Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I stopped working as a teacher. And it feels good.

But it does not feel good because I didn´t like working as a teacher. On the contrary - I loved it! The relationship you form with the pupils enhances life in a very special way. The light in their eyes as they finally understand something and that light of knowledge just beems from within and through. Being a strength as they strive, being strict to help them continue on, letting things go because they deserved it, finding new creative ways to teach so to keep them hanging on...there are a lot of things that I love about being a teacher. And still I am so very grateful to not be one anymore. Why?

So many times people have said to me: "I don´t understand how you do it all". And I have tried to say that I don´t. I do not "do it all". I am very human in that sense. I have tried to do it all, believe you me, but I have failed. Being a teacher is a job that requires time, energy, creativity, love, patience, knowledge, and yes, throw in another bucket of patience. (Did I say bucket? I meant well. A deep well). So to do a good job as a teacher, you have to give of yourself. A lot. And no matter how much you give, there is alway a possibility to give more. And if you are not good enough to see that right here, this is good enough, you end up always feeling you could have done more, and therefore have failed. (Which of course is wrong.) So I often felt I could have done better. That I could have done more. And that wore on me. 

In addition, I have a life besides work. I have 5 children in the age of 5-15 and a commuting, hardworking husband. A family that needs food, help with homework, talk about their troubles and concerns, time for fun, a shoulder to cry on, and yes a deep dive into that well of patience is a must. Every day. And the house needs cleaning. Lots of it. So when you work with hords of children with differing needs during a long day of school, and come home to more children with differing needs, and more things that just "have to be done". Well, you just keep going. And going. Until you hit rock bottom which I did at the end. 

Migraine headaches, dizziness, feeling like you want to throw up all the time, and my sight became so blur in between I could not even see. And my body was left motionless, lost of all energy. My happiness was gone. I did not even want to do the things that I loved anymore. I felt nothing and could hardly do anything. I had to go on sick leave for a couple of months. I tried coming back in a 40% part of my job, but after only the first day, I became bedridden the rest of the day and the next. And after the second try later that week, I became ill for the rest of the week and weekend. I could´t even manage 2 days a week. I felt defeated and a failure. But as my sick leave proceeded, I could feel my energy slowly coming back. I felt a happiness one day that made me think "Oh! I haven´t felt like this for so long! It feels good being happy". I had struggled with stress related pains for many years and finally decided to do it. To quit. 

And I figured out what I wanted to do. An office job. A quiet one at that, if possible. And the opportunity came along. I went for an interview as an Administrative Assistant and later learned that I had got the job. What a joyous day that was! I have now worked there over a moth and feel so relieved. I no longer fight with my self when I go to work. I go to work with a smile and thoroughly enjoy the silence with my computer and my papers. My job is no longer something that steals my energy, it gives. And I can go home having already had silence in my day, much more prepared for the many roles I tend as a mother. More prepared for all that is still to do at the end of a long work day. I still need a well of patience, but I do not need it from morning to night. And it feels good. 

So I want you to think about your job. Are you happy or at least satisfied? Do you dread going to work each day? Maybe you should consider doing something about it. Life is not about what career you have. Life is about how you live your life and who you are as a person. And about living life instead of just enduring. Where are you? Are you living or enduring?