Well I had a new experience this week – I got fired. It was the weirdest way of getting fired actually. I have been agitating with my local school district for a raise for the lowly enrichment teachers for several years, and finally, this past school year, a raise came through, yippee! But guess what- they cut days of teaching and paid prep time, wahwah, so basically the “raise” was a wash. Anyhow so when that came down I started pressing my case that prep for teaching pre-kinder through 2nd grade art is a necessity and should be paid. I went all around the district and to the fundraising arm etc, I had a parent who was advocating for me as well….anyhow this week I was told that the school will (get this) “be going in a different direction with art” when I asked “are you firing me?” the response was “we are going in a different direction with art”, I said “are you firing me today or for next year” (now here is the really confusing answer) “I’ll leave that up to you”…..that’s a head scratcher. I don’t have a contract, there’s no union for enrichment teachers so that’s it. In all the years I was there I was never evaluated or observed so clearly this “new direction” isn’t based on my teaching or my curriculum or anything about my work with the children. So I know you are asking – where does the best thing ever part of the story come? Well I want this to be an opportunity- I’ve wanted to put myself out there more, to lead more adult retreats and classes and the constraints of the elementary teaching schedule was sucking my time and my energy, so I’m thinking this is the universe telling me it’s time! I’m 53 years old, now is the time to get out there and be bold. This creaky old door closed (with a slam)- so what- open up all the windows and let the possibilities come in. I am designing a number of mixed modality retreats that each revolve around a theme which will include art, meditation, reflection, centering and more, and of course I have my art technique classes I love to teach as well. So now my dear readers, here is my request – if you know of an organization or retreat/art center that you think would love to host a retreat or workshop of mine- please introduce me. If you have a personal connection you are willing to share, even better. I am excited and a little nervous- I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going. Throw open the doors fling wide the windows let the clean fresh breeze sweep through!
Time and time again I come back to this Rumi poem- The Guest House. I have shared it on this blog before but it seems fitting in this situation. So I put it here again to remind you and mostly myself of it’s great wisdom.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently seep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond