Have you ever been in a situation that slowly eats away at your sanity and leaves you for nothing, yet you carry on because it’s the best thing for your family, self image, or bank account?
I vowed December last year that I would never teach full time again. I was in a great class in a great school and I loved (/love) teaching, but doing so full time wore me out and broke me down. So for the rest of the year I taught only mornings, and it was the best thing I could have done. Yes, I was sure for my own mental health I would never let myself teach full time again.
Then we bought a house.
“Oh I can handle it.” I thought.
I was wrong.
The last time I taught full time I was in a comfortable situation and I still found it hard. This time I was in a different school with a very different class and a situation completely foreign to me. I constantly dealt with conflicts I had never encountered before and resulted in me not doing my job to my best abilities. Slowly I felt my energy slip away and my happiness with it. The stress of going to work every single day and not knowing what battle I was going to face next got so intense that I developed constant stomach pains from the anxiety. If I continued I would have certainly had to go on medical leave.
So why, knowing I broke down last year when I was in a good job situation, did I take on a full time gig. Didn’t I learn my lesson?
In the act of analyzing our situation, I completely forgot about my needs because our needs were higher priority, and sometimes you need to put your family ahead of yourself. But looking back, the worrying and possible stress induced stomach ulcers will never be worth the extra cash. So, despite our basement reno’s still not being done and our costs rising ever higher, I did what I needed to do for my happiness and health – I stopped teaching full time.
I know it’s going to be tough financially. We are still working on the basement (and therefore racking thousands of dollars in debt) and are at best 3+ weeks away from making that money back with tenants. But it doesn’t matter, and thankfully Ryan agrees. Since leaving the full time job two weeks ago, the stomach pains have stopped and my happiness that crawled away for the last few months has started to emerge again. That right there tells me I made the right decision.
Sometimes you need to make a sacrifice in one part of your life, an important part, in order to ensure your mental and physical health remains in balance. It is never an easy decision to make. Personally, I worried that I was putting Ryan and I in jeopardy with making such a seemingly selfish move. “We just bought a house! How could you stop working full time just because you’re unhappy!“. But I soon realized that being unhappy but having money isn’t worth it to myself or Ryan, because at the end of the day I wasn’t myself. Who wants to be with someone who’s constantly ranting, crying, or complaining about stomach pain?
I am so glad I made the sacrifice. No matter how much money you have, it doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t happy. And that’s all I want us to be in life – happy.