Once upon a time...
I was working at my "paying job". For those of you who know me, I have so many jobs but very few actually PAY me. It had been a trying day already. I had taken all my littles to Evanston so my oldest could get his driver's license and become an "official driver". YIPES! At any rate, he did great. Passed the test. Got his new ID ordered. And... we were heading home. My car had a lapse in good judgement and lost all it's radiator fluid. Apparently, a seal went bad. We limped to the nearest Jiffy Lube. They diagnosed to the best of their ability and there I sat... with SIX kids.... in the summer heat. My amazing mom immediately came to our rescue but she was an hour away. I called my hubby and he drove home, swapped vehicles, hitched up to the car-hauler trailer, and headed our direction. My mom arrived first and helped me get the parts we needed to fix the beastly machine. Hubby got there and was immediately thankful that it was still driveable enough to get it on the trailer with very few problems.
I had agreed to take half of one of my co-worker's shifts but with the car problems I had, I barely made it to mine in time. The whole shift went downhill. My hubby came in to tell me he had already fixed the car :) That's the bright spot of the day.
Then a customer came in. She changed her mind at the deli counter over and over so I was second-guessing the order. Then, she decided she needed a drink so she left her order sitting there and with a line behind her. Totally one of my pet peeves. I moved to the adjoining register and continued ringing customers through as she dawdled. When she came back, I was in the middle of ringing out another customer. She started making demands. I'd nod my head and kept helping the other customer.
She got mad because I didn't drop everything to help her. Then, when I clarified the order, she told me she'd NEVER received such horrible service even in "the big city". She went on to tell me I had no business working in the service industry. I was the worst cashier in the history of all cashiers. She insisted on speaking to a manager. So, I had to call one at home. He'd just finished a 16-hour shift. I called from my cell and explained everything to him. While she was talking to him, I finished getting her items and ringing them through the register.
She hung up the phone and almost threw it back to me. "I'll have your job by the end of the week."
That was the straw. That proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I'd been holding everything together for so long, it just exploded. I went in the back and cried for over an hour. I called my manager and vented to him. He just laughed it off. "Steph, you've been doing this job for almost 10 years. You're one of the best cashiers we have. Don't worry about it."
While I was crying my eyes out, I grabbed a piece of paper and mapped out one of my stories that have been hibernating on my computer for two years. I couldn't write. Couldn't justify the time it took away from my kids. BUT... while I sat there and cried, I realized I desperately needed ME TIME. I needed that time, even just a few minutes a day to vent. I needed that time to readjust my attitude. I needed that time to reconnect and release. I needed that time to be happy.
And I AM HAPPY! I love writing! I love the release I get watching the stories unfold on the pages. I love if I'm having a bad day, I can turn to my computer and pour my heart out onto the screen, filling page after page. Sometimes with gibberish. Sometimes, with total manure that will be deleted! Sometimes, the best thing ever written.
I am so thankful for my epiphany. For being able to realize I needed to readjust my thinking. To make time for me. I'm happier and amazingly, so is my family.