I was speaking to MR about a situation with some former colleagues (I'd heard from a third colleague who told me the latest office squabble) and I admitted that while I often say I miss that job and wish I could live closer so I could have kept my old position, I had forgotten how this "issue" had been difficult to maneuver when I worked there.
Having stayed home all these years has really made me wonder where I would be now. Seeing that these colleagues are still "fighting" (they aren't really, it's like two silent factions not verbalizing a pink elephant in the living room) makes me wonder if my career life would have been stagnant and except for additional years of service in my job, and maybe the occasional raise. What else could I show for the years in the office? What challenges would I be facing in my career had I not left the office? Would this (pink elephant) still be the issue du jour? It actually surprised me that these two gentlemen are still having the same decade-old pissing contest!
MR, as she often does, reminded me of the big picture. Lots of women (and men) grapple with the what if's. May of us who stay at home had rising careers that we left. Many, like me, hadn't really fully formed their career path, so the broken career path had never been a straight line.
Sitting in my kitchen rethinking the 3 mile hike under an orange rainbow of lightly falling leaves on one of the most beautiful fall days in 2010, I see I idealized my former job. Even the best job I ever had didn't always make me happy.
It was kind of like staying at home: the work was varied, I had the freedom to take things in a new direction and I worked in largely nice conditions (except my first office was in a temporary structure that my friend called "Bulgaria"). The friends I made at work were similar to the friends I have now: they liked to mix responsibilities with pleasure.
Lesson of the day: don't waste a beautiful fall day worrying about things you can't change... That goes for election results too.