Sweet Sixteen… 43 Years in the Making
Wow. Something for me to think about. In a way, my life has turned out exactly as I thought it would at sixteen, but the downside is that it took me just about 30 years to get here.
My life is a good one, but it definitely has not shaped up as I had envisioned way back when. Growing up in the seventies did not provide hope to this sheltered, painfully shy girl. I grew up with the understanding that all girls get married and stay home to raise a family, period. Not one thought rested on the idea of going to college and having a career because back then the only career open to women was to be a secretary… or so I thought. Career Day in high school didn’t have anything directed toward us girls. I loved science, but was woefully inept in anything but the very basics in math. I just did not get it and it was my understanding that to be able to do anything in science, you needed to be good in the higher math which was calculus, chemistry, geometry, ALGEBRA… Well, it was hard work, but I did eventually pass algebra and I needed a tutor to just pass geometry. I just didn’t get it and that dashed my hopes of ever pursuing a career in the sciences. So, with my illustrious science career raking in the coals, I turned my attention to the Domestic Engineer, meaning wife and mother to some very lucky guy… heh.
There was just one problem. I was not high on the list of conquest for any male my age. Those suckers! But I digress. I did work at a series of clerical jobs, none of which I could deem “career worthy,” yet I managed to learn a lot during those years. Lessons that I would carry with me throughout my life. Well, to make a life long story short, at the age of 42, I finally met and married my husband and we now have a seven year old boy who, I’m sure, is the love of both of our lives… outside of each other, that is. I have the life now that I had envisioned for myself–34 years later! Ironically enough, I am a stay-at-home mom, but sadly looking for work at this time. Back in the seventies it was the accepted norm… and expected that women would have their babies and stay home. Now, after a couple of decades of women keeping their jobs after having babies, more women are returning back to the old ways of staying home with their broods.
I actually love being home. My son is going to school full-time and I do have the whole day to myself, basically, to do whatever I choose whether it be cleaning or just writing this blog. I volunteer at different places and last week I had that extra time to drive quite a ways to teach seniors how to crochet. If I had a nine to five, I definitely could not do that. I value my time and love to give it to volunteer where needed. I spend a lot of time doing research on autism since our son was diagnosed with it when he was six years old. However, I am in a position right now where we need me to go to back to work. I find myself at actually another fork in the road, mentally. I am loath to the idea for many reasons. One being I feel I need to be home for the “just in case” something happens in school and I need to be called. Huh? Yeah, this is not something that would happen on a regular basis, let alone a tremendous long shot of it happening even once. Another reason is that I am hating the corporate world right now and the devalued status of employees now-a-days, in general. Everyone is dispensable. Companies are almost looking for a reason to fire you almost as soon as they hire them. Get the job done for cheaper, and no employee is safe from being cut from the ranks. So this is the frame of mind I have right now concerning prospective employers. On the other side of the coin, I really need to chip in right now and find a job that brings in some money and we also desperately need medical insurance. This month, I’ve been putting in applications, taking online tests and what have . I don’t have the luxury right now to take a part-time job. DH is Still, waiting for his degree from which the graduation is listed as Jan. 20th 2013 on the university’s registrars’ web page. I know that we have not heard anything from the university, yet they have our money for graduation for over a semester now. grrrr, another tangent.
As I look at all these words, I realize that no matter how confident I think that I am, I have fear in me. My view of the working world out there is that they carry standards too high for me to live up to. A lot has changed since I was a young person out there in the real working world. A world that was and still is a very intimidating place. Inside me I know that I have a lot to give, but freak out while wondering what an employer will expect of me now, in this day and age where youth is celebrated over the older, more experienced person… especially a woman. I feel pressured to present myself in the youngest possible light and that is not so easy anymore. I have more aches and pains than when I was in my 20’s, 30’s, heck even 40’s. I have more outside-the-job responsibilities than I had back then, too. I now have a school aged child that needs me at home when he gets here. Back then, I could win an employer over with my receptivity of staying later than my quitting time. I always stayed until I got the job done. I just don’t have that freedom any longer. Ah so, I’ll have to close. I can ruminate about this all day, but I’ve got to let this go at some point.
Have a great day and keep warm!
- Sixteen Candles: Sage Advice for My Sixteen-Year-Old Self (offgothepanties.com)
- Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen (sousetoiles.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing? (tonyarai.wordpress.com)
- Sweet sixteen (laurieanichols.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen (allaboutjennifer.wordpress.com)
- Sweet Shallow Sixteen (grandmalin.wordpress.com)
- Sweet Sixteen and Rose-Colored Glasses (dianarasmussen.wordpress.com)
- Back to Work – How stay-at-home moms can get back in the career game (theinsider.retailmenot.com)