Yesterday, I finished my last day of classes for the spring semester. Happily, I have been able to put all of my summer classes into only two days of work for July. Come August, I will be teaching a short music program once a week that will add one more day but, after having two days off during the school year, and not in a row, I'll take what I've got. It will be a nice break. I still consider myself so lucky to be able to get paid for this work of singing and dancing with families. I never dread going to work anymore. But did I ever dread work days? Oh yes, I did.
I have had a wide variety of jobs in my lifetime. I started out babysitting, like most teenage girls at that time. My first "real" job was a summer job as an office assistant, a go-fer really. Then my first full-time job was as a bookkeeper in a bank. I did that for almost three years and never liked it, though I did like getting a paycheck every week. It was during that stint that I met my former husband and started having even wilder times than before. It's amazing I kept that job for as long as I did. I even won an award for accuracy during the height of my psychedelic days. I remember watching the numbers dance across the page, sometimes as part of musicals with little top hats and canes, and line themselves up into the right columns. I just copied them onto the page where they wanted to go.
After taking more and more sick days, I quit that job to hitchhike around the country, landing in San Francisco then Santa Cruz, California in 1975 to have my first baby. Once she was born I had a wide variety of jobs including busking, making macrame plant hangers, until my fingers bled and my lungs gave out from breathing the jute fibers, and doing lots of childcare. I also worked as a school bus driver, a school crossing guard, a marijuana farm worker, a jewelry maker and worked in an electronics repair shop. I sometimes did studio work, though my husband was jealous that I could get that work, so it didn't really go well. I worked as a music teacher at various music stores and out of my home and worked in alternative education. There were other jobs that I did for smaller amounts of time that I won't list here, but these were the main jobs, and I always managed to have some kind of work while being a full-time mother and homemaker.
Then, one day, after a grueling day on the job, I decided it was time to live my music. I gave plenty of notice and hoped that, by the time my job was finished, I would have some other work lined up. Luckily, it worked. For about 18 years now, I have been making my living doing music of one kind or another. Yes, it was scary to just decide to quit without already having something else lined up, but I am so happy I did. I will never be monetarily rich, but I am richer by far in immeasurable things. I am always happy to go to work and always manage to get by somehow. I highly recommend that everyone work at something they love. I will probably work until the day I die, and that's okay with me.