Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finding Forty, Day 273; Pink Slips and Hope

As ever, time has passed and changes, so many changes have come about.    My dalliances with the young one (I referred to him as 'the kid') only lasted a few days.   Like fellow blogger Kate says in the comments below, fit and cute only go so far.   I couldn't get over his horrible spelling and grammar on his texts.   I also couldn't get over his tongue!

Being 40 has it's ups and downs, but one of the perks has been that I finally am able to recognize what I like, don't like, and more importantly, have the courage to say so.

When I would kiss 'the kid', I could not stand the way his tongue felt.  It was huge and thick and soft and mushy.  I kept trying to overcome my distaste for it, thinking that perhaps it would reap other benefits elsewhere, if you catch my drift.   But my 40 year old self remembered how important kissing is to me and knew it would always bother me.

And then something else happened.

Last Tuesday, the same day as my last blog, I found out that my position at work is being eliminated.   While I haven't received the official pink slip, it's a well known fact in my district that with the massive budget cuts that need to be made, all probationary teachers will be let go.   Probationary contract status, for me, means I am a new hire.  I am finishing up my second year in the district, the last little bit of my probationary contract, and got caught in the crossfire.

I am a good teacher with a Master's Degree, but I will have to go.  My performance has never been substandard, I've never been reprimanded for anything, never placed on a growth plan, but I am out.   I understand that the district has to implement a plan that is fair for all, but it almost feels fair for none.

You can imagine the shock, the fear, the numbness I felt, particularly on that Tuesday night when I first found out.   'The Kid' didn't even say he was sorry when I told him.   I think the words he texted back were 'Shut up!'    I knew he meant 'get out of town' or 'no way', but I wanted more of a shoulder to cry on than a passing glance.    I just didn't have the energy for him.   Oh, that and he didn't get my Mrs. Robinson joke.   Please!

I can handle just about anything, but as you longtime reader's know, I am handling many things right now.   Pending divorce, pending bankruptcy due to the failure of "A"'s business, and now this.

Mostly I'm just tired.   Exhausted.  Cannot find the strength to even begin to know how to move forward.

I spent a few days crying.

I broke down and called 'S' who was sympathetic and nice, but comfortably sitting in his office, getting ready to go home to his wife, who would be coming home from her job.

Anger poured through me as I realized how his life had changed not one iota, while mine seems to be unraveling at the seams.

But then I stop and ask it really?   Maybe all of this is a gift?    S can go on with his life, with all of the same problems that existed when our affair first began, never dealing with them, never facing adversity of any sort.

I have to believe that in the end, I will come out stronger, wiser, more worn, but with a patina that shows my value.

Maybe this is an opportunity to reinvent myself or become even truer to who I've always wanted to be?  Maybe I find a job that combines writing and fashion and music or any combination of all of the things I so love?   Who knows?

If I stop and dwell for too long, the fear creeps in.   If I lay down to rest, I worry I might not have the strength to even get up.   So, I do my best to keep moving forward.

When I feel this way, I think of Mary Tyler Moore.  Forgive me if I've shown this already on my blog.

I'm gonna make it after all...


  1. This is a tough year everywhere for teachers. Our district is facing reductions also. As a veteran of numerous budget shortfall years, the worse time is when the shortfall is announced. Not everyone who gets the pink slip will wind up without a job. In our district all the probationary teachers get the notice, but then when actual funding levels and retirements are factored in, many teachers wind up getting called back. I hope you get lucky. Hang in there...look at the bright side, you can collect unemployment for a bit until you find another job. Unemployment might pay you more than you think and you can collect it in the summer unlike teaching.

  2. us forty somethings have to stick together, so i've given you an award that was given to me.

    The Stylish Blogger Award.

    It's on my page if you'd like to grab it and put it on yours.


  3. The harder the tests the universe puts in front of us, the greater the path it is preparing us for.

    You're not "gonna" make it, Kate-Finding-Forty, you already have. You've long passed the point where giving up is an option for you; you're now moving forward towards the details of your success.

    Too bad it didn't work out with your young Ben, but there's always another. With any lick, I mean luck, maybe the next one won't need a teacher so much.

  4. You were very smart to move on......that kid would have driven you crazy!

    #1 Nana is right....maybe you won't be let go after all or there will be a opening at another school!

  5. Oh, dear. Just when I commented about how lucky you were...

    I have been seriously reconsidering my goal for teaching lately, as in "is this really the job that I want to do for the next 40-odd years of my life?" Just like in the States, France is experiencing job cuts with education and that worries me so much, to the point that I have no clue what I would like to do with my life anymore. o_O"

    Also: you are not the only one who can't withstand bad English/texting. I have noticed that a good portion of my English-speaking friends heed to using proper grammar with their texts, but I get exceedingly annoyed with my French friends when they use horrid short language (and in French, no less).

    ...I hope my English and spelling doesn't turn you off. I'm not even 28. o_O"

    I suppose that we both will make it after all, even if it takes time!

    -Barb the French Bean