So, what next?
A while back I went into New York City to attend a career workshop put on by the church. It was held in this LDS meetinghouse in the Chelsea area. A territory I was not familiar with. It is always an adventure finding my way around NYC and any new area tests my driving and navigating skills to the limits.
The workshop promised to "Make negatives into positives" among other things. I figured 30 years out of the regular work force might be a bit of a negative to overcome. And maybe my lack of a degree or any other serious training or skill. On my drive to the city I contemplated the irony that I had worked at Bradshaw Auto Parts and then did house sitting/babysitting and then ran a daycare in our home while Andy earned his "Three Degrees of Glory" as I like to call them. Then I pushed and prodded and nagged and cheered and hammered out essays and faxed last minute transcripts and drove apathetic scholars to early morning ACT tests, not to mention the relentless determination required to get each child to early morning seminary with the required attendance for BYU--all in an effort to get our 8 children into college-- where so far they have earned or will earn their degrees of various sorts. You can add to that the recurring panic I went through when I first started homeschooling as I contemplated how much responsibility I had taken on for the future success of our younger five children. At least once a month I felt overwhelmed by the dread that I might be ruining their lives. It was great motivation to keep The Gale Academy of Classical Education running at a pace to prepare our scholars for higher education. So somewhere in this I had a point...
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
Or always a determined supporter, never a college graduate...
I have teased Shane for many years that I am going to follow him to college and finish my degree. He just rolls his eyes but I think it worries him a little that I might actually do that.
I would like to, but I will have to find gainful employment before I can make that happen.
I did my best at the workshop to prepare my Power Statements and outline my skills and strengths. I was sitting amongst some pretty heavy hitters in the education and employment categories. A professional opera singer who had sung for operas in Sweden and Austria. She had since directed an award-winning choir and was looking for a position teaching voice and choir. An entrepreneur from India who had run a big successful business there. He had an engineering degree. A woman from Spain who was struggling with English was a talented graphic designer. It was a supportive group and I learned a lot from them. The church has a great employment program and the people who were running the workshop had a very helpful understanding and perspective on the varied, unique circumstances of each participant.
I was grateful to be among people who valued my chosen career up to that point. They guided me through the process of taking the skills and talents that had served me well as a mom and home educator and turning that experience into a resume. I was also grateful to see that my years of service as Relief Society President, Stake Young Women Presidency and Girls Camp and Cub Scout volunteering were all considered proof that I was a productive and capable human being.
It is a new phase of life for me and I am ready to jump in.
As soon as the house sells.
And we get moved to wherever we are going to live in California.
And I get a job.