Career Crush #4: Mari, The Puerto Rican Martha Stewart

If you’ve followed me for the past month or so than you should know by now that I’m having myself a little career crisis over here.  And if not, well, welcome to my personal hell.  Pull up a chair and get comfy.  We could be here a while.

Let me just lay out a few things for you, though, before I get down to my career crush.  First, I am scheduled to take the Kansas bar exam in July.  If you were to ask me whether I really want to practice law in the traditional sense, I’d tell you I’d rather sit on a block of ice or gouge my eyes out with a blunt stick.  If I had a choice, I would rather go the corporate in-house counsel route.  And if at some point in the future I ended up as Chief Counsel somewhere, hey, that wouldn’t be half bad.  The upside of getting licensed is of course that it would give me options I wouldn’t otherwise have and, presumably, greater income potential.  I’m still dragging around an obscene amount of student loan debt so being able to pay those bad boys off would take years off of my life.  Literally.  Years.       

Second, I turn 40 in August.  Really.  Do I need to say anymore on this point?  I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

And, third.  The youngest of my kids, the twins, go off to Kindergarten in the fall leaving me with a good block of time during the day to _____________. 

*WHISPERING*  A blank is very dangerous. 

That’s just a recipe for disaster.  If I don’t have something to occupy my time mind I’ll end up in a room with padded walls having voluntarily checked myself in.  Greg is nodding.  Yep.  I’ve had a little too much time on my hands lately and you know what they say.  Idle hands are the  devil’s workshop.  Yes, indeed.  

I was talking to my sister a couple of weeks ago and she said (paraphrasing here), “I don’t know what you’re bitchin’ about.”  “From an outsider’s perspective you look like you’re doing a good job with the girls.”  “You don’t lose your cool with them, and it seems as if they have responded positively to you being at home.”  Basically she was saying that I’ve got a good thing going here.  No job is perfect and I should just appreciate what I have.  Point well made.

So what does all of this have to do with my good friend Mari, also known as “The Puerto Rican Martha Stewart”?  I spent a good part of yesterday with Mari and her family (husband plus three angels) and I think I’ve boiled it down enough to put on virtual paper.  She is one of the best moms I know.  And by saying “the best”, I don’t mean perfect.  I don’t mean blissful.  I don’t mean happy all the time.  But all in all, if I ended up raising my four to be half as good as her three, I’d be satisfied. 

You see, Mari decided to leave her job and is now a full-time stay-at-home-mom.  She devotes all of her time to everything that is kids and family like laundry, housecleaning, driving to school and activities, balancing the family checkbook, and home improvement projects.  She does manage to stop on occasion, enjoy a movie and have a martini (or two) with good friends.  But for the most part she has devoted her life to her family.  And she makes it look easy and fun.  Of the many things I admire about Mari, here are just a few:

1.)  She never leaves a detail undone.  And I mean NEVER.  Not once.  Ever. 

2.)  She remembers and acknowledges everyone’s birthday, anniversary, accomplishments, etc.  And I mean everyone. 

3.)  She is an excellent cook and is able to mix up good stuff off the top of her head. 

4.)  She is thrifty and I am, well, let’s just say “un-thrifty”.

5.)  She can whip up a fabulous centerpiece in no time using only some wood, white spray paint, and a nail gun.

6.)  She considers Home Depot her sandbox.

7.)  She cares enough to send her children to etiquette classes and then goes with her son when he needs a dance partner.

8.)  She is hyper-organized.  Her label maker should be a part of the family.  Seriously, it deserves a seat at the dining table.      

All I can say is that it takes a very self-assured, self-confident woman to be her friend.  I don’t know if I qualify necessarily.  I just figure that if I am around her enough, surely some of that greatness will rub off.  Oh, and by the way, she’s a great friend as well.  In fact, my love and admiration for her runs so deep that I’ve decided to devote a blog post every week to Mari, the Puerto Rican Martha Stewart, and all of her wonders. 

Watch for details on Tuesday!

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