I Was a Career Woman Until Suddenly I Wasn't, And I'm Completely Content With That

I Was a Career Woman Until Suddenly I Wasn't, And I'm Completely Content With That

I thought I knew what I wanted but I was nowhere near close.

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I'll be the first one to tell you I never imagined any of this- I never thought I would be in my late twenties, rocking two babies on the side porch of our home in the country. I never thought I would lie on my back on a blanket by a trellis of muscadine vines while my daughter played on the handmade wooden swing behind me and my son nibbled on fallen grapes.

You see, I was supposed to be the career girl.

I graduated top of my college class in only three years. I took every AP course there was available to me in high school. I stayed up late on Friday nights not because I was out partying, but because I desperately wanted to make an A+ on my Monday morning exams. Since I discovered my ability to write at an early age, I had done nothing but dream of becoming a famous author. I filled blue notebook after blue notebook with short stories, creating enough to fill up an entire cardboard box by the time I finished elementary school.

After college, I took a job as a technical writer back in my hometown. It was fulfilling and paid well enough, but it wasn't my dream job. That concept was always in the back of my mind: the "dream job." I would come home from work utterly exhausted and suffering from carpal tunnel but immediately after dinner, I would be pounding the keyboard again, working away tirelessly at the next great American novel. I was convinced that if I could just create characters that were interesting enough, charming enough and special enough, I could create a best-seller. Then, that best-seller would be turned into a cinematic treasure. Then, I would win a Pulitzer and an Oscar. It was the dream, I tell you.

I never got too far into that novel, though. Our daughter was born when I was 28 and our son came 23 months later. Suddenly, that mental urge I had to win the rat race was replaced with a maternal urge to nest and nurture my children as much as possible. I decided to stay home with them as soon as I delivered my firstborn in the hospital. I called my bosses and through tears, told them I had decided to step down. My projects, the ones I had planned on completing as soon as my maternity leave was up, would need to be given to someone else. I would be back in the office in a few weeks to pack up my desk, the one I had painted cherry red early one morning before work.

At first, I ran myself ragged: I tried to stay up and write after the kids went to sleep, I asked my parents, siblings, spouse and every friend I had to help me watch them so I could sneak away to a coffee shop a few times a week and knock out a few more pages.

The catch? I missed them like crazy when I was away.

I called constantly to check in, found myself browsing Pinterest for baby ideas more than I was actually working, and glanced at my phone every ten seconds to see if anyone had called. I even researched the legalities of installing a camera in our home to monitor my brood remotely when I was away, like we had done when we boarded our pup. It was all becoming too much and I was becoming a bit of a crazy person.

In short, I was dually consumed. I wanted to be the best writer I could possibly be, but I also wanted to be the best mother. I wasn't quite 30 and I was feeling the strain of a lifetime of commitments. I woke up one morning, however, with clarity.

At least for the time being, these are my characters. This is my story. No, the tale will never leave the confines of my heart and no one will ever read about us at the local bookstore. We won't go down in history for flying a kite in the backfield at two in the afternoon, while the pecan tree blows in the breeze and clothes dry on the line. No one will settle in with a cup of coffee and delve into the story about how we went to the library every Thursday, the same barbecue restaurant for chicken and dumplings every Tuesday, and the playground almost every evening in the summer of 2017.

But as the writer and the teller of these moments, I can't help but be so richly rewarded by them.

I may have given up my career temporarily, but the fact is that the keyboard will always be there, waiting for when I'm ready to pick it back up again. I have no doubt that the day will come when I am, indeed, ready. For now, though? I'm content to move from narrator to observer for the time being. I'll observe how the morning sunlight streams in through his hair when he's just stirring in his crib. I'll notice how her dimples show up when she's laughing with her head thrown back, hanging onto the monkey bars.

As my favorite song goes: "My only excuse for not doing enough? I was too busy being in love."

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10 Shows Netflix Should Have Acquired INSTEAD of Re-newing 'Friends' For $100 Million

Could $100 Million BE anymore of an overspend?

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Netflix broke everyone's heart and then stitched them back together within a matter of 12 hours the other day.

How does one do that you may wonder. Well they start by announcing that as of January 1st, 2019 'Friends' will no longer be available to stream. This then caused an uproar from the ones who watch 'Friends' at least once a day, myself including. Because of this giant up roar, with some threats to leave Netflix all together, they announced that 'Friends' will still be available for all of 2019. So after they renewed our hope in life, they released that it cost them $100 million.

$100 million is a lot of money, money that could be spent on variety of different shows.

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PSA, Parents, School Is Burning Out Your Kids, So It’s Time To Do YOUR Homework

With such a terrible system, things need to be taken into parental hands.

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Student exhaustion. Not sleep deprivation, exhaustion — built from multiple losses of sleep in the night — is a fairly prominent issue facing society.

I guess the better way to put it is- you know there's a problem when nearly 20% of teens every day are falling asleep on cold, hard desks.

As it turns out, teenagers need around nine hours of sleep a night. With schools starting on average at 8 a.m. every day, students must wake up earlier. In order to prep for the commute, take a bath, dress up, eat a solid breakfast and drive down to the school (before the bell) — we are talking wakeups that could fairly easily hit the 5-6 a.m. benchmark. Nine hours in, that means that the time to go to bed needed is 9 p.m.

You read that correctly. 9 p.m.

Keep in mind that teenagers usually can't sleep well before 11 p.m. thanks to a couple of hormonal changes in what I like to call the Circadian Rhythm. Why are teens waking up so early? The answer is simple. Moolah. Money. The big bucks.

Or more precisely, saving it by using only one bus for a group of students, rather than three, forcing high schoolers to wake up first and elementary students last.

You know, the group of kids that actually do wake up earlier in the morning.

Of course — as usual with our education system — there's more to this dish than just the salt. More classrooms are offering AP classes now, which means more homework. Some kids will have clubs to run through as well, as well as being able to maintain their bodies through a sport or exercise.

Coming home and then having to do homework for the rest of the day means that they don't get much of a mental break to recollect themselves, run more on less sleep and, inevitably, begin to burn fuse full of pure exhaustion developed by a worn out brain that hasn't had the proper time to develop itself. All without decent mental breaks to help recover them in the process.

Let's also keep in mind that somehow we should have to get kids ready to be responsible when they leave school. And literally halting their development in the name of saving money doesn't really do that. Pair that with our broken education system and there is only one thing left to say.

We're leaving our kids fused out.

Shackling them in chains of broken tests. Chaining them to the gravity of the chair for hours upon hours, telling them what to think instead of how to think, fueling them with the idea that they have to break down to win and devilishly distorting the way that nature has wanted us to think.

We are leaving them bent to break, with no return for them other than a diploma folding them in lifelong debt.

We are teaching them ideas of life that are not true. That creation and innovation are not nearly as useful as an A. That you need permission form others to go ahead. That another will think for you and follow their rules.

In the name of money for the institution, without the benefits it has promised for the American people — wealth.

The education system isn't a system. It's a delusional path of rocks that eventually hurl the broken feet of those walking into a swimming pool without teaching kids how to swim, but how to get to the next rock.

So the truth is very blunt. A parental society that focuses on optimizing the child for such a blasphemous system of treachery is just as responsible as the society governing it. Kid's shouldn't be tired to the bone when they wake up for school. They shouldn't be throwing up useless information.

They shouldn't be thinking linearly. That's definitely a path, but a path to self-destruction.

So it's time to take it into your own hands. Begin teaching your kids the life skills they truly will need. How to think. How to reach out and talk to people. How to invest time and money. How to build character for success.

It's time that we teach our children to be healthy adults, not college graduates. There can be a big difference between the two.

So, parents, it's time to do your homework.

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