(As in: everything makes you want to, and your kids do nothing but)

Monthly Archives: June 2015

My life post retirement at age 34:

I get a full night’s sleep.

I’m sure it won’t always be the case.

There will be earaches, nightmares and Alma launching herself head first from the bed like a circus stuntman.

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But, for now, I’m RESTED.

My children wake up slowly. No screaming, crying and face-smacking over which outfit I choose.

They eat real breakfast!! This morning we made blueberry pancakes and banana pancakes. It might seem like no biggie, but as a former working mom, I feel like a stay at home mom rock star!

We’ve read books together, colored together, gone to the library and flown airplanes.

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We’ve also taken the dogs to the vet, gone to the dentist and hit up the Super Target for batteries and dish soap. So glamorous!

I’m still adjusting to the nasty realities of daily life with petulant midgets, I mean small children.

I spend a shocking portion of my day wiping butts. I had no idea how frequently my kids still pooped. It goes in. It comes out. They have straight guts like unpotty trained puppies.

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I still feel my blood pressure skyrocket when my son cries for no good reason: He hates slip-on shoes, Alma got the yellow straw, he can’t find his Ninja Turtle ball.

I envision drop-kicking our dog like I’m going for a field goal when he barks incessantly during naptime.

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Living in Florida, any of our exercise time means sweating bullets, getting back into the car with sweaty pits, bum, upper lip, no more makeup, hair lookin’ like a swim cap.

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Not a good look. Now I know why some moms find it’s easiest to give up on looking cute. I left my cute in a puddle on a playground.

I can’t say I miss grownup conversation, because even that was rare at my former place of employment.

But, my chats with my son about how his member looks like a castle are not very gratifying.

Other mind-numbing topics include: Why we have nipples, how God made dogs, what veins are.

We have also not made it past the stage where it’s cool to count poop. “Mommy, I did two dem!”

So, fish sticks and temper tantrums.

Sweat stains and poo math.

But, I get to watch my son finally color inside the lines.

I watch my daughter kiss my son’s hand to wake him from his nap.

I get to see the countless tiny moments I’ve been missing for nearly five years.

So worth it.

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I was swallowed by a career and just survived getting shit back out.

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I think it’s safe to say most of us aspired to be something great at some point in our lives.

Career day in elementary school wasn’t a gathering of kids with big dreams of someday being underpaid, under-appreciated, mid-level employees facing brutal criticism and daily disappointment.

Upon graduating from high school, I thought I was making an incredibly sensible decision in abandoning the pipe dreams of being an actress to get a degree in Telecommunications.

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I had a healthy grasp of reality when I graduated from college.

Shit, I didn’t even walk.

I picked up my diploma from an office and started applying to jobs. Hundreds of jobs. Mostly radio jobs, where the salary offered wouldn’t have been enough to survive on without roommates and lots of Top Ramen.

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I had already won a Hearst award, AP Awards and SPJ’s while up against grown men working in radio in the state and I couldn’t even get a gig that paid a fraction of my college loans.

When nothing panned out, I moved in with my mother in Miami and starting working as a bookseller at Barnes and Noble.

Little did I know, that would become my favorite job to date. That’s despite having to wear a¬†ridiculous witch hat on Harry Potter nights.

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Months later, I got my first job as a temporary writer at a station in Miami. I was ambitious. I was going to claw my way to the top, but without sacrificing my ethics.

No brown nosing.

I wasn’t giving up my sense of self either. Hoodies and jeans.

Deal with it.

Within a year, I was a full-time associate producer. Within 2 years, a regular producer.

I would sit at bars with co-workers and hash out the bullshit of the day, an alcoholic post-mortem always punctuated by my comments about how it would be “When I run shit someday.”

Four years later, I got sick of working overnight, paying my dues in sleepless nights, power naps that left a dent in my forehead from the edge of my desk.

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Daydrinking because it was normal.

Breakfast baked potato from the 24-hour Wendy’s in the ghetto.

I took a position in Tampa with every expectation I was on the fast track to becoming an Executive Producer.

I watched my mom go from Associate Producer to News Director in less than 6 years.
I had this on lock.

Not to mention that the News Director who hired me referred to my cover letter as “beautifully written.”

He called my resume impressive. Once I started, he said he thought there was no way they were going to get me to come on board.

I was too good for THEM.

I met my husband and had a couple of kids.

Along the way I went from weekend producer, to weekday 11, to weekday 6.

Then, suddenly 2 years ago, I was doing the Noon show.

Then, they told me they were moving me back to weekends.

After 9 years.

I gave my notice the same day.

I don’t have some awesome other job lined up. I am not just giving up a job, I am giving up a career that I once loved very much.

While I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to focus on being a better parent to my children, there is also some sadness over a dream that has died.

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But, as one of my very best friends said, “Defeated doesn’t suit you.”

It doesn’t.

Somehow I allowed this business, this job, to dig its hideous black talons into my spirit and squeeze out the very guts of who I am.

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I leave them now in a trail behind me as I walk out that door for the very last time.

Enjoy my entrails.

Consider them the breadcrumbs that lead to another world, one where I am free to aspire to be something greater than I am every day.

Chew on that.