The past couple of months- I have ran into a former high school teacher, college professor, and a former coworker.
They all 3 asked me the same question within 1 minute of conversation. “So- when are you going back to work?”
It is hard for them to understand why this co-valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude graduate isn’t climbing the career ladder right now.
To be perfectly honest with you…… Some Days I really want to. When I did use my degree (as defined by the world), I enjoyed my job and looked forward to work everyday. I was sold out to be the best teacher and coach that I could possibly be.
But then something happened.
She happened. My first born. After a previous miscarriage- she was my initiation to motherhood. I became sold out to that instead.
It’s not that I didn’t want to do both. Because believe me I did. It’s just that I did a little math, and I decided:
It’s Ok if…… I’m not using my degree right now.
As I sat thinking about how was I going to manage being gone several nights a week and long after school practices- Who was going to help us? Who was going to watch her? How were we going to do it all? Could we manage all of it? —I started doing a little math in my head. I really started thinking about how short my parenting season really was going to be.
Let just think about it together…….
Say I live to be 100. That sounds reasonable right? I take my vitamins and eat green stuff. So I should be good right? Well…. lets just be optimistic about it anyway for numbers sake.
Say your kids live at home with you until they’re 18. We all know that when they are teenagers they are busy. They are out doing their own thing and spreading their wings. It even starts as pre-teens. They start craving and desiring that independence and developing interests outside of your home walls. They get involved in more things and are doing more activities independently outside the home.
So lets just say that you get a solid 10 years of them at home with you. That sounds fair and reasonable – right? That’s only 10% of my life.
Or think about it like this:
Say I jumped back into career world as soon as they started becoming more independent. I’d still have a good solid 25-30 years to use my degree (again.. as defined by the worlds standards).
When I put all of this in the big picture, the big scheme of things- these years seem so short and fleeting.
If you have been on FB lately, I’m sure you’ve seen all the pictures from various graduations.
I can still remember my graduations like they were yesterday. But they weren’t yesterday. They were 10 years and 6 years ago. But time moves on and time flies.
My own mom says that she can’t believe how fast it went from this to this.
Just us feeding the ducks and the whole world ahead of us-
to tackling the world.
It happened overnight she says.
All the mamas are posting pictures of their high school and college graduates and I read the same sentiment on all of them-
Time Flies, It happened too fast, I can’t believe it.
I even saw one mom post a picture of her child as a kindergarten graduate and a college graduate- The tagline said “This happened in the blink of an eye.”
I believe them. Time is short.
It’s OK if….. you are not using your degree right now.
I’ve had to learn:
Don’t let you your goals come before God’s plan. He will work in your weakness.
You are still able to use your gifts, interests, and talents. It just looks different than what you might have imagined or pictured. Your paycheck amount might look different. Your schedule might look different. But you are still you.
These years are not wasted. You are actually being prepped and trained right now for what God has for you later.
I have to keep this quote visible in my home:
You can do ANYTHING. But you can’t do EVERYTHING.
You can’t have it all- all the time.
And I’m OK with that. I’m OK with waiting and living the adventure of this gift we call life. I don’t know what my life will look like in 5 years, 10 years, or 30 years- But I know what it looks like right now.
Careers will be there later. But my babies will not. They will grow up and move out and start lives of their own.
A CEO of a company is easily replaced. A coach is easily replaced. But I am the only one they call mom. And I only have them with me for a little while.
It’s OK if…… you’re not using your degree right now.
So instead I’ve opted to do more “flexible” things that keep my schedule more open and let me be sold out to these fleeting years, such as owning a home based business and a seasonal job that lets me work with some pretty cool gals.
So I tell you that to say:
It’s Ok if…… you are not using your degree right now. It’s OK to be flexible. It’s OK to be patient. It’s OK to LIVE THE ADVENTURE! We don’t know what tomorrow holds- so Love your Life and Live your Priorities today.
And you know what else??—-
If you are using your degree right now- It’s OK!
What matters is that we invest in the people and the relationships in our home and make them a first priority. Whatever that looks like in your family. All of our families are unique and different- so it won’t look the same for everyone.
This is the third post in our series “It’s Okay If…,” which is running on Tuesdays this month. This series is a joint effort with my friend Kelcie, whose post today is “It’s Okay If your kids are hyper. Click on over and show her some comment love because she is AWESOME!
And if you missed any of our It’s Ok If….. series in May click below:
Now- Go Be Awesome and Love your Life today!