Over A Cup Of Coffee (Vol. 1)

I'm starting a new little series on this blog called "Over A Cup Of Coffee".  It will be series in which I will document.  I will write about something that I might tell a friend over a cup of coffee.  Frequency will vary, depending on how much I have to tell, but you can expect these posts between once of twice a month.  

Somewhere amidst all the social media and blog marketing and watching page views like a hawk and creating pinnable posts, I think a lot of the blogging world has lost the art of storytelling.  Blogging will of course change and evolve over the years, and that isn't a bad thing.  Still, I find it unusually refreshing when I come across a post that is just a story - just someone's life, raw, sometimes messy, there for you to read.  And I know I want to find my way back to that a little bit, because ten years from now, my kids won't care about the pinnable posts as much as they care about the story posts.


With that said, let's talk about my job situation, shall we?  I alluded to it in a recent post, and it's time to tackle the subject.  So let's pretend I just pulled a pan of cheesecake brownies out of the oven and brewed two hot cups of Cafe Verona (decaf for me), and I'll tell you what's been going on.

Over our brownies and a cup of coffee, I'd probably admit that for the last couple months, I have felt like I am having a midlife crisis.

As I said in my "things I learned in April" post, I consider a midlife crisis any time when part or all of your identity is threatened.  People usually have them in their forties or fifties because they realize they are losing their youth, and that is hard for people who have some of their identity tied up in their youth.  But it really can happen any time, with any part of your identity.  The part that has been threatened for me is my professional identity.

I have been working in a dental office one day a week for three years, as a dental hygienist.  Lately, our office has been growing by leaps and bounds, and a couple months ago, my boss asked me if I would take on another day at work.

You have to realize, the work situation I have been in for the last few years has been ideal for me.  I loved working just one day a week.  I could be a most of the time stay-at-home mom, which is something I always wanted to do.  But at the same time, I could keep up my professional skills as a dental hygienist, without losing much time with my kids.  They went to grandma's house while I worked, which they loved.  I enjoyed seeing my patients, I liked my working environment, and I had a good boss.  I probably would have continued like this indefinitely.

Then my boss told me they needed me to take another day, and I realized nothing lasts forever.
I loved working as a dental hygienist.  But I treasure my time at home with the kids.  And as silly as it may sound to some, I just wasn't willing to give up another day that I could be spending with them.

So I gave my notice, and my last day was a couple weeks ago.  I have no doubt I did the right thing, but a decision like that comes with a lot of questions.  Should I try to find temp work on Fridays until this baby comes?  Do I even want to do that?  How will I keep up my skills if I am no longer working?  How will I afford all the licensing and continuing education fees that come along with this job when I am not working to compensate for it? Should I just give up on practicing hygiene until the kids are grown? But if I don't work, will I even be employable in five years?  Who wants to hire a hygienist who hasn't practiced in years?  If I no longer practice, all that hard work of my (intense) dental hygiene program will go to waste!  And if I am not a hygienist, what am I?

You wouldn't think the flood of questions would be so severe since I have been mostly a SAHM already, but it has been rough.  To be honest, I have found very few answers.  What I never realized was how much being a dental hygienist had become part of my identity.

But that's the thing, isn't it?  Most of the roles in which we tie up our identities are only ever temporary.  Life situations can change in an instant.  Even core roles, like "wife" and "mother" aren't guaranteed.

The only permanent ground in which to plant my identity is in Christ.

I am first and foremost a child of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, and nothing can ever take that away.  That is my core identity, and it's lovely, because every other identity can be viewed through this one.  It ties everything together so nicely, and if one of my other sub-category identities is threatened, I know that God still has good things planned for me, for exactly the place where I am.  Because I am His first.

And right now, He said that it was time for a chapter of my life to close.

I don't know if I will temp, if I will find another job next year after the baby comes, or if I will never practice hygiene again.  I am still trying to figure out what God's will is in all of this.  But I know there are good thing planned for the future, even if I never pick up another instrument.

So I'm a little sad, but I am also a little happy.  My emotions swing from one extreme to the other while everyone seems to expect me to know what I am doing and how I feel about it, and the truth is I don't.
But I start to get inklings here and there, and I am excited.  I can't tell you what I will be doing professionally next year, or in five years, or in twenty years.  And the not knowing can be a little exciting too, when you know He has good plans.

So that is where I am, and now you know.  And if we were having a cup of coffee, I'd probably be embarrassed for talking about myself so much, and I'd ask how you are doing, and whether you have ever had a "midlife crisis".

And you would comment below and tell me!


And not all of our coffee chats will be this heavy, just so you know!


And on that note, I wanted to share a free printable with you all!  This is a verse that has been comforting to me over the last couple months, because I feel like in the midst of my inner turmoil, I have not handled everything as well as I wish I would have liked.  This verse has been comforting - that even when I am not what I should be, God's mercies are new every morning.  I hope you can use this to remind yourself that He gives us mercy every single day, especially when we don't do things perfectly!

To receive this free printable, just sign up for my newsletter by clicking here - and this will be sitting in your inbox by the end of the week!

(I'd also love it if you would spread the love and share this printable on Pinterest.)

(For Personal Use Only.)

Until our next coffee chat!

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Michelle said...

Great post Callie! I love your honesty and how you stay grounded in Christ. Good encouragement.

Kelsey said...

I JUST wrote about the same thing: giving up my role as a teacher to be a full time mom was a slow and difficult transitionhttp://www.kelseylynae.blogspot.com/2015/04/discovering-my-identity-between.html?m=1

Kelsey said...

It froze before I finished... Wouldn't let me go back. Sorry. But I wrote it all here, so just pretend I'm sharing coffee with you :) http://www.kelseylynae.blogspot.com/2015/04/discovering-my-identity-between.html?m=1

Ashley R said...

I've definately had a sort-of mid-life crisis, too! I've called it my mid-twenties crisis, or my quarter-life crisis. ;) Basically, it involved me, not having finished my bachelor's degree, turning 25, and not having had children yet. I just didn't (don't) feel like where I should be at this point in my life. I had planned to have my bachelor's degree, a job in children's ministry, and a child or two, or more... I planned to at least be where my mother was at my age, and I just didn't have those things. Still working on this, the realisation that God has plans for me, individually, that don't look like everyone else's plans. And that is God's beautiful plan, perfect for me, and it will be beautiful no matter how it turns out. Thanks for this post Callie!

Faith said...

Hey sweet friend! Sending you hugs and prayers as you go through this transition! You are not alone in the fear of losing your identity. I think it's something most SAHM's struggle with and I love that you recognize that our identity is to be in Christ alone. Such a good reminder! Praying for you to find your fulfillment completely in Him and enjoy your sweet babies along the way :)

Lee Ann Sturch said...

I would hug you and assure that God does, in fact, have a solid plan for your life. Even when we cannot see the next step and feel lost, He always know. I would tell you that is such an opportunity for growth, and I truly believe you will look back on this time in your life as an exciting (although challenging at times) and beautiful time. If I were keeping it real, I would probably ask you what floss is good to use for tight teeth and sensitive gums, and how I can whiten my teeth at home, without chemicals. :)
I would tell you this about me.... I am 31 years old and single. I am the girl I never thought I would be. The marriage and babies by 25 plan didn't work out so well for me. For a few years, I thought my world was ending because of that. Jesus came in my life and has taken me on a whirlwind romance. He has consumed my life and changed every single part of me. I still love babies, but I am completely content if He decides that singleness is what I need for life. He has taught me that my life's goal is to bring Him glory, in whatever way He chooses. He has healed and transformed my heart so radically. I would tell you that I no longer seek love from men. I would tell you that my savior is enough, every single day. I would tell you that I am praying about becoming a foster parent, because I cry over the hurting children. I would tell you that I haven't been spending as much time in the Word as I should, because I have been so busy serving, and that I am learning that I have to feed myself before I can assist feeding others. That serving is wonderful and good, but not at the cost of giving up my alone time with God. I would tell you that balance is hard. So many speak and write about finding balance, but my all or nothing personality struggles with that.
Ha! Apparently I would tell you my whole life story in about 5 minutes. :)

Elizabeth said...

Great idea for a post. I could definitely go on a rant about how blogging has changed but I think you've written about it yourself. It's frustrating how all the ads skew the rankings so you can't find a plain old blog through search engines, when all you're looking for is a little community! My dental hygienist always mentions how her toddler is the same age as mine, so that always makes me feel more at ease with her being a mother too, but with that being said, family trumps everything else! I think at this point in life we definitely have to say goodbye to certain chapters, and I guess I miss being ambitious in general and having certain talents and lots of energy and enthusiasm to do whatever it took. And it's okay to grieve about whatever it is!

Callie Nicole said...

Thanks Elizabeth! I agree, I think it's just an adjustment period, and once I get through the initial change I'll be fine! It's just different life stages, and the transition always has that potential to through me off!

Callie Nicole said...

Lee Ann, I love that you would tell me your whole life story, haha! What a powerful testimony you have. I wish we really could have coffee and talk more. I so agree that finding the balance is hard, and I hate that my quiet time with the Lord is always the first thing to slip. You are so right though, it's important to feed yourself before trying to feed others! Also, so cool about the foster parent thoughts! I'll pray that the Lord shows you what He wants you to do - exciting!

Callie Nicole said...

Thank you Faith, I so appreciate your sweet encouragement and prayers! :-)

Callie Nicole said...

I love that Ashley! That's right, I remember you saying that about having a "quarter life crisis". I think that's a good thing to call it, because then we can still have a midlife crisis later. :-D "God has plans for me, individually, that don't look like everyone else's plans. And that is God's beautiful plan, perfect for me, and it will be beautiful no matter how it turns out." I love that!

Callie Nicole said...

Thank you Michelle!

Callie Nicole said...

That's a good point, I never thought about how it will probably be worse for our girls. :-/ I think there is so much pressure on women to do it all today, but I really don't think you CAN do it all and do it all well. We only have so much time and energy.

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