Summertime and the Livin’s Easy

It’s been too long! As I should have expected, the end of the school year stole every spare moment I had within reach. But here I am now, comfortable on the couch with my feet up and that vast, vacant, “now what?” feeling that I always get on the last day of school.

Packed up for the summer.

Teaching is a profession that can easily consume every ounce of your creativity, focus, and drive. This is a blessing and a curse. I love having a job that I can pour myself into. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else and right now in my childless life, I am able to give 100% of myself to the kids with whom I spend my day. I know that someday when I have children of my own that amount of energy and focus will wane but for now I thrive on it.

I spent hours over the last week making a video yearbook for my students. Pictures and video clips set to music, burned onto real DVDs, and encased in actual DVD boxes with beautiful covers adorned with a class picture on the front and personalized individual pictures of me with each student on the back. The moment that first copy popped out of my laptop I slipped it into our DVD player and there it was on our TV screen in our living room. A year of memories, laugher, learning, and growth. I hopped up and down like it was Christmas to see it finally in it’s published state. Mr. Something can attest to the fact that I am a very mellow person and not much makes me hop up and down like it’s Christmas, sometimes not even Christmas itself! I couldn’t wait to play it for my class and when I did it was exactly as I wanted it to be. They cheered and laughed and pointed out silly moments that I caught on camera. They next day, after they went home with their own copies I got incredible emails and phone calls from parents telling me what a wonderful job I did, that they watched it after the kids went to bed with a glass of wine and shed a few tears in reflection of years slipping by. I love my job. I love being able to leave a little piece of myself in the lives of the children that sit in my classroom each year.

The end of the year always consumes me. It consumes me in a wash of nostalgia, creativity, and my never-ending pursuit of making it “perfect” for my second (soon-to-be- third!) graders. I love it, I thrive on it, but as is evident from my lonely blog here, other passions tend to step aside to let the maniac end-of-the-year teacher lady take center stage. It’s a strange thing to be so ultimately consumed in something and then have it come to an abrupt end. There’s always a strange twist in my stomach as I tape my classroom key to the “check out” form and hand it to the secretary. Cold turkey. Can’t get into my classroom even if I wanted to. It’s always a bit too abrupt for my taste. The maniac end-of-the-year teacher lady has been pushed off the stage. She’s gone clattering down into the orchestra pit and the other passions are peeking out from the wings, wondering if it is safe to take the spotlight once again. Is she really gone?

Ah, yes, our Tiny Human Project, a relative newcomer on the bill. A few weeks ago, before the maniac lady pushed her way to the front, THP was getting restless. I asked Mr. Something what exactly are we doing to get ourselves closer to THP. A conversation ensued that resulted in a list of things to do before moving forward. Paying off a bit of car debt, finding a new job, selling our house, and moving to lessen our commutes were a few of the main items. (Oh, is that all?) I’m okay with this. I don’t want to get in over our heads but I was restless. I wanted to know what I could be doing to move ourselves forward. Mr. Something put it simply… start saving more money. To start saving more money I decided that a good place to start would be to make more money. A summer job was out of the questions. Who would hire me for two months? Not to mention that we have something going on every weekend until the end of July. Retail was out of the question. Tutoring? Music lessons? I feel like I have tried these veins before with no success.

One Saturday a few weeks ago, it finally hit me. I was sitting at a home jewelry party that a co-worker was hosting. Naturally the saleswoman gave her pitch about joining the company, making your own hours, making extra cash… The prospect of selling jewelry didn’t excite me but a few years ago I hosted a home party for 1154 Lill. It’s a Chicago based company that makes custom purses and bags. You pick your style, you pick the fabrics, and in a few weeks your bag arrives in the mail. So much more fun at a party than picking jewelry out of a catalogue! Suddenly I had my plan. Within a week of that jewelry party I looked into becoming a Lill on location stylist, filled out the online application, had a fabulous phone interview, and will be attending a day and a half of training in July to become a stylist. I can make my own hours, it’s creative, I get adult interaction for a change, and my 15% commission is going right into the THP fund. Well it’s more like the pay off the debt and save up for a down payment fund, but step 1 must come first. I’m excited to be moving forward with something. The restless planner inside me is appeased for now. I just wish I could be getting started sooner! There was a June training scheduled for this weekend but we are heading off for a weekend camping trip with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew.

Summer break is in the air! Good things are on the horizon and I’m looking forward to frequenting my happy little blog more often and continuing with our careful steps forward.

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