Monday, September 27

Let's Start AGAIN!

More on Completion (or lack thereof)
(Please note that this post contains almost NO knitting content, but instead contains a long rambling rant about what the hell I'm going to do with my life, so feel free to just scroll on by. Photos of WIPs and FO slippers are on the way, I I promise.)

So this incomplete project metaphor for my professional life is really sticking with me. I went back to researching my fiber-related business idea (well, one of them) last night. It would be a big investment--I think it would involve purchasing a mini-mill (which my MBA training reminds me would put a cap on my growth potential and probably reduce my desirability as an acquisition target, though I'm not sure of that), a loan, and, dread concept: employees. Aside from the un-dream-jobbyness of having to manage a manufacturing staff, like everything else I have investigated for my next life, it just seems like...a drag. Taking the GRE sounds like a drag. Going to nursing school sounds like a drag. Every "next move" has some big hitch to it that makes me feel totally unmotivated and generally annoyed at the concept.

And what a PITA whiny louse do I sound like, huh? Beautiful family; easy and remunerative career already in place (so what if it's boring and I'm stuck in a weird under/overqualified place right now); a creative outlet through hobbies. I have everything I've ever wanted. And honestly, I'm not really unhappy. I just feel like I have a responsibility to do something. And I'm not even sure what.

It's such a cliche. The type A woman can't get pregnant so she puts her entire life into having a baby. Then she gets pregnant and her life is adrift. I was so sick of hearing that one from the "after infertility" stuff (what little there is) that I wasn't interested. Seriously, I was not sitting here with my new babies wondering "what's next?" For my babies' first year (really for their first two years) I wanted to be earth-mother-SAHM-AP-cloth-diapering-LLL MAMA! And I was, to a degree. But it took me about that long to find out that because I WOH 3 days a week, despite the great lengths to which I went to minimize separation from my babies and the fact that it was if not a fiscal necessity (arguable, but it certainly was to a great extent), a relationship necessity, I would always be scorned by LLL and a certain contingent of AP types. When my son started biting at 10 months (yes, it may well have been the day care exposure to other biting toddlers), after trying every blessed AP approach, I resorted to time-outs (well, time-ins, but time in the corner) at 16 months. Not proud of it: desperate. I realized that although I was lucky to have boobs that complied with the whole nursing twins thing and although I am going to be a crunch-mama with devoted twin nurslings who are soon-to-be-preschoolers and no sign of weaning in sight, I was not going to EVER fit in at LLL or in the AP world. I thought my WOH, since it was part-time and as balanced with my family's needs as it could be, was a detail of my uniqueness as a LLL mom or an AP mom. But after going to an LLL conference and just paying a little more attention, I realize that I'm just never going to be welcome in that world. And I don't know if I'm cut out for it anyway. Yeah, I'm totally there with doing WHATEVER is needed to make my kids a priority, but I think that prioritization goes beyond a few years of time off at home, and heck, it just didn't make sense for me, at this moment in my life, to take time off. If I had been able to "schedule" my childbearing a bit more, maybe. But I'm not bitter. Some days I am nearly in tears with longing to be home with them full-time. Some days I am so grateful and relieved I did not take that route. Some days I think my kids are better off with their loving, incredible, wonderful teachers three days a week. Some days I walk out after dropping them off and it takes everything I have in me to keep from turning around and RUNNING back in to get them. I think about how cool it would be to do this playgroup or that gymnastics class or that music program but honestly, I can barely find the money for those things now, how would I afford them with no second income? Who ARE these people with the late-model minivans and the full schedule of music together and a Y membership and only one parental income? How did I not get the memo on this?

The one thing I've done a good job of lately is to keep my options open. No addition on the house because it keeps our expenses low in case my income decreases or goes away completely. No committing to one course or other because, what, we might want another baby (haven't even gotten into that particular little spin). Doesn't matter, because really, no time to pursue any of this crap until next Fall when the income will go bye-bye and I will need to do SOMETHING and not spend a year figuring out what that SOMETHING is. Taking the first freelance job offered by my current employer, even though the timing is awful for me (starts this year, while my current project is in its most intense phase), so I can be sure to have some money coming in next year.

When I'm "tied down" to a job, my mind is rife with entrepreneurial ideas, but when it comes to the point where I actually have the opportunity to do something new, I'm paralyzed by an irrational fear of...what...poverty, failure, my own laziness?

The fact is that my kids are still tiny. I'm at a point where I don't want to take on anything huge. Part of me wants to start a cool new company, do something bold, make a lot of money, make a mark. But most of me knows that this is NOT the season for that. The rational thing to do: grad school or some low-key consulting. Or both. Probably both because last time I checked grad school doesn't pay at all unless you work like a dog as a TA, and then not well.

Guess it's time to suck it up and sign up for the GRE, and get the application materials, and make a few lunch dates with people who I should network with about this. It's ironic, because the project I'm finishing up this year is about the SAT, and the hypotheses are rather critical of the idea of such tests. The idea of taking a prep course or something is pretty hilarious right now. But I have some pretty hard data that shows it helps, LOL, at least for high school students.

Thanks for listening to my ramble. I feel much better. Back to Klara. I'm done with both sleeves and I'm a few inches into my first body piece. Trying SO hard not to cast on for a baby Einstein sweater for my friends' new baby girl. Must....finish....Klara...FIRST!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

cate cate cate. sigh. why won't you just listen to reason??

here's what you do: you sell your house for a bagillion dollars and buy a house on my block for next to nothing, with plenty of moola left to fix it up (it will need fixing up.) insta-community with lots of interesting, groovy, but non-judgmental folks among whom you will be a much-revered ap-crunch-goddess. we eat together, we have happy hour together, we garden together, we take care of each other's kids. we've got a swim club, a playground and a community garden within a block, and a beautiful wooded park with miles and miles of hiking trails just three blocks away. all this and an integrated, somewhat gritty urban village to boot!

then, you send your kids to the morning program at the cooperative nursery school at the uu church for next to nothing, and you and i do some child care swapping in the afternoon. when they are old enough, they can go to the AMAZING wissahickon charter school, for free! we set ourselves up in business together doing the doula/lc thing, or if you really must, you set yourself up in business doing the fiber thang. you raise sheep four miles away at the ag school, and maybe you even introduce a whole fiber program there! in the meantime, we hang out and we knit together, you learn to quilt, we'll be the earth-mama matriarchs of earlham terrace.

see, if you'd just listen to me, it would be so easy.

come and visit, wouldya?