One of the questions I get all the time is, "What do you do all day?" That question generally drives me crazy. I have 4 kids and a house to run, I stay plenty busy thank you very much! I even managed to stay busy in Jakarta where I had a full time maid. She allowed me to spend more time volunteering at the school and taking my kids to lessons without resorting to eating out frequently or living in a messy house.
Now we are heading to Malawi where I have already arranged for a house staff and gardeners. Hey, there are advantages to hardship posts! A new version of that same question keeps coming up, "What are you going to do all day? You are going to have STAFF to cook and clean, so what are YOU going to do?" Aside from murder the next person to ask me that question, mostly I had planned to allow myself a year to follow my own interests: writing, learning to play my pretty blue guitar,volunteering, other things. I say "had" because sitting in my in-box is an application for the CLO position. If you are not FS (foreign service) the CLO is the Community Liaison Officer. That is the person who arranges for community events, helps out incoming staff, liaises with the schools, ect...it is a busy, important job.
Now I am asking myself if I should apply for this position. After all, all my kids are finally in school. It has been nine years since I last worked full time outside the house. Wow! Where did the time go? I was pregnant with Colin the last time I walked out of a classroom, he will be nine and in third grade this next school year.
Maybe it is time for me to go back to work and start bringing home some money. We don't really NEED extra money but it sure would be nice. And the CLO is the perfect position to get to know everyone at a new post. A way to jump right in with both feet.
On the other hand there are so many things I want to do. For the last nine years the kids have had to come first. Now I can take some time to pursue my own interests. I have an opportunity that all too few of us have, time for me. Maybe I can finally learn to play that pretty blue guitar Dave bought me for my birthday 3 years ago. There is a quilting group in Lilongwe, I have always wanted to make a full size quilt. So far I have only done baby quilts, really basic baby quilts. There are volunteer opportunities I would like to check out, particularly at the Lilongwe Wildlife Center. And most importantly I can finally have a block of time to sit down and write everyday, without constant interruptions.
For years I have wanted to try writing, not to be published, although that would be a nice bonus, but just to see if I can do it. I read voraciously. Seriously, at least 5 books a week. (I will not discuss what my book addiction is doing to our HHE weight, but I am thinking maybe the time has come for an e-reader.) Sometimes when I am out of things to read I write my own stories, I enjoy the writing and would like to see if I could actually go somewhere with it but for me that takes time alone, without kids yelling "MOMMY" every other sentence.
So my question is this: Is it selfish to want to take a year or two to explore my own interests? Is it financially irresponsible to stay home a while longer? Should I apply for the CLO position? I think I know what I am going to do, but I have changed my mind about applying every 20 minutes or so all day. What would you do?