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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tension Fills the House

Writer's Post #18


  Seeking peace in the midst of turmoil is a monumental task.  Mary Sue has been waiting for her life to just make sense for weeks now.  She has a new job opportunity and it means a lot more money and a lot more hours away from her sons and her devoted husband.  The job she has had for 3 years doesn't pay very well, but it affords her a consistent 30 hour schedule with paid holidays and no other benefits.  It has worked for them so far, but money is tight for them and the new job pays nearly double and has a full benefit package.  She has to make this decision very soon.  Her husband is of no help here.  He says it is her job and her decision, however, he will step up and do more to help if she wants to take the new job.

The new job will be challenging, the current job is not.  The new job will require a lot of work from home, the current job ends when she leaves the office.  The new job will mean occasional week-ends on the road for trade shows and she's never done that before.  It will also allow her to grow and learn a lot of new things.  Mary Sue needs to expand her horizons and this job is oh, so tempting.  She would be a great representative for the company and they would be good employers.  She knows another member of their sales force and he loves working with these people.  It sounds exactly right for her.

The problem is that her boys, aged 13 and 6 are Momma's boys.  They have spent so much time with her their entire lives that having her gone every evening until nearly their bedtime and not home for some of their important events, just feels like abandonment to her.  She keeps seeing all the times she won't be around for them and weighing that against having the money to assure they get to go to college.  What to do, what to do?

The tension in the house is so heavy that even the sun is having trouble getting in.  Mary Sue thinks she has blocked the sunlight with her indecisiveness.

David, the husband, has been trying to stay out of the equation, but he feels strongly that his wife needs to take this leap.  He feels the boys need to be less attached to her.  He feels he could fill a lot of the time she has been doing on her own with them and give them more of a male influence, but he also feels she has to want this job and be committed to making it work or it won't.  He knows her better than most anyone else, her mom being the exception, and he knows she is bored with her present job and basically just collecting a paycheck and performing mundane tasks to earn it.  Not what he wants for this intelligent and enthusiastic woman.  But he also wants her to make her own decision and just know that he is on her side, always.

The household has not been relaxed since the offer came to her.  Everyone seems on edge waiting to see what is or what is not going to change.  It will affect everyone who lives here.  It will change everyone's life in a rather large way if she takes this job.  It will affect her life, if she does or doesn't.

As she sets dinner on the table for the millionth time and calls her boys to eat, she suddenly realizes that the choice is not really a choice at all.  She sees it all like a sudden burst of sunshine in the midst of a horrid and raging storm.

"Boys, I have made a decision."  This stated as they each take their usual seat at the family dining table.  They all stop in their tracks and look in her direction.

"And...?"  It sounds like a rehearsed chorus.  All three of them speak absolutely harmoniously.

"I am taking the job.  I am going to start in two weeks and I am going to spread my wings! It is going to be very different for all of us, but I believe I have the best support system ever and I can do this.  You guys can do this."

That being said, she sat down and waited for their responses.

"I am completely on board.  I know this is exactly what you should do and the boys and I will pick up the slack around here, I promise."  David couldn't have been more pleased and more confident of his ability and the boys desire to please their mom.

"I guess it's cool.  I don't really see the big deal anyway."  Chad is 13 and not about to admit he's gonna miss seeing his mom in the kitchen everyday when he strolls in.  He's also aware he will have to be responsible for Matt.  Not a big deal; his brother is a pretty cool little kid.

"Okay with me Momma.  But we still get dinner, right?"  Matt always thinks of his belly first!

There is laughter in the air!

Amazingly the entire house seems to have just sighed.  The tension is gone.  The apprehension has dissolved. The sun can now get in through the previously shadowed windows.  It's a good feeling to breathe again.



  1. Jo, is this fiction, or...?

    It's that hanging in limbo part that's so hard. I'm with David - take the job, make up your mind it's going to work, and it will. :-)

  2. I liked the story.
    It reminded me of my mom and a similar decision she had to make.

  3. Beverly...It's total fiction. I do hate that limbo living though! Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

    Frizzy...Thanks! I think a lot of women are making very similar decisions just now. The lucky ones who are being offered jobs, anyway. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Why thank you Mooderino...I appreciate you coming by! And I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

  5. Wonderful story Jo!! I loved it.


  6. Sounds like a huge leap of faith. I'm glad she has the support of her family. That's important.


  7. Kathy...thank you so much.

    Joyce...It's make believe, so it all works out perfectly! lol

  8. Nice job Jo, I always enjoy the way you craft a story.

  9. GpD...thank you very much. I enjoy that you always share with me your thoughts. :)
    I have 4 books on Kindle if you're interested. search Jo Heroux. A bit of self promotion done shamelessly!

  10. Nice, Jo. Your character made the decision that felt right for her, so she's definitely made the right one.

  11. Thank you so much Missy's so easy when I'm the one making all the people feel the way I want them to feel! Ya know? If only real life was like that. he he

  12. Catching up on my reading...Ugh, I felt this woman's pain! The agony of that decision! I gave up a legal career for my kids. I think about it a lot, but I would absolutely hate someone else attempting to rear these cave cildren of mine! Lol! This piece was well written and relatable!

  13. Amy...thanks so much. I am glad you could relate and I believe you made the right choice. Those cave dwellers of yours couldn't have a better life! But it doesn't hurt to dream a little and maybe one day, you'll be wanting your career again and they'll be ready.

  14. I could feel the tension in the house and then the collective relief. Good story.

  15. Langley...Why thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Makes me happy that you shared your thoughts! :)

  16. Ahhh yes--the tense atmosphere just before a big decision!! Great post Jo!! Cheers, Jenn.

  17. I hate it when there is household tension! You described it well. Great story!

  18. Jenn...Thanks so much. I don't like tension, so it's fun to write about it and give it to someone else! lol

    Darlene...Thank you ma'am. I don't like it either and I think the sooner you make a move, the better for all. I like when tension disappears instantly. Sometimes it does.


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