Well, life is certainly changing no doubt about it. Last week was my first week not being employed at The Company in just under 12 years. And I still have very mixed feelings about it - but mostly still feelings of sadness and even emptiness.
I know that job didn't define me by any means, but it was still a part of my history for a really long time and it will take awhile for me to process letting go of that part and moving on. I'm trying but it's not easy.
Last week was also my first week officially starting my house cleaning business. I started out with my biggest client - a house that takes 5 hours to clean from top to bottom (3 floors in total).
I actually took a picture of the house through my van window before leaving on Wednesday, because I wanted to give people an idea of just how big this place is. It's for sure twice as big as my house - if not more.
When I started cleaning it for the first time by myself (my Mom helped me with it the very first time back before Christmas), it took a lot for me to control my anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. I started in the kitchen and I just kept thinking about how much I still had to do...the dusting, the vacuuming, washing the floors, cleaning 4 bathrooms - top floor, main floor, basement - it was enough to almost make me panic.
But then I told myself to just breathe and take things one step at a time. To not look at the whole picture at once, but look at it in pieces. Just clean the kitchen first. Then move on to the next thing.
Before I knew it, I was finished the main floor and was moving upstairs. I stopped at the stairs to observe my work and I couldn't help but smile and feel a great sense of accomplishment. I looked at all of the main floor rooms - the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the family room, the bathroom - and they were all sparkling clean. The kitchen looked bright. The hardwood floors shone all through the house. The family room carpet was smooth and free of any debris.
I actually started to feel excited about making the upstairs look just as good! Now, this is a fairly clean house to begin with - in fact, the first time my Mom and I went to clean it, it seemed like it didn't look any different after we left than when we got there - but this time I could actually see the improvement. It was obviously in a bit different shape this time around and it felt good to be able to see the results of my work.
After the second floor was done I smiled again. I was proud of what I had done. I had worked hard and it was evident. The house looked beautiful.
I did it. I did it. I did it!
After a quick clean of the basement to finish things off, I was out of there and driving back home. I was exhausted, yet I felt a sense of pride.
I know I won't always feel like that. I have 3 different houses to go to within the next 2 days and I know that I will be tired - especially after spending a couple of hours cleaning my own house this morning - and I know that I won't always feel that same sense of accomplishment.
There will be days when I will not want to go to work. Where I will not want to have to clean yet another toilet or wash another dining room floor. Where I will not want to look inside another dirty microwave or dust every surface.
There will be days where I will wish I was back at The Company, sitting at my familiar desk and doing my low-key computer work. Where I only have one place of employment to report to - and not 5 different clients. And there will be days where I will feel overwhelmed at having to do this new job week after week after week after week.
But I was reminded at that house last week that regardless of the circumstances and how it got to be like this, one thing is for sure...
God is behind it all. He is the one who opened these new doors for me and He is helping me work it all out. One step at a time.