I'm sitting here this evening, almost all packed for a two-week journey with my husband through Spain, France and Italy. For the past 29 years of my life I have either been getting a child ready to go back to school tonight, or getting myself ready to greet a new batch of students. Until this year. As you know, my "new" job last year after moving here turned out to be less than ideal. When I left in June, I thought I would never have my own classroom again, and I was okay with that. Well, not really okay, but I felt like my energy and emotional well-being would not allow me to take on another public school experience. I was to become a professional substitute teacher.
Both Jon and I have rather fatalistic attitudes toward life, after losing spouses and dreams in our adult lives. So this summer, while I continued to work through my pain and grief of essentially losing my job, we decided that we would not wait for "someday" for that big trip. One June day, we sat on our deck and called Delta...cashed in our many Skymiles and booked flights to Barcelona, returning two weeks later from Florence. We spent the next few weeks planning train travel and reservations through France and Italy as well. It was exciting...yet it felt unreal. In between we babysat, visited family in Wisconsin, Chicago and Colorado, went back to Brainerd and never really believed it.
Then my daughter Emily sent me a link about three weeks ago for a job she saw posted. It was rather vague; a small Jewish school in Highland Park (our neighborhood) looking for a middle-school teacher for 12 hours a week. I almost ignored it, but sent a brief letter and my resume. Ten minutes later I had an interview set up for the following Monday. I almost didn't go, but I did. I was up front about the fact that we had this trip planned, and I couldn't start until we returned. I was sure, SURE that would scare them off. Nope. They offered me the job, increased it to 20 hours a week at a very decent wage, and seem delighted to have me. What they don't know, is that I am delighted to have them. I will teach five, yes five, fifth and sixth grade boys from 11-12:30, and then four seventh and eighth grade girls from 1-4. Monday through Thursday. Wow. What they also don't know is that I am as excited to be student (learning about Orthodox Judaism ) as I am to be a teacher of general
education. I so, so, so want this to work out. I'm hoping my confidence as a teacher returns.
So what does this have to do with our trip? Just that I keep getting surprised by how this life rolls. When Glenn died so suddenly, I thought, "Well this is my life now." And then I was surprised by joy
again with Jon. Just when I thought, "Well I'm done teaching.", this new opportunity shows up. And in the midst of it all, this dream trip of a lifetime looks like it will really happen.
Be open my friends. You never know what this crazy life has waiting for you.