I'm most recently a writer. In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot. As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades. An unwilling transplant from the South, twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US. Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect. When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do. Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Let me just say how much I admire (and even envy) women my age who have maintained a career while doing everything else women my age have done. To have set out on a path which led them through a fulfilling work life to a pension deserves congratulations. To have risen through the ranks in what I understand is still a male-dominated world despite all our aspirations to the contrary must bring enormous satisfaction at the end of the day.
I'll never know. That road was never really open to me, and if it had been, I would most likely not have chosen it. And I'm quite content with that.
I have worked at so many jobs that my resume, the last time I put one together, seemed to be a patchwork of several women's lives. I've worked in retail, in medical offices, in a nursing home (top of the list of all time most rewarding), sold custom decorating for a large department store (bottom of the list), more retail, had my own business as a bridal alterationist (second to the top), managed a flower shop(doesn't every woman at some time in her life say she wants to work in a flower shop?) and now I'm a desk clerk in a small, very nice hotel (right up there at the top, come to think of it.) In between I've worked in a day care center, a Jewish Community Center Preschool, a church nursery and sold Avon, Mary Kay and Shaklee.
Don't start to think I'm unstable. I've never been fired and I left most of these jobs because of factors which had little to do with the work itself. Changing domestic situations, relocations, health issues and better offers kept me moving. It was pretty obvious early on that I was never going to land in one of those jobs that would some day provide security in my old age, so why not follow where life sent me?
Looking back, I believe that was the plan for me from the beginning. I was destined to take Frost's road less traveled and stray down every appealing byway because there I would encounter people and places, experience vast variety, and acquire an education custom-crafted for me. I give thanks for the souls who shared portions of their journeys with me, treasure the neighborhoods, churches and workplaces which allowed me to share and expand my talents, and most of all I celebrate my uncalculated arrival at each point in my life. Finding yourself faced with new opportunities and challenges, offered options you never considered for yourself, and picking up the thread of life in a new and sometimes uninviting place is a gift of untold worth.
I've worked hard, learned a lot (sometimes the hard way, I admit) and I have no regrets. That security would be nice, but I would never choose it over the wealth accumulated on my winding career path. This new phase, finally doing the thing I thought I was meant to do before my journey even began, is yet another now filling with people and experiences I never expected to encounter. Maybe I've come full circle, or maybe this is another of those byways. Either way, I'll put everything I have into it and welcome whatever the outcome. I've made a career of that kind of thing, after all.