Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Should Be...?

The melodramatic squeals and giggles oozing from children as they walked past my door on their way to school this morning were barely audible over the deafening silence emanating from my phone as it sat silently nestled in its cradle.  Oh well, I had other things to think about this morning.  Coffee in hand, I was equipped to handle whatever found itself in my path. 

The first of those things would be my part time job number 1.  PT job 1 requires my undivided attention, tests the limits of my patience, and entices my entire brain into action… for only two hours a week.  So why put myself through that for such meager money?  Because for two hours a week I am required to give something my undivided attention, test my patience (ok, who’s kidding who,  my children already "encourage" me to develop this essential life skill on a daily basis), and entice my brain into action.  A testament to either my adaptability or my gullibility, I am tutoring a college student in a course I took thirteen years ago and haven’t looked at, thought about, or remotely dabbled with since.  I also tutor another college student in another course I’ve never taken, been exposed to or have any experience in.  Crazy?  Maybe.  Capable?  Sure.  It’s dealing with numbers.  Sweet, simple numbers that blend together in melodic harmony creating music as they go.  Oh boy, the corny, over dramatic, blech-ness (new word as of right now) of that sentence made me snort my steamy cup of java out my nose… but I had to keep the sentence.  When else would I get the opportunity to talk about snorting coffee out my nose?  

Before heading out for my morning brain crunch, I had social obligations to fulfill.  Yes, that’s right, no day can fully begin without first checking email and then checking in with various social media.  This morning, a friend’s update was ‘Stay true to yourself.”  Small words, big meaning.

I was thinking about this update on my way to PT job 1, and again on the drive home.  While searching frantically (or passively frantically, if that’s possible) for a job, I’m finding it very easy to get caught up in the emotions of the experience.  Applying to job after job, only to be met with the emptiness of nothing, my competitive-self began to step in and spew gray matter in all directions.  I had been challenged.  Being presented with the cold, hard fact that my chosen career number 3 was not currently available to me, I forgot why I was no longer in career 1 or 2 and began to aggressively pursue re-entering either of them, just to show the world that I could.  Stubborn, competitive me.

I was a teacher in career number 3, before we moved to this delicious land covered in rows of over-sweet grapes preparing themselves to become the delicious nectar of next year.  Ah yes, while I may have left a career behind, I have established a new hobby of collecting delicious samples of locally-fermented-grape-juice-in-a-bottle, and will never complain about it.  Unfortunately, in this ever-productive part of the country, Xavier Roberts seems to have a cabbage patch field harvesting teachers in abundance , leaving more B.Ed’s in the unemployment lines than there are vines on the hillside.  Alas, I will have to wait my turn for a classroom.  In the meantime, I will continue to sample the nectar.

Few people have the opportunity presented to them to truly take the time to find not only what they WANT to be doing, but what they SHOULD be doing.  I realize I am in the minority in this land.  I’m eager to find my fourth career, not because I’m worried about feeding my family, but because I’m worried about my gray matter becoming mush.  You know, the old use it or lose it adage.  Ideally, yes, career number 3 suited me.  But in this land of fertile soil, hidden in the beauty of the land, there must be something I SHOULD be doing.   (And please, dear husband, don't say the dishes... there's always tomorrow for that.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 1 - Searching for a Sense of Purpose

Moments after my kids ran out the front door for school this morning, my phone rang.  The cup of coffee I’d been anxiously waiting to savour once they were gone was suddenly forgotten.  A new sense of anticipation instantly overcame me, the hairs on my arms prickling with fear and excitement while the caller on the other end of the line was left to wait for me to compose myself before picking up the phone.  Could this be the one that I had been waiting for?  I have a purpose, I’m sure I do.  I have tonnes of potential, I’m sure I do.  Is this unknown caller the one who has figured it out?  Is the key holder to my fourth career awaiting me on the other end of the line?  Aware that time waits for no-one, no matter what their state of mind, state of finance, or state of desperation, I made haste to lift the receiver from the cradle.

My children were hoping for me to get a “cool job.”  Imagine the playground bragging rights they would own if they could say mommy works for the professional sports team in town, or at the coolest theme park.  Or maybe I could work in their school.  Thankfully, they are well balanced enough to actually think that would be cool, too. 

My husband would be thrilled for me to get a job again.  Really, any job will do.  He understands the social interaction that accompanies employment and embraces the fact that I thrive on social interaction.  Really, when you look at the situation through his eyes, the more I get the opportunity to interact and socialize with other people, the less need I feel to fill every waking moment of our precious evening hours together with pointless drivel about how I rearranged the Tupperware cupboard that day.

And me?  My state of mind is sharp, my state of finance is stable, and my state of desperation varies depending on how long I’m kept from my morning cup of coffee.  The thought of coffee snaps me back to the reality of the phone approaching my ear as my hand lifts it subconsciously from the receiver.  “Hello?”  On the other end of the line is the sweet voice of my dear friend, “Shall we walk and talk?”  I met Maria a year ago.  Our children attend school together, we’re on the PTA together, and we’re both well-educated moms out to make a difference in the lives of our kids and our community.  “A walk and talk would be fabulous.  Let’s meet in an hour.”   I felt the wave of anticipation leave my body with a sudden rush, leaving an empty sense of discontentment to fill the void.  I was looking forward to a good heart to heart chat with a close friend; it helps soothe the social beast in me.  But it wasn’t the phone call I had hoped for.

Career number four is still eluding me.  Being of sharp mind, I want to use it.  Being of stable finances (thanks to a successful and supportive husband), I want to find the right career.  And being desperate, well, I have coffee for that.