Adventures in Unschooling

A little self-awareness.

Posted on: November 2, 2009

When I found myself having to go back to work I defaulted to being an admin assistant. It pays better than reception work and you can have more sick days or whatever.

 I hadn’t planned on going back to work but my husband quit a very horrible job (which I told him he could as I was tired of seeing him be unhappy) and was unable to find anything that paid enough quickly enough. I was offered a decent contract and my husband stayed home with the kids and received Parental Benefits.

 Just six months prior to that day I would have been thrilled to go back to work as I was miserable at home. I kept thinking that being a stay-at-home mom was such a cruddy job as I had to deal with poopy pants, whining, crying, screaming, messes and tight budgets. But prior to me going back to work I had a change of heart and started to embrace being at home. We read more stories and walked to the park. We did crafts and I found time to exercise, bake and do other housekeeping tasks. I started to feel empowered in my new role and started to really embrace unschooling.

 Then it was back to work. I have been unhappy with this decision since the beginning. I don’t have time to make art or bake or clean anymore. My house is always messy so I never host people and I don’t have as much time to cook so I eat more processed food. Yuck! My husband is home with the kids but he isn’t a very devoted housecleaner/cook.

 But worst of all I just hate doing admin work. I hate doing the work no one else wants to do (like un-jamming printers I didn’t jam) or making reservations for meetings without nearly enough information. I get grumpy when I am bored like today (which happens infrequently but still) but I also resent people when they ask me to do yet another tedious task.

 I have spent a lot more time soul searching and I have learned more about my personality and why I feel the way I do.

 I am a True Colours Green. I am intellectual and I like to do meaningful work. I like to set my own schedule and don’t like doing things that don’t make sense (like having fourteen different people make edits to one spreadsheet!). I am short tempered and I don’t like people getting in my face. Or invading my space or overstepping their boundaries.

 I need to feel respected and I will tell you off if you disrespect me. One lady at my work will tell me to do something and then wonder why it’s that way. She manipulates her words in a way that makes it seem like she thinks this is my fault. I am constantly having to stop her in her tracks and reminder her that I only do as I am told and that any oversights or mistakes are not my fault. Like I go and alter her documents when she isn’t looking! The nerve!

 I am strong willed. I work hard and I get results…but I don’t like being told what to do.

 You can see how this makes me an unlikely candidate for admin work. I do it because I am qualified to do it, the work is in abundance and it pays well enough for now.

 But what makes me a bad admin assistant makes me a prime candidate for unschooling.

 I believe that no one should have authority over another and that nothing is as straight forward as people would have you believe.

 I challenge authority and social norms. I do things my own way.

 I don’t like structure in my life. Some day I clean but some days I don’t. Somedays we eat lunch at 11:00, some at noon and sometimes we eat at 2:00 pm. It depends were we are that day.

 I like adventure and I don’t like answering to people. I also don’t like being around people all of the time. Being around too many people is very draining for me. I like quiet times during the day to have my own thoughts.

 I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to leaving this corporate job and returning to my fun and games.

 It’s hard being home too. Sometimes I don’t feel like what I do at home is meaningful or constructive. But it is.

 Building a relationship with my kids and having fun is so important. And it is fun too.

 And the older my kids get the more fun we have learning together.

 I think when we stop and look at our personalities and acknowledge the good and the bad we start to learn more about why we like or dislike certain things or people. This helps us understand ourselves better and pace ourselves better.

 As I see how much I loathe being an employee I also see that I’d make an awful boss. I lack empathy and I have little tolerance for people who don’t follow my train of thought. I hate repeating myself etc.

 I would love to write. I really think I have the right personality for that: oddball loner who reads too much. My writing skills likely need some work though.

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