I Love My ‘day’ Job

Decades ago I trained as a teacher. Before I’d had a chance to work out what I really wanted to do. Does anyone know what they want to do at 18, or what they’re good at? I did a pretty good job at pretending to be a primary school teacher for a while. But it nearly broke me on more than one occasion. My parents had encouraged me to get a teaching degree to have a profession, something to fall back on. They didn’t realise that it was a profession I didn’t want and wasn’t suited to. That changed this year though.

Teach what you love

It’s just easier. I started teaching illustration to adults this year at our local college. Honestly, it’s the most enjoyable and satisfying teaching I’ve ever done. It helps that my second choice of career as an illustrator is something I love and that I am constantly growing and learning in myself. We’ve all had teachers who are passionate about their subject and it’s easier to learn from them. I’ve had a taste of that this year and I can’t wait to get back to it in the new year.

Time to reflect

So, how’s the end of the year going for you? Started making lists and losing them and wandering around the shops in a daze? I do it every year. Shopping malls are nightmare places designed by evil sadists. Craft markets on the other hand are delightful places full of lovely arty people. Before this year I never appreciated the work that goes into selling at markets. It’s physically demanding and often doesn’t make sense. But it’s one of the most effective ways to meet the people who are interested in your products and which products sell well in which areas. I’ve studied and carried out plenty of online market research, but nothing beats the real thing. Speaking to your customers face-to-face.

This year’s highlight

Apart from enjoying the markets and finding a job that I enjoy as much as illustrating children’s books, there was one event this year that stands out. I finally got to go up in a hot-air balloon. If you ever get the chance to do this you must. It’s magical in every way.

Happy Christmas and wishing you well for the new year!

1 thought on “I Love My ‘day’ Job”

  1. Wow! You touched on subjects which apply to me also. I trained to become a preschool teacher and loved my work with the children and was passionate about teaching them and watching them develop skills in all areas of learning, but I was not suited to the stress of parent demands and dealing with the politics and power struggles of parent committees.
    I did break and left the profession after nearly 30 years at an extremely stressful time in my life dealing with an elderly parent’s deterioration and eventual placement into care. However, I moved on and have since retired.

    I have recently taken up painting and drawing classes through my local U3A and love it! I would love to be able to illustrate like you but I’m fairly happy with how I’m progressing. I find it a very therapeutic thing to do and can spend ages working on a painting, completely absorbed with nothing else on my mind. It’s a great mindfulness activity.

    Finally, the hot air balloon. We were given a ride in a hot air balloon over Melbourne by our older son one year and we loved it! The quiet and stillness up there is amazing! I recommend it to others and would happily do it again.

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and fabulous New Year!

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