Monday, June 22, 2009

What a difference a few years makes.

The other day, Mr. Sandyshoes and I stood together at the kitchen counter, opening our mail. His contained a decent check, which was payment for a consulting job he'd recently wrapped up. As I opened mine, out dropped a lone dollar bill and two coupons for goat cheese. Yes. That was to thank me for my time completing a survey about said goat cheese.

Now I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I have no regrets whatsoever about ditching my mediocre career to be with my babies as they've grown into girls. But I miss paychecks with my name on them. I really do.

I have realized during this hiatus from paid work (goat cheese surveys notwithstanding) that I truly don't want to go back into hazardous waste site cleanup (shocking, I know). However, I have no clue what's next for me professionally, and no idea how to figure it out. I have a Master's degree in Geology, but these days I can't remember a damn thing I learned in school. So what's going for me? Well, I'm reasonably intelligent. I can write clearly. I like to learn things and go places. I'm a good planner. I have common sense. I'm great at reading out loud. I'm an excellent driver. I can very quickly find a grammatical or spelling error in damn near any written work. I make really delicious banana bread.


Yeah, I'd better sign off. I've been invited to complete a survey on salad dressing.


  1. dennis from dennis11:55 PM, June 22, 2009

    You're also funny, in case that's any help.

  2. I hear you. I'm now at a place where figuring out what to do next is necessary, after 9 years of it being necessary of being home with my girls and filling out surveys, like you. (hazardous waste cleanup! rock on! can I hire you? seriously, we might have a project)

  3. Ha! That is a hilarious illustration.

    If you relent, I could try to help you get back into hazardous waste work. :)

    I'm seriously interested in how to address the problem among returning-mother computer programmers. Everybody - the programmers and those who hire them - has this idea that they have to "stay current with" the field - even though, if you press them, they have to admit that NOBODY's current with the field, what was going on five years ago is obsolete now and would be whether you've been in the workplace in the meantime or not. Catching up is mandatory for everybody, working in the field or not.

    If you have some spare time, you can probably get current better than somebody currently in the field, because you can be reading up on the latest while they're putting out fires in the workplace, exercising the skills that are going obsolete instead of taking time to learn the next ones.

    Is geology so different?

  4. It's true: nobody's up to date, and that's a very good thing to keep in mind. Geology, being geologic, changes a lot less quickly than most things.

    I think my "wither me?" angst is more about not knowing what to do next at all, because I really don't want to read or write any more reports about gasoline being pumped off the groundwater table.