As today comes to a close, I enter upon the final month of this my 67th year on earth.
I always try to find time to reflect.
Yesterday, while writing Paul Krugman writes powerfully I share my own experience, and to a degree frustration, in seeking employment while not being employed. I wrote in part
But since I am unemployed, and have been so now for several months, places that I would expect would at least be interested in talking to me do not.Yet today I received two emails from people who want to discuss possible employment, one in a school, one in a non-school setting but one where my teaching experience would certainly be relevant. Yesterday I was asked to submit a CV and a cover letter to a head of a school who knows me about a possible opening.
So perhaps I will in the near future again have something to which I can contribute my passion beyond the writing I do here.
And perhaps even these opportunities will come to naught.
That has been a part of the reflection of recent days, the realization that I may have reached a point where full-time professional employment is now a thing of the past in my life. As I have reflected upon that, it no longer depresses nor scares me. I know I do not face the financial problems others might, and I know I have ways of still being productive, even if only in annoying others by what I write here.
I find I tire more easily, but that seems to be because I have not been as active. Even in the few months I was back in a classroom, as exhausting as it could be, I was not as tired as I am now. In school I am always on my feet, moving around, interacting with students. Now I spend too much time seated or lying down, whether writing online, reading a book, or watching too much on TV as I did during the past week.
My mind turns in another direction. It tells me "what makes you think you will be here in 30 days?" After all, I cannot at my age presume any particular remaining length of life, even though I have no intimations of any immediate demise. Yet that thought has a bracing impact. I realize that at least for now I have to push on to be here for Leaves. I feel as if there are still things for me to learn, things for me to write, and - yes - things for me to experience.
Not having biological children, it is not as if I hang on for the milestones in their lives: graduations, marriages, their children. I have some connection with those events among students I have taught, but not many.
I find myself having occasion reread things I have written for various venues. I am at times amazed at what I have written. Today for an application I had to find a link for a book review I had done on a biography of Al Shanker. Rereading it I was both proud and amazed that I had written this. I also had to go through and put together some documentation for applications and encountered letters of recommendations written on my behalf, notes written me by students and parents.
I am very insecure. I am often full of self-doubt. I joke that I am still not sure what I want to be when i grow up, which might be why I still have as yet not fully grown up.
I am an extravert. I am also shy. I am probably at my best when I do not try to force myself past my shyness, even if it means I feel a little bit isolated.
It is at those moments, when I accept my shyness, that small children want to crawl all over, that cats do crawl on top of me. It is when I let go of my insecurity and feeling as if I have to prove myself that I am best able to see others with a more complete vision.
It is that recognition that is key to my recent reflections.
It is why despite possible financial pressures it is almost irrelevant whether or not I find full-time employment.
There are 30 days left, to this, my 67th year of life.
On each of those days I will take time to reflect.
I may not always write.
Some of what I write I will not share - it will be in the small spiral notebooks that have been a part of my existence since my adolescence.
Sometimes I will simply sit - and watch - and listen - and let small children and cats crawl all over me.
When that happens, I know that life is good.