Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Office

As a brand-new race director, I've been getting to pretend a lot lately. Normally, my weeks are full of things like grocery shopping, MOPS, laundry, article writing, personal chef-ing, bathroom cleaning, running with a gigantic double BOB stroller (affectionately named Billy) and keeping track of Billy's energetic occupants.

Now, my day planner includes all of those, plus some fun little additions:

  • Business meetings with potential race sponsors
  • Script-writing for some upcoming promo videos
  • Marketing campaign techniques
  • Updating the race website and Facebook page
  • Contacting local businesses to request donations as prizes
And so on and so forth. This week has been especially busy with race happenings. I had three straight days of business meeting with potential sponsors, which meant getting to shed my jeans for slacks and button-up shirts. And my makeup -- I actually got to do it.

At Wednesday's meeting, I had a director & CEO of a company along with a graphic designer throwing out ideas and brainstorming with me. It was fast-paced and exciting. And for one moment, sitting at a conference table with laptops, projectors and folders in everyone's laps, I felt like a professional. I felt my brain clicking right and left as I wore an outfit with not one fruit snack stuck to it. I felt respected by these powerful men in front of me, who were treating me as if I throw these giant fundraising events all the time and was completely capable.

I have to admit -- the feeling was intoxicating.

I walked into the house, still feeling high. Celia chucked Jude into my arms. "Your kid stinks," she announced. "You should change him." He looked at me and smiled, drool dripping out his cherubic mouth.

Moment over.

As I was scheduling one meeting, I asked a client where we should meet. "How about your office?" she suggested. The comment made me laugh inwardly. My office?

Oh my goodness, she thinks I have an actual job! With an actual office! She doesn't know I'm just a stay-at-home mom!

Because here's the truth. This is my office.

And honestly? I'm okay with it. No, it's not a high-rise. You can't find my nameplate anywhere, I don't have a secretary (heck, I AM the secretary!). But I have two little assistants.

It's here where I brainstorm, excitedly checking my e-mail for magazine acceptances, new race registrations and notes from my best friends and family.

It's here where I smile at photos of my beautiful nieces and nephews and giggle over their silly sayings and adventures.

It's here where I do mundane chores like pay bills and check the weather forecast.

It's here where I leave my very best friend Facebook notes during his workday, saying, "I miss you. You're a great husband and father."

It's here where I send letters to my beautiful, precious, loved Compassion children in four countries on two continents. It's here where I keep up with news on all the issues I hold dear: the value of life, social justice, women's rights, strong families and parents, working to stop trafficking, etc.

It's here where I homemade Zumba, using my butterball Jude as a 27-pound dumbbell. We dance like crazy for 40-50 minutes at a time, laughing, sweating and burning calories. Consequently, Jack has learned a few new dance moves AND how to spell (ask Jack to spell "bananas" sometime. But don't ask how he learned it!). Although I never want to hear the words, "Do that move where you jiggle, Mommy" ever again.

It's here where I dream, plan my articles, interview really cool athletes and write words that hopefully will change someone's world, or at least help them in some small way.

I've learned so much from this race already. Some days, I wake up and can't believe everything that's happened. And I think, "I'm a nobody. I'm just a stay-at-home mom. How has this all happened?"

I'll tell you how. GOD.

I said yes, and he's taken care of the rest. Of course, it's been a ton of hard work. By the time June 16 rolls around in 8 (8!) more weeks, I will have poured hundreds of hours of myself into this baby. And I've loved it. Because that's who this race is saving....babies.
She wants to be a homemaker
It's her dream to raise a family
And give her love to just one man
And I thank God it's me
I'll never underestimate her
'Cause she could take this world and turn it on
But she takes her love
And makes our house a home   

--- Paul Overstreet, "Homemaker" 

Will I return to the professional world someday when the boys are older? Maybe. This race has taught me that I can. I CAN be that woman in boots and slacks, toting my laptop around, making big decisions and earning a paycheck.

But for now, I am in love with my job. My life. My boys.

My office.