The job I thought I was going to take as a nanny isn't happening. We have mutually agreed that we are not compatible as a child-rearing team. I feel as if a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders. I wasn't ready to raise yet another family...two is enough for me, thank you very much.
I spent a week with them. I don't like to say the longest week of my life, because doubtless someone will say I'm exaggerating. So instead I'll say that there have only been a few times in my life where I've had work that consumed me so completely and left me so exhausted in my mind and my heart and my body that there was no energy left in me for joy or love or happiness. I was reduced to surviving, and I could see that this position was very much the same. It scared the hell out of me.
Yet I felt like I should give it a shot. Embrace the experience and see if it really was as bad as I thought, or if I just needed to get comfortable there. I was brought up to consider the future and this would be a regular paycheck.
Then yesterday everything kind of fell apart and we agreed to disagree about certain things. We agreed that it would be better if I didn't watch their two children, although our reasons for the decision are worlds apart. (I probably don't need to point out that my reasons are completely logical while theirs are firmly lodged in fantasy and wishful thinking, do I?)
I learned a few things there, and that makes the experience totally worthwhile. I got to see how "the other half" lives...the ones who never have to worry about rent or how to put food on the table. I learned that all the money in the world can't make a person happy or buy self-esteem. Money doesn't teach respect or instill values. Money doesn't bring peace of mind.
I was also reminded of the things I've learned in my life and how important it is to put that "Minnesota nice" on a back shelf and proclaim what I think and believe and feel to the people who would try to change me. I've spent a lifetime trying to find serenity and I've finally found it. This experience threatened that serenity and I actually considered letting it happen because the money would have been nice. Not the best reason in the world...possibly the worst reason in the world.
I am so blessed with friends who understand how precious and hard-earned serenity is and remind me constantly how much that serenity needs protection. I am also blessed to have a husband who asks good questions and then actually listens to the answers. A husband who supports me completely and becomes righteously indignant when others don't acknowledge my awesomeness like he does. A man who would happily eat pasta bianca (pasta with olive oil and not much else) every night as long as he could eat it with me.
Not getting the job of everyone else's dreams never felt so good.