Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fun Monday - When I grow up

Irish Coffeehouse is our caffeinated hostess this week and she has come up with an interesting challenge for us:

Careers- Then and Now

THEN: As a child day dreaming of what your future would hold for you, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you ever pursue or achieve it?

NOW: If you could be trained and placed in any career beginning tomorrow, what would it be?



I am probably like so many little girls... When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. It all started when I picked up this book:



He made it sound so... interesting and fun and wonderful! So I set out upon the journey to become a vet (and being one in rural England would be SO great!). I spent one summer volunteering at my family's vet. I cleaned cages, fed animals, held them during examinations and even took part in a surgery (just handing instruments over and watching). Doctors Deloney and Sanders were very nice about my being there and talked to me a lot about what it took to become a vet.

But after that summer... I don't know exactly what happened. But I didn't want to be a vet anymore. Perhaps it was having to put so many animals to sleep and realizing that I could do it once in a while but not all the time. Maybe it was the abused animals that passed through on their way to being euthanized because no one wanted them or they were too badly hurt to recover. I've been following Angela's story about Morph avidly - watching this abused/neglected lurcher becoming healthy again and cheering wildly inside at every stride forward Morph is making.

I love animals. Cats. Dogs. Rodents. Fish. Turtles. I take very good care of the ones I have and mourn for those who are not so well taken care of - and that's one reason I thought I'd want to become a vet. But my heart was too vulnerable for that kind of work.

I still take my animals to Doctor Sanders. He's taken care of my pets for most of my life. He is always impressed with them, how relaxed they are when I bring them in. They never cry or scratch or try to bite. Apparently they are very different from his other patients, and I wonder if it is because of my own attitude about going to see the vet. I do it because I love them.


Now, I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm not sure what career I would choose today if I could be trained and placed in a new one. I landed in my current career by accident because I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do with my life. I am lucky in that I landed on my feet with something that I could feel passionate about and do for long time because it was so varied.

My current job actually isn't all that varied if you read the official job description, but I have made it so throughout the years by volunteering to work in production or wear the big character costumes, help out with pledge drives, do voice-overs and take on responsibilities that aren't necessarily part of my job description.

I suppose that that is the key to me. I can't do data entry for 30 years and be happy. I need to move around and be creative, to do different things and fail or succeed because I tried it. My job allows this. I've won awards for some of my work. I've been on a national committee that determined some of the uses of technology in broadcast television (but digital television is not my fault!!! I can explain it to you but I didn't make it happen). I've been a public speaker, a private voice, a writer, a talent, and... a database manager.

Whatever course I would/could choose for my career has to allow lots of change and experimentation. It's part of the reason I want to be a writer. I can be or do anything with enough research. Then I just have to put it down.

I wonder if it was the veterinarian part or the writing part that I took away from James Herriot?

31 comments:

Faye said...

Ah, All Creatures. . .weren't you sad when there were no more installments? And I agree, it's gratifying to see how Morph is progressing under some loving hands.

I know what you mean about needing a job that allows some freedom to improvise--management that understands this need keeps its employees.

Molly said...

That is a wonderful book. I am glad that you have job that allows you to use a variety of your talents. You still can be a writer, and certainly having a blog can at least serve as an outlet for writing.

Big Momma said...

I too was of fan of these books. He was such an amazing storyteller.

Sandy said...

I wonder how many of us think occasionally of Trixie Woo-Woo going flopbutt?????

Thanks for the great memories of some truly books.

I know what you mean about not planning a career.

That girl said...

I could never write like you...I would love to buy a book written by you.

I don't think I could ever be a vetenarian either...I think some people have that empathy about all things - which you clearly do - and others, like me, are just scared of animals. (probably to do with the fact that I've never owned anything but fish)

lisaschaos said...

Have always loved Herriot!

My daughter used to want to be a vet but decided she couldn't do it for exactly the reasons you listed.

I'm with you, I need to be able to move around and do varied things. Data entry is not for me either. :)

karisma said...

We are like to peas in a pod, you and I. But you know that already! At least you attempted the vet thing I was too sensitive to get that close. I consoled myself by bringing home strays, nursing them back to health and finding them homes. It drove my poor mother nuts especially when I brought home two dogs, in close succession and insisted on keeping them. (What can I say, they came home!) Then there was the time I made a nest for a pregnant cat in mums laundry, she really loved that one! I continued this habit all my life.

I think you are doing a great job with being a mother and keeping up with your career. Speaking and writing reaches so many. Imagine how many people you touch with your words. Keep up the great work.

Robocop said...

I understand you love for animals. For the most part,they are innocent creatures. Now people on the other hand...**LOL** I think the book reinforced you love for animals,but directed you to embark on something creative. Good luck!

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

That's why I love my job - it is so varied and I never know what's going to happen from one day to the next.

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh yes!! I want to be a writer when I grow up. Now you've gone and done it....can I change my 'dream career'? Too late you say?

You're inspirational.

Come by if you can find time. Have a super-duper Monday.

Sarah said...

Hurrah for James Herriot :)

I did the same as you - worked in our Vet's practise for a summer. I even got to help sew up a HUGE Great Dane after an operation. I was very impressed. Got a little closer to the vet dream than you - even as far as applying for university, but am very glad I didn't make the cut, I love my current job.

Sounds like you've made your job into a real career, something you care about and are very good at. Congratulations!

Thanks for the great Fun Monday post :)

iPost said...

Out of all my childhood dreams, I can honestly say I did not want to be a vet. I love animals, but it just didn't appeal to me. I wanted to grow up to be the animal, but not the vet!

nikki said...

I wanted to be a veterinarian too, but I had a hard time watching the animals go through pain, so I couldn't do it.

Cruise Mom said...

Another girl who dreamed of being a vet here. I too found the euthanizations and animals that didn't make it too difficult for me.

Irish Coffeehouse said...

I also could not do what vets do. Just way too hard for me emotionally.

But I love how you have such awesome diversity in your career. That's what I need. Something that is never the same routine.

storyteller said...

Isn’t it wonderful how books inspire? How wonderful it is to find something you enjoy doing in life! I enjoyed learning a bit more about you (and others) and think today’s topic is an excellent one. Mine's up finally at Small Reflections.
Hugs and blessings,

*red* said...

I wanted to be a big animal vet.. you know.. horses, the love of ALL little girls. :)

Funny, now I work on computers and crunch payroll #'s. How did that happen? ha..ha.ha..

Oh, and I've been a weather girl, THAT was unexpected!

w00t!

*red*

ChrisB said...

It's interesting that several people wanted to be vets. The James Herriot stories are very inspiring and they made a brilliant TV series! I've been following Morph's recovery and am amazed how quickly he's recovering.

It sounds as though you have moulded your job to fit your creative self, which is brilliant!

susan said...

Hurray for James Harriot!

We weren't allowed any pets as children so I was always afraid of animals (afraid, but facinated) Harriot made it all so real for me.

Now we live with a small zoo!

stepping over the junk said...

I always wanted to be a backpacking guide. I did it when I was a teenager as a camp counselor. And I did it in college. I always wanted to do it forever. Ah well.

Alison said...

I wanted to be a vet also, but my heart is too soft like yours!! your job sounds very interesting and exciting!!

Alison said...

I wanted to be a vet also, but my heart is too soft like yours!! your job sounds very interesting and exciting!!

Liane Michel said...

You have to stop "wanting" to be a writer. You are a writer. A very excellent writer.

Let's have lunch!!!

BS said...

I'd read your published writing and even pay for it. Great post.

Arkansas Songbird said...

My niece wants to become a veterinarian. I hope she doesn't change her mind, but she's only twelve so the future is wide open for her!

Debs said...

I wish I had the talent for words to write. :)

I love critters too, but I know I could not be a vet, because of putting them to sleep. Even knowing it is for the best for some, it would be so heartbreaking.

Peter said...

You have added a lot of variety to your job by being willing to take on a bigger load, congratulations.

Ari_1965 said...

Ah, James Herriott. I always picture the scenes from the TV version in which one of the vets seem to spend most of time with his arm way up inside a cow.

Gattina said...

I can only say retirement is great because it allows you to finally have time for what you wanted to do,even as a hobby !

Rebecca said...

In responding to my Fun Monday comments, I've already seen three people who wanted to be vets at one point. This is just the fifth comment I've responded to. I see a theme developing. :)

grace said...

nice post! I appreciate vetinarians because I stay away from animals as much as I can