It’s become clear recently that our household could really use a little more income. I mean, we’re keeping a roof over our heads, and food on the table, but darn it, college is expensive and we’re feeling the pinch.
So, I’ve been thinking of ways I could do more to contribute financially, since it looks like my piecemeal adjunct work either isn’t cutting it, or needs to be kicked up a notch. Although I enjoy it very much, adjunct work is anything but lucrative.
As I contemplate my options, I’m seeing, for the first time, the negative consequences of choosing to spend the bulk of my middle years raising and educating my own children. At fifty, and holding an advanced degree, my chances of getting a job back in the public classroom seems pretty slim (and I’m not sure that’s where I’d like to be anyway). Also, finding a college or university level salaried position, with an M.A. rather than a Ph. D., is not very likely.
Still, I have a kick-ass C.V. I’ve done some amazing things with my time over the last 20 years. I just haven’t followed a conventional career path. The wayward path I have taken has led me to this point, contemplating a new fork in the road.
Which brings me to this past weekend. I spent a few days with some of the most amazing women I know in a maelstrom of singing, conversation, wine, and inspiration. It was the annual meeting of the Sacred Emerging singing circle with musician and activist Carolyn McDade. Carolyn, herself, is an inspiration. At 78, she still travels the continent, singing with circles of women all over Canada and the U.S., still sings, writes, and records. She always teaches us something new.
This year, she talked about what we, as older women, can do in the world. Yes, we can sit back and relax, enjoy our retirement, take naps. But we can also use our passion and wisdom to make a difference in the world.
I contemplated which qualities I want my future work to have. I need to do something that I’m passionate about…something that uses my gifts….something that makes a difference in the world….and something that, at the same time, allows me to earn some money.
I’m still not sure what that something will be, but after having some eye-opening and enlivening talks with my dear friend, Kathy (who joined the circle for the first time this year…yay!!!), I do know that whatever I end up doing, it will probably involve teaching, writing, public speaking, and/or acting. And it’s my hope that my future will involve some kind of collaboration. I’ve re-learned recently that I absolutely work best in the company of others.
I know that I need to love what I do. At this point in my life, I’m not willing to spend any significant amount of my time doing something that I’m not passionate about. Now, I’m fully aware that this is a product of my privilege…I know that many people don’t have this luxury…but I also believe that if more of us spent our time doing what we love, the world would be a better place.
So, I’m ready to take the next steps on this crooked path, and I really have no idea what’s around the next corner, but I’m sure looking forward to finding out.
Let me know if you have any suggestions!
The gorgeous women of Sacred Emerging: