Having time in my day where I am not required to be at the office (or anywhere else) is great and is also causing me a tremendous amount of heartache. On the one hand, it can be delightful to sample from the buffet of options of how to spend my time. I can choose from exercising, socializing, working, reading, running errands, organizing – the list is endless. On the other hand, having choices in my day introduces new risk and new opportunities to lose. For any one thing I choose to do, I am painfully aware of the many options I have rejected (and I am questioning whether I made the right choice, as though there is one). In addition, I have friends inviting me to go places and do things and making choices means that I say “no” sometimes and risk their disappointment and even disapproval.
The schedule I maintained as a full-time lawyer and mother of 3 really protected me from having to make choices. I was always doing something that was required of me. I could easily say “no” to things or to people because my schedule wouldn’t allow (or at least that felt like a socially acceptable refusal whether or not it was literally true). Without that schedule to hide behind, I am faced with taking a stand for who I am and what I want – a position that is both thrilling and terrifying.