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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and I write a monthly humour/sewing column for the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=barbara+emodi&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abarbara+emodi

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time and spare time

A cycle in my life ended last night. I was offered a big job, one that sounds very good and would require non-stop commitment for the next four years and I turned it down. It would have meant giving up every thing else I do and this means teaching, time with my family, sewing of course and most importantly it would compromise my time with DD when she has her first baby and time to help her after her year's mat leave when she goes back to work less than full-time.

In some ways it was not an easy decision. I am all for doing all you can with yourself and I think older women have to step up and show they can do it. And it would be an exciting job. But I am also old enough to know that all that glitters is not gold, that there is such as thing as enough money, and that once you walk away from those big jobs no one remembers you anyway after you have gone. This October my 81 year old mother is coming down to stay with my daughter and help with the first great-grandchild. I would miss that.

So I came home and did something I never do, I poured a glass of wine and went to bed and just sat there in the dark thinking.

And it's not that I have nothing else going on. I have wonderful students and a great relationship with them. I have new courses I am developing and when my DD calls on a day off and wants to walk the dogs to the park I can go and we walk around and talk about cloth diapers.

As my mother said to me last night, sagely, you are lucky to have a daughter who is close to you and wants you with her.

The funny thing is that walking away from this is giving me energy to put a lot into the rest of my life and work. I feel like to justify this I have to do an excellent job with what I do.

The thing with decisions is that you take your best shot and never really know until later if it was the best thing. Will I say one day that I am glad I didn't take that job, that there was a reason? You never know, life isn't like that. I just feel in my gut that there is no good reason to spend the next four summers of my life inside an office or stuck to a cell phone.

Yesterday I read an obit in the paper of a very prominent lawyer I knew. Extremely successful. The obit talked about his career and about something that his family knew and I didn't. That he studied and loved literature in university, that he loved France and that in his later years he and his wife went to Paris every April.

We had mutual friends and I remember talking to him at a party. I asked him about the law and he said to me that the thing was he hated the law and didn't like practicing it, regretted that his son was also a lawyer.

It's a balance isn't it? Doing enough with your life but not giving too much of yourself up in the process. And like all balances I am sure that it requires fairly constant readjusting.

6 comments:

Karen said...

Very well said. I agree completely with your Mom about being lucky that your daughter wants to spend time with you and I also believe you will never regret your decision turning down the new position to be with the new grandbaby....priceless.
Karen

Melodye said...

This is my first time to you blog and as an older woman (55), your post really hits home. I have come to know that any time invested in your family pays real dividends. You never know what's down the road. A better job opportunity may come when you're able to accept it. But you will never regret the time you spend with your daughter, new grandchild and your mother. Enjoy it.

Sewfast said...

Very well said Barbara and timely for me. I have been struggling with the balance as well and I don't feel as alone now. Thank you.

gwensews said...

I'm in the middle years also. My focus has changed. All the things I once thought were so terribly important, now don't matter at all. For me--my family, my little grandsons--are what matters. Everything else is secondary. You know in your heart you made the right decision.

gwensews said...

I'm in the middle years also. My focus has changed. All the things I once thought were so terribly important, now don't matter at all. For me--my family, my little grandsons--are what matters. Everything else is secondary. You know in your heart you made the right decision.

laura said...

Smart decision. If you were 25... then I'd say go for it. Just because you were offered a 'big' job doesn't mean it's a 'better' job. I'm 49 and after 31 years of office life, I've exchanged paperwork for mop work. I'm now cleaning houses and I love it. I don't think you'll regret your decision and I bet if you'd taken that job you'd be kicking yourself within a few months.