When I was a sailor and a hydraulic engineer, my gauge for how well I had done was measured in the physical sense. I could see those hydraulic tubes that I had run from one side of the engine room to the other. Or I could look at the log book of the vessel I was sailing on and see the 300 miles that we had traveled since last I checked.
Now as a doula, that physical effort that I put into the day has shifted to largely working on a computer, advertising, talking on the phone, or interacting with social media. There is a curious thing that occurs when you start your own business out of your home. Your friends and family members assume that setting your own hours, means you have all the free time in the world. Unintentional digs come from all angles as your parents mention something about, “now that you aren’t working.” Or “I could visit during the week since you have free time.” At times, without the visible production I can see every day. It can be difficult to feel accomplished with what I have done in a given week. Hours spent listening to zerotothree podcasts, or reading some of the latest research on breastfeeding wear me out mentally, but not in the way that I have attributed success for the past decade of my life.
However, any doubts are laid to rest the instant I am contacted by a client. Feeling like I can offer resources and support to someone that needs them fills a void of accomplishment that I have missed for a number of years. The charge of endorphins when someone thanks me of for the time that I have put in, reaffirms that I have made the right choice in changing professions.