Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Alumni Update

My husband and I recently got our college alumni newsletter in the mail. Whenever we get them, I'm always tempted to send in an update and see if they publish it. I crack up at all the "so-and-so has just been promoted to the 2nd assistant to the assistant of the head assistant". Is it just me, or does it always seem like they are trying to play up how super great their lives are? Or, maybe their lives are super great and they just need the official recognition of it. Whichever, I've never understood the draw. Perhaps it's because I'm still in contact with all my friends from college, for the most part. Anyone I want to update on my life, I just send them an email and say "here's my update".

However, the temptation is there. I'd love to send in an update about how unsuccessful I am and see if it got published. I'd especially like to send it to the newsletter for the University Honors program I was in, since those newsletters are all about how phenomenally successful their graduates are. Hee, hee, I ruin their image with my lack of success!

It makes me laugh, and makes me a little sad, how much emphasis is placed on traditional success. I did well in school. I got my degree. Three of them, in fact. I had a well-paying job with a nice job title. Did that make me successful? Am I less successful in life now that I'm a stay at home mom?

Maybe it's because I took an odd path to stay-at-home-ness. I hadn't planned to stay home. In fact, I had planned a career change and schooling around being able to work after my child was born. Then we found out we were having twins. Then we looked at daycare costs, and compared it to what I'd make as a first year elementary school teacher. That was a funny day! The day I realized...oh my gosh, I'd make about $1 a day if I went back to work. Forget that, let me give this staying home with the kids thing a try.

I've been lucky that I had that choice. So many people don't. It's been odd and fun and tiring and difficult. And I've been lucky not to have second guessed my decision too much. Yes, I walked away from a career, but I'll have time for that later. Yes, I've probably assured that I will never be labeled as traditionally "successful". Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

I've been thinking of this more, since my boys will be starting preschool in the fall. I have to say it, I'm excited and a little apprehensive at the thought of reentering the working world. I have no idea what I'm going to do. Teaching is out as I'll only have 3 mornings a week. Maybe I'll return to accounting, or maybe I'll think of something entirely different. Or maybe I'll get off my butt and finish that novel. Who knows! But what's the rush, I still have a few months to work it all out.

Well, back to my original point. Here it is, my alumni update:

Ms. Whatacard has recently been promoted to the eliminations expert position at Card, Inc. She has changed a grand total of over 5,500 diapers and is now embarking on potty training adventures with her two and a half year old twins. She also holds advanced degrees in avoiding thrown food and wiping up spilled milk. She has memorized her 150th children's song and can sing all of them off-key. Ms. Whatacard's future goals include going to the bathroom without an audience and developing a superpower to stop tantrums mid-scream.

Random unrelated thought: How big is the Island of Sodor and why do they need such an elaborate rail system?


Snickollet said...

You know, I don't even read my alumni notes anymore because I get that same feeling, like I'm not living up to my potential or something. It's annoying. I should learn to laugh about it like you do.

Snickollet said...

And by the way: I would not use the word "unsuccessful" to describe you. At all.

What A Card said...

Oh, I consider myself to be very lucky in that I'm not unhappy with my life. It makes me laugh, the importance some people put on traditional success, like we're in a big ol' game of Monopoly. I guess I'm successfully unsuccessful.