I am back home again, and it is wonderful to be back with my family. I had a very nice trip, and it was frankly good to see the sun. It has been so grey and dreary here for weeks, and it is raining yet again. But even though there is no sun, my world is joyful because I can hug my girls. It's so good to be back!
While I was gone, I thought a lot about what I want to do next. There is one overseas job that I am still particularly interested in, but right now there is no opening. For months, I have heard rumors that a position might be opening up, but it hasn't happened to date. Frankly, our window of opportunity is narrowing for that one, because we need to start making commitments for next year, regarding a lease and school for the girls. We've signed a contract now for Miss M's school. The more financial commitments we make, the harder it would be for us to leave.
Setting aside my interest in that one job, I've decided to apply for a teaching fellowship. There is a particular project I'd like to work on while teaching, and it would give me a somewhat flexible schedule. It would only be for one year, but would give me some breathing room for that year. It would mean that we would be here in this city for two more years. I'm still mulling over whether that is the right decision (as I've written before, our lives feel much less chaotic overseas), but it feels manageable and interesting, and who knows where it might lead.
On top of that, I'm contemplating opening a small business. It sounds insane, in light of what feels like already overwhelming commitments, but it would only be about ten hours a week, I could do it at night after the girls are in bed and/or early mornings before they wake, and most importantly, it would give me a creative outlet. I feel like that would bring more balance into my life, in a weird way. Plus, it has the potential to bring in a little extra income that would defray the costs of some of the extras we'd like for the girls. I'm still looking at the feasibility of it all, but hope to move quickly. There is little associated cost, so it's completely low risk. And I'm excited about it.
The great thing about my trip abroad was that it gave me two solid weeks of quiet mornings and nights to really think about what is working, what is not, and how we might improve things. I feel like we have some solid plans forward, and I'm excited to see how things play out.