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If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.

I’m retired from teaching, and that’s the hardest job a person can ever love. There’s something special and satisfying about educating children and helping to mold their minds and their characters. It is a vocation, otherwise it’s frustration and drudgery — like any job I suppose that’s not a calling. I specialized in technology which was a lot of work for my brain, too, and that’s what I liked best about it. To keep up in the STEM*-oriented school I was working at, I had to continually update my knowledge or learn new skills, like programming in different languages. Programming is a great workout for the brain.

My first job was in public relations, and I was really lucky to have a job I really loved. I got along with the people, got to travel, and had the opportunity to develop and hone my skills as a PR writer and publications designer. It was cool, but didn’t fit my lifestyle after having children.

I was a full-time mom for about a dozen years (four children in 5-1/2 years), and then got my M.Ed. in elementary education. So after about 15 years of being out of the workforce I began working in schools, first public, then private.

My daughter has a job I really covet — she’s a graphic designer for a non-profit. I like the work she does, and know I could do it just as well. I could also do more writing than she does (she’s a good writer, but that’s not part of her job). I like to be creative both in design and writing, and I’m sorry that I’m not doing more with both. Of course I’m writing this blog everyday, which I began to get myself to write daily and to practice selecting words, editing, and thinking about topics I wouldn’t otherwise give a passing thought.

What I think I really want to do is write a children’s book, and I’m still trying to figure out where I belong in that whole arena. I started with picture books and am in a supportive group for that, but I’m also drawn to historical fiction, and that puts me in another category; I’m still finding my way, and hopefully I’ll figure it out so that I actually produce something interesting that will sell. By the way, writing a children’s book is a lot harder than it seems! There may not be many words in a classic like Goodnight Moon, but the inspired choice of words by the author make it special.

Life is all about choices, and even if we’d like “do-over’s” we won’t get them. I’m content with the choices I’ve made, but my mind still wanders to what-if’s. Still, when family is a primary concern, that limits one’s possibilities, but opens up a whole new world that demands creativity and developing all of one’s talents.

My husband has worked since he was 21 in the same profession. He often wishes he’d gone a different route. He’s good at what he does, though, and he’s always supported us well. There’s satisfaction in that — even if it’s not his dream job. He has his own business, and he’s successful. Many people are like that: work is work, and it’s just a blessing sometimes to have a job that pays the bills, and that one does well. That’s also why it’s important to have some balance in life, so that a job doesn’t necessarily define the person, but is only one aspect of his or her life.

*Note to non-educators: STEM stands for  Science Technology Engineering and Math.

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