Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where I Want to Be

Last night I was able to attend a lecture about Shakespeare at our local University. I haven't been to lecture in years. I went to a couple after I graduated, but that was basically it. I was really excited and it proved to be filled with some new and fascinating info. I miss school. It was sponsored by the Utah Academy of Arts, Sciences, & Letters and before the lecture they had a bunch of awards and such to give out. I watched all these scholars and students accept their plaques and talk a little about their research and I was jealous. I wanted to do research! I wanted validation! I thought about the professors I let down by not going to grad school. Then they gave this old retired man a lifetime fellowship. He hobbled up there with his cane and thanked them and gave a nice acceptance speech and sat down.
I thought about the road not taken. I could have been one of them. I would be trying to fill my office and my resume with awards and publications and spend time learning more and rubbing shoulders.
And then one day I would retire. I would clean out my office and I would go home and some people would miss me, but they'd get on with their lives. I would come home to my husband (um, I hope!) and the occasional visit for my kids and grandchildren. And would probably spend a lot of time wishing I could see them more.
And that is why I stay home. Because I can. My family is the most important thing to me and I don't want to miss it. My little toddler is learning her letters and sounds and I get to hear it every time she masters a new one. I get to be available to help in my sons classroom and watch him at school. I'm sure I wouldn't have my little baby. I'm much to sick while pregnant be in that state while teaching students.
I know some people have to give that up because of their life circumstances or they get a lot of satisfaction from their jobs. And I'm honestly not judging that. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they're given. I'm talking about the focus of life. After my son was born, I knew I wanted to be home, but last night what a revelation at how cluttered my life would have been and just how empty my life would have been if I chosen career over family. I need to do better at remembering my priorities more often.
I still want to do research and I still want to go to grad school. But I've become more accepting that there really is a time & season for everything. When the time is right, God will provide. Meanwhile, I can still learn and maybe take a class here and there. I can even do research, it just probably wont get published ;). I can live with that.

3 comments:

  1. Well, I've never wanted to do research, but I know where you are coming from. And you are right, when you retire, people might miss you, but your kids will have missed you more all those years.

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  2. Wonderfully written ... and I know just what you mean. Spending as much time as we can with our children and families is an investment that I don't think anyone can regret!

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  3. I know just what you mean! I had the opportunity to go back to school this year. I dropped out three days before classes started because the closer it got, the worse I felt about leaving my 2.5 year old at a daycare/sitter's/anywhere else but with me.

    I wasn't really thrilled that I felt that way, but I listened to that feeling anyway. My son will probably attend regular school at age 5.5 and then I will go back to school then. I can hold on for another 3 years and home school myself.

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