I Made a Difficult Decision Today
If you feel overburdened, it is time to do something about it. Even if you take an economic hit.
I should stress, that whatever advice I give may not count for everyone. It is valid for my circumstances. That aside, I am now in a position, where I have to make a drastic decision about how I use my time and take care of myself.
I left Denmark more than half a year ago. Prior to that, I had quit my last teaching job in a Special Needs school. I loved my students. but the struggles in my professional and personal life were taking a toll on my mental health. This whole process culminated in my moving back to Germany. I had to reassess every aspect of my life. It is during this period, I started to write. This lifted me personally, and professionally.
Tutoring and Online Teaching Financed Me in the Beginning
However, writing does not put bread on the table. What I get is crumbs at best. That is okay. But I still had to eat. So, I started out by tutoring online via an existing platform. I love those students as much as all my other students. I also made a deal with my former school to do distance learning in a live setting. These two activities kept my finances stable.
I already told my old school, that I cannot do distance learning next year. That’s because, for the last 3 months, I have been working at a new school. It is my main job. I have started to love it. I longed to go back to the classroom. Instead, they asked me to design a flipped classroom concept for the next school year. One where I do not need to have live conferences with the students anymore.
But teaching, whether in person or online takes significant preparation. It also requires a large amount of emotional and mental capacity. So does writing.
In the last couple of weeks, I found it hard to focus. It has been increasingly difficult for me to juggle these three activities. And I found myself lacking time to practice self-care. If my therapy sessions have brought me to one conclusion, it is that this is a warning sign.
Whichever Decision I Make Will Have Consequences
I am at a crossroads. There is only one way to resolve this dilemma. One of them has to go. I am no longer willing or able to overstretch myself. Whichever decision I make will have financial consequences. I would lose around 12% of my income. But health and well-being are worth more than the extra income.
Mark Manson once wrote about opportunity costs. Everything we commit to in our lives comes at a cost. That cost is not always immediately obvious. In my case, the opportunity for extra income costs time and emotional surplus.
Side-hustles can become very toxic if you are not mindful of them. At least that is the case for me. I need time for doing the things I was a workaholic for too many years. It nearly cost me everything.
I am no longer willing to pay the price. I have thus made the decision to quit tutoring.
Why Did I Make the Decision to Quit Tutoring?
I had to decide to either quit tutoring, writing, or online teaching.
- Writing helps me balance emotionally. It is also an important outlet for my political mind. And it is too enjoyable to quit.
- Online teaching and designing flipped classroom concepts have great potential for professional growth. It is also a way for me to keep a connection to Denmark, which was my second home for 25 years. Also, I have a lot of professional freedom.
- Tutoring does not provide much else than an income. I love my students, but I prefer to have my students in the classroom.
This made the decision easy. Writing and online teaching provide value for me that goes far beyond the income. Tutoring does not. It will take some time to arrange everything. But I took the decision