I suppose it had to happen. Every year (since the beginning of time, apparently...), summer comes to an end and we find ourselves settling into the reality that fall is just around the bend.
I most often write about my jewelry business, but at this time of year in particular, my "day job" responsibilities inevitably return. In addition to designing and creating upcycled vintage jewelry, I am a speech-language pathologist at a suburban elementary school. It is a career that I absolutely love, mostly due to my absolute and unconditional passion for my job and my school. As I prepare to once again pack my lunches, iron my dresses, and brew my morning decaf, I am reminded of just how fortunate I really am. Tomorrow, I will walk into my school and welcome 59 brand-new faces into our kindergarten class and will calm down the parents of these 59 newly liberated children. I will talk about the things these children will learn, the experiences they will have, and the joy we as teachers will have in educating this fresh new crop of students.
In my world, it is the end of the summer, not January, that marks the new year. The commencement of a new school year wipes the slate clean and gives us all renewed hope. This year, I will have the opportunity to teach children how to communicate, how to learn, how to make friends. We will count money, play games, and learn lessons every minute of the day. I will dress them up for Halloween, trace their little fingers for Thanksgiving turkeys, and hand them ornaments to hang on my all-pink holiday tree. I will take them on a hunt for Leprechauns, fill plastic eggs with erasers and plastic bunnies, and help them paint flower pots for their mothers. Then, in June, I will once again pack up my classroom, exhausted yet (hopefully) thrilled with the year's accomplishments.
People often ask me how I am able to balance my energies between being a speech-language pathologist and running a (pretty darn nice!) small business. I can't lie: it is, at times, completely exhausting. But, after thinking about it for awhile, I think I can safely say that focus is the only answer. When I am at my school, I am Miss McClure the Speech Teacher 100% of the time. Between 8:30am-4:00pm Monday-Friday, my entire world revolves around my role in the education of these wonderful children. On the other hand, I am fortunate enough to have a balance that allows me to leave work at work, and I return home at the end of the day to pick back up as Lucy, the artist behind bel monili. I create my wares with love, keep up to date with my online matters, and happily pack up my Subaru to head out to the next wonderful show.
So friends, tonight is my New Year's Eve. I wish you all health, happiness, and prosperity in the year to come, and I hope that when our paths cross, we will each have joy to share.