This morning, as I dropped my 11 year old son to school, he told me how excited he was to go on a field trip today. I asked him “why,” and he said that he “had not been on a field trip in a while.” Although we only live half a mile from his school, I drove him since he only had ten minutes to get to his class. As we pulled up, the car pool line was all the way out of the gate, maybe ten to fifteen cars deep, so I asked him if he wanted to jump out and just walk the rest of the way. He said “no.” So we stopped and go-ed through the whole line until we made it to the front of his class. I kissed him good-bye and realized that these were the last few days of fifth grade, the last few days of elementary school, and maybe the last year of school where he is not too embarrassed to give me a kiss before he gets out the car on the way to school.
As I drove off, the time I shared with my son through the past six school years flashed through mind. I could not shake the memory of missing my son’s first day of kindergarten. Despite the fact that this was almost six years ago, I still feel mom guilt. I gave up the opportunity to take my son to his first day of elementary school for a chance at a dream job. This is something that I have yet to forgive myself for. My family tried to console me with the fact that I would be doing this so my son would have a better future. Still, this did not make me feel any better. I was 1,500 miles away while my son experienced his first two months of school. I was missing out on small conversations before and after school, making him an afternoon snack, and tucking him in bed at night. And it was all for my dream job.
So as I drove off today, and continued to think of all I sacrificed for a so-called better life, I’m stumped with the question, “was it all worth it?”
I listened to an awesome sermon the other day that was based on the scripture in Luke 10, where Martha was cooking, cleaning, and preparing her home for Jesus who was in another room with Mary, her sister. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to everything He had to say. Frustrated, Martha approached Jesus and asked Him, “why don’t you tell Mary to come help me?” Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
After listening to that sermon, I had an ‘AH-HA’ moment. I began to have so many questions that I could not answer: Why am I chasing the wind while I am missing precious moments with my family? Wasn’t the reason I took on this career to better my family? Sure, we have more money, and a LOT more things, but I have far less time with the people that matter most to me. And this blog, that I’ve dreamed of creating, and finally took the leap and just did it, will I ever have the time to maintain it the way I want to? Who knew I had a passion of writing until I finally had TIME during maternity leave to sit down and journal. Yes, we have enough money to make payments on our car and house notes, all our bills are paid on time, heck, we even are able to give 10 percent of our paycheck to our local church, but at what cost?
The cost is our time. The funny thing is, time as a currency can never be replaced. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Money, however can always be made. You may lose some in the stock market, gambling, or from theft, but it can always be replaced.
I now realize I do not want to be Martha. I want to be Mary. I want to be physically, mentally, and emotionally present for my family and friends. I’m ready for change.
-To be continued…