Today is my birthday. I’m old. I’m not quite old enough to retire, but I’m still old.

to me.

When I was a little girl, I was going to grow up and be a nurse. One year for Christmas, I got the nurse’s cap and cape along with a bag full of medical supplies. I was on my way to a brilliant career in nursing.

When I began college, I was the daughter and sister of a teacher and thought perhaps, I could become a teacher, too. Since I have always loved words (bet you couldn’t figure that one out) I believed I could become an English teacher. The more I thought about that, the less appealing it became to me. The thought of teaching Shakespeare to high school Juniors was enough to make me look once again at nursing.

I graduated from my nursing program when Craig was 13 weeks old. I passed my State Boards on the first try, even though I had this colicky baby at home with me. However, I didn’t begin to work right away. Instead I struck up a deal with my sister. Pam would teach a year and I would babysit Jennie and then I would go to work and she would babysit Craig.

After a year, I went to work and worked as a nurse for over 20 years. I worked at five different hospitals and one nursing home in the years I worked as a nurse.

I also worked as a data entry person. I worked with a company that filed Permanent Partial Impairment Claims for the Bureau of Workers Compensation reports. I learned a whole lot of stuff about computers while doing this. In fact, I became so interested in computers, I went back to college.

I got another miniature associate degree, this time in computer networking. With that degree and my years of experience working with computers and actually spending a year as a computer technician, I took a job teaching high school students. I didn’t have to fight about reading Shakespeare. I taught them how to use Microsoft Office.

From there I moved to becoming the entire technology department for a school servicing students from Preschool through grade 8. I was responsible for setting up a whole new computer lab and that was really fun. I learned a lot about Macs, too. I even fixed one by removing the hard drive and smacking it sharply with screwdriver handle. I had never fixed a computer like that at the college, so it was fun, too.

My next shift came when we moved to South Carolina. I took a job as a substitute teacher, but that  was pretty terrible. I eventually took a secretarial job at the local community theater. I worked there for a year and then opted to become a stay at home wife.

I began writing more but it was still quite boring and when another secretarial job opened up, I asked to be considered. I was hired and have worked as a secretary again for more than a year.

When I look back at my adult life, I see things I didn’t do. My plan, after working as a nurse for a while was to go back to school and eventually teach nursing. I obviously never did that. Instead, I did a variety of other things. Some of the decisions were marvelous; some weren’t quite so right on the money.

When I look back, the smartest thing I did was marry Dick and then have two great kids. From that brilliant stroke of luck, I’ve also gotten four grandchildren. The jobs I’ve held are markers across the decades, but my home life is really what makes all the other stuff worth the bother.

 

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