Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Little things

It seems that when life is at its darkest, we appreciate the little things that can change a day for the better. When stressing over covering the bills becomes an all-day thought that overrides good sense, even a small deposit gives relief... huge relief. In short, I'm relieved and so very grateful. Immediate bills will be covered and there's enough to get Jurgis a steak for his birthday. I read about this magic way of ensuring the perfect steak. We'll see if it works. Life's looking up.

*sigh* The old ducky next to me just had a fairly long conversation with me, but I didn't get a single word of it. Mumbling in one's own language is bad enough, but in another? I nod. I smile. I agree. Everyone likes to have someone agree with them, right?

So... I'm once again facing decisions. My day currently involves being out from 6am to 6 or 7pm, depending on traffic and transport. During this time, I will do an actual 3 or 4 hours teaching. I get home, spend a couple of hours preparing the next day's lessons, eat and go to bed. If all my students actually had all their classes, this wouldn't be a bad life, but reality is very different. We're past the first half of the month and my one student has had only one of her classes. Others have cancelled at least twice each. The days I don't teach, I simply don't get paid... regardless of the reason for the missed class. What was meant to be a really good month (it's long in business days, so more classes are scheduled) has turned into an economically 'stretched' month.

My decision now is whether to go back to advertising for students (in the hope of getting some decent 'regular' students), though in my area that only brings really basic students who end up needing a lot of Portuguese. On the other hand, there's the schools. I know I said I wouldn't teach at the schools again, but... never say 'never' and all that. Trouble is, pay isn't that good, though it comes with benefits and I can, if I work with a nearby school, cut out or at least cut down on my currently high transport costs. The schools also mean that I have less cancellations, though with the student body being as fickle as it is, that never quite gets ruled out.

Ah.... what to do?

But... today it's easy to be grateful. I'll just ignore the niggly prods of doubt that rear their vile little heads. I have options. That's a plus. I can cover the bills and stock the pantry. I should blog that 'pantry' sometime. The student I am currently waiting for seems to be a no-show, so I get to journal in the meantime. This job has it's advantages to be sure : ) I'm off to bed now. See you all on the flipside.


  1. Arrrgh, so frustrating! I take it that it's normal to be able to skip lessons and not pay rather than have a contract that states that without X amount of notice you still have to pay for the lesson?

    I'm so sorry, Tint!

  2. Eh... that's life... here, at least. They avoid commitment at all costs. I tried the contract route. It makes them run a mile. Of course, if they then don't learn anything, it's the teacher's fault : )

  3. ugg...i'm so sorry. very frustrating for sure!!!

  4. Its good to see you finding ways to keep a positive outlook on things when you could easily be down in the dumps instead. A pantry blog...that should be interesting.

    I hope your steak turns out!

  5. Its always hard to be positive when times are tough, but also good to know one has options (and be able to recognize both)..even though that in itself can lead to much soul searching and weighing of consequences..I think the option of having regular work within an establishment wouldnt be too bad, and perhaps do some part time teaching as an extra? This may allow you the option of saying..'you no show.. me no teach...you go bye bye' What an awesome Englsih teacher I would make..laughs

  6. Well, I'm glad to hear your positives. Is there no way to enforce a "cancellation policy" Tint? Where if they don't cancel at least 24 hours in advance they still pay? That's how a lot of "appointment-based" contractors handle things here. Not that here is anywhere like there. *sigh*

    Happy early birthday to Jurgis! :D

  7. Wishing you the best. Little things do help here and there

  8. So true, money issues are really frustrating, and I really hate it when I have to cut down on expenses heavily and count like almost every cent I have just to be able to pay all the bills in the end. Luckily it is always a bit of a relief during summer when there are no bills for central heating, but even that relief will be soon off :(
    It is said that money don't bring happiness. And that is true. On the other hand, the lack of it is so damn stressful and frustrating.
    Stay positive, that is the only way to keep above.

  9. Whenever we've been in really tough times, something comes through right at the last minute to take care of the need. God has never let us down. I've learned to take each day at a time, do the best I can, and trust that God will take care of us in His way. Might not always be my way, but I figure if we're together, fed, clothed, and under shelter, all is good :)

    That's too bad about the student commitments. What is Jurgis's opinion on what course you should take with employment?

    I would like to see a pantry blog :)

  10. Siobhons music teacher back in South Africa used to sit with the exact same problem. And when they did arrive they often didn't pay. It is just wrong!!!! I hope you find something that works for you Tint. Those kinds of stresses are awful to have to deal with and can take ones breath away. I hope you have an influx of interested students to sustain you through!

  11. Options are always good and paying the bills is always a godsend!! I hope the right decision comes your way soon. :)

  12. Kimmy, yes... very frustrating, but the story of my working life here.

    Sammy, looking on the 'bright side' helps me too. If the steak turns out, I'll post the method.

    Heather, don't you know it. I'd love to say that, but I'm afraid I'd be out of work completely then. I think I'm going to apply at the school and try to keep most of my private students. We'll see how it goes.

    Kippy, they're not very good at following rules here, so no, no way to enforce a cancellation policy. I do charge them, but I have to be careful or they'll walk off to another teacher or school. As you say, "not that here is anything like there" :) I'll pass your wishes on to the man. His birthday is only on Wednesday.

    Cheryl, little things help in big ways : )

    Asta, I believe heating is very expensive. I know our cousins complain about it. Why will that relief soon be off? They say money doesn't give happiness, but they also say it's far nicer to cry in a porche ; )

    Faye, it's funny how that works. Something always steps in to save the day at the last moment. All is good, but I really, really, really would love just a month with no stress over whether or not the bills will get paid and even more than that, I'd love to be able to cover our moving costs out of Brazil.

    Wow, Eileen... she had the same trouble in SA? Whodathunkit? It is wrong. I hope your hope for an influx of actually interested students comes through : ) Thanks!

    Katey, I think I'm going to try to have my cake and eat it too lol

  13. I am always happy when we can all take the small bits of happiness, a steak for Jurgis's birthday is a lovely thing :-) We get through week by week at times, but we get through and then we go WHEW! and start over!


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