So, I've made life choices. You've made life choices. We've all made life choices. (Yes, there are choices we haven't made but been forced to accept/cope with especially regarding health issues, illnesses, tragedies, childhood environment, parents, etc.) But this list is about the choices I've made.
  1. I chose my career (teaching) and it is challenging, often, especially this past year!
    So when I do vent, complain, or let out my frustrations I do so knowing full well I chose this and could take steps to change my career path if I really wanted. Perhaps someday I will, but I'm content with this choice right now.
  2. I've also chosen not to have kids. Or at least not actively made an effort to do so.
    Perhaps someday I will, but I'm content with this choice right now.
  3. I've heard A LOT of remarks and comment over the last ~10 years regarding these choices:
    "Must be nice to have summers off" "I wish I could leave at 3:30" "You're so lucky you don't have kids" "I remember when I didn't have kids and could put that kind of effort into work" "You don't have kids, you can do it" "So you just babysit all day, that's nice" "Must be nice to not have to get kids ready in the morning" "Must be nice to travel without kids" "I can't believe you're still teaching in that state"....
  4. I used to get defensive in response to these comments. Then I began using a diplomatic, yet firm standard response to these comments.
  5. Now, I realize these comments mostly come from places of insecurity or unhappiness and what I say won't make a difference.
  6. So now, I just give a half smile, shrug, and walk away in response to these comments.
  8. Like when when I can just walk right around the parents dealing with their fussing children at a festival and head near the front of the stage
  9. Or when I hear a coworker complaining about going home, making dinner then rushing off to soccer practice and I know I'm having wine and watching House of Cards
  10. Or when someone was up at 6am on a Saturday with their kids and I slept until 10
  11. Or when I actually do leave work at 3:30 (okay 3:45)
  12. Or when that parent has to fix their kids' plates and argue with them about what they will and won't eat and I get to hold my plate in one hand and beer in the other
  13. Or when I overhear people talking about what vacation spots are family friendly and I think about how I'm hitting 4 cities in 2 weeks on my trip
  14. Or when I can stay out later tonight because I don't have to work tomorrow, Monday, in July
  15. Or when a parent is driving their kids to and from karate and piano practice and I'm headed to watch the sunset at my secret spot
  16. I realize these are secret smiles are those of contentedness. We all have them and they shouldn't be a secret! 😀