Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Life Work and Day Jobs

I go back to school this morning and I'm not happy about it. For two weeks I have been a writer instead of a school teacher. I've gotten through 2,000 words and usually a blog posting. I spent the vacation writing the life I want to live. I took a vacation from school so that I could do really good work.

Isn't teaching good work?

It was good work for me, but not any more, not where I work. I enjoy some moments at school, but the job has changed for the worse and my morale has evaporated.

I'm going back to school, but I'm staying with writing and the things that I love. School has become a job, a paycheck and healthcare coverage. I like some of the people I work with and I'm good at teaching kids, but it isn't enough. Rather than whine or rattle the cage, I go to school for a few hours and then I leave it. Outside of contract time, I have real work to do.

I have been reduced as a teacher to this by my school system and by own hopes and dreams. It's okay. A lot of people pay the bills with a job and follow their dreams the other two-thirds of the day. There was a time my dream was to teach. We wake up from some dreams, but there are others.

There is no better work for me than writing words, It brings me nothing but joy and is what Donald Hall calls Life Work, the thing I want to do all my days.

I wouldn't get up at 4:40 each morning to teach school, but this morning, tired and groggy as I was, I got up before the alarm. A keyboard was waiting. Unlike over vacation, this morning I need to finish writing in time to drive to school. I have time to write a couple thousand words. Then I'll go to school for a few hours before I can come back to this work that I love, the stuff of my dreams, the keyboard at which I get to write on.