The Day I Almost Caught My House on Fire

I consider myself a fairly responsible person. I juggle tasks reasonably and have been a passably acceptable multitasker. However, when routines and unexpected moments burst open like a popped bubble, all bets are off. In fact, in just one such occasion, I almost caught my house on fire.

On Wednesday of last week, I was essentially head hunted for an unexpected vacancy at a local high school. On Friday morning, I had the interview. Friday afternoon, I decided I wanted some popcorn. I put the oil in the pot, added my three tester popcorn kernels and sat down to knock out an email while the oil heated up.

Then my phone rang, and I was offered the position at 3:00.

I don’t know when I noticed the smoke was billowing throughout the house, but the quantity of smoke was quite, umm, pronounced. Related note:  I’m pretty sure our smoke detectors need to be checked.  Either way, with the help of the trusty house fan, I cleared the house of smoke. A couple of hours later, when I removed the lid from the erstwhile pot of popcorn, the effect was immediate. My burnt-job-offer popcorn has nothing on burnt-microwave popcorn. The acrid smell burned my eyes, and the pot had to be relocated outside to air out. I also destroyed the pot, and we had to order a new one.

Yeah, it was that bad.

The kiddos will never let me live it down.

All weekend long I agonized about taking the position and wrote pros and cons and reflected deeply about what I wanted in life and whether I was strong enough now that I could manage the physical demands of teaching with my fibromyalgia and brainstormed ways to structure class to help address those concerns.

Monday morning, I decided to take the position and emailed to accept it… only to be called and told they interviewed someone else that morning who could start sooner than I could.

The lesson I should learn is that I shouldn’t throw my world into a tizzy when something unexpected comes up. Mostly, though, I’m grateful for two things:  (1) I didn’t catch my house on fire over a rescinded job offer, and (2) I hadn’t finished writing my letter of resignation.

Still, this week of work already feels interminable, and it’s only Tuesday morning. I’m all ears for suggestions for dealing with the work week that you thought would be your second-to-last but isn’t!

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