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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Take a look at me now

On most days, my office is my bedroom, my desk is my bed, and my knees serve as my table. The dress code is stretchy slacks and a cotton top. It has to double as a hiking outfit and it needs to hide dirt from young hands and camouflage dog fur.

Failed selfie attempt
Monday was different. It was a rare dress-up day. I found some slacks and a top that when worn together qualified me as a certified professional. A professional what, I’m not entirely sure. At the very least, I didn't look like a slob. All the fuss was because I took a meeting with a woman from my undergraduate alma mater. Our talk took me on a walk through the years I lived in Boston, the Stetson West dorm, my radio show at WRBB, and lounging on the Quad. I thought of my semester abroad in London. I reminisced about my senior year co-op in Boulder, CO.

Almost full-length selfie
I'll admit that I was worried about the meeting. I was worried what she might think of the life I’ve made for myself since leaving Northeastern 18 years ago. Yes, I was a reporter for a handful of years, but for most of those years I have been raising kids full-time—aside from my stint as the official mom blogger for Oxygen Media, getting my MFA, and writing a book. As I recounted all of those things to her, I realized I have accomplished so much since leaving the workforce (in addition to raising lovely young humans). My accomplishments haven’t been along a traditional job path, but they are not insignificant. Not to mention a chunk of these were accomplished while I was going through a divorce and single parenting

Got it! Cute, right?
Sure, the meeting had undertones of wanting me to donate with more regularity to the university that launched me into a writing career. I should be doing that more often. There were many terms that I needed extra grants, scholarships, and loans to pay tuition. Talking about my college years gave me a renewed appreciation for young people who are facing more competition to get into school and higher price tags. The percentage of kids going to college has risen by 48 percent since 1990 while the cost has tripled. It’s scares me to imagine what it be like 10 years from now when I might have four kids in college. But that's a side point...

In the meantime, my stylish outfit and my motivational chat have prompted me to revisit goals and amend deadlines now that the kids are back in school. Along the way I just might get a little more dressed up every now and again--even if I'm just headed to my four-legged office. Or perhaps I'll relocate my office to a cafe.

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