Babysitting: The Glory Days

       My younger sister is at the age where she’s beginning to build her babysitting career.  In helping her form a marketing strategy – hey, gotta put those business classes to good use – I began to reminisce on my own golden age of babysitting.

       Those were the days.  A few hours playing hide and seek with more or less well-behaved children, and you would walk away with cold, hard cash.  No taxes, no strings attached, it was all. yours.  Not to mention the perks of the job after the kids went to sleep: endless channels on the television and good snacks.

       Does anyone else miss those days?  As a senior soon to graduate into the real world, I  find myself mourning those times even more.  I didn’t even fully appreciate how good I had it!  Uncle Sam didn’t take half my pay and living at home meant I had no expenses.  I could spend my earnings on whatever my heart desired with nary a care in the world.  Besides, I knew I’d just make another $100 cash the next weekend.  What did it matter if I blew it all shopping with friends?

       Sure, changing dirty diapers wasn’t the most glamorous job and explaining to a worried mother that her son fell at the park was a situation to be handled with the utmost care.  It’s true that in high school I spent many a Saturday night cleaning up toys and doing a mountain of someone else’s dishes after putting the kids to sleep.  There is little more exacerbating than having a child patter down the stairs after you’ve tucked them in three times already and you’re finally sitting down to relax and watch a good movie.

       I liked it though.  To this day, kids seem to enjoy me and I always have a good time with them.  The great thing about babysitting is that you get to have fun with your charges and then you get to give them back.  No matter how poorly they behave, there is an end in sight, because they’re not your children!  Besides that comforting thought, you know there will be a glorious check with your name on it in just a few hours.  These two truths can get you through even the most challenging of tantrums.

       Perhaps that’s why I’m still hesitant at the thought of having my own children: I’d get frustrated with them and think,

Well at least their parents will be home by 11pm and then I’ll be free!

or Where’s my cash for the day?

Except not.  Ah well, maybe I’ll mature one day.  If I do, let’s pray my future children never read this.

 

If anyone would like to hire me to hang out with their children and eat their snacks, my services are available immediately.

 

Why write?

Picture of coffee shop with people blogging and writing and taking notes. Coffee and tea on the table.

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that my earliest intentions to blog were not the best.  Rather than create for its own sake, I had a simple desire to emulate .

I wanted what others had: picture perfect lifestyles.  The bloggers I looked up to supported themselves from whatever beach they’d chosen to visit for the month.  Their bodies were flawless, their wardrobes enviable, and they had thousands of followers.

My eagerness to follow in the footsteps of these blogging deities led me to a rather naive conclusion.  It looked something like this: make a website, write about shoes, take pretty pictures.  Voila!  My life too would be perfect.

Except that’s not how it works.

It takes passion and a whole lot of grinding to give the appearance of effortlessness.  Hours of effort go into creating flawless.  Seeing the finished product and wanting it is easy – we didn’t have to do anything.

“I started with nothing and I didn’t make a dime for 2 years.” – Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential

Success comes from believing in our ideas.  It comes from being willing to out-toil the competitors because the belief in our work is beyond any doubt.  We must be willing to take our own path, not copy someone else’s.  Real achievement comes from a place of motivation more powerful than any incentive money can offer.

So I ask myself:  why do I want to blog?  Why write at all?

I’ve always had the aspiration to be an author.  It niggles in the back of my head like an itch that surfaces in sporadic bursts.  To make someday a reality, I need to improve my writing today.

Don’t wait for permission. Get started, write all the time — it’s the only way to get better, and it’s the best possible way to sounds more like yourself and develop your personal style over time. – Colin Wright

I want to have a record of travel and adventures.  The little details that are the best part of a trip are too often forgotten.  A well-written post with gorgeous photographs would provide a portal back to the experience.  It could also contribute towards others’ journeys.  By all means, please learn from my mishaps and varying degrees of packing success.

I’d like to share and explore ideas to reach a better understanding of them.  I’m looking to question and scrutinize and learn.  Blogging and posting provide a forum to achieve this aim.

On such an odyssey of inquiry, I look to connect with like-minded individuals. I can be a part of something larger than myself and pick up some knowledge along the way.  We all crave connection.  Maybe it’s possible to find it through writing.