Mom to Iris. Wife to Todd. Our little family lives at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We love it here and I love sharing little bits of our life.

© 2014 sarahfortune.


Mom-Work Life

I know I share a lot about my mom-life, but I often don’t dive into my work-world. So if you don’t know, in addition to being Iris’ mom and blogging when I can, I do work full-time. I’ve actually been working a job (or jobs) of some sort since I was legally able. At the age of 15 I started out as a dishwasher at my local health food store, eventually spending much of my late-teens and early 20s working as a barista in a coffeeshop. At one point, when I was living in the Washington D.C. area, I held three jobs at once – a clothing store in Georgetown, a little lunch spot near the White House during the week, and at an after-school program/nursery at a church – all while going to school (and it’s from all of this experience that I am a devout believer that everyone should work retail and/or food service at some point in their life).

So while I spend every Monday through Friday at the office, I do realize I rarely share that side of my life – which is a pretty big chunk. Frankly, that’s kind of by design. Not only is what I do on a day-to-day basis probably boring to most folks (re: lots of paperwork and emails), but what I do for a living isn’t easily explained and most people respond in one of two ways:

“Oh…” with a confused look, then changes the subject quickly.

(insert one million questions)

I actually prefer the latter response because I love and feel strongly about what I do, so I enjoy telling people about it. Though I certainly understand the subject in general isn’t always the top item on people’s dinner party topic lists. So, on to fun stuff…

Where in the world do you work?
To completely oversimplify it, I work for a non-profit organization and manage the national licensure exam for funeral service. That’s as deep as I’ll go on here (I don’t want to bore you with the details), but if you ever see me out and are curious, I’d be happy to tell you more. I’ve been there in total for almost nine years and am very fortunate to not only love what I do, but the people that I work with as well.

How did you get into THAT?
I had just graduated from The University of Arkansas and was finishing up an internship at the Walton Arts Center, when I saw a classified ad for a “Public Relations Coordinator” position. There was no mention of funeral service, but a quick Google search of the phone number led me to the organization’s website… where I was equally confused and intrigued. Fast forward many years and I’m now in a different role, but still with the same organization. While what I do is rather complex, my day-to-day work is strictly administrative, so a background in funeral service isn’t necessary. That’s what we have the amazing volunteer experts for.

So what did you go to school for?
I graduated from the journalism department, with a concentration in advertising and public relations. That’s what led me to apply for job, thanks to the title!

How often do you travel for work?
It varies, but usually around four or five trips per year. I’ve gotten to go to some pretty awesome places, but unless I extend my stay I don’t get too much opportunity to explore. Besides our annual convention, I facilitate various committee meetings which are held in different locations across the country.

How do you balance work, being a mom, and running a blog?
I’m constantly pulled in different directions – dashing from one obligation to the next, but isn’t that what being a mom is all about? I’ve been known to take a vacation day just to get the laundry done, but thankfully Todd and I make a pretty good team. Now that Iris is a little older, I feel better about leaving her for my work trips or at preschool during the week, or even when I take a little time to myself on the weekends to work on my blog. I’ve learned that I need that creative outlet to balance out the business side of my brain, and I like that Iris gets to see what hard work looks like. At the end of the day I’m proud of the different hats I wear, even if they get a little heavy at times.

Overall, I’ve learned a lot about a field that I knew not that much about. Such as that it’s full of amazing people that are humbly serving people in their toughest times and I am lucky enough to get to work alongside some of the best in the profession. At the end of the day, I’m proud be a part of an organization that is always trying to do the right thing for the sake of public protection. So there ya have it… Probably with more questions than answers. And I’m off to put Iris in the bath because – my mom hat has once again taken priority.

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