A month ago I made a decision not to pursue my interim position as a permanent one. I know I made the right choice for me and my family. I want to pursue my Ph.D. and have time for my family, and there's no way I could do those things with the amount of responsibility this job would entail. But now the hiring committee is closing in; they've narrowed it down to two candidates. I will meet both of them next week, and one will become my new supervisor. The person they hire will have complete control over defining my position, the way things are run at my school, the atmosphere and the setting. As much as I wish I was an eternal optimist, I'm not; I'm an eternal worrier. I've been at this job for ten years and I know it and I'm comfortable with it and I think I've mentioned it before--I. DON'T. LIKE. CHANGE.
My husband still has a fractured foot and we are down to one income right now. In addition, some of his school loans have come due. Not only were we strapped before this, now we have an additional hefty amount due each month that we simply cannot afford. I realize that nearly half of the country is in the same situation we are in--falling short on their payments, scraping to make ends meet. We need new cars (they're ten years old), new clothes (I'm freezing to death because I have one--yes, one--sweater), new furniture (the couch has a collapsed cushion and rips throughout the back of it). Our TVs are older than our children. Now of course one doesn't need a TV, a couch, or even a new car to have a quality life. But I'd certainly prefer not to be in DEBT when I don't even have those things! It's not like we're in debt because we went out and bought a new Mercedes. Or even a decent size house. Cripes!
All of these worries add up and weigh heavily on me. A person I greatly respect recently told me that I needed to make a decision not to think about those things. Just STOP thinking. It's such a foreign concept to me that I can't even begin to imagine what my life would be like if I just refused to think about anything worrisome. I'm sure it would be much more productive. Much happier. But I don't know how to live that way.
Today was also the last day of the semester for my littlest class in school. I teach two preschool classes, and my youngest ones finished the semester today. They have made tremendous progress developmentally throughout the semester. Some parents are so absolutely kind that it never ceases to amaze me. As beautiful and thoughtful as the presents are (and don't get me wrong because I love presents as much as the next gal!), the cards are what bring tears to my eyes. To have people say how much they appreciate and love you, how their children love you, is such an incredible feeling. What I can never convey adequately is that I feel incredibly blessed to work with these families. These children bring smiles and laughter to my life every day. To be a part of their developmental processes is nothing short of amazing.
Many of my undergraduate students are leaving too. Graduation is a bittersweet moment. I get to walk with some amazing people for a short while as they begin their journeys in teaching. Now is the time that most of our paths will separate. I come to care for my students deeply--their professional development and growth means so much to me. I watch these young adults enter our program with high hopes, simplistic attitudes, and unwavering enthusiasm. I watch them leave as sophisticated, aware, skilled beginning teachers who are ready to take on the world. Teachers who, for the most part, believe that children are valuable and unique and should be honored as such. Teachers who understand that the process of teaching and learning intermingles, is a reciprocal relationship. And when they tell me that I have impacted upon them, helped them figure out who they are and where they are going, there is no greater reward.
So in this long post of melancholy, my regrets are these. That I cannot control the world around me and guarantee that things will go as I wish. That my time with people I grow to care about deeply is meant to end. That the control I wish I could exercise upon my world isn't meant to be. And that my faith--in both myself and God--is miserably slight at the moment. I don't know the answer to changing that. But I am hoping with the dust settles that my regrets will be few and the contentment I feel, much greater.