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time to be thankful

November 6, 2009

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:

  1. 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!
  2. A new faucet! Thanks to the folks over at One Project Closer!  YES!
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2009 12:03 pm

    Wow!!!! congrats on the jobs!! Sounds like you have a full load! I was going to school to be an art teacher in the beginning of my education, but changed gears and just stuck with art. Parents scare me 😛 Sounds like you have a fun weekend ahead of you! Btw, I want to know where I can find a vet near me that only charges that!!! Fatty’s vet bill was $200 just for a check up and heart worm stuff.

    • November 6, 2009 12:06 pm

      oh my goodness! $200! Our well-puppy check up and month of heartworm/flea/tick/mosquito stuff was $10. I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I was by that!! It’s amazing how pricey vet visits can get…

  2. November 6, 2009 3:05 pm

    Glad to see the “Perry multiple balls in the air and a bit of over commitment along with a divergent direction of each” has rubbed off. It truly gives one job (duty, task etc) a “relief valve” by changing direction for the next and keeps the job a challenge and streaches the learning opportunities.

    When I was coaching Mites and The HS kids I was asked what the difference between the 2 groups was…. the big dfference? The 10 years between them.

  3. November 6, 2009 4:31 pm

    I am thankful for:

    -A touch of fall in the Florida air (though not anywhere close to what you have!)

    -Finally getting the proofs of our wedding pictures!

    -Once again being able to log in to my blog! Still not quite sure why I couldn’t get into my account. (Guess that means that I should write something, huh?)

    -A husband that takes care of me and tries to tackle the stressful things on our apartment to-do list.

  4. November 6, 2009 6:38 pm

    I am so thankful that hubby will be home from Germany tomorrow. Overseas trips mean that we hardly hear each others’ voices and I miss it. I do much better when he takes US business trips.

    I’m also thankful that you signed up for the DIY Dare Parties. I just added you to my reader so I can keep up. =)

  5. Debbie permalink
    November 6, 2009 8:37 pm

    I am thankful that the tears I shed when I read your blog are usually happy ones. (I always tear up when I think how blessed we are to have the family we have)
    I am thankful that the huge leap of faith you took when Jason wanted to accept this job resulted in good things for both of you. I didn’t know about the elementary job; you’ll have to fill me in.
    I am thankful that my children have people in their lives who love them. I am thankful, so very thankful, that I have been blessed(so far) with three beautiful, healthy grandchildren! (and thankful that they are RELATIVELY close )
    Lastly I am thankful that THIS Thanksgiving we will all be together along with my sister(and my best friend) and her family. We will also see my brother and his family and the “little cousins” will have a great time as well as the big cousins.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  6. November 7, 2009 6:12 pm

    Great so many new opportunities are opening up to you!

    A great step of faith in each other you both took with your move – so glad it is working out.

  7. japortma permalink
    November 8, 2009 1:17 pm

    Hey, you should come out here and go skiing a little bit before you start coaching!! 🙂 good practice!! haha! I am super excited for you and your amazing jobs! yeah!

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