Many years ago, when I was just out of high school and starting college, summer vacations always seemed fleeting. Of course, I suppose before high school, they were much that way, too. The first month of summer was always relaxing, but the end of July always meant blueberry raking. This was the way it was for many years, until I started working at the gas station. Then, my first couple years of college summer break, I was employed in the blueberry industry once again, doing payroll. It was much nicer than being crouched over, sore, in the summer heat, with a rake in my hand.
This week, I am on my summer vacation. Our school is open year-round, so in January, we pick the top 3 weeks we would like for summer vacation. There are about 80 school employees, and 10 weeks of summer, so you ultimately throw down the top 3 choices, and if you’re lucky, you get your first pick. I am currently sitting in Cherryfield, Maine, in a lounge chair on my parent’s screened in porch, with my ice water and number one choice of summer vacation week!
Summer vacations look a lot different for me now, although the one thing that stays the same is that they are fleeting. They come and they go, much like those grade school, high school, and college days. They come upon you so quickly, and are gone before you know it. And then you find yourself sitting in a lounger, wondering, where has the time gone, indeed?
Last week at work, I was offered a position that would take me from the classroom and into a manager role. If there’s one piece of advice you get from this blog post today, it is to make lists. I am a big list maker, and I don’t ever want to lose that part of me. I still write out my grocery list on a piece of paper, so making a list of Pros and Cons was something I knew I needed to do when considering this position at work.
When I looked at my paper, neatly folded in half, with the “Pros” on one side, and the “Cons” on the other, the results were not shocking. It was pretty much evenly split. But the deciding factor was this: not being in the classroom. I enjoy being a teacher. I enjoy going to work every day. There have been days at other jobs when I drove to work crying, left crying, and sometimes cried while I was there. Ultimately, I decided not apply for the manager position. I came to the conclusion that right now, while moving up would, of course, mean more money, it would also mean more stress, and less time in the classroom. Which is where I believe I still belong. Opportunities are always going to come up, seemingly out of nowhere, on a random day when you have just found out your car needs $400 worth of work. Your boss may say, ‘Do you know how you could make more money?’, and you make a list, and consider it thoughtfully. In the end, you may choose to stay right where you are, knowing that same opportunity may become available again. But if it doesn’t, you know in your heart what was right for you at the time. Moving on up can be great, no doubt. But staying right where you feel you should be can have great benefits, too. Make your lists, and trust your instincts!