Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I never assumed it would be easy to leave my lucrative and personally rewarding job but I might have underestimated the tough moments I would have after it was all over. I know I made the right decision given all of my circumstances but I know it will take a long time to get over this seething anger I have at the choices women have to make and the way our society is structured. Let's all be real with one another....women are not left with many good options. If a woman chooses to have a child, she will have to give up many things. Those things will depend on which priorities she chooses. If she chooses to maintain her career and power and financial independence, she will lose out on spending time with her precious children when they are young. She will have to relinquish their care to someone else. She will miss out on thousands, if not millions, of opportunities to influence them. She will miss first words, first grasps of concepts, first experiences, first giggles, first jokes, first heartbreaks, first memories. And that is, I am sure, just breaking the surface of what she'll miss out on when it comes to her children. I know because I missed all those things in my daughter's first 2 years of life while I was busy working. On the other hand, if she chooses to devote herself to full-time or almost full-time motherhood, she will miss out on, well, sometimes it seems like everything. A paycheck, career growth, the opportunity to be exposed to a wealth of different people, ideas, concepts, training, experiences, mentors, perks, travel, bonuses, the latest technologies, power, promotions, the chance to excel. She will never know exactly what she could have been.

I find myself in this position now. Already, I've made that crucial decision and it's too late to turn back. It's only been a little over a month and I already wonder what I could have been. It's too late to turn back, at least on that path. Looking forward, I do know that I don't want to be one of those women who throws all her own lost dreams and ambitions onto her children. It's just not fair. I don't want to lead an unfulfilled life for myself. I just cannot live THROUGH my children as so many people do. As one of my idols, Anna Quindlen, has said, "Children tear your world apart and then they leave you". I want to make sure that I am left with a very whole person when my children leave me. Happy, healthy, growing, wise, successful, loving, affectionate, compassionate, at peace. I want to have a song in my heart.

How do I get there? I just don't know yet. I do know that I am soul searching so hard and so deeply that it is excrutiatingly painful at times. I want to be comforted by the millions of other women who are out there fighting this same struggle but it just doesn't happen. The battle is way too personal. It feels like only my own and much too difficult and complicated for someone else to understand. I can only take it one day and one step at a time. Today is not so good but maybe tomorrow will be better. But I find myself comforted by a quote I came across the other day (I only wish I knew whose quote it was!): "Some years ask the questions and other years provide the answers". This has been a very tough year for me but I know it won't last forever.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Audrey Goes Local

No, the title of my new blog isn't "Audrey Goes Loco" although maybe it should've been. Audrey Goes Local. What does that mean? Well, we all know there's a green movement going on. That's what you read, of course, although I don't see anything revolutionary going on. Yes, a few people here and there carry canvas bags to the grocery store and some well-meaning folks are making a bigger effort to recycle, etc. I give those people props - they are certainly leagues ahead of most people I know. Yet how much of a difference is that really making? I can't be the only person who wonders what more I can do to make a difference. Since I recently left my very cushy corporate job (much to my husband's dismay!), I've found I have much more time on my hands. This newfound time and freedom has allowed me time to read (my favorite pastime)....and time to delve into new challenges and adventures. Within the last few months, I've read Thomas Friedman's HOT, FLAT, and CROWDED, Michael Pollan's THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA and Doug Fine's FAREWELL, MY SUBARU. And I must say....these guys are speaking my language. So these inspirational authors have got me thinking on a larger scale.....and I ask myself much more frequently now....what can I do to make a difference? So I've decided to blog my way through this new challenge. Lends more accountability, don't you think? I can't lie to my readers (all 2 of them!). And maybe my lovely daughter will read this when she's old enough and be proud that I stand for something. So I wanted to start by listing just a few of the things I already do to make a difference (to reduce my carbon footprint, to live more locally, to show respect to Mother Nature, etc):

1.) First and foremost, I am a vegetarian. It's like my religion. No, I do not eat fish or chicken. Yes, I do eat dairy and eggs.
2.) I recycle everything I possibly can or know how to recycle. I have for almost as long as I can remember....and certainly long before it became fashionable.
3.) I spent the majority of 2008 using public transportation to get to that cushy corporate job I was mentioning. Those poor, poor people who had to work with me all day and listen to my gazillion complaints about mass transit. I feel for them. Yet I took it day in and day out. Not only do I talk the talk....I do my best to walk the walk as well.
4.) I make every effort to eat organically and buy local produce.
5.) I take my own bags to the grocery store. KUDOS to Trader Joe's who also lets me enter my name into a raffle for free groceries each time I bring my own bags.
6.) Recently, I started turning up the temperature of my house during the daytime (summer months) to save on electricity. Proof that it's a win/win situation -- my power bill for 8/28-9/26/2007 was $241.05. For 8/27-9/26/2008, it was $148.17. CHACHING. What an idiot I was all that time to not do this.

Okay, this list is getting boring. Let's just say that I've done the minimum that any self-respecting treehugger should do day-to-day. Where do I go from here? Stay tuned to find out...I'm working on my TO DO LIST and it might take a while...
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