I’ll admit that this post is a bit of click-bait.
You’re like, “What?! You have a new job?!” to which I must respond, not exactly.
In the last two years, my freewheeling-do-what-I-want lifestyle has been supplanted by a host of very demanding responsibilities. Some of which are tough but rewarding opportunities at work, but mostly it’s been the ever pressing job of caretaking for my father. I’ve learned that when people ask what the responsibilities of taking care of my dad are, it’s easier to smile, shrug and say, “Oh, just a lot.” If I tell the truth (the doctors, the lawyers, the advocates, the pharmacists, the concerned friends, the nurses, the paperwork, the bills…), peoples’ facial expressions betray that they wished they had never asked.
ALL THE WHILE, my job with the school district is continually on a “Will it exist next year?” plan. I actually don’t mind this lack of vision or continuity, but in January my team was explicitly told we would be job-hunting come spring (hence goal #23 – Find a new job). We were completely shocked in March when we were renewed, amidst a host of layoffs and shuffling. In fact, I was disappointed because I had so many irons in the fire for new positions.
I took this as a sign to relax for the summer; I traveled a small amount for my other job as a consultant, but mostly spent a lot of time on my Peloton bike.
But Concordia called me in August and somewhat pleaded that I teach a night class that I’ve never taught before, two nights a week, four hours each, starting in five days. My heart stopped beating for a second, and then I accepted.
Everyone I knew seemed openly annoyed with me. You already have too much going on. You do this to yourself. You need to say no. And I get it from an outsider’s view. I do have too much going on, and I do do this to myself. You’re all correct! But what an outsider might not see is the vast ennui I experience in my day job. The passion is not there, and it is very difficult to coach others to be their best selves when I’m not feeling my best self.
Teaching at Concordia is the one place I find actual joy in work. It’s challenging on my own terms and it let’s me practice a lot of skills that I use elsewhere. I make connections with future teachers, and I get to tell stories all night long. There aren’t staff meetings or reply-all emails, just full autonomy for me to go in and do what I do best: teach.
Last night, we wrapped up the term, and I don’t regret it a bit. As it was a class that I had never taught, and it offered me the distinct challenge of designing and implementing something new, I’m going to officially count it as “Find a new job” and cross this one off the list.
That being said, I’m proclaiming that something has to give in my day job so don’t be surprised if this goal resurfaces in 2019.