Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Princes of Charming

So, last week sometime, we were driving and I happened to turn on the radio. We usually don't have it on. I like to keep the air open for conversation with the boys. Until they begin bickering and fighting. Then the radio comes on as a diversion. And to drown out the bickering.

When I hit the button, Miley Cyrus came blaring out of the speakers, and my fingers couldn't hit the "seek" button fast enough. As the station changed, Charlie piped up, "Hey, Mom... could you turn that back please?"

I cringed. It isn't that the song is bad; I've just had enough Miley Cyrus. I hadn't realized the boys were all that current on music, so I asked if he was serious or being sarcastic. These are MY kids, you know. He was, indeed, serious, so I got the station back.

Me: So, you guys like Miley Cyrus now?

Charlie (grinning): Yeah. She's sexy! (Of course, given his personality and knack for cutting up, he pronounced it "sassy.")

When I recovered from hearing my nearly-10-year-old use the word "sexy" correctly in a sentence, I couldn't help but laugh.

Then Jack chimed in with, "Yeah, and Selena Gomez is HHHHHOT!" (For those of you out of the DisneyChannel loop, she is a young actress starring on "The Wizards of Waverly Place." Cute show. Cute girl. It's all good.)

It took a minute for it to sink in, but Jack and Charlie seem to have officially left behind the "girls have cooties" phase. They clearly recognize female beauty -- although I took issue with use of "sexy" and "hot" at this age. I asked that they use "cute" or "pretty." Is that too much? Am I overreacting?

I began thinking of them as teenagers in a few years, becoming way involved in the girlfriend thing. I hope (when the time comes) they will have been listening to what Jeff and I teach them about being thoughtful, respectful and considerate when it comes to relating to the opposite sex.

Then one of them probably burped or farted, which was followed by gales of laughter. Yes, there are my two charming boys.

Stand back, girls, and form a line.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What I want to be when I grow up

Regardless of my educational background, apparently feels I am qualified to sell cars, rent cars or take care of patients in the ICU.


Just received an email from in which they match me with jobs I may want to pursue. According to the job search yentas they employ, I not only have the automotive gig down, as well as caring for Code Blue patients but being a nursing supervisor, physical therapist or a dental assistant instructor.

Wow. And with just a little ol' degree in public/corporate communications. They must assume the Liberal Arts program at Butler was way liberal. As in "choose-your-own-career-despite-proper-education" liberal.

And, if the education I received in college isn't suiting me, apparently there are plenty of opportunities for training through the U.S. Army.

No wonder I can't find a job. I have grossly neglected pursuing a career in the medical profession of my choice AND missed out on valuable Army training.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Blessings of Do-Overs

When I began this little blog adventure, I mulled forever over a name. Probably as long as it took us to choose a name for Bobby following his birth. (Um, hello precious four-day-old baby boy. What is your name? The nurse won't let us leave the hospital without one.)

Figuring Jeff and I were starting a new life and blended-family together, then having a baby, "Back to Square One" seemed perfect. Then 2009 reared its head with a slew of various surprises -- some good, others not so good -- with the capper being let go from my writing gig with a local monthly magazine.

Good times, folks. Gooooooood times indeed.

Seems like many areas of my life have returned to the starting point: marriage, children, career... even running. Yep, put that on hold during pregnancy for precautionary reasons. Now, however, despite living a hectic daily schedule, I really want to get back in running shape again. If not merely for the sake of it, perhaps the best reason is because Jeff and I (and Lindy and Ryan) have a half-marathon staring at us next month.

It's like when you were a kid and got a bad roll in kickball -- "I want a do over," you'd say.

Only now as a grown-up, many things have happened. LIFE has happened. And I never really asked for any do-overs. But God, apparently, felt I needed/deserved a do-over or two.

And for that? I am so grateful.

While I have written about the family/baby do-over, this whole career do-over is, well... it's kicking my ass. I've done a layoff once. I even drove downtown to register for unemployment once. As fate would have it, I found a job (a.k.a., my DREAM job, with the best co-workers ever) before they even processed me in the system. That, my friends, is a job that was meant to be mine. Now, however, there was no "miracle job" waiting for me before unemployment processed me. In fact, I had to log onto the state website yesterday to submit my weekly voucher so I can receive benefits. Yes, I am officially IN the system.

In an effort to bring money into the house, I have also raided my own closet for clothes to take to consignment. Twice. I have surrendered designer bags to consignment. (Unlike one of my favorite writers, Jen Lancaster, who chose poorly in schlepping a Prada bag to the unemployment office. And I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't thinking of her book the entire time I was at said unemployment office. It was probably the lone thought that kept me from bursting into tears.) It may provide a few bucks now, but I may be screwed for work clothes if I do find a professional job. Unless they overlook employees wearing shorts, tanks and Adidas on a daily basis. And you DON'T work at a gym, the YMCA or a running store.

I have applied for many jobs in the past month. Want to know how many I've been called for? Zero. Why? I have no idea. Maybe I'm overqualified to be an administrative assistant. Or development officer. Or adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech. Maybe I'm underqualified. Maybe no one is interested in a writer with mad grammar skillz. Who knows. What I do know is that I. Am. Trying.

Granted, there are freelance writing projects on my desk, and I am thankful for that. (See? Starting the freelance business again. Another do-over!) But as much as I love to write about the local Parade of Homes, it ain't gonna pay the bills forever, you know?

I think my do-overs are a little sign from God. Maybe I need to take the hint with all these external jumps back to square one and look inside myself. The place where I am continually running a million miles an hour, trying to do what I can for everyone and (a lot of the time) feeling like I am no help at all or completely spinning my wheels, going nowhere. Maybe I need to slow down in my head. Take each day as it comes and stop worrying about tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next.

Maybe it's time I allow myself a do-over.