, a nice apartment (with a great little home office), a cell phone on my ear... and I was steadily moving up my own little ladder in life.

Later that year my son became sick. You can read the whole story on this page: Christmas Eve 2000 (grab a kleenex - seriously). That night was just the beginning of a major turning point in our lives.

As the months wore on, I ended up taking my son out of public school and leaving the city for a remote family cabin on the lake. I closed my shop uptown, of course, and began working strictly from home... so that I could be with the children full-time and begin homeschooling them both.

I worked to support us. My career wasnt full of exciting goals and great achievements as it was before. Instead, it was something I still enjoyed very much - but now also a means (our only means) to put food on the table and maintain our low-key lifestyle.

As difficult as the situation was at the time, I look back now and see it as "fate" - or the most positive turning point in our lives. My son did finally get well again, and eventually stopped taking all of the medications. During that two years we had some wonderful times together as a family... did some traveling... truly bonded.

That phase ended and another began. My Grandmother, who lived in the neighboring county, was 90 and needing care & assistance. The children were ready to go back to public school by that time, and so we moved into town with Grandmother where we stayed while I cared for her for the next 2 years.

All along I worked from my home office, and I enjoyed my chosen career... but my time and my focus was very limited. When the time came for me to get a place of my own again, and begin living my OWN life - well, at first it was quite the transition. Slowly but surely I began to put the pieces back into place, work on my long term goals once again... and get back to business.

I would imagine that most of this was not obvious to the outside world, certainly not my clients and business peers. Sure I burned a few bridges along the way - purely due to lack of time, focus or energy - but for the most part I continued to make my appearances around the 'net and worked consistently (at least) towards building on the foundation I already had.

And now here I sit. Free, and with what seems like an unlimited amount of options. My Grandmother has good care across town (she is with her son now). My children are getting older (almost 9 & 14) and becoming very independent. Life is just EASY all of a sudden.

You know, Albert and I were watching a show the other night about a couple who won $63 million in the Lottery. It turned out to be a very sad show (to me, anyway) in a lot of ways... and left me thinking some pretty heavy thoughts.

I'm not much of a player - of the lottery, that is. I dont even know that I'm all that interested in being anywhere near "ridiculously wealthy". I've never been much on the get rich quick concept... and fortunately, Albert is a pretty down to earth easy-to-please guy himself.

He's self-employed too, so we get to hang out quite a bit. We're pretty lucky that way. We can take off one morning and stay gone to a nearby theme park all day... or hook up for lunch anytime we please.

We play darts. I grow plants. We cook, bake pies... go out for sushi. I have it made. Life is relatively easy and just kind of "go with the flow". I'm having a great time with my work right now too, and really happy to be back at it full time.

I dont have any regrets about where I might've been in my career by now had I not spent the last 4-5 years focusing elsewhere. Not one. Ironically, they were some of the best years yet. And here I am, still with my whole life ahead of me...

And I have options. If my family needs me, I'm here. If anything should come up, I can tend to it. I may not be "filthy rich" - and I may not ever - but if life is always the way that it is now, I'd be a mighty happy woman.

Not to say that I wont make my millions yet, mind you. But the point I suppose is to say that I find the absolute best perk to "working from home" being the FREEDOM over the money - any day.