A friend recently asked if I could share a bit about what these last months have looked like. 🙂 Thanks Dana, for being curious. You are such a good friend.
Most of you know, I took a job at a Christian school in September, working as an aid in a preschool classroom. I also took on a few more piano students, giving me a total of 9 students to teach weekly. The purpose of this extra work was to finish paying off our house in Madison. (So lovely to be paying off a house you no longer live in or own. YUCK!)
Working as brought all kinds of relief. There is the financial relief of paying off our debt and the joy of making financial progress after just making it for a little while. Another surprising relief is knowing exactly what I have to do each day. The loss of freedom and autonomy in some ways frees me from the wondering if I am doing the right things, ministering in the right way, etc. I also find myself becoming much more organized and planning better for the family in general. I think I also have a better understanding of what the majority of women experience as they juggle work, family, etc.
I’ve loved working with preschoolers, which was a little surprising. I am not great at disciplining them! They are too CUTE! Thank goodness for an experienced lead teacher who knows the ins and outs of 3 year olds much better than I do. I love singing with them, teaching them about the days of the week, reading to them, doing finger plays, and feeding them snacks. I don’t like correcting them or managing more than 5 of them in the bathroom. 🙂 So, it’s a pretty cushy job all in all.
My piano students are wonderful. I have a few very new beginners which are fun and require little prep but a lot of encouragement and energy during the lesson. I have a few older students who are working hard and progressing well and challenging me to draw up long dormant information about music theory and pedagogy. It such a neat step when one stops practicing to fulfill your minimum minute requirement or for stickers and starts enjoying the process of mastering music.
Something that went out the window right away though, was the ability to let my mind wander around the think. Maybe this would improve as I get even better at managing my time. Right now I go from task to task, work to piano student, dinner to swim practice, sleeping to getting ready for work. Even the down time feels taken up by planning the next days. I have read very little and written even less – as evidenced by my very sorry blog.
I’ve also struggled with some guilt about not relating with very many people outside the family. I know some working moms who do hospitality and relationships much better than I am managing, but for me, this is an epic fail.
So, there are a few exchanges for sure, but overall I am very grateful for my health and the ability to work hard. I think I’m more confident in my teaching since I’ve gotten the chance to teach some students now for several years and see them progress. I have had to ask for help much for frequently than I am comfortable with which is really good for my overly self-reliant and prideful soul. I have missed working with students, but know I am working away from them now to have more freedom and time with them in the future.
I will finish my preschool job up in May, my students will have their recital just after that, and then we move! Right now we are knee-deep in planning for our next home – schools, finding new couches, researching dog ownership, packing, cleaning, trying to finish well, grieving some, hoping some, and trying to carve out a little time to play!
Dana, I hope that gives you a little glimpse. See, it wasn’t that exciting! 🙂