I finished up this last class and discovered something critical about myself… I am not management material. Honestly, I think I’m only marginal as a supervisor. I care about the people that have to report to me and I want to help them achieve great things, but I think I stink at the supervisory portion of my job.
Actually, that, combined with the public speaking factor is causing me to feel like I’m turning into a marginal employee at this point. I work hard and I’m achieving some good things in my development as a new financial aid counselor, but the mere thought of speaking to a large crowd of people makes me sick to my stomach and frankly I’ve had a few good crying jags over the pending presentations I’ll have to do. I have no idea how I will get past this, although I’ve certainly got some good folks trying to help me with it.
Anyway, this recent class that I’ve just finished up was excellent. I wish I could say that I did well in it, because (regardless of what grade I get) I truly didn’t do my best. The fatigue and the stress are winning right now. My stress knots have developed their own stress knots. My attention span is thin and I am hyper-sensitive. I went through a training session today with a high-pitched electronic keening sound in the background of the entire 1 1/2 hour presentation. I think it will be weeks before I forget the feeling of that sound in my teeth.
I asked Todd last night if he thought it was perhaps a case that I will never find satisfaction in employment. He didn’t have much to say for me and it makes me wonder. What could he say really? I told him that I suspect that I won’t ever find true satisfaction because I want something for myself that I simply cannot have.
What is hardest for me is that time doesn’t stop with your children. You can say things like “Oh, I’m going to wait until after I’ve had children to pursue my career” and you can shift priorities around, but set things aside or stop time with your kids. They just keep growing up, faster and faster.
I’ve mentioned before that this is absolutely the best part of life – right now – when they are young and here and with us. I mean that. When I think about what it’s like when they are older and move on to live their own big lives, I realize for me this is that best point. I can hug them each day and I can talk to them. I can be a part of their adventures, watching them grow and discover. I can kiss them goodnight and tell them I love them each night.
My mom doesn’t even get to see my sister on a regular basis, except maybe a couple times a year. If she’s lucky. I haven’t really spent any time with my mom in many weeks. It seems awful to me. I’m not talking about clinging to your children or trying to live vicariously through them (or some other ridiculous thing like that). I’m talking about sharing in their lives. I think about how lucky my husband and my sister in law are, that they get to see their parents on a regular basis. And yet, I don’t expect my children to make limited choices in order to stay close to us. I know that the days will come when they have to head off on their own. Yes… that thought can reduce me to a blubbery mess too.
The point is that this time we have when our family is young and together and close is finite. It’s fleeting. I’m not sure if that’s why being away is so hard or if that might be part of it, tossed in with the fact that all I ever wanted was to be a mom.
I don’t know. I really don’t.
I just wonder if that doesn’t have something to do with my always seeking my place? Maybe that’s why I’ll never be satisfied… never be truly happy away from my family when I’m at work.
It’s sad because I always feel like I have to qualify this and say that this isn’t about genderizing or saying that it’s a “woman’s role” (which, by the way, pisses me off more than words can say – it’s about personal choice and what is best for the person). It also has nothing to do with a romanticized idea of what it would be like staying home. I’ve done it, however briefly it was, and it is hard work that never ends… no vacation – limited “sick time” and a whole lot of doing it 7 days a week. It’s like a gaseous cloud that expands to fill your waking moments.
It’s just where I want to be.
Tonight Todd threw a mini-fit – and I’ll qualify this because he’s tired and he’s down sick again – he said that all he does is cook and then cook more. He then went on a little rant about doing the dishes and then cooking some more. I think the kids thought he’d lost his mind.
I had to smile. We had just talked last night about how he understands how hard it is to stay home and do it all, because he’s doing a lot of it right now. We kind of negotiated a deal for the future… when he gets out of school and is fully employed professionally (income-allowing), we’ll look at me staying home to take care of the infinite number of things that need to be done. I’ll take care of things, but it also doesn’t mean that I’m going to sit back and let all this education and experience go away. I’ll figure things out somehow – maybe look at writing seriously, instead of this half-hearted stream of consciousness thing I do here. If it happens… if we’re able to make it work… I’ll do it in a heartbeat.
No. I’m not management material. Not by a long, long shot. But I’m learning how to accept who I am, little by little. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stay home with my kids. It could be that it’s something that we can talk about now, with the years of Todd’s education still ahead of him, and that’s all it will ever be. It’s that tiny possibility though, that’s what might help me to hang on through all of this anxiety and stress.
So good night from one wiped out moonfire. I kissed the boys goodnight. I tucked in the stuffed dragon and I gave a few “I love you’s”…
…I hope I have good dreams.
Tomorrow is another day.