Semi-Sweet

Well, it turns out that I’ve been blessed once again with another year of semi-unemployment. I say “semi” for a several of reasons. First, I am actually doing some work from home right now, which does bring in a little income. Second, in another month or so I might actually spend a good portion of my day in an office working. Third, I’ve enrolled in college…again…for a second Masters degree. And, fourth, I am, of course, a mom, so unemployment never really means not working.

I did say that I had been “blessed,” with this condition, didn’t I? I have to look at it that way, or else I might cry a little. I would love to be back in the classroom this year teaching students and watching them grow. However, because of this unexpected bump in the road, I will actually get to take my daughter to the first day of Kindergarten and pick her up when school is over. AND, when I start working in the office, my hours will be such that I will still be able to drop her off and pick her up at school every day! How awesome is that?!? If I were teaching this year, I would miss this, as well as most of the school activities, and she would have to be dropped off and picked up by a daycare! (Don’t get me wrong, I know that this is a necessity for a lot of people, and it usually would be for us, as well, but I feel so happy to get to take her and pick her up every day!) I’ll still have my baby at home with me every day until I start working in the office. It will also be nice to spend some one-on-one time with her, since she’s never really had much of that.

So, I will be very busy working and learning this year, just not in the way that I had imagined. I hope this means that I have time to keep up with this blog after having had a lovely summer vacation with very little thought about writing. Now I’m off to pack my daughter’s lunch box for her first day of Kindergarten!

Waiting is the Worst

I have discovered that waiting for really important things is not one of my strong suits. I can wait for the coffee pot to beep in the morning (and that’s no small feat), and I can wait for the water in the shower to get hot. I can even stand waiting at those red lights that seem to last forever. None of that really bothers me. But, right now, I’m waiting on information that is potentially life changing in a good way…and it is KILLING ME!

I am so nervous and anxious right now that I am dizzy. I know I haven’t exactly eaten anything healthy today, and it’s 1pm now. That might have something to do with the dizziness. I don’t feel like eating, though, because my stomach is in knots.

So, I’ll be here. Going bonkers. Wish me luck that I actually find out today! I’m starting to become frantic!!!

Just Another Manic Monday

Children, laundry, cleaning, food preparation… today I’m slogging through domesticity, at least to some degree. I find that I’ve been blessed to be able to spend this much devoted time with my young children, but I desperately miss being in a classroom.  I miss it so much that I am literally about to go crazy!

Even though it is the end of the school year, and most of my teacher friends have already cleaned out and locked up their classrooms, I wish I could be with them. In addition to the fulfillment I get just from teaching, I have learned that contact with peers and colleagues on a regular basis is essential to my sanity and general well-being.

To all my favorite teachers out there, I hope you have a wonderful summer vacation! Hopefully I will be rejoining your ranks once again come August. It’s either that or off the deep-end I go…

If I Knew Now What I Knew Then

Would I do anything differently? If I knew when I was 18 years old what I know now in my early 30s, would I make different choices? Probably. I would hopefully be a better student in college, even though I wasn’t too bad. I would avoid a devastating employment situtation that has shaped my life in a bad way. I would eat better and exercise more. I would choose my friends more carefully.

But, I would only do all of this if I knew that no matter what choices I made differently, that I would still have the same beautiful daughters and loving husband that I have now. If it meant giving any of that up, then I would do everything exactly the same. All of the challenges I have faced, personally, and with my family have not been pleasant, but I know they have made us strong. Thinking back on it, some days I feel like we should be the strongest family EVER because of all we’ve been through. Then I get real and remember just how blessed we’ve been, even if we have had to ask for help along the way.

Many people suffer hardships. Some persevere and some give up. It is true what they say about hindsight, but it is still useless information unless we continue on and learn from the past. I’m trying not to give up because I know I am one of the lucky ones. I have much to be thankful for and very little to be sad about.

It’s up to me to not let the sad things become so magnified that they overshadow everything. That’s harder than it sounds, but at least I have supportive people in my life that I can lean on.

Lack of Job Stress

I’ve had one interview so far. In my heart, I wish that this would be the ONLY interview and that I would be able to walk into the school this fall as a teacher and stay there for many years. In my mind, however, I know that this is probably the first of (hopefully) many…or, at least, several really promising ones.

Then the Doubt Monster starts lurking around. Why should they interview ME, much less hire me? I’m not really THAT experienced, despite my Masters degree. My background, though honest, isn’t spotless. They can probably find someone else that is more qualified than I am. BUT THIS GETS ME NOWHERE!

Trying to be positive while seeking re-entry into my chosen career field is often the most difficult thing I do on a daily basis. Some days I think I would be better off going back to school for another degree, in a different field…like law. I’d make a damn fine lawyer. But, I wouldn’t get to start practicing until the age of 40, at the earliest, because that’s the soonest I would be able to figure out how to pay for all of that additional school, adding debt on top of the craziness I already have from my previous student loans.

I can’t really picture myself doing anything outside the field of education, though. It’s where I’ve always wanted to be. I would love, more than anything, to spend the next ten years in a classroom teaching…preferable a middle school English classroom with special needs. After that, I would like to be the person that tells the schools how to fix the problems they have. I wouldn’t necessarily be the boss, but I would be the person who sees everything objectively and would be able to tell people what they are doing wrong. There are a few schools I can think of right now that I already have suggestions for!

I WILL get a teaching job (again) for this fall, 2011. I am worth it. I am a great teacher and I have so much to offer students and schools! God watch over me, but I know the work has to be done by me. Now, I’m off to scour the job postings!

It’s About Time

Everything we do revolves around time, it seems. It may not be the right time for something to happen. It may be too late or too early. You could be right on time. You could have a lot of time on your hands, or not. Time can heal all wounds (supposedly) and it can fly when you’re having fun. A stitch in time saves nine, or so I hear, but what does that even MEAN?

My time, recently (which is, of course, a time-relative word), has been spent taking care of my children at home. I cook and clean, play games and color, teach and listen, clean and cook… I get to relax, too. I read and watch television and crochet a little…and there’s always time to check Facebook, right? I also spend a lot of my time worrying and planning, or trying to plan. I have come to realize that, even though I am a mother, I have vastly underestimated the issues faced by stay-at-home-parents. Also, even though I am a teacher, I have even somewhat underestimated the value of a teacher’s job.

I absolutely know, and have known for a long time, the importance of education beyond academics, but I now appreciate it even more. As much as I love seeing my children learn and know that I am capable of teaching them things they should learn, I know that it will benefit them if I am not their only teacher. (Or, rather, that their father and I are not their only teachers.) I can see the moment when my 5 year old “turns off” and becomes unreceptive to what I’m trying to say. Oh, I know that this happens to teachers, as well. I’ve experienced that plenty of times. In a perfect world, we would have the combined efforts of parents and teachers creating the best learning experiences for every child. Maybe I won’t be able to ensure that for every student I teach in the future, but I can try, and I can definitely try to make that a reality for my children when they begin school. I may have to MAKE TIME to attend school functions and meetings, etc. It’s something I’m more than willing to do.

As for stay at home parents, where do I begin? This is not babysitting. This is not easy. No, obviously, it’s not rocket science. But what IS, other than rocket science? Being a stay at home parent is a challenge in many ways, for the average person. Budgeting can become an obsession. For a couple of teachers, with one currently unemployed, budgeting is more than a necessity. Planning becomes a priority in more areas than money, at least for people like me. If I were to wake up every day without some semblance of a plan, my house would be chaotic to say the least. I have to plan activities for my children – so they don’t get bored and I don’t go crazy. There are bills to pay, errands to run, meals to shop for and cook. For people that work all day, like I used to be, it’s the same but vastly different. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced both worlds, and I don’t really have the time to try…ha-ha!

What I have time for, beyond my daily challenges of parenthood, is thinking. I think myself sick sometimes, so I decided that it’s about time to get some of those thoughts out of my head, and at least out into the ether(net) if not into your head. So, when I have a minute, I’m sure I’ll be sharing something random again. I’ll try not to be too boring.

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