Posted by: canthold | January 9, 2008

In Transition

These last few (six?) weeks have been very challenging because I’ve battled a bit of depression. The holidays were a difficult time to muster the energy and enthusiasm that I needed to make the best of it (for my kids) but in the end, I’m just glad they’re behind me.

Part of the transition into the New Year came with the realization that I need to develop my self a little more. I need to get my mojo back. While I love my family more than anything, I am very aware of how I feel about myself directly affects what kind of a mother I am. Frankly, I’m tired of self-doubt and prioritizing myself to the bottom of the totem pole. Won’t I be a better mother/person/wife if I find self-fulfillment? I think so. And sometimes I have it and sometimes I don’t.

Just at the right time, I got the book, Back on the Career Track: A Guide For Stay-At-Home Moms Who Want To Return To Work, by Cohen & Rabin. I have been devouring it as if it were written specifically for me. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a must read for anyone who wants to return to work now or five years from now, and I’d go so far as to say it would be a valuable resource for women who haven’t even left the workforce. It makes you feel like you have choices and control over your destiny.

I wrote that I had been considered for a position in the next town over. I went on the interview and heard back yesterday that they hired another person. The person they hired had experience that I didn’t have, which is the key element that I suspected would bump me out of the running. I’m a little disappointed, though I am okay with this, too. There is nothing in the world like the threat of success to solidify your thinking.

(Picture the first time you ever read a pregnancy test stick. What did you feel? Joy? Fear? Sick to your stomach? You can’t possibly know if you want a baby until you read a stick. What if it was a negative? Relief? Disappointment? Count-down to the next ovulation days?)

Not getting this job gave me a glimmer of relief. I live a comfy life and I’m used to my stress-less days and scheduling flexibility. But I also realized that I’m not any better off for not getting this job as I was when I applied.

Fast forward to today. Rewind to a few hours ago. I went to a luncheon for women in my former industry. I was the guest of a former professor from college, who is also a mentor and friend. This particular event focused on women in transition. (That’s me!) I got a few key bits out of the short period of time I was privileged enough to spend there.

  • In order to get ahead, you need to step out of your comfort zone.
  • Have a plan.
  • Success can be had in the fringes.

Get out of my comfort zone? That’s exactly what I need to do. And I need to figure out what I really want to do, because unless I can do that, I’ll never have what I really want. The wisdom of the fringe comment is a blur, but my interpretation is that you don’t have to follow a mainstream plan or go about things in a conventional way. Put like that, I’m feeling a bit more empowered about my time off from work.

I think I’m on the right track. And I think the New Year is a great time to figure out what I want for a new me. What do you think?



  1. I believe that yes, you will be a better person, a better mother, and a better wife if you find self-fulfillment. You will know what you want, who you are, and where you are going and you will radiate the self-confidence needed in order to go along in this thing we call life.

    I work very closely with a company called Girls Who Network who help women make six-figure incomes by holding seminars on entrepreneurship. If that isn’t for you, you may want to check out another blog I run (I haven’t written too much for it yet, I’ve been a little too busy actually running it and all, haha) but it’s on woman entrepreneurship, but also has posts on confidence, self-fulfillment, etc. and I think you’d like it–

    Good luck with everything, I’m way too familiar with depression myself, especially in the winter.

  2. Thanks, Holly! I will definately check both sites out. I know that everyone has different ways to find self-fulfillment and working and mom-ing might not be everyone’s choice, but I think it’s the way to go for me at this stage in the game. I need to set a good example about being the best I can be so that my daughters will follow in my footsteps. Thanks for the input!

  3. I’m one of the co-authors of Back on the Career Track. Thank you so much for the great things you say about our book. Vivian and I were thrilled to read your comments and it made us feel really good that the book has been helpful to you. You and your readers may want to check out our “career break connections” website which has resources, ideas about strategic volunteering and other information for mid-career professionals in all stages of career break. Good luck with your progress so far. We’ll keep reading your blog to hear what happens.

  4. Thanks a lot, Carol. Your book has been very helpful and inspiring.

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