|Astronaut William Anders took this shot
for me in 1968 knowing I'd need it for
this post, thanks Astro_Will!
When contemplating why a certain unnamed website would choose me over other potential candidates to write a guest post, I did what most women do and then instantly regret, I asked my husband. The exchange went something like:
Me: “It’s hard to describe isn’t it?”
Hubby (smirking): “Well not really…your point of difference is you walk around with a rocket up you’re butt”
Me: “You wish! I should have asked our 8mth old, his babble would’ve been more insightful.”
Welcome to my sophisticated life.
The irony of my husband’s tragic attempt at being funny and/or an r-rated porn star is that it got me thinking…no not about rear-ends but rockets. You see when I was a ‘child’ (really only six years ago) I wanted to be an astronaut. It wasn’t just the idea of flying through space, it was more the amazing feat of it; astronauts were simply superhuman. But what made my heart really long for NASA of Apollo 13 was the greatness humans can achieve when they work together towards a common goal. As an art director at the time, although I did achieve the advertising equivalent of spaceflight, there was no teamwork. So much so when the creative director got bored with doing nothing everyday while high, my beloved Cannes Lion^ also disappeared. Like most people’s reality, my working life was defined by people working against each other, while the one with the longest and hardest working tongue got what he wanted. So I was busy doing tongue stretches when…
I became a mother.
Look at it, such an innocuous little statement, short and simple. The truth is every time the phrase ‘became a mother’ is uttered there should be a universal sound effect like “dun dun doooouuunnnnn”, because it turns worlds upside-down, brains inside-out and bodies, well let’s just say zero-gravity would be useful. Basically being a mum requires years of superhuman feats and transforms your existence such that you may as well be blasted through space to another planet. Ok so I know that astronauts face G-forces that make it feel like a cow is sitting on their chest for 15mins, but try settling a screaming toddler for 4 hours straight on 3 hours sleep per night? I think even the wimpiest of men would prefer the cow.
The truth was I no longer needed to see the earth through a spaceship’s side window; I could see it in my son’s blue eyes. (SFX: a collective “oooaaawww”, no seriously if you saw those eyes you’d understand)
I used to NEED my career, I used to long for great heights of achievement within it and worst of all I used to think climbing the corporate ladder would make me whole. I was wrong, why, because
now I’m an ambitionless, tracksuit wearing, naval gazer and happier than an ex-battery hen let loose on a free-range farm time has given me perspective.
Corporate tunnel-vision is gone and a big wide
bottom life has replaced it, albeit with a long, strong tongue now only useful at parties. I’m not going to pretend I’ve had a brain transplant, and am now happy rolling in tulips with my boys and oh yes, playing with my kids too. I am still ambitious, I've just realised there’s more than one way to skin a cat*. I've also worked out that whatever I end up doing, that doing isn't the sum total of me-ness, there are other things that define me like skinning cats the weird stuff I say on twitter at 3am, (or given this post, on this blog during daylight hours *scary*).
Anyway at the moment life with my three boys; 8mths, 2 and 35yrs; and my blog beats hurtling through the atmosphere, driving a gold corvette and having a twitter handle like Astro_girl. For one thing being a Mum is unlikely to endanger my life which is a plus, (although my two year old recently practiced his new found skill for head butting on my cheekbone), and secondly I’d probably feel a little out of place in Houston with no PhD. (PhD’s in ‘how to avoid sitting in a poo bath with a toddler**’ don’t count)
At last I am over the moon.
Read more at www.myidealife.com.au
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P.S. The title of this post is a rhetorical question, although it's ok if you do answer it as I love all comments
^The advertising equivalent of an Oscar.
* Before you call the RSPCA I don’t really know many ways to skin a cat, in fact I don’t even know one way to skin a cat – this is probably my biggest issue. If I could skin a cat I may have found perspective when I was only a quarter of the way through my life but instead I am half way and all the cats I know still have their skin. The one that hacks up indescribable gunge on our side path has been asking for a skinning for months now so better get to it and I’ll at last be on my way to a happier life).
** This actually happened and I have yet to write a paper on avoidance strategies but I know it would contribute to the body of knowledge, just not the body anybody knows.
© My IdeaLife, 2011. All rights reserved. 'Earthrise' remains the property of NASA.