Back in September, I started working a part-time job. I work ten hours a week in the office of an investment adviser in downtown Durham. Typically, I work two to three days a week during school hours. Though not in my field, the work is predictable and interesting, and I work with some really great people. It's an amazingly good fit for my life now: allows me to earn a little money and fits well with my family schedule.
Then in December, a local attorney, a friend of a friend of a friend, contacted me. He was interested in hiring someone to do research and writing. I work almost entirely remotely, usually on my off days during the week or evenings and weekends, billing by the hour for whatever project I'm working on. Again, it's been a great fit with everything else. I'm also incredibly grateful to have an entry point back into my chosen field, should I choose to pursue it.
The final piece of my "work" puzzle is volunteering for the kids' school. I'm on the PTA Board, and I also serve as co-chair of the School Improvement Team. That works out to at least two meetings a month, one of which I typically co-facilitate. In my PTA role, I help coordinate a monthly breakfast/lunch buffet for teachers. I'm at the school a lot, and when I'm not, I'm sending emails or meeting with parents, staff, or other community members to talk about issues affecting the school. It's been perhaps more time-consuming than I envisioned, but overwhelmingly a labor of love.
My life is a lot fuller with outside activities than it was a year ago. Though it's considerably less flexible and more scheduled, I remain very grateful for the flexibility that is still there. This week is a great example. I worked my office job on Monday, scheduling my hours so I could go straight to the kids' school for a 4:00 meeting. Monday night, Lauren was up most the night with bad congestion and coughing, so I ended up staying home with her Tuesday, a day I was scheduled to work four hours at my office job. My plan had been to work the office job on Tuesday and make some progress on a legal research project on Wednesday. I was able to switch that around and, since I was home with a recuperating Lauren on Tuesday, I sat with my laptop and researched and wrote while she rested and watched TV. Then, on Wednesday, I was back at the office.
Of course, all these moving parts work in coordination because of my other team members. The kids ride the bus home sometimes, and Matt helps give me space and time to work on the weekends when I need it. He is also spending the bulk of the time at the ballpark, while all three kids are practicing twice a week during the pre-season of spring baseball. I'm thankful for the ever-changing fullness of our lives and curious to see how things may change even more over the coming year.