I drafted most of this in the little notebook I carry in my purse while I was sitting in the waiting room at the dentist office this morning ...
Every now and then I surprise myself. Quitting work a year ago was one of those times. And, actually, there have been several moments of surprise the past year as I reflect on just how satisfied I am with that decision.
I'd given a month notice, so after making the decision in early August, I was more than ready to be home when mid-September arrived. I remember sitting in a Murray State Board of Regents meeting on Sept. 14, 2007, and having these bittersweet feelings: I'm really going to miss being out and about in the community, informing people of what is newsworthy. But have you seen my daughter? I can't imagine anything being any better than being with her.
So, here's the truth, 365 days later: There has not been one day I wished I still worked at the Murray Ledger & Times. Seriously, not once have I wondered if I made the right decision. One time I did want to write a breaking news story (when Gov. Ernie Fletcher commuted Harrison Yonts' sentence ...), but even the fleeting desire to make some phone calls, ask some questions and put it all together in a story didn't make me want to actually do that again for a living right now.
Understand that I loved my job. I cherish the relationships I built throughout the community. I took pride in educating the community about Murray City Council, MSU's administration, Murray-Calloway County Hospital, police business, court actions and various other people and places, all depending on the day. I loved being out and about and then returning to my desk to get it all down for tomorrow's paper.
But there are no words to explain how much I enjoy being a mother and how much I adore my daughter. I realize staying home isn't right for every family and every situation, but it is positively right for us. I am so thankful I get to play with her, take care of her, teach her, watch her and have her company at Kroger. I realize some of this would be possible had I continued cranking out stories for the Ledger & Times, but I love the quantity of quality time I get with her.
I am more easy-going than I used to be. Don't worry, I haven't completely let go of that perfectionist deep inside me. But it doesn't bother me to let Cate learn to use a spoon with yogurt ending up lots of places somewhat near her mouth. I just put a bib on here when Grandmom gave her a Push-Up. Baths clean off evidence of playing.
I like the little ways I've been changed the past year. I can't explain them all, but I feel them every day. My heart is calmer. My schedule is less hectic. My purpose is far greater. Cate and I have our routine, and I wouldn't trade it for any other assignment.