Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mr PB has a new job! And opening my Pandora's box...

Ah, you precious Planetarians! I have been flabbergasted by your response to my A-Z Challenge post - I had no idea you might find such things about me interesting ☺. Sorry about the sparseness of posts and replies to your comments lately but there has been just so much happening *off the blog* that they've had to take a backseat for a while. I'll try to fill you all in this week. A few items deserve posts of their own. And this  - *ta da* is the big one - Mr PB has a new job! Talk about relief on Planet Baby ☺. 

I'm so proud of him for knuckling down and finding a suitable job in his field of expertise - no mean feat in a small state like Tasmania where the job opportunities are a lot rarer than we were accustomed to when living in Sydney. 

It's been a terribly testing time for us all as we've weathered the stresses of securing other income sources in the interim, having us both at home for 8 weeks longer than the pixies had anticipated (which whilst a positive, of course, also required a lot of adjustment from us all) and then all the job hunting shenanigans.

Anyway, now he's working only 10 minutes from home in an interesting job for one of Tasmania's leading providores. Bonus! And he's happy there, so far, which is a huge relief to us all. Witching hour has also become a bit easier as he's normally home to help me with it by then. To have removed that stress of the unknown and worrying where the money's coming from to pay the mortgage and bills has been such a huge relief.

That said, the job isn't as lucrative as his old one so we're having to adjust to the resultant consequences. Apart from tightening our belts (already tightened to the smallest notch after my not having been in *paid* employment for the past 4 years since India was born), it's a matter of seeing whether I can earn us some income as well. And that, my friends, is a Pandora's box I have been sitting on for the past 4 years with a tonne of lead ☺. *Sigh*. 
Hesitating to open my Pandora's box!
I have so many unwritten posts on that topic which I've been *dying* to write - I think now is the time to put them on paper to help me focus more clearly on what I both can do and want to do.

Are any of you familiar with the myth of Pandora's box? You can read more about it here. When I use that term in reference to my legal career, I use it more loosely - I don't intend to imply that only evilness will fly out should I open 'the box'. 

Rather, what I mean is that by opening 'the box' of facing up to what has happened to my legal career after my last 4 years as a stay-at-home-mum, I have to be prepared for anything which might have resulted. For years, when I've been deep in grip of severe post-natal depression, tending to the young pixies, I have always assumed that such results may be negative. 

That I'd have 'slipped down the ladder' in terms of seniority. 

That I'd be labelled as 'just a part-time solicitor mum' and be expected to do 5 days' worth of work but only work (and be paid for) 3 instead.

That I'd no longer be as focussed as before.

And that it would be noticed. And commented upon. With the resultant consequences.

But most importantly, I feared having to face up to the lack of confidence which inevitably seeps in when you've been at home tending to littlies for so many years

How would I catch up on all the changes in the law which had occurred since I last practised? 

How would I fit back into the Hobart legal scene after 11 years working in the fast-paced and turbo-charged Sydney legal community? 

And most importantly, how would I find a suitable work/life balance? Or would that prove the nirvana it's oft proclaimed to be?

Questions, questions, questions. It was doing my head in.

And you know what? The other day, in a rare moment of clarity, I started to view it all in a more positive light. When chatting to my doctor about my fear of opening Pandora's box, it struck me that instead of only negative things flying out, maybe a kaleidoscope of butterflies might sally forth! 
Ah - the infinite possibilities!
Maybe, just maybe, new opportunities might present themselves. 

Maybe I wouldn't have to practise in straight law (I'm still licking my wounds from surviving all those years in the cut-throat Sydney insurance litigation world). 

Maybe I had other ways I could use my legal training. 

Maybe I even had (gasp!) other skills I could use. After all, I studied a combined Arts/Law degree at university with the intention of keeping all my options open.

And maybe, just maybe, being a mum might have added to my *skill-set*, to use the job-hunter's jargon!

So, where to from here? Running an Etsy shop to satiate my creative side is definitely on my agenda. Other ideas are forming. Some may involve slight changes in this space (nothing drastic and I'll keep you in the loop). Now I just have to make the time and find the headspace to explore them. 

What do you say? Bring on the butterflies? I'm all ears!
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