It has been an interesting week after the initial rush of getting this going. I thought, perhaps, that some things about my future and what my friends said might become clearer to me as time passed. However, it seems that reality smacks you in the face and the laundry still needs to be folded, kids still resist repeated requests, and dinner occurs every day. So while I am not making excuses, it is humbling to me how much people can accomplish in the midst of ordinary life while it seems my biggest accomplishment is ordinary life. Case in point: A local women known for her athletic prowess is a tri-athlete, a chiropracter, and has 3 kids ages 2-7. She was recently in the book store and to make conversation, I asked her what she was currently training for and she told me. In all seriousness, she then asked me what I was training for. Hmm.....life? Naturally, I laughed. What else can one do when faced with such ridiculousness? It also proves that while we share many commonalities, people do speak different languages. For her, not training for something, not pushing her physical self is likely as inconceivable as it is inconceivable to me to run...at all.
But back to what to what I learned. Ok. So my friends and I were pretty on target. I totally get my energy from other people, I don't take things too personally, I like public speaking, I like helping people who might not get help. I had a history of working with people that seem on the margins: adult English language learners, troubled kids, struggling readers, etc. I like working for a cause, I am not afraid to speak out if it seems justified. Blah, blah, blah. How does this translate into anything that might be a future career? And what about the teaching? After blowing wads of cash on a masters plus in English and reading education, how can I just kiss that good-bye? Well, the truth of the matter is, I don't miss it. That is harsh to say. I do not miss the daily stress and requirements of what I know to be the best teachers. I worked half-time for a year and felt I did a half-assed job at everything- mothering, working, home care, and obvioulsy anything for myself came last. I get my energy from colleagues and if you are not in a position to work in teams, teaching can be very isolating. If you are working with the struggling readers and challenged students, this means all the good energy created is up to you and I feel like I don't have that magic. This, combined with my husband's job, which limits my availability to be involved in extra-curriculars and committees, just overwhelms me. Strangely, I loved committee work and coaching speech- all done outside the classroom. This is where the fostering of relationships occurred and where I jived most. My husband's job is not an excuse. It's a reality that is quite inflexible. I am not a super human and I don't want to be. I don't need to pay others to mess up my kids. I do that on my own quite nicely. Money is not my primary concern. This is a statement I never thought I would write and with all my heart, I know how fortunate I am. I don't take this lightly,which is why I almost feel something like pressure to give back. However, the giving monetarily doesn't seem to be as gratifying as it could be. And then there's the fact that I would like to get paid because I am worth something. Which leads me back to how this all started. Which is to say I am restless and want to push my own envelope, but I don't know how and why and when and where. So....I've been reflecting on the teaching, what makes me feel good, and how this can be combined into something meaningful, and what does this have to do with this blog?
What I have figured out so far? Obviously, not much. I can sort through things by writing, hence the blog. I am also hoping that others might see something similar in their own thinking. Maybe they struggle with the same things. Who knows? And I am trying to publish something sometime...again,I don't know what. What I do know is that I will be creating a few pages on this blog. One will be called Gray Matters. I will post columns that didn't make our local paper or drafts of things I am working on for feedback. Another section that has it's first entry is called Family Fodder, which explains itself.
I hope you continue to follow me on this unknown journey.