This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

How many times did someone ask you that when you were a child?  When I was 5 I lived next door to a doctor.  I decided I wanted to be a doctor.  My parents were so excited when I announced my intention that for years I answered "I want to be a doctor" just to see the delighted smiles on their faces.  With no particular talent for biology or chemistry, no money, and no clear idea of how I would go about becoming a doctor, that dream didn't materialize, but since I'm not sure if I wanted to be a doctor or simply to please my parents, it's probably a good thing I didn't invest in medical school.  I then decided I wanted to be a lawyer because I thought Susan Day looked so great on L.A. Law.  Senior burnout, marriage, and sheer apathy ensured that I never pursued law school.  After I graduated from college I simply "fell" into a job that paid well, was fairly interesting, and was reasonably satisfying.  After 9 years I had a child, quit work, and had no more sense of what I wanted to be when I grew up than I did when I was 5!

After a year of searching for the "right fit" job for me, I have finally landed in a position that appeals to my clerical sense of order (filing, stapling, collating) and my need to imbue my days with meaning beyond the satisfaction of clean bathrooms and folded laundry -- though now that I am working every day a clean bathroom or  folded laundry would definitely be welcomed!

I knew I was ready to go back to work..but to do what?

In the past year I have taught kindergarten, been a substitute first grade teacher, worked in a college bookstore, and am currently working with an at-risk group of college kids helping them navigate the tricky waters to graduation.  I help them with paperwork, make sure they are connected with the right Student Services programs, and listen to them.  Just listen.

It's been quite a winding road to figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, but, for now, I have found the right balance.  With the Big Question of What Will I Do With My Life currently answered I have had time to to focus on some of the other Big Questions:

1.  What are my financial priorities?
2.  What kinds of experiences do I want to create with my family?
3.  What traditions do I want to preserve, create, or change?
4.  How do I appropriately prioritize my friends in a life containing work and family?
5.  What am I going to wear to work tomorrow?

Rather than feeling overwhelmed by all these questions I feel rejuvenated.  I am excited to see how I will navigate the tricky waters of my life.  Some of my life is handled clerically: papers to sign, taxes to file, bills to pay, documents to file.  Other parts involve connecting my husband and daughter with the right people.  But if I'm really doing my job as a wife, mother, and friend a lot of my time is spent listening.  Just listening.

I hope you'll stay with me on this journey.  If you're feeling in the mood to listen, I've got plenty to say.  If you're feeling in the mood to entertain for the holidays, well, I've got some tips for that too on my latest podcast.

Thanks for listening.


Sarcastic Bastard said...

Good luck with the new job. I think you'll be great at it.



Beth said...

Thanks SB!

Anonymous said...

so good to hear from you. That job sounds perfect for you and how lucky they are to have you.