I have spent the past
weekend four days agonizing over my life. This happens to me with some frequency. I’m a smart person who gets bored easily – this stay-at-home mom thing isn’t enough to keep my brain occupied. When I get bored, I start to think I need to do something different. Something paid. Something where people value my contribution more than just “I love my mom because she buys the good crackers.” Not there’s anything wrong with being valued for buying the good crackers. Just that I want a little more from my life sometimes.
Plus, what family can’t use more money, am I right? Mr. Fixit brings in a good income, and I’m pretty damn frugal, so between the two of us we make ends meet around here, with enough extra for things like climbing classes and high-speed internet. Okay, medium-speed internet. Still. We have enough but Creative Cat will be heading off to college in just seven years, and even before that we’ll one day have three teens with cell phone accounts, so I can’t help thinking that a little more income wouldn’t hurt.
Mostly, though – I’m seeking more appreciation and more challenge. So when life gets too routine around here I start thinking about finding full-time work. This is especially true this year because Tonka will be starting Grade One in the fall, which means FULL DAY SCHOOL! CAN I GET A BOOYAH? Oh yeah, baby. But seriously, I know myself. If I don’t have something more meaningful to do all day than laundry and cleaning toilets, I’m going to spend entire days playing Facebook Bejewelled Blitz and eating brownies. That would get ugly, on more than one level.
So, I have applied to college. Trust me that I didn’t do this lightly. I already have way, way too much post-secondary education. I really don’t want more. But…as Mr. Fixit pointed out one night when I was despairing that I can’t even get hired as a lunch monitor, much less a teaching assistant or a teacher…not many employers want to hire someone who has been out of the full-time workforce for more than ten years. I need to upgrade my qualifications and demonstrate some commitment. Plus, there is a glut of qualified teachers right now. I’m not going to get a job as a regular school teacher. I need to look for a job in a different field.
Therefore, in the fall I will be going to college to become certified as a Teacher of English as a Second Language (TESL). I am mostly excited about this. I love teaching. I love learning. The TESL program at the college will be a good fit for me – classes are only in the mornings, so I won’t need after-school care for the kids, and it will be easy enough to do even when Mr. Fixit is travelling. There are two practicum sessions in the program, so I’ll get some hands-on experience and make some contacts for future jobs. And it will, fingers crossed, lead to a teaching job. TEEEAACCHHHINNNNGGG (hear the angels singing?) My dream job, my calling. And then, even better, one day I’ll go teach in a foreign country, which is my super-ultimate platinum-level dream job. This is the right thing for me.
My only reservations about heading off in this new direction are that TESL work doesn’t pay terribly well, and it tends to be part-time. In my fantasy life, I have a full-time job. However, reality is that me working part-time is probably better for our family. Somebody needs to be available to take the kids to their appointments, especially Miss Queen Bee of the Many Needs. Mr. Fixit is running a demanding business. He is good about taking time off when his family needs him, but he can’t take off too much time. The fact is, kid-schlepping, volunteering at the school, and grocery shopping are still going to be my domain, whether or not I have a paid job.
I need to write out all this stuff because – well, I forget all the reasons why this is the right direction for me sometimes. Sometimes I think it would be easier and better to either stay out of the workforce altogether (I tend to think this when I’m on a winning streak at Bejewelled Blitz), or go right into a full-time job somewhere (I tend to think this when I am feeling short on cash or really, dramatically under-appreciated at home). This last week I had a double whammy – a bit of a cash crunch combined with March Break, meaning I had no tutoring jobs. It’s amazing how quickly I lose my mind when I don’t have any tutoring work. It’s a sign that I was truly born to teach. Or maybe it’s a sign that my sanity is hanging by a very thin thread.
You may be wondering what is the point of this post. Well, as I said before, I have spent the past several days agonizing over what I should be when I grow up. And after all that, and a few hours of tutoring this morning, which gave me back my sanity, I have finally decided the present plan is the best one. And the only way to make sure I don’t go through this again is to write it all down somewhere I will find it. So here it is.
And while I’m writing down things that I want to come true, I will lose fifteen pounds before swimsuit season, eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, and end my addiction to Diet Coke. Why stop at college and a new career? I’m dreaming big!