Jobs for a Few Lifetimes

I have no idea what got me thinking about all the kinds of jobs I’d like to do or have. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been in the real working world (read: not a student) for much of my life. Maybe it’s because of that employee at Whole Foods who finished bagging my groceries and said to me, as he was putting everything in the cart, “Have fun today.”

I DO like the job that pays me. I like the people I work with. But we all know what we do is temporary and some other grad student will get that job some day. Assuming, as always, that the budget holds.

I AM tired of being a perpetual student. And so…thinking about my interests and how the work I do right now really doesn’t get me toward ANY of those ends…here’s the list of jobs I think I might like to choose from…were that calling, if you will, mine to choose (and in no particular order).

 Travel agent. Better still…that person that goes and vets  all those places for travel companies.

I’m the kind of person that wants exceedingly more stamps in my passport. Or at least start crossing off places on my travel list. Of course, I’d need some new luggage.



Writer of some sort. Screenwriter for Leverage or NCIS. Screenwriter who adapts books to film. Novelist. Nonfiction writer. Travel writer. Something. Other than a dissertation writer, which is what I should be right now.

And, truth be told, this just might still be in the cards for me. Maybe. If I can carve out the time. And if I can ever get out of school long enough to let the creativity and energy return to be able to write. Because I’ve always enjoyed doing it. Ever since I was a child. I applied to one college in particular because of the ad for their creative writing program in a writer’s magazine I would pick up from time to time.

And if I can’t make it as a writer, perhaps an editor for a major publishing company. Get paid to read and live in a big city? Sign me up. What’s more likely is to be a book reviewer. Who will likely not get paid for the privilege.


A crew member for REI. Or a guide for some of the REI Adventures.

I blame my husband for this one. He got me sucked into the world of REI and hiking. And encouraged my interest in paddling. And generally playing outdoors.

And the Adventures go back to my love of travel. But to see some incredibly cool places AND get paid? Sign me up.




Nutritionist. Or personal trainer. Or really really get it together to be a Beach Body Coach (because I already am one).

Another one of those can’t I somehow get paid for something I already love and do? And if not one of those things, how ’bout teaching Anusara Yoga? (You can thank my seester-in-love for that last one. She got me hooked.) Of course, the yoga teaching could happen. Some day. After I’ve gone through the crazy long certification process. {must. finish. school. first.]

 Believe it or not…costume designer. But not for plays or period pieces. For fun shows like Leverage or Burn Notice or Covert Affairs or…

I really started thinking about that this week after a mini-lecture on the subject at a teaching instituted I attended.

And my mom was a seamstress. And seriously could have done that job were she not such an incredibly gifted reading teacher.


You knew it had to come up sooner or later. Own and/or work at a bookstore. It’s kinda my idea of retirement. And there’d be a cafe area and I’d do the baking. Coffee would be local and fair trade. And there would constantly be social book gatherings.

If not that, then librarian.

Perhaps this can be my retirement plan?



Interior designer. I think know this one comes from watching too much HGTV. Which my gym is all too happy to air during the day. And which I am all too happy to pay attention to one those rare occasions when I get to sleep in or have to postpone the workout for later in the day. I’ll say this, it keeps me on the cardio machines for a lot longer than anything else.

I look around–especially my house–and see a canvas. I just have no idea what to do with it.


And last, but certainly not least, a buyer or some sort of employee for Title 9  or Athleta. Because every time their catalog comes out, I want one of each.








I guess the good news is that I have some marketable hobbies. Or careers I can give characters in books.

And I like the path I’m on as far as a job is concerned. It’s a vocation that is meaningful, stimulating and makes a difference. It’s the way I can offer healing to a bent and broken world.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I’d had more of an opportunity to pursue one (or some) of the above.

If Darwin Prayed–A Review

Our faith was never meant to stand still. We were meant, from the beginning, to grow in all things. Just as our understanding of God and what it means to be part of a faith community–and to be human–evolves, so too does our universe live and evolve. It’s the stuff of Darwin, and it’s the stuff of If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics by Bruce Sanguin.

If Darwin Prayed is a prayer book that includes prayers for all seasons included in the lectionary as well as a few additional times of year. Prayers for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Palm Sunday and Good Friday, Easter and the Ordinary Season are all included–most with a scripture reference upon which the prayer is based or from which it is derived.

The language is expressive and colorful. It’s not everyday that one includes “silencing the political party poopers” in a prayer. It’s not every church that can tolerate such things. Other prayers stir in the reader (pray-er) a desire for peace, to right the wrongs of our planet, to care for the Earth, to take one’s place in the Earth as members of her community, to express gratitude for…well…all things.

This prayer book reminds us all that our faith should never stay in one place–and neither should the prayers we pray in corporate or personal worship. Although I’ve not yet read all of them, I have certainly found several that will be incorporated in my personal time of prayer.

My encouragement is that you not allow the mention of Darwin to scare you off. Instead, my hope is that you will be inspired to move beyond where you currently are and use this book as one of many tools to aid that endeavor.



Thanks to Speak Easy for sending this book for me to review.

Dress Code

I just got back from not quite two weeks in Israel and Jordan with the Campbell University Divinity School Study Tour (for a full recap, head over here–and keep reading. There are about 12 posts).

One of our leaders reflected in his blog today about the dress code to which we had to adhere in various places on our trip. Sites owned/run/overseen by various faith groups required modest dress, which basically meant no shorts or bare shoulders or too much neck. We didn’t have any men wearing wife beaters in our group, so it meant they had to resort to pants–usually the convertible kind in which the legs were unzipped to shorts rather quickly later in the day. It did mean the women had to be more prepared about their dress. Our leader was mindful of the schedule and would let us know when we had to think about what we were wearing–if the women weren’t already mindful about asking. And so we would appear at the bus in long skirts (worn over shorts so the skirts could easily come off later) or long pants, a shirt with a neckline that didn’t plunge and sleeves that were long enough–or a scarf to cover the tank tops some chose to wear that day. Occasionally, hats were required–usually for the men.

In some ways, it was an exercise in benevolent self-interest. Yes, our mode of dress was out of respect for the Orthodox/Catholics/Jews/Muslims who owned(?) the site. But we also knew that if we weren’t dressed appropriately, we would not be allowed to enter or participate in the site. And no one wanted to miss out on a moment of this whirlwind tour.

In the grand scheme of things, I agree with Tony’s take on whether God cares about how we appear in his/her presence. At the same time, I have a different take on the dress code.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a woman and women are usually more affected by these things.

We all have our visions of how Arab or Muslim women dress. Usually they have on long sleeves and pants, and their heads are covered in a hijab. I can count on one finger the number of times I have seen a full burqa in the US. The same was true in the Arab areas we visited. Usually, the women (and girls) wore long sleeves, pants and hijab. I can count on 7 fingers the number of full burqas I saw (which may speak to the more liberal nature of Palestinians and Jordanians–or that these areas are more secular than you might expect).

Although I’m not advocating the burqa, I must confess that it was nice to have to wear pants and short or 3/4 length sleeves. Although wearing a burqa rubs my feminist fibers the wrong way, it sure does take the question out of what to wear, feeling like there’s nothing to wear, and wondering how one’s butt looks in those jeans. And so, in some ways, I appreciated being made to cover up. Then there is no question about the usual things with which American (and I’m sure other Western) women are so obsessed (tan lines, varicose veins, cellulite, arm jiggle, leg jiggle, chub rub…the list, I’m sure, goes on).

The dress code also makes me mindful of our typically less than modest modes (or retail choices) of dress for women and girls in our country. When thong underwear is marketed to girls who are barely in elementary school, we have a problem. Our daughters become sexualized way too soon; our women spend far too much time and energy trying to pull hard in the tug of war of aging in an effort to keep an iron grip on youth and beauty.

Would that we all take more time to think about our dress–not resorting to sack cloth and ashes, but keeping some things under wraps more than we do–and about what our bodies can and were made to do instead of how they look or are adorned.