time to be thankful
I think I mentioned that I’d show you the pictures on our staircase today, but I changed my mind (and the big frames have stock pictures in them still – maybe I’ll get around to printing new pictures for them this weekend).
Instead, I thought I’d talk about something that’s on everyone’s minds this year: giving thanks.
This week, I am especially thankful for work that I enjoy doing. Or will enjoy doing.
I got a job offer a few weeks ago and signed the paperwork this week! Not just any job – a job that, after much reflection, is exactly the type of job that I want. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I gave a lecture at localsmallprivate college, and since then, I have been asked by localsmallprivate college to create and teach my own course in my area of expertise this spring. Granted, it’s only part time and only spring semester, but it’s something. A really cool something. I’ve taught college courses before, but never had the freedom to design and implement my own course on topics of my choosing, so I’m really thrilled to get this experience. It will also be great to see the difference between teaching at largemajor university and smallprivate college – I am sure that I will learn a lot in the upcoming months.
In the meantime, I’ve found another job teaching elementary school kids in an after-school program. I just started on Tuesday, and have only taught three classes, but I really like it. And I come home absolutely exhausted. A big high-five to all of the elementary school teachers out there… if I am this tired after one hour with 10 kids, I can’t even imagine what 8 hours with a classroom of 24 kids is like. I’m learning very quickly that classroom management is slightly different for elementary vs college students – with elementary school kids, I’m constantly asking them to be quiet or sit down, and with college kids, I’m usually asking for class participation!
And, it looks like I might grab a third job this winter as a ski coach. I learned to ski when I was 2, began racing when I was 6, and raced through college. I, unfortunately, haven’t had as much time to spend on the slopes in the past few years, and when I wasn’t out on the slopes all winter, it really felt like something was missing. So I’m kind of looking forward to grabbing a season pass, setting some courses, and watching little racers learn to love skiing.
What I’ve found most interesting about not being gainfully employed the past few months and picking up some of these small side jobs (instead of continuing on the career track that I was on) is that I’m really truly happy. This is not where I thought I’d be a year ago, or 5 years ago, or even 10 years ago. I mean, who envisions themselves as a 28-year old stay-at-home doggy mama with an advanced degree? Last winter, when Jason got the job in Michigan, I knew that if he took it, it would mean a drastic change in career trajectories for me (because there are no openings here to do full time what I did in Minneapolis). I didn’t know, though, that it would be a good thing. A really good thing.
Last year at this time, I couldn’t imagine being unemployed (especially after 8 long years of higher education + 2 years of post-graduate training). I enjoyed my job, and thought it was a viable career. Yes, it was stressful much of the time, as I imagine any job is when you’re constantly trying to prove yourself, show your skills, and do your absolute best in spite of challenges.
Deciding to move here was a huge challenge in teamwork that Jason and I faced as a newly-married couple. Moving here was not in my best interest career-wise, but it was in our collective best interest. Having not been to this city before agreeing to move, I had to put a considerable amount of trust in Jason that this would really work for us. And, as someone who always wants to make her own decisions and do her own thing and figure things out for herself, this was really really hard for me.
But! We’re here. And I’m really happy and thankful that we are here. Even if here is not where I ever thought I’d be.
And, even on days when the dogs are driving me nuts or I’m sick of cleaning the house, I am so thankful that my husband is so good at what he does and that he’s able to support our little family. I’m thankful that I have the freedom to explore a new career avenue, thankful that I have the flexibility to take care of and set up our house to really make it our home.
To end on a lighter note, this week we’re also really thankful for:
- Country vets – because Jezzie has a pinworm and a vet visit + fecal sample + medication cost us a whopping $26. Those of you with dogs will know how ridiculously amazing that is!
- A new faucet! Thanks to the folks over at One Project Closer! YES!
- Some DAP goodies that will be coming our way, compliments of the DAP people. You should all know by now that I hate spending money heating the house… so getting rid of holes and drafts and eliminating our heating costs will make me very happy.
- Friends! Our sweet friends Kitty and Mike and their doggy, Gracie, are going to come visit us this weekend! Yay!
What are you thankful for this week?