Twelve months ago I left my teaching job. I was not enjoying it. I could not keep up with the demands. I did not feel like I was doing it well at all. So I said goodbye.
Fortunately, our family was in a position where I could afford to do this. And I’m so grateful for that.
I’ve since spent a bit of time reassessing my options. Will I return to teaching? What else could I do with my skills and experience? Can I just not ever work?! (Jokes, I would go crazy – or crazier!)
When that got too difficult and I was making no decisions, I threw myself into volunteering. Specifically, cleaning the rubbish off the beach with 3199 Frankston Beach Patrol. It was rewarding. There were no demands and no pressure. No timetables, no reporting, no planning, no stress! I was doing something useful and helpful for something greater than myself.
I was learning about how much rubbish there was and opening my eyes to our waste issues. I was finding plastic bottles and straws, soy sauce fish and empty cans. Ironically, the topic I had just been teaching kids at school was ‘Resources; Use Them Wisely’ and yet I really had no idea of just how poorly our resources were utilized.
But as great as volunteering is, it certainly doesn’t pay the bills.
(Except that one time I found a $50 note, but I spent that on brunch with my mum!)
I needed to get a real job again.
So I hit the job search button. ‘Teaching’, ‘education’, ‘waste’, ‘retail’… nothing was exciting me. I spent a lot of hours scrolling through job options. Nah, I don’t want to work full time. That job is too far away. Requires travel. I don’t have the right qualifications…. I had a lot of excuses for not applying for many of these jobs!
In between job hunting and volunteering I had lots of time to spare. I got to lift weights with my sister in her garage, listen to podcasts (Craig Harper @ The You Project), sew, read, blog, drink coffee… you know, all the things you can do when you’re avoiding something. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s hardly contributing to anything but my own well-being. And I’ll make it clear that your own personal well-being is extremely important!
Finally I saw something that got my attention: Roving Refills. A mobile business bringing detergent refills to the community, encouraging the reuse of your own containers. Like all good stalkers I checked them out on Insta and Facebook. Scrolled through their website. I liked everything about this little business. It sort of tied in aspects I was looking for: the education of waste issues with environmentally friendly products people need. WOW! I wanted to do that too.
Hmm, so what do I do? How can I make this happen? Is it acceptable to randomly contact businesses and ask for a job?! According to Craig Harper, yes. If you have not heard of this amazing motivational speaker, look him up. Thanks to him, and my sister repeating his words at me, I stopped f*&$ing around and just stepped up. ‘Do the work’. ‘Be the change’. And what do you know, it worked!
Roving Refills Frankston was born!
I am doing it. I’m taking on a new challenge. An adventure in the world of refilling and reusing.
And I’m excited!