“Much of life is imposed upon us; there is much we do not choose-the premature death of someone we love, lifelong illness, divorce, additions, job loss, unsettling colleagues, even some of our own personality traits. In so many notable ways, life seems to choose us rather than the other way around. And frequently, it does not seem very fair.
On the other hand, there are those portions of our lives that we do seem to have at least some control over-whom we marry, the job or profession which occupies much of our waking time, where we decide to live, how we spend our money. Such things we choose for ourselves, and these choices give us a sense of control, or at least a tit-for-tat sense of balance to counteract the unpredictable and the imposed.
There is another aspect of who we are which we are able to choose as well-not that we always do, however, but we do have the freedom. We can choose if we want to be compassionate or not, if we want to be forgiving or vengeful, generous or greedy, gentle or demanding. We can decide to become patient or understanding or honest or caring for the weak among us. Such choices pretty much stand before us for most of our lives-always present, always reversible…”
The copy and pasted passage above was sent to me a few years ago by my oldest aunt, who I am very close with and who also happens to be my godmother. She found it in her church bulletin, but it isn’t overly religious, in fact it is fairly secular in nature and I believe resonates with all human beings. Even when we feel like we have no options, there are ALWAYS choices to be made. Since she sent this passage to me, I have always returned to read it in times of upheaval and uncertainty.
The very nature of working in the field of special education, and education in general, means you are always faced with getting a pink slip at the end of a school year. I’m probably just psyching myself out and being over-paranoid, but I have yet to receive a contract for next school year, and I know several of my co-workers have received theirs. I already know for a fact there are a lot of different issues and factors at play for the next academic year (it’s our last year renting space within the district we’ve inhabited for 3 years and it is unknown where our next “home” will be, staffing patterns etc) and I really can’t think of a reason that I would get laid off besides funding but in the case that I do, it is not the end of the world. There are other jobs.
On the bright side, I looked into taking a sewing class at Jo-Ann Fabric; $35 for a three hour introductory course! Boo yah! I keep breaking needles, and as much as like to think I can teach myself things (and I can, depending on what it is), I think I could really benefit from a professional showing me how to run everything in real time – and $35 for the 3 hour course, plus the materials and apparent “freebies” you get, totally worth it in my book. I’m planning to take the one offered ASAP so I can finally get a jump on some curtains and a few ReFashionista-type projects I’ve been saving up.
Pi pip, cheerio and all that rubbish!