Friday, June 22, 2012

The Atlantic

I've been mulling over this article from The Atlantic. And it seems as though I'm not the only one. I wanted to start this post making reference to the article since it might explain my absence from my blog for so long. The article strikes a cord with me because I feel like the last year, at minimum, has been about me trying to find that work/life balance, something that seems about as elusive as anything can be. I bought the actual magazine--I know that sounds odd on its own--while grocery shopping at Whole Foods, with my toddler asleep in the cart, having just come from a meeting about my leadership potential, a meeting to which I had to bring my son, who dutifully watched PBS on our iPad as if he knew mama was talking about our future right now so I need to be quiet.

Although I'd seen many Facebook posts about the article, no time seemed more appropriate to take the plunge and read what someone else was saying about what I was trying to figure out. One of the people who posted the link to the article is a former colleague from graduate school. She is about to begin a tenure-track position at a university. I gave up that possibility, in part due to my awareness that academia was not for me and the other part due to my committee feeling my pregnancy was too much of a distraction. I'll probably be bitter about that forever. I found it ironic though that the person who posted the link, and made a comment that this was something she was really thinking about now that she was beginning a pretty intense part of her career, is the same person who told me to stop complaining about my swollen feet and waddling during my second trimester because I wasn't "that pregnant" and later said that my family was evidence of my "lack of commitment" to my studies. Oh how the tides have turned. Interesting how that always seems to happen.

So I read "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" while my son was napping and did a quick inventory of who am I and where I'm trying to go. I'm attached to my iPad, as of late. The iBooks app is most used and has everything from the 50 Shades trilogy to the most recent Toni Morrison novel and tons of books on management and leadership including Moneyball and Steve Jobs (I say it's a leadership book). The iTunes app has Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" on repeat (you won't catch me saying I'm not bitter about my relationship break-up). And my P90X app is used everyday, thank you very much. But I started to think about what I would really like to be doing in my spare minutes to myself other than wondering what Christian Grey and Ana Steele are doing at the moment. I immediately thought of my comic and nothing else. I did some quick research and downloaded some apps including a writing app (I've often wondered why I like books with such crappy writing and considered how I could do a much better job in my comic). Other than educating young people in a traditional setting, using comedy as a learning tool is my other passion. And I got started writing my comic.

I then thought about something else from the article, specifically work hours, and how I can still have my passions and raise a son who doesn't go out and rob someone ten years from now. I'm smart enough to figure that out but I'll say, I don't have an answer right now. So when Lil O woke up and ate dinner, I decided we needed to work on his bball skills. He is going to be 3 soon and that isn't too early to start working on his defense and ball-handling. I said "Bubba, you're between me and the hoop (laundry basket) and I'm telling you that I'll fake left and come around you to the right. But if you're watching me, you'll know that I'm going to do that." He giggled but stared at my face. "Alright, I'm going to the left...uh-oh, now right" I said as he started running around me in circles. I then did my best slow motion lay-up into the laundry basket while saying "you left the hoop open" and he fell out laughing only interrupted by "you did it!!" And I thought, I definitely need to figure this out because I won't go another day without hearing that giggle.

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