As the child of two teachers, my year always began in late August or early September with the start of school. Marrying a university professor and working at a university didn't help. To this day, I will in March or April say "next year" in reference to a date in October or November of the same calendar year.
Because of this time shift, there is something visceral about Back to School sales. I feel them in my gut, particularly this year as only the husband prepares to go back to school. The sons are, for now, done with schooling and moving on to the next chapters in their lives. I am wrestling, as I have all summer, with where this leaves me. If you've read my profile recently, you might have seen that I changed the reference to the business card I carry to deposit into contest bins at retail establishments. It didn't seem appropriate to list "mom" as my principal occupation any longer.
Trying to figure out a new identity leaves me muddled. There are various things I'd like to say. Artist? Craftsperson? Writer? Photographer? Baker? I'm not sure how accurate any of those terms are. They certainly don't describe me to the degree that "mom" did when it was more valid. "Mom" encompassed all those and more; I'm not sure what a replacement catch-all title would be. For now I guess I'll stick with the "Woman with a Sword" and "World Traveler" I had printed on my two sets of free business cards. Who knows, though? I might come up with something better this year, maybe in the spring. If not, there's always next year.