Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Quiet Before The Storm

Saturday morning - around 9:45 AM. It's quiet. I'm alone with the animals - but only for a few moments. The weekend is here - the "days off" - however, this is when I feel my OTHER job starts. I'm now full time entertainment director, dietitian, educator, moderator, and all around meanie for a small but opinionated group.

The children and T will be home in just moments - back from Gymnastics at the Y. I take that hour (when I can) to relax, read, bathe, and plan the day. Yep, it's a busy hour - light on the relaxing.

Today's adventure should be another jaunt of geocaching. Dear friends in San Jose introduced us to this last November and we've been hooked every since. It's like a high-tech scavenger hunt and we find that it takes us to areas in our own city (and those we visit) that we wouldn't know about.

Sounds like my time is up. The quiet is about to disappear. So here's the question rolling around in my head today. Is it wrong to really want a true day off? One that has no responsibilities, no requirements. Remember when you were younger, and aside from working off that Friday-night hangover - your commitments were only the ones you made for yourself? I could spend an entire day doing things for ME. Now, when I actually work up the nerve to request time alone I'm plagued with guilt. I love being a mom, a parent, a guide, but where am I going? How much more can I teach without being given the opportunity to learn? And how does one learn without being out on their own from time-to-time?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Grown Up Jobs

Here's the thing - I don't consider myself a grown-up. Well, I do in that I allow myself to eat ice cream for dinner (as long as nobody's watching), and I enjoy an adult beverage occasionally, but I'm still trying to figure out what I want to BE when I grow up.

I had a conversation along these lines with a friend a couple of weeks ago. When do we become "grown-ups"? It occurs to me, that a lot of people (myself included) define themselves in big part by what they do.

Now, I have a real job with real responsibilities and they pay me money and everything. However, I don't have a real job title - you know the ones that meant something when we were kids. I am a General Manager - yeah, so? I was a "manager" right out of high school. Don't get me wrong - on most days I like my job, but it doesn't sound like a grown-up job. People I know have grown-up sounding jobs. My high school boyfriend is an author - published several books, even works on documentaries - now that's a grown-up job. Another woman I went to high school with is a Professor of Archeology - another grown-up job.

My two oldest and dearest friends are both not-so-stay-at-home moms. I admire them more than I can say - and when I hear about the involvement they get to have with their children, I turn green. They both do work with their children's schools - they do fund-raising - they get to be so much more a part of their children's lives than I ever will. They probably have the toughest and most grown-up jobs there are - but I can't do it.

My family is dependent on my salary. T works (in fact - just got back on full-time, yeah) but it's my salary that pays the mortgage, the bills, and puts groceries on the table. So, I guess that's pretty grown-up, too, but not in a good - ice cream for dinner - make old friends jealous of how far you've come - kind of way.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Get A Life!"

This was a familiar refrain back in the day. It was most often used as a response to a complaint about something, intending to indicate that the complainer had less value to their existence than the complainee.

So, here's something else I don't know. What makes "a life?". Now I know how life is defined, and I know the countries that have the lowest and highest life expectancy - but is just meeting the criteria of living "a life"? Can a person have a life if there is very little of them in it? To that point, I provide example A - ME. Last night. This was my evening: Get home from work, pee (I drink a lot of water), seek out my children for hugs, make dinner, eat dinner, watch a little "Happy Feet" with the kids, put them to bed, and veg out for the next two hours in front of the TV. Hubby is there too (heretofore to be known as T), but there is very little conversation between us. (That's a whole, 'nother LONG story - another day, my friends). Then I go to bed.

Does that constitute as "a life"? I didn't do anything miraculous. I didn't do anything heinous. I didn't do anything that will have a ripple affect and eventually change the world. I didn't do anything dangerous. I didn't do anything exciting. I didn't do anything noteworthy.

If this were anyone else's story, I'd think that this was a fantastic breeding ground for discontent. There are days that it is. However, underneath it all, I spent time with my family, I taught them - about healthy food - about manners - about responsibility - about time management. At the end of their evening - mine was made. It's simple really - sweet little "I love you's" to me, make a life.

Of course, if that was enough, I'd have no other questions, right? Am I selfish for wanting more for me? Does "having a life" count if it's not your own life?

As for the answers, life is primarily defined by the quality that distinguishes from dead or inorganic organisms, such as growth, metabolism, and response to stimuli. The country with the highest life expectancy is Andorra, the country with the lowest is Swaziland (between 33-34 years of age!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Here we go!

I kept a Blog once before - about diet and weightloss. I'm sure components of that will raise their ugly heads once again, but that's not my focus this time around. This time, I'm going to use this an exercise to try to figure some stuff out.

Like I said up there, I know an amazing amount of things. Now, now, before you sputter and spurt and write me off as an egotistical know-it-all, let me clarify. I have a mind made for useless bits of trivia. I can tell you why we cover our mouths when we yawn, I can tell you how many calories are in 4 ounces of strawberries, I can tell you what my friend had for lunch when we went out two years ago, and I could tell you how many spiders the average person eats unintentionally in their sleep.

However, I cannot tell you what I want to be when I grow up. I can't tell you why I don't consider myself grown-up already. I can't tell you why I want to try a new hobby every other month. I can't tell you why I always feel like I'm waiting for my REAL life to start. I can't tell you why I find total motivation in snipets from children's movies. I can't tell you why I don't make friends easily. I can't tell you why I don't let go of the past. I can't tell you why I can be so sure about something one day, and total disinterested the next.

There are many, many more things I can tell you - and even more that I can't. So, my plan is, with each entry into this journal, to offer some answers, and ask more questions. Hopefully, eventually, I'll get some to match up.

So, in case anyone was wondering, we cover our mouths when we yawn to prevent the Devil from entering our bodies (at least that's where it started - now it's just considered rude not to), there are 36 calories in 4 ounces of strawberries, my friend had a southwestern salad (while I had a grilled chicken "burger"), and the average human being swallows 4 spiders while sleeping over the course of their life.