welcome to the real world.

I have been pretty lazy about keeping up with my blog lately. Why? Well, I’ve been tired. If you haven’t noticed, it’s been pretty hot out there, ladies and gentlemen. And though I’d pick summer over winter any day, the heat does tend to take it out of ya. 

Last week was the Fourth of July. Naturally, I spent most of the day working at the Zoo. It’s not unusual for zookeepers to work holidays (animals need to eat everyday!) and the Fourth is a pretty trivial one, in my opinion, then say working on Christmas. Yet it sticks out in my mind because the Fourth of July was the first holiday I ever worked at the Zoo.

I was 15 and working in Guest Services (I guess people need their face painted everyday too!). I remember thinking that it was just so unfair to be working on a holiday. I mean, seriously, I could have been stuffing my face with hotdogs instead. After work my aunt and uncle drove me down to join the festivities at the lake. Yet rather than enjoying that hotdog I remember just flopping down on the couch, totally exhausted from work and the heat. 

Lying there, sweaty, sticky and completely wiped out, I lamented to my dad (the one who had actually been working a good thirty years longer than I had) the challenges of the working world. Work is just so exhausting

“Don’t worry,” he answered. “That’s why you go to college, so you can get a job that is not so physically tiring all of the time.”

Thanks Dad.

Ten years later, after another Fourth of July spent at the Zoo I must say my dad’s advice doesn’t really apply. I went to college, got my degree and now find myself working a job even more exhausting than face painting! 

In one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver describes the worthwhile advantages of adulthood. She writes that one thing real grown ups do is “get dog tired doing something that makes you proud." 

Sorry, Dad, but maybe that’s why you go to college. To get a job that can one day make you dog tired doing something that makes you truly proud. I’m proud to take care of the animals at our Zoo everyday, even if it is a holiday. 

So bring it on record-setting-temperatures-July. It’s ok to be tired. Maybe that’s what this "real world” thing is all about.