A Sweet Spot

The sun rises and sets. Somehow in the natural rhythm of the daily ebbs and flows, I have found a sweet spot. Specifically, I have happened upon a professional sweet spot. I am calmer and less graspy for some idealized job.

This summer when I began working part time at the public library, I surveyed the territory and thought, I could do this every day. I don’t have an MLIS degree nor the desire to attain a third Master’s degree with its concomitant load of debt. Thankfully, there are positions in my library system that don’t require the degree. At that time, I longed for the obligatory 6 month probationary period to elapse so that I could apply for a full time position. In the interim, I began a robust job searching campaign. I soon found that good paying non-MLIS library positions were rare.

I decided to dip my toe back into education by getting on the substitute teacher list. In what seemed like seconds, I accepted a position as a stellar substitute at an elementary school in my previous public school district. In this position, I am a substitute at one school every day. I soon found myself with two jobs. I wasn’t willing to give up the library job as I was still hoping for a chance to apply for a full time position. I began straddling two jobs. After the initial excitement wore off–the thrill of the interview and offer–I became a little weary.

I am pretty much expert at being a new face. It can be a drag, though. Not knowing anyone. Trying to find your comfortable nook. This was particularly difficult for me in my position which was nomadic by its very nature. As the one substituting for others, I don’t have a home. I’m like a turtle, most days carrying everything on my back. Soon the students made me feel at home by greeting me in the halls enthusiastically all day, everyday. Upon hearing that I would be their sub, they would cheer. “You have to love that greeting,” one teacher remarked. As a previous full-time teacher, I was somewhat jaded and not as wowed by that response–at least inwardly. And then there was the bone tiredness that came with working for 8 hours at school and then another 4 or 2 hours at the library 3 days a week and a full day on the weekend. My tired was tired. I began to question how long I was going to last. I was here a couple of weeks ago.

Slowly (for me but not really that slowly), I didn’t feel so new at school. It was announced that the library was putting new hiring on hold. While I’m positioned to apply for/accept a permanent teaching position or a non-MLIS library position, I shrug my shoulders, unswayed by on or the other. Right now I am both, and that is okay. Standing still is moving forward.

So I’ve found a sweet spot. My palms are open, not looking for some new opportunity, save the opportunity to serve.

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