Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Circle Of Life

I was thinking today about how some thirty years ago I knew everything. I know now that I will never live long enough to know even a portion of what I would like to. As a cocky nineteen year old I had a job at McGraw-Hill. Within a few months I went to the head of our department (bypassing the two supervisors over me) and told him my talents were being wasted. I would finish processing my orders and then help the other women do theirs. They begged me to slow down and I would become irritated wondering why they were so lazy. I could stay up half the night and still work faster than them. Life has taken me down a few pegs now. When I was at McGraw-Hill (publishing part of the company) I was the baby of the department. I was already married and had owned and sold a business with my then husband. Let's just refer to him as "the former significant other". I had just purchased a home and my how the world was mine. My department head put me up for a promotion and before you could say "I'm outta here" I was in my new job as the assistant to a customer service representative who was a one person department running their education /development customer service orders and keeping the salesmen under control. Shortly into that job I learned I was pregnant. Trust me, no one was more surprised than me and I even argued with the doctor. When I heard the baby's heartbeat I tried to question if it might be an echo of my own. NO. I was delighted but it took a long time before I realized that I would not be able to work again for a long time. There were no day care centers at that time and if there were other mothers who babysat in their homes I didn't know of any. I began to get ready for a stay at home job which at the time became my joy. I became a Tupperware demonstrator to make some money. That could be done in the evenings when my baby was safely in his own crib. Sometimes I feel that the modern working moms are missing some precious moments that they shouldn't have to. In this day and age you would have to be independently wealthy to surive with children on one income, at least in the Northeast. Anna Quindlen said it best when she said that we could have it all BUT not at the same time.

This picture drawn by my friend, Diana, so precious

Years later I found myself back in the work force. How the tides of turned. Life who I once ruled, kicked my butt. I am now one of the oldest women in my department. I laugh as they tell me about their struggles to find Mr. Right, give them support through the bad break ups and check out their MySpace pages. I even succumbed to pressure and made one. It pales in comparison to theirs. I am no longer the sexy young thing of my youth. In place of that though, I have learned so much from the knocks of life. I am more compassionate. I am still friends with my dearest friend of that first career job, Monica. She left soon after I did and had a career in a local government. She turned 70 in the spring and let me tell you she is still one sexy mama. She laughs when I ask her how she put up with me. The nineteen year old know it all who gave her (mother of four) marital advice? She laughs and winks. Life is so interesting and I hope I always find it so. Even if I do need more than eight hours sleep.

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