Monday, February 15, 2010

I've lost my map...

We all have some sort of map in our minds of where our lives will go. I had one when I was younger. It had 2 parts. Part 1 meet nice guy, get married, buy house, have a couple of kids, live happily ever after, retire in an idealic setting. Part 2 was more of a short term map: Go to university, get degree, get job, earn $$, climb corporate ladder.

There are some holes in my map, I've basically finished all points other than the retire part. Since I'm far too young to retire I need to rethink my map. Also my two maps have somewhat conflicted one another. After the second kid the working part, in particular the climb corporate ladder part does not seem to be that important. In fact the amount of time and energy it takes to pursue that and schlep 2 kids to daycare each morning and deal with it on my own when my husband travels for work is not worth it to me at this point.

Now I'm at the point where I need to re-map my life. No longer am I a student where they have counselors who can sit you down and ask what do you want to be when you grow up?? I have to ask myself all the tough questions. And I have been. Unfortunately I can't just make a unilateral decision because I have a husband and 2 children who rely on me to keep the household running (sad, but true). Most times in my life I had a firm grip of who I was and where I was going. I was flexible to change, but always took comfort in the fact that I had a "PLAN". Today if asked where I will be in 5 years the first thing that pops into my head is that my kids will be 8 and 6 and will be in elementary school. Nothing comes to mind about where SHANNON will be and what she will be doing. Everything in my life is about everyone else and that has got to change.

I am the most indecisive that I have ever been in my life. One day I think I should go back to work as an engineer with a long commute. The next I think that I should have another child and stay home for a few more years. Maybe I'll be a business owner or at least sell one of the direct seller products then I will be independent financially and have some responsibility to others outside of my house.

The one thing that I have done for myself is set a short term goal of completing a 10km run. I've taken all the right steps towards that goal by participating in a walk/run program and signing up for the Vancouver Sun Run. So now if you are to ask what I'll be doing in May I can confidently say, "Running the Sun Run". After that I don't know, but I do know that I will be doing what engineers do best and evaluating all the data in a snazzy spreadsheet in order to rewrite my map.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck Shannon! It was exactly this kind of uncertainty that got me to head in a totally different direction than I was in before Sophie was born. If you had asked me before Sophie was born, I would have said that I was going to go back to work full-time after my mat leave with her and teach Junior High. But after being at home with both of them for 9 months, I wasn't ready to leave my baby and go back to work when she wasn't yet a year, and so I had to re-evaluate and go back to my roots.
    You are such a good writer... have you thought about combining this talent with your abilities in Science and becoming a technical writer or writing for trade magazines in engineering? Freelance writing is very flexible when you have little kids. A bit tough, I have found, if you don't have any childcare, though. Which is why I ended up hiring a sitter one day a week when I have work to do.
    Look forward to witnessing your journey as you figure things out!