Making the Right Decision

life is sum of all decisions determined by priorities

My previous post discussed the frustration of having to interview.  For the most part, I feel I interview well.  I may come on strong, but I think it’s because I am not shy.  I don’t hesitate to answer questions and I try to come off knowledgable.  Most of the time, I feel this is accurately conveyed.  Fortunately, it was today.

Today, I interviewed for a 5th grade position about an hour away.  I was hesitant about the location but figured interviewing couldn’t hurt.  Practice makes perfect and it’s important to be open-minded.  At the very least, maybe I would make new connections that could lead me to where I am meant to be.

While driving home from the interview, I received a phone call asking for permission to contact references.  Of course this was a good sign.  The principal did not hesitate to call all three references and got back to me within an hour or so.  As you have probably assumed while reading this, I was offered the job.  Despite my gut instinct, I asked for time to discuss this over with my husband and get back to her which she had no problem doing.

I rarely ask for opinions on Facebook.  However, I put it out there to get feedback on if an hour drive is a crazy commute.  I think it’s good to have different opinions and perspectives (in all areas of life) as it allows you to see things differently.  It pushes you to evaluate your priorities and has you question how best to represent yourself and your morals.

Driving an hour there and an hour back adds up quickly.  However, I would get to have my own classroom and do something I’m truly passionate about.  I’m eager to perform well and learn as much as I can – and I could do that here.  But the man, who would be my co-teacher, specifically said he is hoping to find someone who will be here and commit to this family of teachers.

The most popular response on Facebook suggested that I take the job, and if something better comes along to turn it down.  Although it is true this is just business and this happens a log, it makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t want to burn any bridges and I don’t want to screw anyone over.  I would hate to leave them scrambling at the last minute to fill the position.  At the same time, it’s a job – I could love it.  It would help bring in money so we can finally have the funds to adopt a child of our own.  Maybe it won’t be too bad if I find podcasts and music and use that time to decompress.  However, in the winters the roads are horrible…. and this mental debate goes on and on and on and on….

I think at the end of the day, when making a decision like this, you have to go with your gut instinct.  Despite needing the money, I think it would be unfair to take the job.  I can’t commit to being apart of the community long-term as I assume after a year or so that drive would eat at me.  I would much rather have a job close by and I think I need to have faith that it will all work out how it’s supposed to.

For me, it’s important I walk away feeling good about how I handled the situation.  Hopefully, the principal will appreciate my honesty and maybe even pass my name on to someone in my area.  I need to just trust that it happens for a reason, and the job I’m meant to be in will fall in my lap – even if the school year is inching closer and closer.  My priority is being with my family, holding up a good reputation, and finding a job that I want to be in for years to come.  Therefore, I think I have concluded this isn’t the best fit and I will need to respectfully decline the offer.

Silver lining: At least I’m in a position to turn down an offer.  At least I have an offer.  At least I had an interview and hopefully there are more to follow.

Family Ties

All the cousins

It’s crazy that after 8 years of knowing Brian, I got the privilege of celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary.  God knows we have been through a lot – both good and bad.  It’s even crazier to think that we have been together since I was 18.  I have become such a different person and have grown so much and I have been fortunate enough to have had Brian by my side throughout it all — he truly has the patience of a saint.

Last weekend my parents were in town visiting and then this weekend Brian and I got to road trip to Dubuque, IA where we got to see his mother’s side of the family for a big family reunion.

Side note: we stopped in Chicago on the way to see Argentina vs. Panama play in the Copa America tournament and it was awesome – got to see the world’s greatest soccer player score a hat trick!

This last week has emphasized what I have always known.  Family is the most important thing.  Life can be hard, it has its ups and downs, its stressors, its tears of joy and tears of sadness, and many blessings.  However, none of those really matter unless you have people you care about to share them with.   People who are in it for the long haul.  People who know you at your worst and celebrate you at your best.

I am very blessed to have gotten to marry into such a big welcoming family.  My mother-in-law is 1 of 8 and my father-in-law is 1 of 5.  My family too is also big and loud and wonderful but definitely not nearly as large.  It’s the size, the chaos, the fun, the laughter, the intense card games, and the joking and stories that make all these family reunions so much fun.  For example, the cousins were required to bring attire that matched a photo they took roughly 20 years ago so they could reenact the photo.  The result is below (Brian is to the left of his cousin, Katie, in the bows with a look on his face that just makes my heart hurt because I love it so much):

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I personally feel watching them get organized and prepping for the picture was far more entertaining than the actual end result – however both are great.  Logan, the baby, was awesome trying to figure out how he should “lay down” and how he should master his stare of bewilderment.

Brian and I have said since day 1 that we always feel so lucky and so blessed to have married into such great families.  People always assume that when we say the in-laws are coming over that they should be apologetic for us when that is the furthest thing from the truth.

We all are close and get together as frequently as possible – for no real reason but to just see each other.  We all enjoy a good game of “Oh Heck” or “Poop on Your Neighbor” (a mid-west card game that goes by multiple names but has the same concept of screwing one another over just like in Musical Chairs).  I speak regularly on the phone with my mother-in-law and my parents text Brian back and forth.  His sister is like another sister to me and Brian always looks forward to watching sports with my dad or drinking beer with my brother.

After being with all the aunts and uncles, the cousins and their kids, it makes us look forward to adding to the family chaos. We hope to bring in multiple children into the chaos and we get excited about the idea of the memories they will have with family gatherings and their cousins, etc.  Needless to say, it was a good weekend.  It was yet another successful family gathering.  We are all taking bets on who is going to get married next so that we can plan the next family reunion.  Grace, who is going into the 4th grade, claimed she got married and divorced 3 times this last school year – so my money is on her. Either way, when we do get together it will always be a party.

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