This year, I shifted from being a full time teacher to working very part time. I taught only one class each semester.
I made the shift in response to a bunch of family changes: my girls were hitting adolescence, my husband took a job that involves lots of travel, my Dad died in 2010 leaving my Mom alone, and I got it in my head that I wanted to write. I loved teaching, but I knew teaching would always be there; these very important people in my life would not.
So here it is at the end of my first “year off”; time to reflect.
But really, I don’t have to look any further than today. Got my girls off to school (on time, even), took a good long walk with the dog, spent some time trying to choose a text book for next fall before going to pick up my Mom for a doctor’s appointment and some errands, and was home before my oldest got off the bus. In celebration of their last week of school, and their first week without homework or soccer practice, we went to the mall to get some summertime supplies, over to the bookstore for one paperback each (Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog for me), and stopped at the ice cream stand on the way home. This evening, I sat on the porch with my sweetheart before he headed out with some friends and I headed to the laptop to write.
This day, at the edge of summer vacation, at the end of my part-time year, epitomized what I wanted to do with my time, with my life (except I have, also, been improving the family nutrition – just not today). The year has worked out well, and when it was time to let the university know my availability for the fall, we decided to keep this up for one more year and check in again in January.
It wasn’t easy to walk away from a teaching job that I loved, but I feel so blessed that I had the option open to me. Today was a great slice of my life as it is right now.