Friday, October 19, 2007

The Startling Revelation – What I Am Going to do in My Life

When I was a kid, I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I only knew that I wanted to like doing it, I wanted to help people, I wanted to be important, I wanted people to honor and respect me. You know the typical glory seeking, help people, noble profession. There are a lot of things that I thought I could do, because I am so good at learning new things. I always liked to get an “A” grade. I will not fail, even if at first I don’t succeed, try, try, again.

Later, as I began to study engineering in college, I also began to realize that one, I wasn’t very good at it and two, I did not like the kind of work it was. I had entered engineering, because the work was concrete. And the mark one makes on the world is concrete too. I thought that I would really make some additions to the world.

Then part way through my second semester of engineering, after I had flunked a Calc II test, I had a meltdown. I cried to my friends that I need to be good at what I do; I’ve done everything and only been, well, mediocre; granted, I got good grades, but that does not make me good. I certainly will not be making any additions to the field of engineering. They all asked, “Well, Renee, what are you good at?” I replied,

“Art. People have always complimented me on my abilities, and I have always been amongst the top performing in my art classes.”

They said, “Do that, Renee.”

I returned curtly, “I have to be realistic. Very few make a decent living doing art.”

I do not mean to show irreverence for the craft, but I have to be able to care for myself. It would hardly make sense to get a $120,000.00 education to be an artist. So I went and got myself a philosophy degree (irony). But, I minored in art and further proved to myself that I am a skilled artist.

So here I am working as an administrative assistant, thinking this is not what I will be doing the rest of my life, because it is not what I do best. I do not want to be like my mom who never settled on a career. She was a Jack of All Trades and I do not think it served her well. But, that may be because she’s a bit A.D.D. too.

I have assessed many times what it is I ought to do. When I graduated Gonzaga, I wanted to go the Architecture school. I would still like to do that. But, I have become a bit disenchanted with it due to our friend who is an architect and does not really get to design. She is neck high in the legal paperwork involved in building. I would want to design churches or residential, and I think very few get to do that.

I think Architectural drafting would suit me well. If you had asked me in high school do go get an A.A. in Architectual drafting, I would have said never. I hated computers, because that was when they crashed every five minutes, and I was above an A.A. Now I think A.A.s are where it’s at. Although, I am very proud of my philosophy degree and I loved doing it. I learned a lot while in college. I may do this, but it’s not what I do well.

After becoming a mom, I realize how much little kids need their moms. Alexander loves daycare and does very well there, but it’s not what is best for him, or his future siblings. I like domesticity. I like cleaning (I blame my mom for hiring me to clean her rental properties). I like cooking. I like vacuuming. I like baking pies. I like meeting with other moms. I like learning about nutrition and yoga. I want my own veggie garden, chickens, maybe a dairy cow. I really want to learn how to sew, so I can tailor our clothes to hobbit size. And I still want to be an artist—a painter.

Andrew and I want to have a lot of children, so I will not have time to work outside the home once more come along. But, I think is important for an adult to have something outside the home apart from the kids.

I have hang-ups about all this. God forbid anything happen to Andrew, I need to be able to work and support myself and I worry that being an artist just won’t cut it. I think that is why I want to do architectural drafting, but that’s not my art. Also, I am not an innovator when it comes to my art. My only desire is to classically portray beauty. So, chances are I will never make much money.

So what I will do with my life is still uncertain. I feel as though my life is on hold while Andrew completes his PhD. I think IDEALLY, I would be a mom with a vegetable garden and chickens, and on the side I would be an artist. I will not worry about someday, what if…we need more money, or Andrew dies and I have to work, etc., because in the end, as I have demonstrated throughout my life, I am a capable person and if I need a career outside the home, I will go out and get one and probably, I will be pretty good at it, not the best, but pretty good; and if I need further training, I am smart and I will go and learn it. I cannot be an artist right now, but it’s like riding a bike, so the first chance I get, I will do it again. So, hurry up Andrew and finish this PhD, so I can be a mom and an artist.

Also, I want to point out that being a mom would fulfill all the job requirements I wanted as a kid...I wanted to like doing it, I wanted to help people (help my kids), I wanted to be important (I would be the main person in their lives to help them live and grow into competent adults), I wanted people to honor and respect me (kids do that right).

P.s. That's my painting in the green. See, I ain't half bad.

Friday, October 5, 2007

No Bloggin Allowed

I have been wanting to blog forever. It's not that my life has gotten less interesting and therefore there was nothing to blog. Quite the opposite. Things are just really busy. It's the hot season at my work. It's football season. Not that the football coaches have more time to work with us. It's just that as soon as football season is over the the coaches have a one week window in between the end of their season and holidays and the time when they can start recruiting for the next football season. During that week they make time to come to our convention. So, we spend the entire football season preparing our convention and getting the coaches organized to come. It's kind of a lot of work. I think we could be better organized about it, but there is just so many little details. And then there is all the letter writing/transcribing I do for our executive director. So that's work right now-in a nutshell.

Today, I have decided not to take my usual 2.5 mile run at lunch. It has been the only way for this busy wife/mom/career woman to get exercise. I love it. It helps me get through the day. But, it hasn't helped me lose an ounce since April. The weightloss stalemate might have to do with all the ice cream and splurging (curse Andrew's insatiable desire for ice cream) . But, I have always said that I need to workout more, because I love food. I think that I am one of those people that isn't satisfied by just eating. If it tastes good, I want to keep tasting it over and over and over even after I am full. It's like I am O.C.D. for flavorful foods. I have been trying to eat slower and savor the flavor, since that is what I like so much about food and not so much the feeling of being full. Long story short, I am skipping running and taking a little time to blog.

I am doing a pretty bad job keeping up the house. Before work I shower, dress, make lunches, feed Alexander, give him a nebulizer treatment, change a nasty, morning poopy diaper, dress him, and take him to daycare (normal mom stuff). After work I come home, tend to Alexander, make dinner, eat dinner, do the dishes, cleanup the kitchen, put Alexander to bed, the evening usually involves laundry or some other household thing. By 8-8:30 p.m. there is still much housework to do, but I am mentally physically exhausted. I just want to veg on the sofa and watch T.V. So, not enough gets done and no, Andrew does not help. It's not a negative comment on him. He has his own stuff to do, although, instead of just dropping his stuff all over the apartment, he could just put it where it belongs in the first place. One of our big problems is we have too much stuff for the amount of living space. Not everything has a place. We could eliminate some things, but you know the old adage, "the minute you get rid of it, that's when you will need it."

In order to get everything done that I want to get done, something has got to give. I cannot spend less time with Alexander; at present, I need to keep working to support the family; I chose to neglect the house. I do the important things, laundry, vacuum, cook, buy groceries, handel the finances. So I only clean the bathrooms and sheets about once a month. I have to say this to justify the mess to myself, because the mess really bothers me. I shouldn't let it bother me, because it's not that important.

Enough griping.

This whole blog is just to say, I might be MIA in the blog world for most of the football season, until mid-January. It's just that time of year.