I have a job.
That wasn't part of the plan. I abandoned the old one in May 2000. A new broom for the new Millennium. The eldest child ( there were only two to go at in those days) was three and we were starting to address the thought that before long nursery would no longer be an option and we would have to come up with an alternative for when she started school. I have no idea why people say that it is easier to work as your children get older. What could be easier than taking them to nursery which covers the bulk of the working day, feeds them three meals and only requires you to go in during working hours at Christmas? Suddenly were going to have to deal with ludicrously short days, more holidays than I could ever imagine and lots of parent participation.
What to do? We thought about nanny shares and child minders. After school clubs were in their infancy in those days and so not really an option. We gradually came round to the idea of me giving up work and the idea hung there between us for some time. It was well over a year until a decision had to be made.
And then, one fateful day in February my husband was out and I had two of my closest friends round for supper. I told them of my embryonic plan to perhaps resign the following May. " Why wait?" they asked. "Why not go now?" Why not indeed? Scary but having started to think about leaving I knew that I would be treading water until then and might even start to resent having to go. And so, after a quick session with a calculator my resignation was duly offered and on May 4th 2000 I left and began a new phase of my life.
That phase continued until last week when the youngest finally started his full time education and a new one began. The aforementioned and long dreamed about phase that involves time to myself when I can start and finish projects, have lunch with friends and be able to wear my ipod while I clean as no one will be shouting for me elsewhere in the house. And I have a job....?