2006 

Is money a big enough incentive for me to miss my 9 year old’s orchestra concert or to risk an unwelcome meeting with a trucker needing more space on MY highway?

It is risky being on the highways so much.  Lots of trucks on the road, potential speeding tickets even though I am old now and try to keep my speed under 70.  The speed limit on I-287 changes often from 65 to 55 and back so it’s hard to manage the appropriate speed. 

I’m already worrying about next week.  I have to make my first big kiddie event choice:  orchestra concert or field day?  Which do I miss?  I have a flexible schedule but I still have to make it into the office twice a week.  However I configure next week, I miss something.  I plan to ask Dario, my oldest, which event he prefers that I miss but it seems a bit unfair to pose such a question to a 9-year-old.  Aren’t I supposed to be making the decisions around here?

I have much less time for friends and hanging out, which is good and bad.  I would like to see some of my friends more often, however, this overnight traveling job really helps me be more selective about how and with whom I spend my time. 

It’s also not good that I am embarrassed when people ask me what I do for a living.  My ego likes to tell people how my company wooed me back to work for them as a consultant.  Then my guilty-mother voice kicks in and reminds me that I am missing a time in my kid’s lives that I cannot replace. Ever.  And all for a job that I am not that into.  I handle paper.  I don’t make movies or run my own company like I thought I would. I find myself explaining to people who ask (and those who don’t) that I am so outta here pretty soon.  That this is a short term gig so I am only in it for the money for now – a small, short term price to pay.  The truth is that I haven’t had the balls to quit and run TMOM full time, nor has anyone said anything to me about the short term. In fact, one of my bosses said she hoped I would help out as long as my contract would allow.  I was nodding my head yes the whole time.

 So, do I really want out?  I never had my travel career.  I was always entrepreneurial and trying to start my own businesses, which never quite took off, rather than toeing the line somewhere and working my way up the corporate ladder.  It’s not like I got married too young, either.  I did the entrepreneurial thing until I got married and pregnant around 31.  I continued to work, but only two days a week on projects, as a consultant.  Not a career.  A choice I made, for sure, but always an ambivalent one.  So now I get to add a little travel to my two-day-a-week project and it adds a little excitement.  Or it did at first.  Sometimes I think I should feel more guilt than I do.  I have this abnormal fear of regret.  I don’t want to regret working, I don’t want to regret not working.  I want no regrets.  I’m usually thinking about how this will affect my kids in the future.  If I stop to focus on how it is (not) affecting them now, I could probably let up on myself.  Honestly, I am so happy to see my family when I get home, and that feeling lasts for a few days.  I am more patient and more selfish with my time with them after being away overnight.  I rest with them longer at bedtime.  I read more books.  I play more kickball.  Those are good things that I leave with my kids on my next overnighter.