Since graduating from college in December 1996, I’ve had a full time job, and since August 1997, it’s been a job in a public school system in Virginia or Maryland. Most of my career in education has been in one school system in Maryland.
I am now faced with a strange reality – this is the first time in my adult life that I’ve been, for the most part, unemployed. (Yes, yes, I’m starting a new business venture, and that is taking some time….but it’s not the same.) This is an odd feeling. Freeing, to be sure. A bit unnerving. Less stressful on many fronts, more stressful from other angles (2 incomes to 1 income is a bit of a shock to the system. So is dealing with two 4 year old boys and a 6 year old girl and their tantrums and whims)
I’ve had a number of people ask me how things are going, and if I’m still happy that I’ve made this decision.
Well, it’s early going in this new life. I’ve only really been out of work since June 28. Less than a month. However….yes, I still believe that this has been the right decision. I’m sure it will be very odd to have most of my friends go back to work in a few weeks and to not be following them, and I’ll probably have a few pangs of wishing that I was going to work as well. (After all, I liked a good deal of the things I did in my most recent jobs.) But, here is what I will NOT miss:
1. Getting up at stupidly early hours to get myself together, pack breakfasts and lunches, load the van, then wake up the kids and get them ready to go to daycare and school.
2. Driving 30 minutes down the road to work. With two cranky boys in the van.
3. Forgetting to eat breakfast. Then forgetting to eat lunch, only to realize at 3:45 at the beginning of bus dismissal that I have eaten nothing that day.
4. School system drama
5. Ridiculous expectations of what can actually be accomplished in one day (both by myself and the school system).
6. No exercise
7. Lousy sleep, skin that keeps breaking out, and losing weight due to forgetting to eat, then regaining weight by subsisting on a diet of starburst and m&ms snitched from my boss’ office. (Thanks, Toni!)
8. Not enough time to spend with my kids, cook decent meals, clean up the house, sleep, see my husband…..and generally have a life outside of work.
9. Not being able to attend all of the functions at my children’s schools….and the associated sad face on my daughter. (Ugh.)
So…when in a few weeks I am feeling misty eyed and missing my colleagues (I really had some fabulous colleagues….) – I will read this list again and remember why I’ve made this change.
I know just how you feel minus the three kids at the time I was teaching. I resigned in 2001, spent 5 years pursuing a PhD which I never utilized, then “tried” 2 more years in the schools and decided enough was enough. Finally started my own business, and finally enjoyed the freedom that offered. However, all the “good” things about teaching have never left me, and I still miss (daily, still) all of those children, colleagues, and moments in time that made the experience worth it. No regrets. Good luck.
Such a good read! In contemplating my return to work at some point, I realized that while I miss many things from teaching, I would miss everything from being at home my kids. Your list helped remind me of those days and what that whole rigamorol of working and managing a family life is like!