374: Responsibilities

Tomorrow, I have to go back to work. I have just finished an eleven-day vacation. Spring Break of ten days, plus one  more day because some union in the city is protesting/demonstrating, and they specifically block traffic and bridges when they protest so that people either can’t GET to work, or can’t get HOME from work, so school called off another day of class. Tomorrow we are supposed to go, but if the protesters are doing their thing for a second day, we may go home early to be sure students can actually get back home, not to mention the staff.

I’d love to be irresponsible and not go. I get a lot of sick days on this job, and I can cheat and say I am sick, and I can go and get a doctor’s note for the grand sum of six dollars here in Panama. However, Thursdays are my busiest day at work. My partner and I teach seven classes on Thursdays, so to lay out on a Thursday is not being kind to my co-worker, who is a nice, decent guy. It would be nice to ignore my responsibilities, but I don’t know how to do that and still look myself in the eye in the mirror. I’d like to be that selfish, I just can’t seem to actually do it. I can THINK about it, I just can’t make myself do it.

We have a substitute teacher here – a part-timer who follows the sports circuit. She travels around the world, competing in various events from kayak races to skiing competitions. I don’t know how to live like that. First, because I don’t have the money to do that, and I’ve never not had a job except for the six years I took off from work to have my children and try to save my marriage. That was more work than work, and I was glad to get back to teaching, which seemed like a vacation after full-time mommyhood and housewifery. That six years sucked big time, seriously. 24/7, and I did not even get to pee in private. For YEARS. Sheesh.

I am, however, in retrospect, glad I had the time to be a full-time mommy, especially since my husband dropped dead about five years after that. I didn’t kill him. Really. At least my kids had me full-time for a while when they were small and needed somebody there.  I could do that, and I did it. Responsibility weighs heavily on me, and I feel the yoke. I waited until both my kids were graduated from high school and off to college before I sold all my stuff and abandoned the USA for overseas teaching (instead of the messed-up USA teaching scene).

I am, however, getting more and more tired of working. The money is nice, BUT……..  As soon as I can start collecting teacher’s retirement, I plan to stop doing it. I have found that I LIKE gardening. I LIKE painting and making jewelry, sewing and crafting. I LIKE doing things my own way and in my own time. I’m still busy, and I enjoy myself.

I want to open a shop, though, in concert with others, so I am not on duty every day, and I can still earn some extra 18_istanbul-handcraftsmoney. Some artists, some craftspeople, some fresh garden produce, some nursery (for plants), maybe a furniture builder and a potter…..a shop where each minds the store a day or two a week for the others, and everyone brings for sale what they produce. I just need a PLACE to do that. Maybe that place is here, and maybe that place is in the next place I go. At least I know what I want!!


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