Sunday, April 24, 2011

Off the hook?

I'm very lucky that most Sunday mornings, J gets up with the girls and lets me sleep in for an hour or two. You know you're getting old when 9am is considered a luxurious sleep in. The sad truth is that if I stay in bed any longer, my body gets all stiff and sore, so that kind of undoes any of the good that comes from extra sleep. Youth has left the building.

Not all of my Sunday sleep-ins are of quality sleep though. Sometimes when I go back to sleep, I have exhausting dreams that leave me wishing I'd just got up at my usual time.

This morning's effort had me thinking I was in my final year of high school, gearing up to do my Higher School Certificate.

Only, I realised I hadn't set foot in the school for a while. Quite a while. Shit.

What was on the syllabus? What assignments did I need to be working on? Shit, shit.

What was due? When? Shit, shit, shit.

What had I been doing with my time? Really - what had I been up to? I couldn't remember what was making me too busy for school. I knew I hadn't been sitting around, doing nothing. I hadn't been wasting my time.

Panic time.

I haven't studied! I don't know what I should be studying! I am so going to fail, just on attendance alone. Fuck.

And then...

Hang on... let's back up a minute. I do have my HSC. Oh, sweet relief! I don't have to sit those exams after all.


And what's that? There's more? Oh yeah, I have a university degree, too. 

Wake up, very sweaty.

What a relief to realise that the reason why I'd been too busy to go to school was because I'd actually been living life. A 'grown-up' life. As for the feeling of 'what have I been doing with my days?', I'm sure it's got something to with my current unemployed, at-home-with-kids status. I do know that's sure as hell a good reason not to be going to high school - at least I'm off the hook there.

I used to dream fairly regularly about impending assignments that were long overdue, missing classes at uni, being on the wrong train, and so on. Standard stress dreams, but it's been many years since those particular themes entered my head space.

I assume it's because the other day, I received an official letter stating that my application for a work permit has been approved.


I'm not sure what I want to do next. The Faery starts kindergarten in August, but in California, kindergarten is only a half day. Do I really want to put Miss Pie in day care all day, plus fork out for half a day of after-school care for the Faery? Tricky, and I'm not sure it's worth it. Not to mention I have a feeling that part-time teaching gigs are even harder to come by these days, and I'm not ready for full-time work yet. So, those are the cons.

On the other hand, some extra income would be very welcome. Embraced with open arms. Socially, I know I'd benefit from a job, too. I could definitely do with some regular adult face-to-face interaction.

Working daytimes could be too complicated - at least for the next year or so. Some kind of evening work, during the week, is probably the best option for now.  But what are my options? Private English language tuition? Maybe, but I find one-on-one tutoring so draining. An evening job in retail, when J is home and the girls are asleep? I like the idea of disappearing off to a bookshop like Barnes & Noble, a few times a week. That would be ideal, but I don't know if I'd be so lucky to get the hours that suit me. On paper, I'd look overqualified. And crap with the techy side of things.

I'm expecting the stress/crossroads dreams to make a starring comeback until I sort out what I want to do...

Dream job?    (photo source)


  1. I identify with the stress dreams big time. Mine all involve me trying to get somewhere and being blocked at every turn. Maybe I just need a dose of epsom salts. Or a colonic.

    Good luck with trying to figure out the "work" conundrum. I put "work" in inverted commas just to differentiate it from the unpaid labour which makes up the bulk of the day. I hope you can find something appropriate but I'm guessing it will take a little time.

    I dream of getting one of the night gigs at work but the queue is about a thousand miles long for only a few positions. I've done nights before when I worked for the Big T and the money helped. Mind you, I didn't have to look after kids during the day back then so it may not work as well.

    Is daycare as pricey there as it is here? The situation with us is such that three days is as much as we can afford or manage because if I went up to the full five, I'd be working essentially for nothing while using my income to pay off the daycare bill. I want and need to work outside the home but am looking forward to the time when I no longer have to pay an arm and a leg to do it.

  2. Stress dreams are awful, aren't they? I have many variations. Trying to get somewhere is common - the station platform numbers change, the trains' destinations change.

    Or (when I wasn't driving) I have to get somewhere urgently and the car won't cooperate, making me bunnyhop and lurch down the road.

    Or (when I worked in retail/pubs a looooong time ago) I'm trying to close up, but people keep pouring in and won't leave.

    Or (from teaching) I'm in a new class and very unprepared because there were big problems with the photocopier, and the students' names are different to what's on the roll...

    Oh yeah, I'm all kinds of nutty.

    I haven't looked properly at daycare prices yet here. J's workplace has subsidised daycare in the pipeline, so that would be awesome. Fingers crossed.

  3. The back to school dream is a frequent one here in 'Brain Angie'. I am always repeating Year 12 in the present time because I feel I could have got much better marks if I applied myself (which is true - I was boy mad in my final year at school, coasted by in the way I always have, passed easily but since then, am haunted by what I could have achieved if only I wasn't so lazy. And not because I needed a higher score for anything - I was always going to be an actor - but just because I knew I could do better. I just wanted that number on a piece of paper).

    Annnnyway, I'm repeating Year 12 as a mature age student and then I realise in a cold panic that I haven't been studying or attending class and I'm going to FAIL.

    Just like your dreams. Crazy.

    I can't imagine what I would want to do if I were to go back to work. A bookshop does sound rather lovely....

  4. Maybe that's why I have these dreams, too - I didn't apply myself at all and could have done better. No way would I do Year 12 again, though!

    Sometimes, these dreams are a little different. I'll be repeating Year 12, as my current age, but feeling so confident that I will blitz everything because of the life experience I have, and also because of the essay skills I developed at uni (I went to a school where they never - not once - showed us properly how to set out an essay. If they did, I must have been away that day). It's a nice feeling, that confidence. Wish I had it more often.