The Frozen Eggs of Happiness

On October 27, 2014, in Heather Bussing, HRExaminer, by Heather Bussing

photo of woman at sunrise looking out over mountain range in story by Heather Bussing on Frozen Eggs of Happiness

The benefit is part of a larger, generous approach to having children, and not having them.


Apple and Facebook recently announced that they will cover the cost of having human eggs frozen for employees who want it. Cool. . . well, cold . . . fine.

Some took the announcement as a suggestion that women should delay childbirth. But the benefit is part of a larger, generous approach to having children, and not having them. For example, both companies provide paid parental leave. And Facebook gives expectant parents “baby cash” to cover all the crap you get talked into buying for your first child.

So I think both companies are really trying to support their employees’ reproductive choices, whatever they are. And I am in favor of that – unqualifiedly.

I waited until 34 to get married, and 36 to have my first child because I was busy with a law career. I’m pretty sure I picked the wrong spouse partly because I was worried it would be too late to have kids. I wasn’t sure I wanted kids, but I really didn’t want the choice to be taken away from me before I was sure.

I also spent my 20’s and 30’s in demanding work environments that involved really long hours, a lot of travel, and a level of time and energy that precluded pretty much anything besides massive quantities of scotch.

If I had it to do over, would I freeze my eggs instead of marrying the first guy who came along when I was running out of time? Maybe. Probably not. 

So, I get it.

But what I really wish I’d done another way is to have worked differently, and less. 

When I got out of law school, I was willing to sign up for whatever was required by whomever would hire me. I thought long hours, travel, and poor nutrition were badges of honor, symbols of my importance. The truth is, nobody gave a shit. It turns out employers will not only allow, but really like it when people are workaholics (not subject to OT, of course). When the business bills by the hour, the incentive is even greater.

I was the only one who could have saved me. And I didn’t have any idea I needed, or wanted, saving.

So, from 52, menopause, and the middle of some professional and career redesign, here are the things I think matter most in choosing our work and how we work.

  • Rest is an essential ingredient to all work.
  • Downtime makes you more efficient.
  • Commute time matters. A lot.
  • Dinner time is stupid.
  • The people you work with is more important than the work.
  • Figuring out if you are an introvert is a really good thing.
  • Understanding what kind of work environment you need and enjoy is easier to figure out than what you want to be when you grow up.
  • Showing up and starting is always better than planning. Except when it’s not.
  • Trying to achieve happiness never works. Happiness is a side effect of doing or getting what you want. This requires knowing what you want, which requires exploring the unknown, which is terrifying, and sometimes exhilarating, and often quite uncomfortable. So this happiness stuff is not for the timid. Happiness is a symptom of a rich and interesting life. It is not a destination.
  • Never wait to do something you want to do until you are finally either ready or happy.

Oh, and don’t have children with your starter husband.

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