My Life in Sweatpants

Sweatpants.

We all love them. They are man’s greatest fashion invention for all of us who enjoy a nice lounge day every once in a while. They are also man’s greatest invention for the uniform of the Nanny.

I feel like I live in sweatpants. Honestly. If my job weren’t enough to keep me in them, training for a half marathon in the winter months (ehh…winter/spring) keeps them at the top of my “most worn” list. Most people would love this type of attire to wear all the time. Being a nanny is quite possibly the best excuse to wear sweats and a t-shirts every day of your life. You are constantly running around with kids, sitting on the ground, and getting food and markers and paint on your clothes. However, you’d be surprised how cumbersome the most comfortable clothing of all time can become. When it becomes your uniform, it begins to have another kind of mantra attached to it: “All I ever wear is sweatpants. I feel like a slob.”

I’ve had many a conversation with other nanny friends of mine who completely understand with where I’m coming from. While we’re grateful for the ability to dress comfy every day, there comes a point when we begin to feel like a bum. It gets so exciting to wear a pair of jeans and heels on the weekends. Party animals. I know.

Yesterday I was wearing my sweatpants, at work, like I do nearly every day, and I began to think. Because my job description basically requires me to keep the kids alive and busy, there’s surprisingly time to ponder different things. I don’t have deadlines for paperwork. I don’t have office meetings. I don’t have work to take home. But I’m beginning to wish that I did. That got me thinking. As I was swinging on the swing set, I feel like the Lord began to draw some parallels together in my heart.

Swinging on a swing set is a lot like chasing your dream. When you’re first learning, it takes some time and effort to figure out how to get started. But once you nail the pumping of your legs, back and forth, out and in, you quickly can get the hang of it. But you have to keep pumping in order to get higher. You have to keep pumping in order to keep swinging. As soon as you stop putting forth effort, you begin to slow down and lose momentum. You’re not even maintaining. You’re on your way to a complete stop.

Now I don’t know if the Lord meant for this to be a defining spiritual moment for me, but I do feel like He taught me a lesson. Not even close to the caliber of the Apostle Paul(Philippians 4), but I do think that I’ve learned to be content in my current job situation. I didn’t say I’ve learned to love it. I’ve learned to be content. But if I ever intend to move on from here (and I must, kids do grow up eventually and don’t need a nanny anymore), I have to keep pumping my legs. I can’t just coast and expect opportunities to show up out of the middle of nowhere. I have to keep pushing, keep trying, and understand that it might require a lot more work than I originally expected. But in order to go higher and further than where I am right now, the work must continue. The research must not stop. I have to keep talking, asking, and looking for God’s open doors to my future.

If I ever hope to have my dream job, I have to keep pumping my legs.

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