Dear kids,


I struggle over my working life. I work part time teaching English, and it’s not very lucrative. This bothers me and I go back and forth over whether I should attempt to pursue something else that would pay a little better. I sometimes feel that, at 40, I may not have much longer to switch, especially in a country like France where it’s extremely difficult to change fields, and most people don’t do it.


On the other hand, the thing is that I truly love what I do. I love what I do and I’m good at it. I enjoy going to different companies to teach people. It’s stress-free and for the most part enjoyable, and rewarding. I’ve learned quite a bit about business, and I’ve had the opportunity to work in some very large global corporations, including, most recently, some luxury conglomerates. Last week I taught a few days at the largest luxury group in the world, at their offices in the avenue Montaigne. As I left work at 3:30pm to go pick you up from school, and walked out onto the Champs-Elysées to catch the metro home, LV Speedy in the crook of my arm, I couldn’t help but feel like I was the most fortunate person in the world.


And as great as it is to teach at major luxury and cosmetic firms, what’s even better is that many days, I’m at companies within a ten minute walk from home. Which means I can often drop you at preschool, work a couple hours, get you for lunch, drop you back in the afternoon, teach another couple of hours, and pick you up with your afternoon snack and take you to the park. I do this every Monday, and other days if I can swing it.


It’s the first time in my life that I feel like I really enjoy going to work, that I’m good at it and appreciated (except financially). Most of the French business people I teach are very pleasant and appreciate their lessons. I enjoy seeking out new material, using technology such as online news articles, TED talks, using gadgets like my laptop and iPad, and bringing a modern spin on lessons.


It’s an ideal job for having young children. The hours are extremely flexible, I can make my schedule. I only have to spend one hour every month doing administrative salary sheets. My company finds clients for me. It’s just that I wish I made a bit more money, but then again, don’t we always wish that? I already feel I am extremely fortunate to be able to work, to have you both in local preschool right down the street and to be able to pick you up from school and sometimes even for lunch.


Today was a lovely example of why I appreciate the flexibility of my job.


The forecast said it was going to be a scorcher today. And indeed it has been. 33 degrees right now at 17h. Yesterday evening, my Friday morning group sent me an email to cancel. If students cancel less than 48 hours before the lesson, I still get paid, so it means the lesson was paid for.


Since I didn’t have any morning lessons, I decided to pick you both up for lunch. And I decided we’d have a picnic in the park, followed by a trip to the pool.


I dropped you off in the morning, came home, folded some laundry, drank a coffee, and did some yoga. Then I packed a picnic lunch and our pool bag, and went to pick you up at 11h30.


The pool opened at noon, so we had our lunch under a shady tree in the park adjacent to the pool. Sandwiches, cherry tomatoes and apricots. Then we went to the pool. It was empty except for a few heavily pregnant women with their toddlers. We splashed around in the pool for about half an hour, which was very refreshing in the hot heat.


Then we showered, stopped back at home for a popsicle and so I could pick up my work bag, and I dropped you back off at school. I then walked across the street to the company that I teach at on Friday afternoons. It’s just next to the pool. I had an enjoyable lesson, and then picked you up from school. Normally we’d go the park, but today is just too hot, so we’ve been lounging around the house with the shades drawn.


I really enjoy throwing these special little events at you. Taking a step out of the ordinary. Being able to go to the pool during lunch break is so wonderful. IT won’t happen all the time. But today on this hot day, it was a nice little treat.


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