I’ve mentioned before that The Man knows just about everyone around here. To be fair, he did grow up here, and has lived here all of his 56 years. And it’s a small town, so there’s that. We went down to the main street in our little town the other day, and we ran into some people he knows that run a little kayaking and paddle boarding rental spot on the pier. And I met Charlotte, who is about the same age as The Man’s daughter, and like me is a former teacher. In fact, just like me, this is her first year not going back-to-school.
And we giggled like little girls when we found out we had this in common. Because both of us are so relieved not to go back.
She had five years under her belt, and I had seventeen, but it was too much for both of us. The demands of the job were not outweighed by the rewards. She helps out at the kayaking place in the summer and has for years. I mentioned the day I worked for our friends’ ferry service doing much the same thing, sitting under the shade of an umbrella near the water on a hot summer day, and how everyone thought I would be bored, but I was in heaven. Happy as a clam. No million-questions that need to be answered RIGHT NOW, no parent emails, no see-me notes from the principal. No marathon days when you are just about too tired to turn the key in your ignition let alone make it home without collapsing. Just sitting in the shade on a beautiful day near the ocean, answering a few questions here and there, and otherwise just chilling out.
Teaching is a calling. And I was called. But for my own sanity, I had to unplug the phone. And the silence is so nice.
Cheers, Charlotte! It was nice to chat with a kindred spirit 🙂