Welcome to episode 2 of "Theme Thursday," where talented ladies (and now a gentleman too!) join forces to bring you more entertainment and deep thoughts. This week is brought to you by the letter D, and the theme "Dream Job." At some point in every little girls life "Cinderella" plays a role in that dream - which may be why so many of us who grew up in the 80's could appreciate that modern-day fairytale, "Pretty Woman." The director brilliantly starts with a street person asking "What's your dream?" and that has stuck with me through the years. The interesting hind-sight part of this is, the dream has changed SO many times.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a lawyer - so I got a Liberal Arts degree and joined a pre-law fraternity, and plotted my course of action for seeking out law schools. The smartest thing I ever did though, was to not forge ahead and go to law school right out of college - I decided to get some experience in the "real world" first and maybe even work for lawyers to see if this is what I really wanted to do.
Three jobs later, I was working for a large corporate law firm and within a couple of month I had definitively changed my dream job. No longer did I want to be a lawyer. I transferred over to the marketing department and a star was born! I was spending other peoples money, planning fancy events with great food, open bars, and tchotchkes that I got to pick out! I danced in this circle for 6 years before the shine on the star started to fade. Then came kids and the realization that a career that centers on evenings and weekends was not the best plan for this struggling new mommy.
One year at home with a new baby drove me to long for the hour-commute to DC so I jumped back into the working world without much of an idea of what I wanted other than "out of the house."
One year back in the office and I find myself pregnant with twins. (No correlation there).
[cue the calendar pages rapidly flipping past]
Here I am now, having stayed at home with kids for almost 3 years now, and have dabbled in marketing consulting for an art center, a marketing firm, and a caterer - all within my circle of knowledge. I may have more experience in the office world than I do in the mom world, but I'm starting to really understand the whole motherhood thing and it's challenges. I've witnessed the "mommy wars" online and in the news where stay at home moms and working moms are pitted against each other, ostensibly to discover which lifestyle is better for the kids, but I'm pretty sure it's all about selling newspapers, magazines, and other sensational media. All that I read and all that I encounter leads me to the same conclusion: parenting is HARD! It's more than a full time job, it's a 24 hour a day job. Two nights just this week I was up most of the night with my 5 year old - once to take her to the ER for croup-relief and once because she heard mooing and it woke her up. Seriously, she said "the mooing woke me up." And no, we don't live anywhere near cows.
So my dream job entails making all that hard work just a little bit easier, with some breaks along the way. I want to win the lottery and start up The Windfall Foundation. (See, I have to win the lottery because doing it the old fashioned way is so daunting that I think I'd have to hire a nanny for my kids just so I could do the business plan - plus I'm a little bit lazy - and this is our "dream job" posting after all.)
The Windfall Foundation would take steps to help out parents based on need, do things that might give them just a little step up. Low to no interest loans to start a business, grants to cover daycare for a year, and gift certificates to nanny/babysitting services so they can go take care of themselves for a day. I don't know how many times I've groaned at the back aches from carrying my twins around and though, "I just wish I could take a couple hours and go get a massage." And then the inevitable, "but there is no one to watch the kids and I just can't justify spending $60-100 on a one-hour massage just for me" gets in the head and won't leave. And isn't that all of us? Putting our needs last, suffering the aches and pains of getting through the day, and stressing over things that we want (and some things we need) but think are out of our reach.
I would love to be able to "take care of" some of my friends who are struggling by giving them jobs at TWF (not to be confused with WTF) in their area of expertise. I would love to create an atmosphere of generous giving and taking care of each other as we share this world, and putting our talents where they can be best utilized, without draining us of the will to work. I would never want anyone who works with me to think "OH god I do NOT want to go to work today!" and if they do, I want them to SAY so and feel free to take the day off. Because the people I would have working with me would always, always get the job done and I would know that I could trust them to take off when they needed a mental break and come back swinging for the fences. We would work together and we would help people in those small, mostly unnoticed ways that just might make them feel good enough to help someone else when the opportunities arises.
That is my dream job.
Either that, or opening my own restaurant. Because you know I think I'm a foodie.
Wonder what other folks are dreaming about today? Click the links below to see what idea is cherished by others.
My Theme Thursday Co-conspirators
Thursday, October 11, 2012
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