Overwhelmed with the blessings<br>(and also the stress) | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Monday, January 26, 2009

Overwhelmed with the blessings
(and also the stress)

Remember how Joel was laid off from the University due to budget cuts? I may have mentioned that my own University position was basically safe, simply because the money I earn teaching private lessons comes from student paid fees and not state funds. However, I didn't mention that my job was still kind of in jeopardy because they were probably hiring a big time mezzo soprano to teach adjunctly (what Metropolitan Opera performer wants to teach adjunctly at a tiny university is beyond me!) and they were hoping to give her most of the students that would ordinarily be given to me and the other adjuncts.

Anyway, so when I didn't hear from the Vocal Area Head after more than a week of classes had gone by, I began to worry. But then I got a slew of emails from her and I have the biggest load I have ever had at the University. Turns out the mezzo isn't coming to teach after all, and I have lots of students.

Which is both good and bad.

Good, because it more than makes up for the money we lose from Jazz Band. I have so many students this semester, that I am making what I made last semester, plus what Joel made (which was double what I made...are you following?) and then even more on top of that. Truly a blessing. Financially speaking. I knew that the Lord would come through for us, and there you have it.

Bad, because I am a little stressed out at my schedule. If I had my druthers, I wouldn't be working at all, as there is so much to be done at home and I often feel like my children get the short end of the stick. I am teaching lessons every single day of the week this semester, with the exception of Monday and Sunday. And even though I only technically "work" 9 hours a week, having it spread all out like that is somewhat daunting.

But I am thankful to have a career that allows me to only work 9 hours a week and still make almost half of what my husband makes at his full time job. I only hope that people continue taking voice lessons as the economy situation becomes more and more bleak, because I kind of like the cushiness aspect of it. And I don't want to resort to teaching piano lessons. I really don't like teaching piano lessons. I've done it, and I learned that I am a voice teacher 100%.

However, I'm trying to even be thankful for all the stress that it is causing. If nothing else, I need to take the opportunity to learn. For me it's about scheduling my time wisely and getting things done early in the day. That's what I need to learn. Then I won't be stressed.

At least that's the hope.

29 comments :

  1. What a blessing for your family! Being a working mom is hard. No doubt about that. Hang in there. My guess is your kids are getting more "you" time than you think. And knowing you, you're giving them the best you have every single day.

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  2. It is very hard to juggle work, school with kids. I am glad that you have more students but I know that it is hard to do everything. Good luck.

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  3. Good luck finding balance! That is a never ending task. I'm glad you can make that much without having to works tons of hours, but I understand the stress. Again, good luck!

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  4. Oh wow, I'm so happy for you, but, oh wow. This reminds me of a quote I once heard "Give me the strength to endure my blessings." Good luck!

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  5. Its the having it all spread out part that is stressful isn't it? I guess it really is a mixed blessing, but like you said, still a blessing.

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  6. OK, so I didn't remember how Joel got laid off and I clicked on the links and it took me to an Alaskan cruise. However, I am so glad you are being blessed!!! Good for you for being so talented and skilled.

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  7. One thing for sure, with your current perspective, if there's anyone that can do it, it is you! No doubt in my mind! Congratulations!!! (That's about 3 congrats I've had to dole out this morning alone) That is the awesome part of this morning.

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  8. OK, Lara, what the heck are you and your husband doing living my life? And in Cedar, where my sister lives and several of my former students go to school? Voice teacher, symphony conductor, semi-SAHM, blogger - yep, that's me. Except I don't mind teaching piano.

    I have some suggestions; feel free to tell me to take a hike.

    1: The economy is going to have an impact on what people like us do for a living, so you may want to diversify a little. Start a children's choir, group voice workshop, etc., and do it by "session" (12 weeks, e.g.) at a rate people can afford ($100/session; I don't know what the going rate is in Cedar) Group things are cool because you can add participants without increasing the time investment.

    2: Start a 'meal' club with other busy moms.

    3: Trade music lessons with someone who will clean your house twice a month this semester. Be warned, though, it's addictive!

    If you're ever in Las Vegas, let's have lunch and commiserate!

    Good luck!

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  9. Wow, well, I'm so glad you weren't laid off, and that you're able to keep teaching—even if the schedule is a bit much for you to handle. You'll be fine, though, you always find a balance!

    The thing that really gets me, though, is that there's no job security at all in academia (we're dealing with that right now with the Tailor's job prospects for the fall). The fact that the school kept stringing you along while they were looking for some "big shot" to displace you and other teachers is totally unfair. They should appreciate what they have in you!

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  10. I love it when the Lord steps in and blesses us unexpectedly. I hope that you can find a balance that works for you and your family!!

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  11. We're just hanging by the seat of our pants right now. I work in that pesky human services division the legislature seems so intent on cutting, so we'll see.

    That's great that you have such a great job.

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  12. The main thing I've learned (and I learn it time and TIME AGAIN) is that you have to take it when it comes (as a blessing) and also take it when it's not coming (also as a blessing).

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  13. Good luck with the new schedule. Hopefully once you get going into it it won't seem as daunting or as stressful.

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  14. Lara,

    There is nothing more wonderful than loving what you do,making good $$$ for it, being good at it and knowing it...glad that Mezzo bailed LOL

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  15. My husband and I have had to re-adjust things in our life too because of money and different jobs. We can always recongnize the Lords hand in all of it, just as you have. I only work about 12 hours a week, but it is spread throughout the week just like you and that always makes it seem like I'm on the run. I'm sure you'll find a way to balance it all out.

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  16. Wow. I mean to say, wow.

    Amazing how the Lord doesn't always answer prayers in the way we want Him to. But I stand in awe of your faith.

    And when it all becomes too much - that's what blogging is for, right?!

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  17. working at a university right now is SCARY! (i know)

    glad to hear you are still employeed!!!

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  18. I always enjoyed your singing at church! I sorta understand how you feel. I have been blessed with 5 wonderful children. I am thankful for them but, I am trying hard to find the time and energy to take care of all of my blessings!

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  19. Wow, I didn't realize that is why you are so busy. It is a blessing, and a stressful time, all at the same time. Good luck to you!

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  20. I have been thinking all day long about your post. I am so glad you have worked so hard on your talents to develop them! I think it is awesome you can bring in some income. If I had to go back to work I would be flipping burgers and McDonalds! I hated that job! What I am trying to say is. Your doing a good job and I am glad it is a job that you have worked so hard to be great at! I hope this makes sense!

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  21. Even with the added stress, what a blessing! Yay for voice teaching instead of piano!

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  22. Glad to hear that it is working out for you guys! 9 hours a week is awesome to be able to help support your family on.

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  23. I'm so sorry he got laid off! This darn economy :( What a blessing you have so many students. I wish you the best as you find a balance with everything. I know you will do an awesome job and I love your attitude. You will learn and overcome and be so blessed. Good luck!

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  24. I'm with on so many levels - I'm teaching 10 lessons a week, and it IS a huge blessing, but also a stress. I feel the same way about teaching piano, too. That said, half of my lessons are piano, because there are so few piano teachers here in South Central Colorado. We were having a terrible time trying to find a pianist for our ward choir a few months ago, and I realized that I should do my part by teaching. I'm happy for you that you're in a place with lots of piano teachers!

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  25. Sorry for the boatload of stress, but congrats on the work! Don't stress about your photos to me. Whenever you get some time (if you get some) would be great.

    Love ya!

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  26. I am glad things worked out for you and your position. Congrats. I apologize if I have offended your ears with my Monday musical posts. I am no pro, but I enjoy it!

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  27. Joel was just telling me your full schedule of lessons. It made me tired!

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  28. always a wonderful thing to be grateful in the middle of stress. I am so sad that the first things to go in our education system are the arts.... when I am president I'll change that LOL

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  29. I totally understand! It's amazing how the Lord blesses us, but only after a trial of our faith. Just remember that this semester is just that. It will end, things will get better, Joel will find a good job, you will be finished with school someday, and you will have a solid paycheck coming in someday. That's what you are working toward. You will not be stuck in this stressfull, uncertain time forever. Just look to the future and enjoy the adventure on your way there. That's how I've made it... 9 years down 4 1/2 years to go!

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