Saturday, February 25, 2017

2017

Loyal Reader,

I apologize for my lack of consistency in updating you on the wonders of my life. Years ago, when I was living and teaching in San Francisco, it was easy to update this blog over my summer break from teaching middle school. I seemed to have plenty of time off, and the occasional foggy day in SF allowed me to spend my time updating you on each new facet of my life. I told you about my bike rides through the city, the constant lounging in parks, and the viewing of Victorian homes. You saw me enjoy more than one sunny afternoon in a beer garden surrounded by teacher friends. Life was good back then. My nostalgia for those days is still strong.

Before my first year of teaching, I had been a behavior therapist (or glorified teacher's aide), and was paid by the hour. A sick day (for me or for the student I worked with) meant no compensation. A school holiday was nothing to rejoice about as my paycheck would be smaller as a result. It was truly medieval. When I finally finished my Master's program, earned my teaching certificate, and began teaching, I wondered briefly if my lifestyle would change at all now that my position had changed. Seeing my salary for the first time was the biggest shock as I realized my income had literally doubled in the last year. I remember my dad telling me to save 10% of my paycheck, and I told him I had been steadily saving 33% of it. Yes, I worked part-time at a barre studio, coached sports, and took on every paid stipend position at the school, but still, I was rich.

I remember feeling completely in awe at the fact that even with this tremendous increase in compensation that I would have three full months off each year. I immediately thought, "They will pay me this summer to NOT work. I will actually be paid to take the summer OFF from work. What is this life?" The summers really made it all worth it to me, but even during the school year, I experienced fantastic perks that my silly corporate friends could never dream of. The school where I worked ended at 1:50pm. Yes, 1:50. I would get to the bar so early, breakfast was just ending and happy hour wasn't even on the horizon yet. Some days, I would get off of work, go to a fitness class, come home and shower, and THEN go to happy hour. Can you even imagine?

Since those early years a lot has changed. Of course, we've moved to Maine. School now ends at 2:50 (the audacity!) and most importantly, I've gotten used to the lifestyle. I've had waves of gratitude for my life but have also taken many of these elements for granted. I've gotten used to the huge bi-weekly paycheck; I automatically expect all national holidays off from work; June rolls around and I complain if the last day of school is too far into the summer. I have briefly lost sight of just how fortunate I am and just how lucky I am to live a life so superior to your own. Don't worry... I have once again come to the grand realization that the life I have curated for myself is one of the best and deserves to be understood and praised by all.

So, take this as your fair warning that the boastful posts you love and have missed so much will now be coming to you on a very regular basis. I will once again keep you updated on my afternoon strolls that start and end before you begin packing up for the day. I'll let you know how I spend my hours from 3-6pm while you're worrying about how much traffic you'll hit on your way home. I'll post pictures of my many days off from work (176 working days minus 15 sick days a year...) and I apologize in advance if you soon regret all of the decisions you've made in your life to get you to where you are (or are not) now. I'm sure you'll appreciate it all. Stay tuned.

Kristen

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