Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to work...

I'm starting a job.

(It still doesn't seem quite real.)


And I am absolutely, positively, feel-it-in-my-bones,


My career as a stay at home parent is quickly coming to an end. I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life; after all, I've been pondering it (to death) since I left the workforce, lo those many years ago. But I'm also, in equal measure, scared out of my wits.

Those aforementioned many years are a big part of my (current) neuroses. It has been nine and a half years since I left the 'bring home the bacon' part of me back in DC. When I left, we didn't have smartphones or social media (MySpace doesn't count, right?). I left my last office with my résumé on a -- I kid you not -- floppy disk. So much has changed in the modern workplace and I am petrified that I'll be hopelessly behind the times.

And, in addition to all the new-fangled, techno-stuff, what if that brain I had back in 2005 has become irretrievably slushy from years of under-use? What if they ask me important, grown-up, work-y questions and all I can say is, "Uhh, Phineas and Ferb? Chicken nuggets? Oh, I know -- LEGO!" I also have no specific experience in the position I've accepted. Having worked in and around nonprofits, I know what grant writers basically do (and I bought 'Grant Writing For Dummies.' Seriously.) but, I have never done it myself. What if I completely stink at it? Yikes.

Also, the last time I had a J-O-B,  I was mommy to just one little, tiny, baby boy. I didn't need to worry too much about work-life balance. As much as I wanted to spend time with my child, let's face it - when they're super little, they are okay with you working late a couple of nights. My mommy guilt to the contrary, he probably didn't even notice. Now, however, they're old enough to be bummed out if I can't take them to Taekwondo lessons or someone else picks them up from school. They have had 9 years of my undivided attention (the little one's entire life) now they won't. Granted, my new job is extremely flexible, part-time, and mostly virtual; but it will be taking a bit of my obsession focus away from them. Can I really do that?

Sadly, there's SO much more about which to panic (I am an affirmed worst-case scenario woman): This is my first job since my stroke - will that be a factor? What if I am way older than everyone else working there? What if they hate my shoes? Et cetera, et cetera...

But I want this.

I want this bad. And no amount of self-doubts, insecurities, or loony misgivings are going to stop me. My comfort zone is TOO comfy and my rut is getting too deep. I need this. I may be a basket case in anticipation of Tuesday, but I'm also electrified. I'm gonna do it, and it's gonna be great. Right. Right? I hope.

Here goes nothing :-)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Letter to My Oldest Son

Dear Big Guy,

I know you're having a rough time right now.

Over the last week or so, you've confessed to me that you're having a hard time finding 'your place' among your classmates. The boys and girls in school have started to act differently than in years past; they're at the beginning stages of creating the social hierarchy that will last throughout the rest of your school years.

In Kindergarten, and first grade, everyone was friends with everyone.  As they grew older, kids started to gravitate toward other kids with similar interests, on the same sports teams, etc., and that's perfectly normal, but everyone was still friendly with all their classmates. 

Now, as you are finding out, everything has changed.

Instead of kids just being kids, it's starting to be important to become 'cool.'

And for you, my darling son, that isn't important. You don't care about cool. You care about doing what makes you happy. About following your own path. About being yourself. And what you don't realize is that although the other kids don't find that 'cool' now, that is EXACTLY what is going to make you cool for the rest of your life.

Yes, your classmates seem to be a little ahead of you socially, but in reality? They are far, FAR behind you.  In their hurry to grow up, they may leave stuff behind they like because it's not cool. They may forgo the simple pleasure of playing pirates or tag or just running for no reason, even though they may not necessarily want to. The great thing about you?? If you like it, you're gonna do it and no one is going to tell you not to.

How incredibly brave is that?

The things that make you, YOU (your incredibly kind heart, your empathy, your desire to do what's right, your ability to be your own person - and so much more!) are what's going to be cool!
It might be hard to imagine right now, but when you guys look back, no one is going to remember or be proud of acting nonchalant in the 4th grade. But, my dear son, YOU will look back and say, I was always an individual! I always treated people fairly and with kindness! And I was always, always true to myself.

You will look back and you will be proud. Just as proud of yourself as we are, and always will be.

Love you,