Many of you know me personally and know that my husband and I run a business together. It’s a second generation business that his father started back in the 40s and his parents successfully ran it together for many many years. When Jim and I got married, I started helping out with little things and when we bought the house we’re in now and moved to where the business is located, my mother passed on all the bookwork to me.
At the time, I hadn’t held an outside job since my son was born two years earlier. I had been babysitting one or two extra kids for part of the day, but it had never been our intention for me to be a stay-at-home mom. But then, life just kept getting busier and busier. I always tried to take some kind of class to better myself (small business bookkeeping, accounting, even tax preparation) and I started to volunteer more and more in what my kids were involved in. And it turned out that I just didn’t have time to hold another job. As it was, I was sometimes getting up in the middle of the night to keep up with our business bookkeeping.
And I was organized. I managed to keep up with it all. I never got behind in my office work, I kept up with my housework, I volunteered at school, I chaired fundraisers, I was a scout leader, etc. etc., and I went to tons of meetings. I drew poor Jim into it all and we kept up the pace till Jon was in high school. We kind of backed off just to enjoy what was left of his school years. I volunteered for other things, but somehow never found my niche. Plus, the unimaginable happened when Jim’s father passed away. He was still very involved in the business which freed me up to do all of the things I did. I remember standing in the shop days after he died and wondering to myself how I was ever going to learn what I needed to learn to be able to step in and help Jim. Well, nine years later and I’m still learning, but I’ve been there for Jim as best I can.
So, for the past several years I’ve volunteered less and helped Jim more and never ever took on an outside job. I started looking a couple of years ago when business was really slow (with no luck), but we’ve learned to live simply over the past 20 years and it has all worked out for us so far. But one thing that has suffered, and suffered greatly, is my organizational skills. It seems that when I’ve had less to do, I tend to procrastinate more. I don’t want to start one job till I finish another and I don’t finish the first so don’t start the second. Mind you, I keep up, but not the way I’d like to or need to.
Now I’m babysitting all day (and every day starting this week) and I’ve come to realize two things: 1) I am so much more organized because I know my free time and the time I have to do my office work is more limited and I spend it getting done what needs doing. 2) I feel incredible guilt for not being available for Jim at a moment’s notice. We’re in this business together and I feel I owe it to him to be available and now I’m not and he says it’s okay, but I still feel guilty.
It’ll all work out though.