A couple of foundation points:
1. I used to work with kids. I was a teacher at an after-school program, and I loved it. It defined me, y’know, gave me a clear and visible way to see how I was making an impact in the universe. Then I took a position in center management, and it all kinda fell apart, and I ended up leaving the center on significantly less-than-ideal terms. Such is life; but the takeaway here is that I miss the actual working-with-kids part. I miss having little hand-drawn difficult-to-decipher pictures to hang on the wall, and I miss knowing without question that I am making a positive difference in someone’s day, and I miss the million ways that kids can make you laugh and make you need to take deep breaths and make you reexamine yourself as a human being.
2. When Dad died, we discovered that the insurance rider on the mortgage, which was supposed to pay off the house upon his death, had changed terms during one of the various mortgage sales that are apparently “just a part of home ownership”; in other words, Mom was not entirely screwed, but certainly didn’t have any spare cash in the budget. Fortuately, Moon Man is a very good sport, so his income is covering all our costs, which frees me up to send all the income from my little part-time job to Mom, at least until the mortgage is paid off in a coupla years. There is a special place in heathen heaven for Moon Man for that one.
So the other day I was looking at the website for a local organization that provides a safe place for abused/neglected children; we’d donated some toys and supplies to them back around Christmas (and got our names in their newsletter as a result–and for the record, if you’ve never done that, you should totally try it. You wouldn’t believe the “I’m a good person!” buzz you get from seeing your name in the Donors section of a newsletter), and had fallen in love with them. They’re clearly good people, doing good things in a good way, and we want to donate again. If nothing else, it means we get to shop for toys, and that’s pretty much never a bad thing.
And as it turns out, the organization also takes volunteers to help in their classrooms one morning each week.
Now, I’ve recently shied away from committing to additional volunteer work because my mornings are tied up 2-3 days per week with my job. But today I learned that one of my morning meetings is being transferred to another person (she’s the Big Boss’s right-hand woman, and it just makes more sense for her to sit in on this particular meeting). I’ll admit, my first response was a sort of knee-jerk “mineminemine” reaction; but then I realized that perhaps this was the sign I’d been looking for–an additional free morning means that this whole “volunteering one morning a week” becomes a lot less complicated.
The second thing that’s kept me from going for it has been the money thing–I haven’t wanted to do anything that would restrict my available work hours, because I need the money to send to Mom. But as it turns out, she recently applied for a position that involves a pay raise. Her interview is tomorrow.
And the third and final thing that’s kept me from going back to working with kids has been my body; I was younger when I worked in childcare before, and while certainly never having been a model of physical fitness, I was at least not as heavy as I am currently, and had more energy.
Have I mentioned at any point on this blog that I’ve been working out lately? And that I’m losing weight, and gaining muscle and energy and flexibility, such that getting up and down off the floor is no longer a challenge for me?
So the moral of today’s story is that I emailed the nice lady at the children’s organization this morning, to request a volunteer application and get the process started. I don’t know yet whether this will work out–it’ll all come down to timing and their needs–but the option is on the table, and I am so ramped.
And it all got me to thinking about signs. We spend a lot of time, I think, trying to impose our will onto the universe; we put together our own agendas, and hop on the cosmic treadmill to try to get those agendas to play out, and then become increasingly frustrated when nothing seems to happen.
But as I’ve learned again today, the universe is no slouch about letting us know when we’re on the right track. If there is something you’re meant to be doing, the cosmos is fantastic about flinging signs at your head until you get tired of ducking and start actually reading what it’s trying to say. It will line up your excuses and knock them down, one by one, until the message comes across; and all we have to do is be ready and open, willing to listen and follow the giant flashing arrows. We have to trust that the signs will appear when the time is right; we have to be prepared to abandon our own agendas, and hop on the cosmic magic carpet.
We have to be willing to go with the flow, is what I’m saying…and we have to be willing to notice the signs that point to the direction the flow is headed.
So that’s your task for today and every day, ‘Tracters: look for the signs. Read them. Follow them, when it’s appropriate to do so (and fear not, the cosmos will totally let you know). Be ready to be blessed at a moment’s notice, and be ready to chill and wait when the moment has not yet come. If you’re having to fight and claw and scrape, maybe the universe just isn’t ready for you to get your way yet; but if the planets all seem to be aligning in a given direction, pack your suitcase and go.
The universe wants you to be fabulous, and will do whatever it can to help you along your way. You just have to listen.
(In the meantime, stay tuned! I might be back in the next couple of weeks with some very excited squealing about getting to go back into a classroom. Fingers crossed for that–and all other crossable bits crossed that Mom gets the pay upgrade!)