Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Homebody


When I was a kid, I hated staying the night at other people's houses.  The weirdness of other people's parents, the potential food I might be asked to eat (I was a very picky eater), the way that other people's parents made their kids ask "May I be excused?" before they could leave the dinner table.  I hated it.  And so, I stayed home.  My siblings would jump at the chance to have a sleepover at a friend's house, but nope.  Not me.  I preferred my own home.  My own bed.  My own toys.  My own parents that would let me get up from the dinner table when I was done without batting an eye.  I loved the familiarity.  As a result, my mother could frequently be heard saying something like "Julie's my little homebody".  And I hated that as much as I hated the sleepovers.  To me, it was equal parts embarrassment from the attention of being labeled and hatred for the term itself.  It made me sound boring.  Or at least little kid me thought it did.

At 17, I went off to a college fourteen hours away from my home.  After graduation, I packed my bags and moved to New Zealand for a year.  When I returned, I resumed my American life in the great state of Tennessee, several states away from my family.  I spent a summer in China, and a Christmas break in Ethiopia.  I love being a stranger in a new culture with new languages and customs.  And all I can think is that maybe my subconscious self got tired of feeling boring.  Maybe I resented the term "homebody" and was hell bent on seeing it end.  Whatever the reason, I got over it.  Or at least I thought I did.

Two months ago (and let me assure you that it feels WAY longer than two months), I took on a part-time job.  Technically, I already had a part-time job.  TWO part-time jobs, to be exact.  I was a Children's Pastor (a part-time position) and a nanny (every Monday for one cute baby boy and his two sweet sisters).  But after completing Financial Peace University with my husband, Dave Ramsey convinced me to take on one more thing, just to provide some additional income.  And so I did.  I became a part-time employee of the preschool right next to my apartments.  I agreed to working from 2:30 to 6:30, Monday through Friday.  And I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Since the start of this extra job, my life has been a whirlwind.  Each day is a little different, but the schedule is almost always the same.

Rush around in the morning to get to the first job of the day.

Work long enough to get things started but rarely finished.

Eat lunch.

Rush home.

Get dressed for the daycare job.

Work for four hours.

Spend the evening making dinner and recovering from a day of work.

Make mental lists of all of the things I still need to do tomorrow that I didn't get done today.  This list pretty much never gets taken care of.

And you know what I have found in all of this?  The only thing I want (other than a chiropractic adjustment and a massage)?  To be home.  To spend a whole day at home with nothing to do other than home things.  To do a load of laundry and have the time to wash, dry, fold, and put away.  To clear out the piles of things that have been accumulating in various corners of the apartment.  To put on a record and lie on the couch and just listen to it (until 20 minutes later and I have to turn the record over).  To sit in my pajamas all day long.  To go lay out by the pool and read a book (completely slathered in sunscreen, of course... me, not the book).  To actually be done with dinner by 6:30 p.m. instead of getting off work and starting to make dinner at that time.  To finally finish organizing the second bedroom.  You know, since I have already lived here for 9 months.  To sit down and finish my friend Elisa's baby gift.  Her baby is already almost 6 months old.  I promise, Eliza Jane.  It's coming.  To light candles and play my guitar and order pizza and bake cookies.  Maybe all in the same night.  In the end, Mom was right.  I am a homebody.  I like being home.  And I am tired of never being home.

This is my last week of the preschool job.  I will miss the kids but not the schedule.  I have already bequeathed my horrible hunter green work t-shirts to another employee that needs some new ones and wears the same size as I do.  I am happy to pass along my uniform and my job to others deserving of it.  I hope they have fun.  I will go back from time to time and hug on the kids that I am leaving behind.  I am better at saying goodbye to jobs than I am to kids.  

I do have a new teaching job.  And although I cannot divulge the exact details of this job, mostly because I do not have confirmation of them just yet, I can tell you that I will be getting off of work every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday around 3.  And I will be home in time to make dinner.  And I will still have Tuesdays at the church office, and I will not have to rush out the door at 1:45 to be at work.  And I will probably take Thursdays to stay at home... because I can.

Three more days.  Three more days and I will be home free.  No, seriously, I will.  Three days and I will be dancing and singing and running up the road clicking my heels together.  Well, maybe not up the road.  This is summer in Texas.  It's dangerous to run outside.  But I'll be doing it on the inside.  And if you want to find me for the next few weeks, I can tell you where I'll be.  Right here in my little apartment in The Colony, Texas, doing laundry in my pajamas and not stepping foot out the door.  And it will be lovely.


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