Back to School - Yay!...Now what?

Back to School - Yay!...Now what?

A full summer of nonstop constant activity.  My cruise director job is almost over.  Tomorrow the kids will bound back onto the bus and my life will be somewhat sane.  I get to actually sit down for five minutes without hearing,  "MOM?!?"

Wondering if we could squeeze one more trip to Great America in or looking up the train schedule to see where the adventure will lead today is coming to a close.  My never ending laundry, sticky counter tops, pile of flip flops, mound of wet towels, empty refrigerator is just about done.

Soon I'll be able to get the house back to structure and order.  I'll have time to run errands and grocery shop for items other than ingredients for a lemonade stand.  I can go to the gym, make doctor's appointments, pay those nagging bills that I keep promising to get to and take the dog to the vet.  I can do everything that I just didn't seem to have time to get to when the house was bursting with activity all summer long.

So that will take me to Thursday.  Then what?

I teach one class a semester, and that doesn't take up a tremendous amount of time.  My last one is going off to Kindergarten, and that's only half-day, so I'm limited to being home by 11:30 AM.  If you really look at it, I only get a couple of completely free hours a day and I'm already in panic mode.

I like to stay busy all the time.  I like to have something to do or somewhere to go.  I like to feel needed and that I'm doing something of importance.  I don't like to be idle.

So what are my options?

PTO:  Been there done that.  I have been involved in the schools for years.  There are some amazing people in that organization that give a tremendous amount of selfless time.  It's the other ones I don't have the patience for - the ones that have their own agenda and try to manipulate programs and people.  I'm not up for another round of pettiness and gossip.  Not my thing.

Volunteer in the Community:  I tried that and was rejected.  I went to three different facilities and asked if there was anything I could do to help out for an hour or two in the mornings.  All three had different reasons as to why they couldn't use me.  It was weird.  A lot of it had to do with my time constraints, but you had a person in front of you that was willing to do anything and I just was given a blank look.

Get another job:  I need to keep two mornings a week open to teach, and I'm not sure who would hire me for three mornings a week.  And after being out of the workforce for so many years, I don't think I'm a hot candidate for anybody right now.

Play tennis:  All my wealthy friends that don't have jobs and their kids are in school all day seem to play a lot of tennis.  They all love it.  I've liked tennis the short amount of time I've played it, but I don't think I could play a game the other three mornings a week.  I'm not much of an indulger and I think I'd feel guilty that I wasn't contributing to society in any way and spending a crap load of money on a game.

Have another kid:  This store is closed.

Volunteer at the schools:  Last night I talked to the director of two of the schools my kids go to and asked if there were any type of committees I could chair or activities they needed help with and was met with a disappointing reaction.  "Wow, had I known you were looking, I could have given you some great jobs.  We had sign ups for everything back in March and April.  You missed it all.  Why didn't you ask me back then?"  Well hell, I wish I was a better planner too - we'd have dinner on the table every night and I'd have an amazing vacation to look forward to for spring break.  I was so busy staying afloat last year trying to juggle it all, the last thing that occurred to me was that I'd be bored this year.

Be the Walmart Greeter:  I'm way too crabby and cynical for that job.

For most people in this economy, this seems like such a frivolous problem.  They would kill to be there for their kids at any time of the day.  I get that.  I understand that I'm extremely fortunate.

No matter what stage in life you are or where you see your ship sailing, I think one of the most important things is to feel like you're contributing.  You're doing something productive and you matter.  This need seems to be stronger in some than in others and I have it bad.  I can't seem to sit still - it doesn't happen on vacation either, so I don't see laying back and enjoying the fruits of my labor any time soon.

Maybe I'll write a book.  It seems like many of my writer friends are forging into the published author arena.  I'm not quite sure where the next path will take me, but one thing's for sure, I'm bringing all of you and this blog with me...


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