The Winter Olympics are over and I have to say, I was kind of into them this year for some reason. Well, all except for the ice skating stuff. Anyway, my wife and I have been to Vancouver, it was about 9 years ago. We just loved it there. It's one of the few truly beautiful cities in the world, at least in my world. We went there when my wife was about 6 months pregnant with our oldest. You can imagine how she felt hiking on those evergreen trails, all the while, carrying a bowling bowl in her belly. This was back when the bowling ball was sitting right on the ole' bladder, causing it to hold only about 1 ounce of fluid at any given time. As it turns out, those trail port-o-potties became our favorite destination.
This year was the anniversary of "The Miracle on Ice". NBC seemed to memorialize this event quite a bit, as did everyone else. There's not much I remember about the game other than the Russians were unbeatable and the US team was supposed to get clobbered 10 - 0. But when the game was over, it was the young Americans skating around the ice to chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A". I wasn't a big hockey fan back then, but I still thought this was very cool.
Fast forward to my years at the hospital where I worked. Sure there was no Howard Cosell or Al Michaels doing play by play and nobody chanted my name over and over again, but there was a certain amount of applause that I'd receive. My coworkers would tell me "thank you" for helping them out or my peers would tell me what a great job I did on some project. Even though there were many times when I'd say how much I hated my job, I still enjoyed working. I guess that's the difference. Those who know me best would never describe me as someone who loves to work, but I did and still do. There's just something satisfying about being given a problem that you and you alone have to solve. Then once you've done it, you get to sit back and enjoy the accolades.
Guess what though? When you're home all day, there aint no applause. Your spouse gives you an occasional bone every once in a while or someone may tell me how they respect what we've chosen to do, and that's all nice and good. I'll take it when I can get it, but there's no day-in, day-out patting you on the back.
So, although I don't miss the deadlines and headaches, pressure-cooker kind of stuff, I do miss the applause that came along with it. Quite honestly, that's been the hardest part of this little experiment. I don't know how life long housewives do it, without the daily or at least weekly, standing ovations. Maybe they do it because they're wired differently, maybe their expectations are just different, I don't really know. But I think I now know the definition of a "thank-less job" - staying home with the kids.
In spite of this though, I feel pretty good. It's like an ex-smoker complaining about gaining 10 pounds when they quit. You want to yell at them, "Hey knucklehead, at least you quit smoking and that's pretty remarkable".