Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hunting for Something

Dang, y’all…time is flying by. I started writing this entry in January and I’m just getting the chance to finish it. Last time I posted I was sitting on the NYC marathon sidelines, drinking away my sorrows and I’m happy to report that I’m no longer a spectator. Not even close.

Before I fill you in on what’s happening now, let me back up a bit.

My focus over the past three and half years has been on my babies…making them, growing them, nursing them, comforting them, getting others to help me watch and love them and introducing them to their surrounding world.  Obviously, my children will always garner much of my attention, but as they get older and more independent (think walking and self ass-wiping, not driving) I’ve had a renewed sense of freedom. With that, I’ve also felt antsy, easily distracted and bored, grappling for direction and purpose.

Last summer, these feelings really came to the forefront and I asked myself “If I’m not making a baby, what hell should I be doing?”.

Thoughts on how I should quell my needs for adventure, purpose and self-improvement were all over the place and even contradictory. For example, I told Jeff we should quit our jobs (or take sabbaticals, which I’m pretty sure isn’t even an option) and travel the country in an RV with the kids. Being the kind dude that he is, his response was something like, “um, okay, Ash, we can talk about that” as he gently reminded me that I’m not the best camper, I’m not good when I’m in close quarters with my kids for long periods of time. Oh, and that both of our kids get carsick with the click of a seatbelt. Okay, scratch that.

There go the Rigbys (pretend I look like her, and pretend Jeff would rock those khaki shorts)

 Hmm. So if we aren’t going to be the adventurous type…let’s be the complete opposite and buy a house in the suburbs. Instead of exploring, let’s not and hunker down in our hometown. My house-hunting mission was underway as was Jeff’s fear and frustration. Jeff knows that once I add something to my “to-do” list, it’s getting done. This is just a guess, but think Jeff would rather me be a city-living baby-making machine, than a suburban house-hunting maniac. And to fair, Jeff thought we had put the suburban house hunt on hold for a few years, because that’s what I agreed to when we signed our two-year lease.

On August 30th, my 32nd birthday, we met with a real estate agent in West Hartford, Connecticut and looked at a dozen or so houses.  Poor Jeff. Being the supportive husband that he is and the fact that is was my birthday, Jeff went along with my roller coaster ride of emotions and ideas, shuffling his feet through open houses and feigning interest in architectural details.

There was one house that I really liked.  Jeff liked it hypothetically. I loved the 3rd floor office with a private bathroom and great natural light. I envisioned myself working there, drinking coffee, decorating it in cream and navy with artsy finds from Etsy.  Jeff asked me, what I would do about my job. Ugh. When I thought about it in more detail, the only work I would be doing in that super cute office would be on my resume. Also, it’s hard to shop without an income.

Boom! It all came into focus.

I do not want to leave my wonderful employer, Herman Miller, and I really do not want to leave them before I take advantage of their supportive education reimbursement program. I immediately stopped looking at houses and started looking at MBA programs. Jeff was ecstatic and my friends and family in West Hartford were not.

Over this long-ass winter I investigated all the Executive MBA programs within the city and surrounding areas. Over the past few weeks, I have been accepted into Fordham University’s EMBA program, the only one to which I applied and Herman Miller has agreed to pay for the entire 2-year program. WTF?!!!

I continue to house-hunt, but only as hobby. My need for adventure still bubbles to the surface, which is when I remind myself that our apartment, long and narrow, similar to an RV, is parked in one of the best places in the world. Adventure, kids, family, friends, comfort, love, personal and professional growth are swirling all around me in the best possible way and I’m so appreciative and focused.

Chilling in this amphibious camper will have to wait until retirement, or at least a few more years