Simplicity Sunday

Simplicity Sunday – The Other Side of Fear

other side of fear

Yes.  Everything I want IS on the other side of fear.  On this Easter day, I realize that I need a little resurrection of my own.  Resurrection of some dreams and goals and aspirations.  I’ve been doing pretty good for the past decade.  I am extremely happy that I made the choice to come here when the job opened up almost 10 years ago.  I love where I live and I have had a great experience in my job.  But, I’ve become comfortable and I’ve avoided taking opportunities for more when they’ve come along the past few years.  The Community College by me has had three jobs in the past six years and I’ve applied for none of them.  When I originally finished my Masters program, teaching at Community College was what I wanted to do.  But, when this job came along, it was a good compromise.  There was no “tenure” to be had, but it was stable in a good program with good funding, and it was my alumni program.  I make decent money and I don’t have an overload of teaching responsibilities.  So, I have resisted change.  I’ve made a lot of excuses – my parents’ illnesses, my daughter’s illnesses, health insurance concerns (legitimate in our situation, but after looking into it, seems to be pretty equal), retirement concerns (again, legitimate, but seems pretty good).  And because of these, I’ve given up what could have been six years of consistent raises – instead of I’ve received one raise in the past nine years and we may be going on strike next month, so things are looking good for future raises either.  And even if I get the raises we’re striking for and the one I applied for, it would still be a ceiling for many years to come.

In addition, I am in a position where although I have a lot of stability, I am not a “regular” faculty member.  I do not really feel part of a professional community.  And that takes its toll.  Especially when things get stressful or I want to try new things or I just want to be able to talk shop with someone.  I don’t have that where I am.  And without a change in position, I will not have it.

So, I’m taking a leap.  I am applying for the fourth job at the local Community College.  It is another year where I have plenty of excuses NOT to – my DD’s pacemaker placement is stressful and could interfere with interviewing.  We have a strike coming up possibly, which will also wreak havoc on my semester possibly.  So, I could have easily passed up the opportunity with my usual “it just isn’t the right time”.  But, you know what.  It IS the right time.  And although it may not happen, it is an opportunity I need to at least step up to and take a chance.  So, here goes.

We had a friend visiting this weekend and she said she had made 2016 the year of saying yes for her.  She said she says yes to opportunities unless there is a really good and important reason to say no.  I have kind of been on the opposite focus lately.  But, I think I need to say yes to opportunities that COULD BE really good and important to my future.  And this is it folks.  So, I’m stepping out and doing it.  Wish me luck.  I can’t say I’m feeling totally confident in my decision at this point.  But, I feel confident that I will regret NOT doing it.


Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth: Fear, Tragedy and Einstein

This Tuesday brings more world tragedy and ongoing fear.  It seems that Europe is the new “front” in War on Terror, which often ends up being more of a war WITH terror.  As I drove my DD to school this morning, I couldn’t help but think that I am glad that I live where I do.  I am not in a metro area.  I am far away from any major airport.  And then, I caught myself thinking that and realized that although I don’t feel it as viscerally as those in Europe are today, I am living in fear.  I think that most of the world lives with at least an undercurrent of fear in their lives nowadays.  But, it isn’t all about terrorism, in the traditional sense.  Some have gunshots ringing out in their neighborhoods at night.  Others put themselves in harms way through jobs with police or military.  Others fear that the color of their skin in certain locations may put them in harm’s way.  Still others are threatened with sexual assault in their day-to-day travels.  The fear is real.  I live in fear of my daughter becoming ill again and not being able to “be fixed” this time.  Fear is everywhere, but it varies greatly from one person to another.  Fear, in itself, is not a “bad” thing.  In fact, sometimes it can be a lifesaver.  But, when fear becomes our primary reason for decision-making and allows us to dismiss other information, that is problematic.  Today’s tragedy drives another stake of fear into the hearts of people everywhere.  And I do mean everywhere.  It isn’t just Europe.  It isn’t just Syria.  It isn’t just Israel or Palestine.  The POSSIBILITY of attack is everywhere.  It is just more likely in certain locations.  And that likelihood must be considered when making decisions.  The way we have dealt with these attacks since 9/11 seems to remain more or less unchanged.  There is an outcry for patriotism and not letting the terrorists “win”.  There is a commitment for “defeating” the enemy, despite the fact that the enemies are not well-defined, but rather an amorphous group that is loosely organized.  There is some “attack” on the amorphous group (now, usually coming in the form of either drone attacks or much worse, an outcry to stop immigration or remove those immigrants living among us who look or sound like those guilty of the attacks) and there is an uptick in security measures, at least temporarily.  But, almost two decades later, we are in much the same place.

albert einstein insanity

I don’t have a better answer, but I do feel like what we have been doing is not working.  And I feel like as fear builds, people become more and more willing to give up their values and their neighbors and their LIVES in order to be “safe”.  And I feel like because we are fighting this “war” against such an amorphous group that is loosely organized, we try to create an enemy where one does not necessarily exist just in order to be able to look our enemy in the face.

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope that we can stop this violence.  But, as of now, I don’t see how it is going to happen.