I love my family. My ancestors for the most part were a pretty solid bunch. They gave me good hair, great teeth and propensity for widening girth as I age but I forgive that. No trust fund. Nonetheless, I’m still a tad bitter that none of my ancestors invented electricity or the automobile or something. Why am I not a trust fund baby? I feel I would have been good at it.
Graduate students Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta designed a product to assist post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti and now their product is featured on Amazon. Leanna Archer was just 9 years old when she began bottling and selling her own hair products to friends and family. She is now heading an entire product line with sales increasing annually. Nick D’Aloisio is a 17-year-old tech whiz who created a product that sold to a multinational corporation. I now question everything I’ve done with my life. Column writing. After years of being blessed with the best job ever, the ability to write about myself at home while wearing pajamas.
I actually found “outside work.” It is amazing. I work for the most amazing job using photos and words to entice people to appreciate unique objects and have a ball doing so. I even have a balloon budget! That right there should be a universal career goal. There is nothing I would change about my career choices. I consider it the joy and blessing of my life to have been able to be home with my children when they were small.
I also consider it a blessing to have stumbled into a perfect fit for myself career wise right at the time that they needed me to back off and quit breathing down their necks quite so much. (I’m not saying I’ve done that, of course, just that the idea seems more promising now than ever before).
This is also the summer that my children have jobs. BoyWonder has been working for a few years now so he’s well versed in it. It could be argued he has been working around the house — pasture chores, firewood, light construction — for years now. Outside employment is kind of a break for him. I love his job for him because it embodies everything from digging holes in the heat to working to customer service in public situations. I am a huge fan of jobs that teach us we aren’t too good to good to dig ditches — or handle complaints.
GirlWonder has become a helpful hardware girl. She smiles through endless repetitive jokes “if there’s no price tag does that make it free?” She answers questions about inventory. She is punctual, professional and eager to learn. She often works evenings and weekends as is normal for this type of profession. I miss my sidekick and partner in shopping and lunches out.
Of course this means that their time is not entirely their own — or mine. We now balance family activities around work schedules in addition to academics and athletics. They learn about scheduling and balance. Sometimes they miss things. I look back on the days — years — when we had nothing but time. Sometimes I feel I used it wisely.
Too often I fear we squandered too much. Did I live in the moment? Soak up the memories? Sometimes yes, but not enough. Never enough. I don’t know that any of us are going to be multimillionaires but I do know this: we are rich in work ethic gleaned from generations before us. This pays dividends far into the future, even if we aren’t rolling in the riches of an inherited trust.
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