There I was, lying on a blanket in the grass, the sun shining in a blue sky, the boys playing, laughing, crawling all over me. Next to me, the little stream murmuring. A soft breeze carrying blossomy scents. And I realized: this might just be the happiest time of my life.
Easter found us at my sister’s, enjoying the wonderful weather, eating amazing food she prepared in honour of my birthday (and she is the best cook ever). There was laughter, sunshine and good talks, in her beautiful garden.
Sometimes, there are these moments of clarity, where you realize just how lucky you actually are. At the moment, both Leander and I are at home, caring for our sons. He is working on his book that he’ll publish in autumn, I’m correcting the texts and do some proofreading. Both of us are able to use our time as we see fit, doing what we love. It is nothing that will last – parental leave is only paid for the first year of the child – but this knowledge makes me just enjoy these times more. Yes, we have less money than before but we have so much more joy. I wouldn’t want to miss this time with my babies for the world.
One thing that keeps eating away at me though, despite my best efforts to not overthink it, is the knowledge that I have to go back to my job at the end of the year. The more I am with my children and at home, working in my pace, in my space, in my time, the more I realize how not happy going to work there makes me. It’s not that it makes me really “unhappy” but just take the fact that despite having slept so little as never before I haven’t been sick in months. And I always was sick every few weeks, maybe only a cold, but my body was obviously trying to tell me something. I took my sweet time but I realized: I have to change something. Working on doing what I love, being able to live off it. It’s not that I need to change everything about me or my work, but some things. Milla wrote a beautiful post about happiness, including a paragraph about work that totally spoke to me:
…but in the end, building something that will feed us, or making money that will shelter us, buy us time for those pursuits should also fill me with happiness. Not the blissful joy-kind. The steady, sweaty, job-well-done, we’ll-be-sleeping-sound-tonight-kind.
And this is what needs to change: a set of mind, a knowing that my work will make us happy, maybe not in this exact moment but in general. It will help us pay our bills, buy a house, build the life we want. I will still look for work that does more for me than my current job but maybe it doesn’t need to be the perfect dream job to make me happy. I know one thing: I won’t ever work again full-time. The time I get to spend with my family is worth so much more than the 150€ or so that two workdays more will get me.