A Year Later…


So, it’s been a hell of year.

Lots of good.  Some meh…and that’s just life, right?

My update is that I’ve been going 90 miles an hour with my hair on fire pretty much since February.  Between a couple week long substitute teaching assignments, my alternative teaching certificate classroom requirements, a case of shingles, a state subject matter exam in Math grades 5 – 9, my week-long student teacher culminating event, and an unexpected opportunity to teach the subject I WANTED to teach which then required me to take two graduate level condensed courses (16 weeks in 5 weeks), AND teaching every other week at the National Flight Academy….well, yeah, so blogging.

Not happening.

But a year after retiring, in fact, on the one year anniversary of the date that I submitted my request to retire last year, I  find that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.  Amazing how the universe works that, isn’t it?

What did I learn during my year of building my semi-retired life?  And how can what I learned be helpful to you?

I prefer to have an “anchor” job

Three times I’ve tried to go it as some sort of freelancer, consultant, coach, direct seller, and I three times I failed miserably.   It’s not that I’m without discipline as much as those types of independent work situations require me to do a whole lot of work that I really don’t like doing. And yes, with a puppy underfoot, dirty dishes or laundry calling my name, and/or studies to be completed, well, I just don’t get the distasteful tasks done.

How about you?  Lots of people are WAY better at this than I am, so you have to ask yourself if you can sustain the constant marketing and prospecting that goes with having your own business.

I am a task goddess.

I got through my alternative teaching certificate program with flying colors, and am almost done with state tests.  Plus took on two additional courses and slam-dunked them.  If I can see the brass ring, I’m all over it.

Ask yourself if you are project oriented (short term, fixed goal and time frame) or big picture oriented (don’t need the end in sight in order to be motivated.)

I do tend to manifest what I want.   

I saw a job posting this time last year for the French teacher position at my high school alma mater.  There was a  “swoosh” in my heart.    “Oh,” I thought.  “I’d LOVE to teach FRENCH.”  I was already considering getting a teaching certificate, but until that moment had not ONCE considered French.  It was like a light came on and angels sang.   I wanted to teach French.

Since I hadn’t even begun the process, I couldn’t apply.  They hired a recent college grad from out-of-state.   I found there were only 7 or 8 schools left in my three county area that still teach French.  Half of those were part-time.   It is often termed a “dying” subject, where finding a full-time job practically means someone  has to die. Everyone told me the posting was a fluke, and the chances of a position opening up were slim, slim, slim.

I switched to math.

In April, not one, but TWO French positions opened for the 2016-17 school year in my area, both part-time.   That was Bliss Universe kicking my tush for doubting her.   It turns out that along with the shortage of French teaching positions, there’s a shortage of French TEACHERS.    I registered for the two classes that I needed to take to get a temporary teaching certificate in French, but they didn’t start until June 1st. Either school would have to be willing to hire me out-of-subject until I completed the coursework in July, the grade posted in August, and the state updated my application, which would probably take until October.

Meanwhile, I agonized over whether I could afford to work at 60% pay.  I had preliminary meetings with both schools, and had decided to try to get the position with a 55 mile one-way drive when the other school reached out to me to advise me they had bumped the position up to full-time, and would I consider applying?

I start next week.  I’ve been grinning like crazy since I received the offer.  (June 28th, about 10AM. ) 🙂

This works for me. 

I discovered that I like teaching secondary school age kids.  I loved the National Flight Academy, and enjoyed the middle schoolers in math too.  I’d have been delighted to teach math at that level if the French opportunities hadn’t come along.

It’s a perfect solution for me.  Roughly nine weeks off in the summer, holidays off with my family instead of working while transporting everyone else to see theirs.  I’m silly excited about teaching French.  Slightly terrified – I’ll have two classes each of three levels, so LOTS of planning work to do.  My French is strong enough to teach 1st and 2nd year high school, but not to pass the state exam, so there is more study and practice in my future as well.

Don’t let others define what works for you. 

Is this the “semi-retired life” that I originally envisioned?  No, it’s not.  For several reasons, that really doesn’t work for me right now.  The aforementioned reluctance to do the necessary tasks, a teenager still at home, and other factors make it untenable and unattractive that way right now.

So, I am doing it THIS way right now.  This works.   YOU get to decide what works for YOU.

Health Insurance is going to continue to be a P.I.T.A. for the foreseeable future.

Yeah, I hate this part.  NO, I did not take a job just for health insurance.  I am genuinely giddy and excited about this new phase of my life.  Am I bummed it comes with good benefits?  Ah….no.

Unless you’ve got health insurance provided via another source, better plan for it to either take a sizeable chunk from you, or not be very good coverage if you are under 65.   Trust me, I get the appeal of expatriating, I really really do.  If you are in the U.S. and you have to buy health insurance on the open market, it’s a nightmare.

That said, our reduced income while I’ve been in school did put us into subsidized rates.  So, I owe a debt of gratitude to those of you paying taxes who helped me out this past year.  Thank you.  I’ll be paying it forward with my tax bill for the foreseeable future.

I hope to get back to blogging consistently, about anything and everything that I see that is relevant to this topic of finding employment that allows you enough free time to do the things that are important to you. I manifested that new (used) digital camera as well the past year, so look for more and better photos as I learn how to use it.

Like me, the blog will evolve.  Hope you’ll stay around and enjoy.




Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.