Yesterday, I looked out my bathroom window and noticed a very long icicle suspended from one of the down pipes. That is how cold it is now. Nonetheless, I got a small thrill from seeing this - I hadn't seen any icicles in real life since our trip to Sweden more than ten years ago.
Seattle's weather has been a truly mixed bag in recent weeks. The standard grey wet days have been outnumbered by crystal clear skies. There's also been some amazing fog to behold, and now I understand why people liken it to some kind of shapeshifting entity. One morning I drove J to work, and the fog had lifted from when we first got up. After dropping him off in sunshine, I got onto a freeway and headed off to get some errands done. As I merged lanes and checked my rear view mirror, I saw Mt Rainier behind me - clearer and brighter than I'd seen in a month or so. Less than a minute later, I entered such heavy fog that I couldn't see immediately in front of me, and the exit signs couldn't be read. Deep breaths and headlights flicked on, I had to rely on my memory of the route to know when to exit. Then - once I exited - I was fog-free and in sunshine again. Given my dislike of driving on freeways, I was hi-fiving myself when I arrived at my destination.
In other news, I'm now part of the employed world. After four years out, it's time to start feeling useful again. The more I looked into it, the less of an option teaching is at this point in time. Unlike in Sydney, part-time EFL teaching positions seem to be non-existent - not to mention working hours that fit in with school and preschool. Factor in the costs of after-school care/babysitting, and childcare for Miss Pie and, well, I may as well just be working a minimum wage job on the side instead...
...which is what is what I'm doing. I'll be working several evenings a week, maybe some Saturday shifts too, and not have to worry about childcare for two kids on different schedules, because J will be home. The hourly rate is less than what I've earned in many, many years, so that's taken a little time to get my head around. Then there's the fact that part of me worries a little about encounters with the school parents in my area - so many of who seem to have high-flying careers, or present the image of the perfect stay-at-home, gym-honed, soccer moms - and may judge me to be less educated than I actually am.
I was worried at first, but then I thought, fuck it. In this economic climate, plenty of people accept jobs that they may be overqualified for. If there's something wrong with getting out and meeting people a few evenings a week, bringing in some extra dollars, and feeling useful, then so be it. I've been doing training stints over the past week, and surprisingly, enjoying the social side of it - seeing co-workers banter, and realising how I've missed that.
For legal reasons, I won't be able to identify where I work, or talk shop, so apart from this post it's likely to be a part of my life I'll keep separate from the blog. It's nothing exciting anyway (although who knows where it may lead to), so let's just leave it at that. I just had to mention it because, you know, the first job in four years is kind of a big deal, regardless of what it is. At any rate, it's going to be interesting to compare my work experiences in a third country now.
So. Here's to winter, trying to keep warm, and employment.