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Live Authentically or Die Trying

What does living authentically mean for a mom? It’s easier to be true to yourself in terms of parenting styles or engaging with your child. Not as easy when it comes to earning a paycheck; living authentically doesn’t mean much when reality rears its ugly head and you find yourself face to face with another bill that needs to be paid.

Yet, what do I want my son to remember about me? That I hated getting up and going to work every day and prayed that time would pass swiftly until it was the weekend?

I don’t say those things around him, but that’s why I don’t talk much about my workplace. I’m afraid he’ll pick up on the negativity in my voice. I can still remember how much my dad hated his work at the mill. It was horrible knowing how unhappy he was and how he felt that it detracted from the quality of his life. I know it’s the rare person who can say that they love their work. And any job will have its downsides. But that’s depressing.

I know I’m not alone. The rows of books—and multitude of Web sites—devoted to living authentically (fnding your chosen path, do what you love and the money will follow, and so on) are a testament to the fact that most of us aren’t living a life with a job that reflects our core beliefs, strengths and talents.

Layer motherhood on top of that, wearing multiple hats, and juggling everyone’s needs and priorities—you kinda forget what the heck your true self is anyway. (Hmmm, I used to like doing other things. I had dreams. What were they again?) 

The good news is that there’s still hope. After all these years and a few lousy jobs later, my dad has found a part-time job that he enjoys in his “retirement.” And I have seen some of my friends—in real life and virtual—manage to make satisfying career changes. 

So, I’ll leave this on a happy/sad note. Not quite living authentically yet, but hopeful for a happy ending.

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