So this is how it always starts, so full of hope and beauty. Summer is finally here. I started this summer with a trip “home” to the Rhode Island shore, just me and my husband in a little cottage on the ocean for a week… all the seafood I could eat, outdoor showers, basking in the sun reading crappy books, no whining or complaining for a week. It was beautiful and I needed it.
I returned home to face the fact that I was now camp director for 2 teenage daughters for the next 11 weeks… 11 weeks of hell sprinkled with intermittent beauty, a family camping trip, the occasional minute of a cease fire between my daughters, a trip to the beach here and there (usually by myself as I ran from the house before I said something to one of the kids I would regret later). I realized many things by the end of the summer but the most important one was: the 13 year old is going to camp next summer and the 16 year old gets a job. We didn’t plan camps because we had no money to pay for them so I was trapped with 2 children who wanted to play on their phones all day and watch YouTube clips. Having 2 teenage daughters in the house together for 11 weeks was a foolish foolish plan. If they weren’t going after me they were going after each other… of course they were, duh, they are 13 and 16.
this is what it felt like:
I just had to include this photo… my neighbor was taking a photo of our kids playing and just happened to catch this, the look on my daughters face (which is a hysterical coincidence) kind of sums up how I felt this summer.
So to add to the craziness I had been applying for jobs since the Spring, sending out resumes and going on interviews for the few places that called me in. It was a hit to my ego for sure, I mean I consider myself a competent intelligent person with a fair amount of skills to offer and it was hard to even get an interview! The Interior Design jobs I had were drying up (mostly because I am absolutely horrible at Marketing myself) and I needed to bring in some money so throughout my hellish summer I was also in constant panic about paying the bills and as all the back to school crap started I realized I had to shove my ego even further down, suck it up and apply (once again) for serving positions. I applied to 3 places and had 2 interviews scheduled about a half an hour later… So back to the Serving life I go.
I have no idea why it took me so long, well actually I do… because it’s not a “career”, because it’s not something people are proud of, because when I wait on people my own age I can sometimes feel their judgement. But you know what, I’m changing it up in my own mind because Serving for the past 15 years has allowed me to stay home and raise my kids, it’s allowed me to be the Primary Parent, it’s allowed me the flexibility to take on side projects that make my heart sing, work in my studio and make some damn art, bake cakes when the world is getting me down and take long walks through the woods with the four legged creatures whom I adore.
The best part is I walk away with cash in my pocket, and I’m done, no stress to take home, you work when you’re at work and then you are done and I can come home to my family. That’s not to say that waiting tables is stress free, it’s totally stressful, you never know what will happen when you walk through the door, what your customers will be like, if the kitchen gets backed up, you get seated 5 tables at once. There are a myriad of challenges and not everyone can handle the multitasking while continuing to smile and be friendly.
So I’m going to try and hold my head high, the career path 9-5 benefits kinda life will never be mine, and that’s OK, I understand that now because this life is pretty OK and I did what I had to to make it work for me and still work for my family. Because even though my summer was hellish I believe that me working a 9-5 would have made it even more so… and I’m pretty sure that my 13 year old would have burned the house down.
And now that I’ve made the decision, I’m happy… and when I’m happy I make things and when I don’t have to worry about making things to sell I can make things that make me even happier… like a sculpture of a squirrel wearing a hat and pearls.