I swear I may never retire.
Not because I won't have the moolah to retire, but mostly because I won't want to not work.
I have a full-time job and two young children, and I still get a twinge of regret that I can't hold down a "fun" job to generate extra cash flow.
For instance, I was sitting at Sonic at 9:30 p.m. tonight to get half-price milkshakes on my way from working late filing papers at school (symptom of a workaholic? or only that of a procrastinator? or both?), and I notice that there's a sign on the door announcing that they are hiring, and telling applicants when to come for interviews with the manager.
The conversation has already taken place in my mind. I tell the manager that yes, I'm way overqualified for this job, but I actually want to work it. I tell him that I'll be more reliable than a teenager, and wow him with my bright smile and brilliant work ethic.
Yes, this conversation took place in my head. It was quickly followed by a mental montage of me being the best carhop ever, not forgetting to give mints (maybe even giving an extra or two), having an apron stocked with napkins and straws, getting tips and recognition from management and customers who notice that I'm doing an exceptional job at customer service. I imagined what it would be like to run into my students when they came to patronize the establishment (totally not awkward in my fantasy) and own my work, and not be embarrassed to be working outside of school (unlike my geography teacher from my high school who worked at the Warner Brothers store in Hulen Mall during Christmas and summers).
In real life, the carhop brings me my milkshakes and I head home, exhausted, ready to consume the milky froth and pass out (or write this blog entry).
The sad thing is, this is not the first time in the last week that I've had this twinge. The math teacher on my hall is working the front desk at a hotel this summer and I'm jealous. The social studies teacher is going back to his job in the Dillard's men's department for the summer and replenishing his wardrobe at a discount. I want a new wardrobe! One of them is married. Neither of them have children of their own. What am I planning to do this summer? Well, if it pans out, teach a couple of days of summer school, and then stay home. I know I'm going to enjoy it (or at least I'll keep telling myself that), but right now the only feeling I have inside is dread.
There's a little sneaky part of me that can't wait until the kids are older so I can get a job waiting tables somewhere a couple of nights a week--a dream of mine. But even then I know I would have been better at it pre-children, back when I still had extra brain cells and was not as forgetful. Geez, do I forget so many little things.
I'm restless right now. This is the first time in a long time, that I've only had one paying job. No tutoring, no nothing. As soon as I was legally able to get a job, I got one. In college, the only time I had fewer than two jobs was the year that I worked as a resident assistant and it was mandated. Then I graduated from college, moved to Austin, and worked 2+ jobs again.
Historically, when I don't have another job, I fill my time with activities. Volunteer work. Clubs. Hanging out with friends. Bible studies.
Now, I fill my time with cleaning up poop, spills, and other messes; tuning out the crying and screaming; and trying and failing to keep up with the feeding of the hungry family and the cleaning of our abode.
<Sigh.> Not quite the work I ever envisioned myself doing, but perhaps the most important work of all.
Please pray for patience and the bounty of God's grace in this season of my life.