with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
I was late to a committee meeting last night, and I hate that. I hate being late. I got stuck in traffic that I should’ve anticipated, and so by the time I got there I was rushed and annoyed (mostly with myself) and, yes, a little uncomfortable at walking into a room full of people who were already seated, in a meeting already underway.
This was for a school committee I sit on. Now, I was on the committee last year, too, so theoretically I’m already an old hand at this. But I never attended the “opening meeting” last year (I joined later), so I was completely confused when I walked smack into the middle of what is apparently the first-meeting-of-the-year tradition: They were going around the table and doing introductions.
Well, okay. Introductions make sense. Fine. But people were volunteering all sorts of weird information (”I almost majored in Russian in college!”) along with their names. I finally figured out that the directive was to introduce yourself and “share something that people might not know about you.”
I happened to walk in such that I was two people away from being on the spot, and so it seemed like I sat down, waved to some folks I knew, put my bag on the floor, and was immediately called upon to do my intro. I tried to stall, a little, by asking for clarification on what we were doing, but then everyone was looking at me and I ended up saying something like, “Hi, I’m Mir, I joined this committee last year because we moved down here and were new to the district and I figured I’d jump right in and see what was different. And hooboy, it’s different, alright!”
Um, can anyone spot the thing about me that not many people would know, in that declaration?
Yeah, me neither.
Basically, I choked. I sit here at my desk, day after day, telling the entire world what it’s like to be a freelance writer, and about my personal life, and posing as a bargain ninja in not just one but actually two different places, and indulging my love of children’s television, children’s books, and cool stuff for moms. Heck, I’ve gone on national television and been profiled in a popular magazine, and I’m about to start doing publicity appearances for the book to which I contributed.
The people with whom I serve on that committee know none of those things; to everyone in that room, I’m simply—as Dr. Laura would put it—my kids’ mom. I could’ve mentioned any of those facts. Any of them. Or that I went through theater school with Taye Diggs. Or that I can make a clover shape with my tongue (that’s hereditary, and recessive, in case you’re wondering). Or that I used to play the cello, or that I failed gym in the ninth grade. The point is, it’s not as though I had no available material.
And with that world of possibilities spread before me, I opened up my mouth and said… that I’d joined last year because we’d just moved to the area—the one factoid about me which every returning member of the committee already knew.
Apparently I’m boring and stupid when there’s not a computer in front of me (entirely possible) or I only like talking about myself to imaginary people, as opposed to real ones (also possible).
Hey, have I ever told you the story of how we moved last year…?
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