Sunday, April 22, 2012

As Good As It Gets

What if this were as good as it gets?

It's a profound question from a pretty good movie. And it's something I ponder quite a bit lately.

I am a stay-at-home mom to two boys, ages 5 and 2. I feel useless. I know my boys need me and I'm grateful I don't have to work. But I don't feel like I'm contributing. I don't feel fulfilled.

My mother would say, "Yes. This is as good as it gets. What do you want?"

Therein lies my problem. I have NEVER known what I wanted to do. People still ask me what would make me happy. I have no answer. I never had a goal. I never had anything to strive for. I just kind of sailed along and did what felt right at the moment.

I followed in my mother's footsteps when I was in high school. I took typing and stenography and became an administrative assistant. I was good at it. But I wanted something else.

I took an evening paralegal class and became a paralegal for in-house counsel at a start-up telecommunications company, back in the 90s when telecom was booming. I made decent money and was good at it. But I wanted something else.

I took classes while I worked as a paralegal and got my graduate's degree in education. I finished up my coursework, did my student teaching for 3 months in a 2nd grade classroom, got my teaching license and was good at it. Even the principal said "the cream always rises to the top." But I wanted something else.

I went back into telecom but this time became an account manager. I made good money and was good at it. But the telecom industry topped out by the year 2000 and the company eventually folded. That's when I got married.

I thought about starting a family so I went back into administrative work until I got pregnant. Thankfully, I married someone who made enough money that I could afford to stay home.

This August will be 11 years I'm married. It's 8 years since I've been out in the work force. I'm frustrated.

My 2 year still needs me, and I don't want to short-change him by plopping him in daycare so I can feel good about myself and earn a paycheck that probably wouldn't even cover the cost of having him there. Besides, he should have the same experience his older brother had.

So I'm pretty much looking at another 2+ years of unemployment. I don't know what I can do to keep me busy or happy during that time. And I don't know what I'm going to do after the 2 years are up. Doesn't seem so easy to find a job these days.

They say figure out what makes you happy and find a way to get paid to do it. If only I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

What if this were as good as it gets?

No comments:

Post a Comment