I was recently reminded by a dear friend that I’d managed, rather successfully, to reinvent myself as far as my career was concerned. She wondered if I ever missed teaching. We were sitting on her patio enjoying cocktails and a temporary break in the stifling heat of the summer, counting down the days until the kids reported to school and it was a perfectly logical question. She’d known me for most of the 15 years I spent as a middle school teacher and she also knew how much I take pleasure in what I do now.
“Sometimes I miss the kids,” was my answer, given without much thought. But what I didn’t tell her was that I’ve never missed the stress of grading papers until midnight, back to school nights, parent teacher conferences, and having to explain the grade a student earned at the end of a grading period.
I was blessed to be given an opportunity to try a new career shortly after I left the one I trained for in college. Those of us who have taught middle school often joke that we can easily slip into other careers. Think of it as a story problem measuring one’s sanity. “If a person can manage 150 middle schoolers a day for 180 days, juggling a block schedule two days a week, and come back the next year for more of the same, that person can do just about anything, right?” Its a line I’ve used more than once as I’ve rationalized the potential stress of taking on a new challenge.
Recent economic changes have required many of my peers to reinvent themselves. Some adjust better than others, but I’m a believer that the challenges life gives us make us stronger. They give us self confidence we never knew we had. And everything happens for a reason.
I wouldn’t change a thing with regard to how the cards of my career have played out and I’ve enjoyed immensely every opportunity that leading this publication has given me. I count my blessings every day. I am sometimes in awe that a team of four individuals started a community based magazine three years ago, and that we’ve grown to eight magazines in five states employing a team of more than 25 people.
Life is good.
Treasure these last days of summer and I’ll see you around town.
Lisa Harrison, Managing Editor