Saturday, August 30, 2008

On jobs

I was favorably impressed with Belmont Community College's English and writing program, from the enthusiasm of the people in charge to the seriousness of the interview process to the amount of support offered new faculty.

However, and I am a bit churned up over this, I've decided not to take the job I was offered teaching a course in English composition and a remedial course in paragraph writing. Much as I'm attracted to the school and the people there, my inner voice says it's too soon to plunge in. That time is a gift and I need to take it.

On the other side, there's the me that doesn't feel responsible if I'm not working and earning money. I feel guilty sometimes not working around the clock when I know there are many women in the world holding down two jobs to make ends meet. And I fear running out of money. Roger and I just had a discussion this morning about my need for a new computer.

But against these incessant fears of lack runs another voice. This alternative line of dialogue says: sufficient for today are the worries of today. God will provide. Can you ever have "enough" money to feel secure? Isn't it the ultimate illusion that we can save enough to buy security? And a verse from a Wordsworth poem flits through my mind: "The world is too much with us. Getting and spending we lay waste our powers." Does it help a woman (or man) with an overloaded work schedule for me to do the same?

I look out the window and the countryside reminds me of the English Lake District, Wordsworth's territory. Like the Lake District, this place is remote and full of rolling hills, though with not so much spectacular water. It's a calm place and a quiet place. I have the choice of leaning into its serenity or becoming rushed and harried within it.

I also think of the story of the Roman philosopher Diogenes. His fellow philosophers said to him: If you would flatter the emperor, you would earn enough money that you don't have to live on lentils. Diogenes replied: I live on lentils so I don't have to flatter the emperor.

So I am trying to live in the moment, enjoy the lentils and not worry about an unknown future. At some point, we may need money beyond what I can earn freelancing. Then I will go back to work. If at that point they don't want me at the community college, that's fine. In the meantime, I will volunteer, tutor a student and go about with my life.

My biggest worry is disappointing people who are expecting me to take the job. However, there are three weeks until classes begin, and I'm sure this isn't the first time an adjunct has backed out.

For me, who tends to worry about money, turning down a job I'm qualified for and that fits my schedule (I would have been only teaching two days a week) is an act of faith. I'm trying to follow my inner guide. I'm trusting that my freelance work will help sustain us.

Have any of you faced a similar struggle? Am I crazy not to grab this job?


Regina said...

Mm... that is tough, Diane. You seem to like everything about the job and it would provide some extra money and it is only two days a week... yes, God does provide- is he providing this job for you?
I dunno... I completely understand where you are coming from, though. You've just had a major transition in your life and perhaps you do need time to just be with it, the new digs, the new lifestyle, the new surrounding...
It is best to trust your heart no matter what- :)

AbiSomeone said...

Well, your friend The Abbess says that time is a gift that can never be gotten back once given away. Just as I mentioned earlier that it was probably just as well that you were going to miss the annual gathering, I think it is very important to allow yourself to settle in -- physically, emotionally and spiritually.

If you feel God asking you to lean more on him in faith, then I'm right there with you, sister!

I promise to find the truck picture when school starts next week.... ;^)

Anonymous said...

You have just moved and made this major life change, *and* you are recovering from Lyme's disease and other health issues....maybe it is wise to take some time before committing to another job. Even if this job seems "perfect", it is not the only good job that will come along. I believe God will send you the right job when the time is right.

Lisa S