I visited my former place of employment today. I worked at the facility for over 12 years and resigned about 5 years ago. I was a juvenile probation officer who supervised juveniles and young adults on parole. I had only visited there once in that time, until today. One friend who works there had a box of pecans I bought for me (I was out of town when they arrived through the county and she kept them for me until I returned.) As I walked to the building, it felt so familiar. I was so happy to see several former coworkers and see how much they've changed in the last several years. Whereas it seemed (to everyone there) that they changed slowly through the years, because I hadn't seen them in so long, it was immediately obvious how much they changed.
What I found interesting is that, while I was there, I remembered why I don't usually go there to visit. I felt so sad (almost teared up) as the place seemed like another home to me and I wasn't able to live there anymore. I really loved my work there....it was stressful, time-consuming, and chaotic at times...but I loved it. My former supervisor asked me how I liked being home with the boys (the reason that I resigned was to stay home with my son after he was born, and then consequently my other son afterwards) and whether I missed the place. I said that I missed being able to take breaks and have a specified lunch time (lol!), the camaraderie, and being able to see short-term results (seeing how I made a positive difference.)
But, I added that I know that I'm making a difference with my kiddos at home in the long-term. As long as we can afford me staying home and not working, I'll continue to stay home. For right now, that's the best decision for my family.
And that is what is most important. I'll continue to devote my extra time on the people around me who need it most, my immediate and extended family.