Just over a month has passed since the new school term started and I didn’t go back to school to work. Instead I’ve had 3 and a half hours a week of private tutoring and been setting up the homework club which runs four hours a week. On that front things have been very slow, as I don’t have enough pupils yet to quite cover even the cost of room hire. It is to be expected of any new venture that things take time to pick up, yet time isn’t always something we have financially. The truth is, it’s not paying just yet and of course this set in a little panic with me mid month when the very real possibility of by the time I reached November I’d not have enough money to pay the mortgage set in.
The possibility of selling the house reared its head (something I’m prepared to do if absolutely necessary), but I really didn’t like the thought of going into the winter with the stress of house selling.
The realities of working for yourself are this:
1) It’s great as you are autonomous and get to choose when and how you work. It’s given me more time to crack on writing my novel which is now picking up momentum and I’m nearing the end of the first draft at last. I’ve had more time to walk, keep fit, keep appointments without stressing about how it fits in around work. Get jobs done around the house.
2) Mortgage companies do not like it. They do not like you not knowing how much you’re going to earn each month. Their nervousness feeds down and you feel it. It’s a bit like the financial market in Britain right now. There’s uncertainty because of Brexit and then a date was set and panic set in, the pound crashed and that market nervousness filters down and we all feel it.
Then last week, out of the blue, I had a call from an old friend and colleague who works in a school up the road. She asked me if I’d be interested in doing some intervention tutoring for groups of four children and they were willing to fit around me. It was a relief, I must admit, even though I don’t especially want to go back into school. I have a dozen reasons for coming out of the system. Some personal, some professional. So to go back in, albeit it for an hour and a half a day with small groups to target specific aspects of learning, just feels like a step back for where I’m trying to take myself. I have mixed emotions about this latest turn of work related events. I came out of teaching. Out of the system and yet here I am, just a month later, back in. I’ll be back trying to fit the square pegs into the round holes and I will undoubtedly find this frustrating and stressful. Yes…even for just an hour and a half a day! But needs must. I have to think of my nephew and keeping him well; keeping the roof over our heads. I have to also remember I am not contracted in the same way. It will be on a supply basis, a pay as you earn basis and I still have the flexibility in my hours. I have to remember this is temporary until the venture I’m setting up takes off.
So…I start tomorrow, (thrown in at the deep end!) and already I’m beginning to lament the loss of the luxury of 6 hours of child free time a day to write, paint, develop the club, walk etc. The personal reasons I gave up the classroom and system for. Of course, I know I will still have mornings as I don’t start until 1pm, but I know how quickly those few hours will fill up. Mondays with grocery shopping, Thursdays with tutoring planning, every other Friday with cleaning. I know the walking and writing and painting will end up playing second fiddle again and I’m going to have to work extra hard to make sure I fit those things in. I know things may become a rush again. I don’t like rushing through each day. I don’t know why as a society we put that pressure on everyone, day in, day out.
However, this part time job means a stable wage coming in, albeit it much lower than previously as obviously the hours are few. It will keep the mortgage company happy… for now. It means I can focus on promoting Homework Club without worrying I haven’t any money coming in or having to sell a house. Ultimately, once that is earning me money, I can give up the classroom once more.
It’s swings and roundabouts in many ways. The give and take of life. Life is moving and changing. I’m not standing still. And that makes me alive.
*For those of you who may think I’m a lazy bugger, please remember I look after my nephew as his carer full time and on my own. My first and foremost job is single parent and that is where the rest of my time goes!