I walked out of my classroom for the last time today, and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Partly I'm sad because I love teaching and I love my students, but I'm getting over it faster than I expected. In fact, I'm feeling more hopeful than anything.
I know that not everyone is in the position that I am in, where I can walk away from my career and start over, and I am very thankful that I can do this. That being said, I do still need to find a job.
The way our district pays teachers, our salary is spread out over twelve months so that we still get a paycheck in the summer, although that money was already earned during the school year. Knowing that I still have three paychecks left helps, but that isn't stopping me from starting to look now. And if something comes up now, I am going to jump on it.
In the meantime, I have a crazy list of things I want to accomplish with my time as an unemployed individual. Starting with this.
1. Find something to do with all this stuff I brought home from school. Believe it or not, I gave most of the stuff in my classroom away. Good stuff too, but hey, I'm never going to use it again. There was no way I could bring it all home because I don't have anywhere to put it. As witnessed by the above photo of mostly office supplies (remember my obsession). I'm taking this opportunity to pull everything out, purge, and reorganize.
2. I'm going paperless. I'm on a mission. I'm going to get rid of my filing cabinets and keep everything in the cloud. I've already started, and I've been scanning and shredding papers like a mad woman. Towards that end, this is what Peanut Head got me for Mother's Day.
I seriously love this thing because it's compact and it works. It's powered by a USB cable and it comes with software to organize all your paper. It can do full-size documents too, not just receipts. Today I scanned in our 25-page homeowner's insurance policy. Why so much paper? Paper stresses me out. So does my e-mail, but don't get me started on that mess.
3. My house is in serious need of decrapification. Six years of overly relaxed housekeeping standards, and four people living in it, has my house ready for an episode of Hoarders.
4. I'm going to take care of myself. I feel like an elderly Blow Fish. I feel icky, my clothes don't fit, and I'm uncomfortable all the time. I've spent the past six years in a constant state of anxiety which is not a very hooty place to focus on my health. I rarely exercise. My menu planning has gone out the window, and we eat out way too much. I'm tired of feeling like this, and I will not wear elastic waist pants!
5. I'm going to put the focus back on my family. When I teach, my life revolves around that. It always has. I have proved myself incapable of putting myself or my family first when I am responsible for others' kids. Therefore, if you can't take the job out of the teacher, then you take the teacher out of the job.
6. Since everything else is changing, why not move too? You think I'm kidding, I know. I'm serious though. For years we have talked about buying a house with some land. And we have chickens already. And Zoe Bug is going to give herself a concussion rolling her eyes so much because we won't let her have a horse in our backyard. If we're going to do it, then let's just do it already. Since that is the plan, we have to get this house ready to put on the market. Our goal is to have it listed by fall. We have a lot of work to do in that time, not the least of which is to replace our roof. Do you know how expensive it is to replace a roof? Holy Cow, I thought we were hemorrhaging money last summer. That was nothing. Anyway, we have a shake roof which is supposed to be pretty awesome, right? [Snort!] No. The little shakes curl up and allow greenery to lay down roots, and we're pretty dang close to having a sod roof right now. And we are not Hobbits! (Even though I have hair on my big toes.)
So as you can see, my usual teacher summer of sitting on my couch eating Bon Bons has been hijacked by "The Plan." Stay tuned . . .