After attending a retirement party for a dear friend and former colleague today, I began to think, "What kind of legacy will I leave on this world?"
Carol, who I worked with at my last job with the Department of Education, retired after spending many, many years working with individuals with various physical and mental disabilities. The thing that struck me as interesting was the brief hiatus from her career to raise her two sons. She stayed at home to raise we children for only six years and returned to her career once they were both in school.
Maintaining an identity in the professional world is something I struggle with. Will people know me if and when I return to work? Will my skills be outdated? Who would want to hire me? My biggest fear is that no one will want to hire a 30-something woman who has been a stay-at-home-mom for many years. I suppose it's a blessing that I'm relatively young because I have many good years ahead of me, both personally and professionally. I worked hard and dedicated many years to my education and my career. Having a professional identity is something I value, however I felt it was more important to stay at home to raise my family. It was a trade off, a trade off I don't regret, but I sometimes question.
When I was working, I always gave 110%. I gave 110% to the clients I served, to my supervisors and to my colleagues. I truly enjoyed working with clients from the various walks of life. I enjoyed the challenge and I enjoyed the fruits of my labor. If I closed out a case as successful, I felt proud of myself AND my client. It was a really great position to be in. Now don't get me wrong, I had my bad days at work and had to work with very difficult clients, but the good always seemed to outweigh the bad. My "job" today is not that different than the job I left. Every day I relish my family's accomplishments as much as possible and am a proud wife and mama. Every day I am faced with difficult and challenging situations. Again, the good always seem to outweigh the bad.
I may not be in the "working world" however the legacy I will leave on this world will be seen in my beautiful, loving, thoughtful, kind, compassionate and brilliant children... hopefully. That's more than enough for me. And hey, if I do decide to return to the "working world" then hopefully my legacy will continue in other ways.
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia