Monday, August 8, 2011

Work for Love?

This weekend was fantastic. We joined Eric's family and family friends for a weekend in New Hampshire. We go once a year, and I've now been 7 times... one time every summer Eric and I have been together :) It's a tradition!

We stopped on the way up at the Budweiser Brewery. It was my second time going, but I never mind doing a brewery again, I can always try new beers. This time I got a Shock Top Raspberry Wheat Ale that was delicious.



Once we arrived in NH for the weekend, it was basically a time of relaxation, drinking, eating, and hanging out with each other. Oh, I should throw in reading to that too- I finally finished Mystic River and I was SO curious who killed the girl, I couldn't put it down.


Oh and did I mention the boat? Boats are seriously my happy space. Specifically, I love sitting in the front seat of a boat, with my legs up and it's best if it's in a calm lake so I don't get seasick at all haha- very picky I know. But it's my happy place so I can be picky if I want to.




Ah zen at it's finest. Except maybe snorkeling with the manta rays. Man, why can't I just find zen in yoga class like a normal person!?

So, I was thinking... I'm busy this summer and I do sometimes find myself annoyed with how much I have to do even though teachers "don't work in the summer." On the other hand, I don't think it's a coincidence that my moments of zen happen in July and August. I am much MUCH less stressed out in the summer even with a busy work schedule.

Why? Mainly because although my summer jobs are boring, there is simply not as much pressure involved. At summer school my only goal is to keep the kids from moving backwards academically (thank God because I could never move these kids forward in only 2 days a week!). At tutoring, there is also much less pressure. All kids will make SOME progress with 1:1 tutoring, and most of them have not made a lot of progress before tutoring so basically any progress is appreciated by their parents. I do a lot of planning for tutoring, but if I slack a bit one day, it's not the same as having nothing to do with 21 kindergartners!

So the question is, why don't I become a reading specialist or something that would be more similar to my summer job? Because honestly I just don't love it. Sure, I LOVE teaching kids to read, especially kids where it may be a struggle. But I like the balance, it's fun to have some kids who LOVE reading, it's fun to throw in math and science and social skills. It's fun to take the kids to recess and dare I say, it's even fun to report progress to parents (when it's all good news of course). It's fun to have special days like pajama day. It's fun to go through the whole journey with the kids. So that's why I do it. But I do wonder if at some point, I'll stop caring about the fun and just want something a little bit... easier (read: less stressful).

I was talking to my best friend Katie about this tonight and we decided we are the same way about this. So, what about you guys? Would you do a job you love even if it was really hard? Do you do this now? Or would you rather do an easier but maybe more boring job and therefore have more energy for the rest of life? I go back and forth on this, so there is no right answer. I think many people find that at different times in their life they can tolerate different things at work :)


  1. That is a hard question. I'm a HUGE fan of the balance I get from my job. Sure there are challenging days/long weeks (like when I was traveling for work this summer) but for the most part I am able to have a really nice work/life balance that I enjoy (then again, I tend to stuff my life FULL of stuff anyways so my schedule is always pretty busy).

    For the most part I don't enjoy how I feel after a long, stressful day of work so I don't think I would choose that all the time. Then again, my job is also not boring at all and for the most part the days always fly by!

    I love boating! I haven't gone in a long time since we don't know anyone with a boat :(

  2. My job is pretty challenging, but I love it. I like that my mind is engaged every day and I am constantly being pushed and challenged every day. I don't think I could even take a step down and do somethign that came a little easier and wasn't as challenging as then I would get bored and then I sort of get lazy... So yah... Pretty sure I will stick w/ the demanding/challenging job! I feel lucky though as I have good work/life balance right now!

    That looked like an amazing get away! So fun that it has become a tradition for you guys.

  3. Hmm I was actually talking about this with someone today because programming has been so hard but it's so much better than learning something that is easy and boring. Id say, where I am in my life right now, I'd rather the challenge. But I'm sure later in life, I'd rather easy.. I think.. but still fulfilling, can a job be easy and fulfilling? Maybe not.

  4. I'm with you Kelly. My job is a lot of work and time, but I LOVE it and I know that if I ever chose a more boring (and less stressful job) I wouldn't be as fulfilled. I always remind myself that we want whatever we don't have. If I switched to a less stressful job it would be nice at first, but in the long run I know I wouldn't be satisfied!

    I'm glad you enjoyed your weekend. Riding a boat is definitely a zen tie for me too.

  5. I think it's all about finding a balance and figuring out what is really important to you. I have friends who work REALLY hard and time consuming jobs now so they can make a lot of money and have more time for family and friends in the future.