My New Skill Set

Natalie with two of her kids at the start of a long church service. "Long church service? Bring it, we're ready!"

Natalie with two of her kids at the start of a long church service. “Long church service? Bring it, we’re ready!”

Sometimes I imagine a future job interview in the U.S.  The interviewer scans my resume, frowning slightly and tapping a pen on the table.

“Well, Mrs. Holsten,” he says.

“Yes?” I lean forward hopefully.

“I see you haven’t been gainfully employed since the new millennium.  And your skill set, I’m not sure it’s what we’re looking for. ‘Can ride side-saddle on a motorcycle, can use the bathroom anywhere, can quickly locate flashlights in a dark room, can bake bagels, can make Christmas candy last till Easter, can start a generator,’” he reads.  “I’m afraid we’re not looking for someone who can guide us through an apocalypse.”

And the imaginary interview ends there.

We don’t want to relocate anytime soon, and it’s a good thing, because it’s hard to imagine what kind of job this life as an overseas missionary has prepared me for.

Natalie and her daughter, Grace, taking public transport. "Where are we going? We don't know!"

Natalie and her daughter, Grace, taking public transport. “Where are we going? We don’t know!”

I’m sure there’s very little need in the U.S. for drivers who can drive stick-shift on the left-hand side of the road.  Or for someone who can elbow to the front of a crowd, bargain in the market, and make all money transactions using only the right hand.

Many of the skills I’ve acquired as an expat in Indonesia would have no use in the U.S., and frankly, there are some I would not be sad to give up (yogurt-making and hoarding chocolate chips come to mind).  But there are skills that will serve me well, no matter where we might live: entertaining kids during an hours-long service; taking public transport, even when I’m not exactly sure where I might end up; killing vermin of all sorts; making myself understood despite cultural and language barriers.

Maybe the main skill set I will take away—that makes all these others possible—is the ability to adapt, go with the flow, and laugh at myself.  Even during job interviews, imaginary or otherwise.

1 Comment

  • Avatar Trevor Watson says:

    Moms are too valuable to be priced on the Job Market. They make lives,families and homes not money and businesses.They have skill sets that business cannot do without but will not pay for.Moms are great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *