Saturday, September 15, 2012

Working After the Nest is Empty

Even though I've come to appreciate certain aspects of living in an empty nest--the quiet, the free time, redecorating, new projects, the ability to do what I want when I want, etc.--- I am still not using my time wisely. As a matter of fact, a good bit of all that free time was being wasted.

Not to worry, I've discovered how to fix this problem.I got a job.

I was a SAHM for about 22 years. I started working as an interventionist at the elementary school the lovelies attended for 4 years (until funding ran out) and then found myself back at home. But no lovelies were here as they were all out doing their own grown-up living. So those first three years of the empty nest were spent floundering and misusing precious time.

Yesterday marked the end of my first week back at school after three years. This time, I will be in the computer lab and I'm really looking forward to it (after all this MAP testing is over and done with). I probably should have considered doing this before now.

Here's why:
  • I use every second of my days to the fullest when I am working probably because my time at home is now limited-though not that much. Now, I get up and get moving and get things done whereas before, my mindset was something along the lines of having plenty of time to do things which led to never getting anything done at all.
  • I feel better and don't spend time wondering what to do or sitting in front of the television.
  • I feel energized from being around people I love and those marvelous students.
  • I feel challenged because what the hell do I know about teaching computer I am learning about new things.  
  • I don't dwell on negative/sad/depressing/etc. things because there's no idle time for that anymore.
  • My mood is always good because you just can't help it when you're around positive people and happy kids and then come home to two dogs who make you feel so loved.
  • It's very helpful with finding and keeping my mindfulness. 
These are all good things. Yes, I'm pretty dang tired after my first week. But that's to be expected. It's really busy right now with the testing and I have to get up and hit the ground moving because I still have to walk the dogs before I head out. Which means we're out there before the sun because, in order to get all the computers set up for testing, I have to be at school before the sun is up. That's fine though because the heat and humidity aren't as bad at that time and neither are the mosquitoes. Blasted things.

And let's not forget the financial aspect of this whole job thing. When one chooses to stay at home and raise the kids, one gives up any means of  financial independence. I wouldn't change my mind about staying home with the lovelies but I have to admit it is nice to know that I will have my own money.

So, if it came down to a vote as to whether or not taking a job when the nest becomes empty, I would definitely vote YES. No matter if it's returning to a previous job or getting a new job or getting a job for the very first time. I say, GO FOR IT!

What was/is the best job you've ever had? And you can't say raising your kids because those of us who have done it know how great that is! :)


  1. Best job? Without counting all the side effects of having a job without a decent pay, decent benefits, decent hours etc., being a veterinary nurse was the best job I have had. Maybe I should say most rewarding, though it was a lot of hard work for little or no money. I think it's great you're going back to work, I wish I had you in my computer lab....but I think we would end up getting very little accomplished with all the chatting etc. :)

  2. My best job was in a loan dept. at a bank. But the one I have now is good too. It's part time and leaves me enough free time to do my stuff at home too, yet I get to earn some spending money...which is always good. Do you work full time or part time? Sound like a great place to work with lots of new people. All the best Pam!

  3. Gail- Thank you!

    Alessandra- Oh I am certain that we would get nothing accomplished if we worked in the same place! Well, other than solving all the world's problems, right? LOL So you went from no money as a vet nurse to no money as a teacher? Interesting...:)

    Betty- I work 32 hours/week. So not part time really but not a full 40 hours either. Maybe I'm partly full time? LOL I like that I am home by 2:30 every day. That's really nice. Thanks!

  4. Sounds like you are so happy, that is great :)

    I enjoyed teaching!

  5. Every job I've ever had was the best except for the work I was actually trained to do: teach. Each had its great moments and it's not-so-great. The one I enjoyed the most was as a buyer for a chain of record stores. It was probably the most challenging and I met the most fascinating people.

  6. Lucy- So far, I am. But then, it's only been one week. LOL

    Stephanie- I haven't had a job since before Breezy was born and she's 27! Well, except for that three years as an interventionist. I love being around little kids- they are so cute and loving and enjoy learning! They're inspirational! I bet you did meet some fascinating people working as a buyer for a record store---you should tell us all about that in a post!

  7. I am glad you found so many nice things to say about working. That is good. To answer your question about best job? When I was a teenager and totally crazy about horses. I had a job as a exercise girl. I rode 8 horses a day. I cleaned the stalls and took care of them and brushed and curry combed them. I was in heaven. I had to work really hard after school to get all of my work done, but by far it was my favorite job.
    Though I was a house keeper for a while when my kids were small and I really enjoyed cleaning other peoples houses. Weird I know but I thought it was fun. Have a nice weekend.

  8. Kim- Breezy would have loved that job too! She was a horse fanatic when she was growing up. She rode every chance she got and even went to horseback riding camp one summer. She loved it! I love horses too but I prefer a cleaner job. LOL

  9. My best job would be a toss up between two. One was an after hours bar, where I was the barmaid. It was only open Friday and Saturday nights, but paid me the most of any of my jobs and was actually a blast.
    The other was as a book editor. I worked for a small publisher which had the manuscripts mailed to my home where I worked on them on my schedule which allowed me to still do the things I needed with my children.

  10. First time commenting on your blog; been enjoying reading some of your entries. Good for you going into the workforce; sounds like a good position to be working at too. My sister is facing her first several weeks of being an empty nester with her second of two kids going off to college this year, she's having a bit of a time adjusting, but I know she'll eventually adapt. I adapted to my empty nest and then one of them came back for live for several years; he moved out again for a year and then came back this past January.

    Best job I had was when I was doing medical transcription from home, working independently. I could set my own hours as long as I got the work back within 24 hours so I could work around the kids' schedule and earn some extra money. Did love being able to stop and put dinner on or a load of clothes in the washer, etc. Still work at home but work for a national company so I need to clock in and out and keep a schedule.

    Hope you are enjoying your weekend :)


  11. I hear ya on the staying home and floundering thing. I did it all summer. Just couldn't get off the couch. But you raised your family, and clearly your lovelies are...well, lovely! Obviously! You deserved the lounging and now you deserve the intellectual stimulation of interacting with others! Plus I find, the more I do, the more I want to do.

  12. I've only ever had a job teaching and I absolutely loved it. I've taught elementary, middle, and high school in the States and I now teach in college in Kuwait. Each age group presented their particular challenges as well as perks. I wouldn't give it up for anything :) Glad you're enjoying it!

  13. So glad you're enjoying your work. When I first read SAHM, for some reason I saw 'SHAM.' I thought, 'Poor Pam. She feels like she was a sham.' It's early, Pam. Don't mind me. lol ANYway, my favorite job was the 21 years I homeschooled our kids. We had a lot of fun, did lots of work, and had great field trips to battlefields and museums all over the place. Having the grandkids with us for [actually 15] days made me really miss having kids around. Love it that you're back with the kids. Isn't it a fun place to be!

  14. living- I think I would have loved either of those jobs! It’s great to have a job that doesn’t seem like work!

    betty- It’s definitely an adjustment. It took me three years to really begin to see and appreciate the good parts about it. We have one who came back at the end of May but she’s heading out the first of November—we were just a temporary stop. I’ve really enjoyed having her here though. My
    BFF is doing the very same job right now! She loves it too! She likes being able to stay at home but still has a schedule to keep on track- her daughter is getting married in April so she’s glad to be home to take care of details. So glad you stopped by and commented! Hope your sister adjusts quicker than I did!

    Sandra-It’s so true- the more I do, the more I want to do too! Strange how that works. Thanks for the compliment about the lovelies!

    Plum- Theirs is no way I’d attempt to teach anything over elementary. Except, maybe college. But NEVER middle or high school. Heck no. LOL Was either of the ages your favorite?

    Judy- SHAM---LOL! You’re such a riot! I totally understand about early morning brain. I homeschooled Birdie and DoodleBug for 5 years and I really enjoyed it too! It was such fun and they learned so much. When they got to high school, they had already read everything on the honors and AP lists! So funny.

  15. Good for YOU! And working in/with kids and computers...what could top that?!...:)JP


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