As a writer, my job is to be creative, dream things up and build worlds. As a journalist, my job was to provide people with the information they need from the right sources so they can live their lives in an educated manner. Yesterday my job was to try and hold my household together.
I have a part-time job at Target. I took this job more than four Christmases ago. The newspaper industry in my area had started its decline. I had seen the end of three newspapers (and I stayed with one of those until the end) and watched others I used to work for sell to a new owner. After leaving newspapers, I managed an after school program for a local non-profit and freelanced for the local daily. I decided I wanted to return to school and professional part-time work made that complicated.
I graduated from Lafayette College in May 2013 with a second bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, with a keen interest in post French colonialism, Muslim affairs and contemporary politics. This accompanies my English language and literature degree from Moravian College.
I love working for Target. It’s not what I set out to do with my life, but it’s a good corporation to work for. I am hoping, in the next few weeks, that events at Target can provoke either minor or major changes for some of the struggles my family faces at home. I am also applying for professional jobs, as I have been for the last year. I have gone on interviews in Manhattan, D.C. and here in the Lehigh Valley. I honestly don’t know exactly what direction I want for the rest of my life. I hope when the right opportunity arrives I am ready.
This brings me to yesterday. My daughter had a day off of school for extreme cold temperatures. Yesterday was my day off. And I had a doctor’s appointment. I did three loads of laundry, with the wee one’s help; loaded and reloaded the dishwasher and washed the pots and pans; researched refinancing the house and talked with a mortgage representative; made breakfast for the child and I; fought with a frozen whole chicken and finally got it in the crockpot (we thought there was a bag of giblets in the chest. There wasn’t); got gas in the car; went to the eye doctor; picked up my husband from work; and started homemade chicken stock.
My day off was exhausting. Today, daughter has a two-hour delay which means my morning routine of household chores will then lead to taking her to school at 10:30. I will return home from my very frigid walk at 11. Need to have lunch ready for my husband and I at 12. At 1, I will drive him back to his office so I can have the car to drive to work later. Daughter gets out of school at three. I will walk her to Girl Scouts and then go directly to work. I will close Target Café, come home and have a similar day tomorrow and Friday.
And somewhere in all of this mess, I need to add time to talk to a different financial guy, update my resume, and apply for internships and professional positions. I’d like to pitch more articles and fiction projects to potential markets. And it would be really nice to write more than a sentence in my latest project.
I like my latest project. It gives me something completely new to think about, which allows me to look at the world in a new way. So, yes, I’m a little overwhelmed right now, but these moments force a person to prioritize and I keep realizing I am no closer to having a vision of what my priorities and goals are. I keep doing everything until something works. I need to streamline.