The “Measure of our Creation”

Today is the end of my seventh week in a 24-week programming bootcamp. Three months ago, I was only non-chalantly  applying for it, after having applied to another and had not gotten in. It wasn’t originally in my plans to do this now- next year at the earliest, but when opportunities come, I try to take them and not think to much about it. So far that philosophy has worked out.

I had been a stay-at-home-mom for 6 years. We homeschool. It has been a huge lifestyle change, and it’s unlikely to go back to how it was if I get a job after this. I am now gone 8-6 M-F. I have had a lot of disjointed thoughts on this situation this week and I supposed I’ll list them chronologically.

On Sunday, one of the sacrament talks in our ward was one the human desire to create things. The speaker quoted Uchrdorf’s words on creation from his October 2008 talk. And at one point in the talk, the speaker mentioned the phrase, “fulfill the measure of our creation.” I thought to myself, “That’s how I feel. I’m smart and capable and by doing this bootcamp and learning to code,  I’m finally fulfilling the measure of my creation. I didn’t even notice I was falling short of that measure until these past couple of months.” I thought about how just two weeks before starting this bootcamp I was supposed to be watching my kids at the park, but really I was thinking about the catenary curve of the park’s suspension bridge. My poor brain was starving for analytical thinking!

 

Me, with L and M, a couple of Mormon-y friends who came to hang out during a lunch break in San Francisco

Me, with L and M, a couple of Mormon-y friends who came to hang out during a lunch break in San Francisco

On Monday night, I stayed late in San Francisco. Normally I try to get home as soon as possible, but everyone in our class was assigned a mentor and Monday night was the “Meet your mentor” social. I didn’t know how long I’d be out, but I knew it was likely I wouldn’t come home until after the older kids were in bed. Usually the 1 year old stays up with us and nurses to sleep while we watch TV. Not far into the event I received a text from my husband that the baby didn’t get a nap today and was on edge for lack of sleep. Even if I had left at that exact moment to rush home and nurse her, I knew she’d be asleep before I got there and that she would not have nursed all day. And I thought to myself, “Here, I am staying because I know forming this relationship with my mentor will further my career. I am literally choosing my career over my children.” And maybe I was a bit tired myself because I got teary. I consoled myself by trying to convince myself that I’m doing this for my kids: so they can have more opportunities and options and so they can have a mom that feels useful and “fulfills the measure of her creation.” So I stayed out late and sure enough, all the kids were in bed and I had to prod the baby awake to nurse her.

 

On Wednesday morning, I woke up to this blog post on Aspiring Mormon Women. It spoke to me so much, especially the part about how no one mentions a career beyond academia in college. Or at least, no one mentioned anything like that to me. Never once did I actually visualize what my life would be like with a career. Jobs, sure, but not really a career. I had my “just in case” education, but no clue what to do with it. I’m really glad I’m getting the job training and experience to have that now. Unlike those years as a teenager and a young adult I think I can actually imagine what my career might look like in six months. I really like that.

 

Getting this to all work out logistically (childcare, transportation, finances) has been a challenge, especially since I’m doing this a year and a half before I originally planned, but I know that 10 years from now, I’ll look back and think it was the best time for it. I’m doing this bootcamp so that my brain can fulfill the measure of its creation and my kids will be able to visualize themselves in the future fulfilling theirs.

TopHat

TopHat is putting her roots down in the Bay Area with her husband and three children. She loves the earth, yarn, and bicycling.

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5 Responses

  1. Stargazer says:

    All things work out for those who trust in the Lord. Six years ago I had a plan that included our last kid, education to become a childbirth educator, and eventually start my education to become a midwife. I became pregnant a year sooner than I wanted, and had it out with emotional acceptance of that pregnancy. It was a great pregnancy and birth, and within eight months I started an as yet non existent midwifery school. I reassessed which type of childbirth education training I should do and had an ideological overhaul. And here I am, a new midwife and 2 years of experience teaching childbirth education, all at least 3 to 4 years before I expected. Other things also happened in my educational opportunities, finding the perfect childcare situation for my kids, etc., that proved over and over again that the Lord’s hand is in the details. As my MIL says, we had one God moment after another. When we search for the life works and callings the Lord wants us to do, we are led with doors opening, even as the way seems impossible. And I nursed my happiest, easiest sweet kid for two years through the process, too. Church leaders have said that it doesn’t matter what work we do here in our earth life. I argue that it does! We need the chance to grow spiritually in all spheres. I am not a sales type person, but our bishop is, and is the perfect career for his outgoing friendly personality.

  2. Liz says:

    This is really inspiring to me, TopHat. I still don’t totally know what filling the measure of my creation is, and I’m not feeling a ton of pressure to figure it out, but this really has me thinking about the possibility of what a career could look like for me. I never really thought about it, either – I also got a “just in case” education. This is a good thought exercise for me at the very least.

  3. Patty says:

    I just retired after many years of teaching second grade. Not something I had ever really aspired to, but it did teach ME a lot! Teaching did several things for me, one of which was providing a flexible base to spend time with my family. Many things could be taken home; often my husband or kids would help me with bulletin boards and other tasks. I hope your plans work well for you: seeing catenary curves really does seem to indicate that you need to stretch your wings! I was originally an English major and have read voraciously all my life. Have I met the measure of my creation? When I was in my 40s I would have said no. Now that I am in my 60s things seem different. My many years of teaching disadvantaged kids seem well worth my efforts. I have grown in ways I wouldn’t have been able to imagine when I was forty. Still reading voraciously!!

  4. Ziff says:

    I love that you’re doing this, TopHat! You’re inspiring! An added benefit you didn’t mention is that knowing that you’ve done this–seeing you do this–probably is and will be inspiring to your kids too.

  5. Jenne says:

    I experienced that talk in a similar way and it has led me to pursue a project that I otherwise would have not had the confidence to pursue. I love that there is a moFem sister of mine pursuing the same inspiration. Thank you for being this example for your kids and your community. You can do great things with that training.

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