Monday, December 16, 2013

Reverb 13 · Prompt 15 · Anchor

#Reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December that is meant to give participants the chance to reflect on the past year and take the opportunity to write down some hopes for the coming year.

Prompt 15: What kept you tethered in 2013?

The word tethered is a little ambiguous.  On one hand, it can imply security; without an anchor, a boat will float off course.  But on the other hand, it could also mean to be chained back, unable to escape. 

So do I consider something that is the former, the latter, or a mix of the two?

When it comes to something that's kept me anchored safely but yet has also felt like a choke chain, I have to say that it's my job.  I love reading stories about those people who left their "corporate world jobs" to pursue their passion and then succeeded in that, but the mere thought of doing that myself is too terrifying to entertain for more than a few minutes.  

Not that teaching isn't a dead-end, soul-sucking thing.  I became a teacher because I love English, and I love teaching.  But as the years go on, the profession is becoming less about inspiring students to learn and think for themselves and more to conform to standardized testing and data-driven target groups, and I'm loving it less.  That being said, it provides me a way to keep the roof over my head, my child fed and clothed, and the creature comforts to which we've become accustomed.

And my position now affords me the flexibility to get HRH to her various activities - swim, soccer, and some January, ballet (it's one of her Christmas presents), not to mention kindergarten in the fall.  I don't have to stress about taking off a half or even full day to go to the doctor or vet.

Some days, being a responsible adult sucks.  Those are the days when parents blame me for their children not submitting work (and thus failing), or when I receive some sort of notification that some set of data that is being collected isn't the most favorable number.  That tether feels more like a noose than a safety cable.

But then I look at the things I've been able to do - stay home with my daughter and critters, travel a little more than I might have, and wear yoga pants because it's Tuesday, all while being able to bring in a paycheck, and that noose loosens significantly, and being a grown up isn't quite as sucky.

Just another part of the balancing act we do every day.

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