A Catalyst for Clarity

The job was mine if I wanted it, but from the minute Amiee called me to tell me about an opening at her son’s preschool (two blocks from my home) through the following week, I never once asked myself if I wanted it. Because when it comes to money, as well all know, more is always better. Right?

So I listened to Amiee tell me about her preschool needing a music teacher for Tuesday and Thursday mornings and that she had already told them all about me and how I was perfect for the job and here is the number and the names of the women with whom I should speak. And I promised her I’d call first thing Monday morning because, as anyone who’s ever looked for a job knows, you don’t call on Friday afternoon. That weekend I listened to President Uchtdorf talk about minimizing and focusing only on what’s really important. I heard him, but thought “yeah, but this is money.” Plus, although outside of my training, it was something I felt I could do and it would be professionally challenging.

So I called the school on Monday and they made an appointment with me to teach two lessons on Thursday so they could see me in action. I did nothing but plan in the interim. I did not clean, I don’t remember cooking. I was thorough and complete, and by Thursday morning I was prepared.  (Thanks in no small part to Sariah, a queen among women.)

After meeting the administrator (the owner was out for the day) and touring the facility I had some downtime in the music room before the class came in, and it occurred to me that I didn’t really care if I didn’t get the job. How liberating! No pressure, no stress!

The lessons went well, and the administrator asked me to come back on Tuesday to teach the full morning of classes and the owner would be in to observe me. She recommended a few things for me to tweak with my lessons to be more in line with “the Montessori way” and sent me home with a smile.

She didn’t mind that my music degree was an associates in piano pedagogy, and that my bachelor’s degree was in ElEd where I had focused my time with fifth- and sixth-graders; she knew I was capable of doing the job.

That’s when I finally started to question how capable I really was of doing the job. I didn’t know what it would pay, but likely not more than I would then shell out to put Boy Blue into preschool those mornings. And on the mornings I wasn’t teaching he’d just be watching pbs while I do my lesson plans? And what about my other responsibilities: cooking, cleaning, laundry? How could I keep up with them if I couldn’t do so when planning only two lessons? The more I thought about it the more I wondered if I even wanted the job. Finally I concluded that I had waited three and a half years to have Boy Blue all to myself, and now that Little Red is in school and Daytime Brother has moved out of state, I have that time with him, and I wasn’t ready to give that up. Suddenly no amount of money would be worth it to me, that they could offer me a million dollars and I wouldn’t take the job.

I called the school on Friday, when I was positively sure, and had convinced Paul there was no way I would change my mind. I called and thanked the administrator for the opportunity, told her how much I had enjoyed teaching those classes and how I liked what they were doing in the school. I explained to her that I had a little guy at home who was getting bigger every day and I just wasn’t ready to send him away while I went back to work. I told her to hold on to my resume and that if they were looking for a teacher in two years, which I told her that I hoped they did not have that kind of a turnover because it’s so very tough on the school to be looking all the time, to please call me. I would be very much interested in the job, but not now.

I felt so relieved, so happy, so light when I hung up the phone. (Amiee told me the following week how disappointed the school administrators were, that they liked me and the job was mine, but none of that would change my mind.)

I proceeded to have the best weekend I had had in a long time, filled with many big and small miracles.  Within a week I had added a tutoring student to more than compensate for the money I’d have received teaching preschool before I’d have to shell out for Boy Blue’s preschool.  Our preschool coop finally got off the ground.  And I received a lot more clarity about what I really want to do when I grow up. (hint: it requires me going back to school when Boy Blue starts kindergarten, not teaching preschool music.)  I am so glad Amiee called and got me to apply for that job that I don’t want!

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2 thoughts on “A Catalyst for Clarity

  1. So, what do you really want to do when you grow up? (gotta put the dots MUCH closer together for me to guess lol!)
    I don’t have any idea what I want to be when I grow up. I’m starting to doubt that my World Traveler plan is going to pan out. 😉

    I’m so glad that this job opportunity showed you what matters most! Moments like that are few and far between in life, aren’t they!

    1. I want to go back to school. I figured that I need to start with getting my Bachelor’s in Music (I only have an AA in music and then switched over to ElEd.) Paul said he doesn’t think he has it in him to put up with a music major again, but if I’m only taking a couple of classes at a time then I think he’ll be fine. It was superfun rediscovering how much I wanted to focus on nerdy music instead of just general, preschool stuff!

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