Posts Tagged With: job

Say it proud!

Rick Bragg writes a column for Southern Living Magazine titled “Southern Journal”. This journal entry for May is called “Donkey Business (How I went from a proud rancher of bulls to a jackass man)”.
Mr Bragg writes about feeling a bit ashamed about being a writer. He writes that he feels other southern men judge him for not having a more manly profession. In the column, he explains how his family’s property had Hereford cattle until one day his mother asked to sell them off because she’d been chased by one of the bulls.
Like most good southern children, boys especially, he wasn’t about to disobey his Mama and the cattle were no more.
Which resulted in him no longer being able to tell folks he “raised bulls”.
Apparently, his Mama then decided the land looked lonely and wanted miniature donkeys…wackiness ensues.
And now when Mr Bragg is asked by some “real man” what he does, he tells him he’s a writer because he surely doesn’t want folks to know they are mini donkey on his family’s land.
(P.S. Mr Bragg, you are a beautiful writer, shout it out with pride!)

This struck my funny bone. The humor and telling of the story.
It struck my heart too.
Once upon a time, I was a very young stay at home mom…not college educated…”just” a mom. These years were the happiest years of my life, which I would trade for absolutely nothing and sometimes wish I could revisit. But I remember being in groups of people and when it came time to share what I “did” I would say: I’m a stay at home mom.
I wouldn’t feel prideful when I said it, I would feel less than.
I knew it was the most important job I would ever have. I knew I wanted to raise my own children. I knew I wanted to be the person they could trust most in this world to keep them safe.
But at that time I assumed the “rest of the world” with their fancy degrees and their office jobs would just look down their noses at me.

I remember the first time someone looked at me with awe when I told them what I did. Clearly the “rest of the world” understood the dedication and love and work that went into being someone’s (Two someones.) mommy all the live long day.
I saw respect in that face. The respect I had earned through my hard work at this labor of love. The respect I deserved.
It took me a while to understand how to reconcile the way it felt. It seemed to me that I might be viewed by the “rest of the world” as someone of no importance because my worth wasn’t in my job like most of the people I knew.
Only it wasn’t my worth that was in my job. I had the most important (and lifelong!) job in the history of all jobs. My job was to help, create a foundation for the girls to build their lives upon. My worth was irrelevant in my job. My job was to start them on the paths to their own worth.

It wasn’t much longer I didn’t hesitate to say I was a mommy. When I tell people now that I was a stay at home mom for fifteen years, I say it with pride and joy. I say it as though nothing I’ve done (as “work”) before or since matters a fraction as much.

I’m forty four years old. It took me a long time to stop comparing myself to the “rest of the world” probably longer than it should have…but that’s a story for another day.
I am me. The me I am because of the live I’ve lived. The choices I’ve made. Being a mom made me stronger than I might have been otherwise.

Sure, they might be miniature donkeys instead of Hereford cattle…but they’re my mini donkeys. And I’m their Mommy.

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Categories: me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

do what you love

I’m in existential crisis. It sounds ridiculous to say, but it’s true. I’m struggling with the difference between a job and a calling.
From the time I was a little girl, I’ve always felt I as meant to spend my time with little children. As a mom, as a teacher. But I’m beginning to wonder if that’s my actual calling. I’m experiencing feelings that the time has come to “hang up my spurs”. The part that gives me pause is the fact that I can’t clearly identify from where those feelings come. I keep thinking if I could understand the why I could apply logic to it and be able to make a more informed decision.
I don’t know where these feelings started, it’s not that I’m tired or whatever, it goes beyond that. It’s deep in my gut. And if I’ve learned anything in forty three years of life, it’s that my gut is NEVER wrong. My brain can argue both sides until I’m completely lost. My heart knows what it wants and will stop at nothing to have it’s way. But my gut just ‘knows’. I’ve learned to trust that instinct, because when I haven’t I’ve paid the price.

So I’m hearing the gut feeling, but don’t know what it means exactly, neither do I know how to articulate what I’m feeling. Hence the crisis of existence.
I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m frustrated that I can’t figure it out. (Have I mentioned patience isn’t at the top of my skills list?)
I feel so strongly about early childhood education. About what’s best for children.
I’m not so sure I’m what’s best for children.

I am so sad about this situation. It’s absolutely consuming me.
I was in the car with YBW last night and he said: Are you OK.
I shrugged and said: Yeah.
He asked: Are you sure.
I asked: What do you want me to say?
He said: You just look so sad.
I replied: I am sad.

I’m sad because I don’t know what to do with the feelings I know I have to trust.
What do I want to do?
Ideally I’d like to be able to write or take photos to earn my living.
What inspires me?
Children.
Do what you love.
I love to write.
I love to take photos.
I love children.

YBW expressed his concern about me leaving this job I’m spectacularly good at for some random job. He has a valid point. I oughtn’t “jump out of the frying pan into the fire”.
There really is no solution at the moment. I need to understand the ‘why’ so I can figure out how to proceed.

Le sigh. Le really big sigh.
See how I get nowhere?
I’m walking away from the vehemence of my gut’s opinion. I’m just going to be in the moment.

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

cheer up cheerily

It has been a…what’s the word…curious(?) couple of weeks. I have been completely overworked at school, and editing that book, as well as finishing up my school term, not to mention still trying to process my personal feelings about my little friend whose mother died.
But(!) the curiousness is actually the best part!

nest

Robin birds in the spring are a SUPER big deal for me, (Gee, I can’t imagine why.) but since my mom died, I’ve not seen them anywhere near as frequently or in as great of numbers as it seems I always have in the past….and if I have seen one, I’ve been with either Thing 2 or YBW only.
A part of me was relieved I wasn’t seeing them in great big amounts because it was painful, made me miss my Mommie, but a part of me was disappointed, because it is one of my favorite “rites of Spring”. My theory was “God” (by whatever gender or name) kind of knew I wasn’t ready, that was why the sightings were so few and far between, or I was with those particular people.
This year however, I have seen more robin birds than I have been able to count! They’re EVERYWHERE! Even with all this snow, they’re flying and chirping and skibbling all around on the lawns. My joy is immense at hearing their “cheerily cheer up cheer up cheerily”!
It must be time. Either I’m finally healing on own, or Mommie is ‘up there’ pulling strings to make me heal (Of course she would still be trying to boss me around.)

The second ‘wonderful’ aspect of the curious is YBW. I had a total crap day yesterday and he just happened to be home when I came home for lunch, I honestly can’t remember the last time I was that happy to see anyone. He hugged me and I just breathed in his scent and felt so much better straightaway …I was instantly safe and comforted and so very grateful. I was just enough to bolster me to get through the rest of my day.

I went to see the holistic doc and he was worried about my appearance, when I told him I was just worn out, he was worried it was the book. No, my job…the strangest thing…he offered me a job right on the spot! I thought and thought about it…made the pro and con list in my head, talked with Sundance and YBW about it then went to school this morning and met with my director (For three hours!) discussed where my ‘heart is’, made plans for positive changes. I walked into her office completely devoid of hope and walked out three hours later quite full.
Got an email with a new chapter for the book with a note asking me to let him know about the position. I’m going to decline…I know how to run the office because I did it for my doctor before I came here, and it is very seductive to receive all that free healthcare, and there are so many positives, but there are negatives, too…but ultimately, it isn’t where my heart is.
If I am going to leave my school I need to do it in a mindful way, not a reactionary way. I’m not ready yet, my time there isn’t finished.

The robin birds are singing just for me, “cheer up cheerily”.

Oh! P.S. YBW and I are going to the beach the day after tomorrow! Hello, Jewish Mother for breakfast! Yay for YBW and yay for the mini break!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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