Workin’ 9 to 5

September 1. Labor Day here in the US, and I am ready to head out to work (an hour early? What was I thinking?). I know that there are some people who grumble about having to work on “banker’s holidays” but to be honest, I am not one of them.

When I look back on this time last year, Labor Day, the first holiday of a new school year, I had already come to the realization that it would be my last year in a classroom for that school district. Fast forward though a year filled with stress and grief to today, and it is an entirely different story.

Part of me wondered if I’d lost my mind when I turned in my resignation after eight years with the same school, wondering if I would be able to find another school district to teach in this year. I submitted applications to everywhere I could in the areas closer to my home, all summer long hoping for the elusive interview that would keep me in a classroom. No phone calls came. I had begun to lose faith in myself, doubting myself as a teacher, doubting the past ten years in a career that I had once loved.

All the while, I have been happily going to work at my part time job for the past 14 months, a job that I have really come to embrace and enjoy. Here is the difference: I am now in a company that values its employees. I have moved up the ladder of our store, bit by bit. I am also devoting more time to my dreams of writing a novel, and I have done it.  My stress level has dropped, I am more relaxed and happy, and I have more time for the people and the things that I enjoy. It is really a blessing to go into work every day wanting to be there, not dreading it. It certainly puts a lovely spin on things.

Life and work are not always easy. But if I have learned anything over the past year, it is that if you are not happy in your circumstance, if it is within your power, change it. It’s not easy, but aren’t you worth the risk of finding something that makes you happy?