Recently I made a combined timeline of our family’s activities. I included jobs, houses, children’s schooling, etc. Because we have moved and changed jobs a few times it all seemed to run together.
It was then that I noticed a pattern in our lives. We seemed to be living our lives in sets of 11 years at a time.
I spent 11 years in my first two teaching positions. Then I spent the next 11 years as a teacher where my own children attended elementary school. This was where I felt like I did my best teaching. The grade (4th) was perfect for me, and I loved every minute of it. I am blessed that some of those students still contact me from time to time, remembering the “good ol’ days.”
My next school (and the beginning of my next set of 11 years) was a middle school – eeek! That is just not what I am meant to teach – more power to those that minister in this age range! After those l-o-n-g three years, my last two positions have been as the literacy specialist in elementary schools. I love what I do, even though I do miss being a classroom teacher.
This year will be my 34th year to teach. That’s right, I am extending past this current set of 11 years. But I am not planning on this year being the first of my next set of 11 years. In fact, there won’t be another set of 11. Not 11 more years of teaching. So I guess I am breaking that pattern.
It isn’t just me though. My husband’s positions and responsibilities in his jobs have shifted around the 11 year mark. In addition, our children attended a local private school for middle and high school. And between them, they were there for a total of – you guessed it – 11 years. Not only that, from the time our first child began college to the time our second child finished there, you can imagine how many years elapsed. Yes indeed, it was 11.
So what does all this mean? I suppose it is just a coincidence.
Yet the joy I see in it is that we have all been blessed with various opportunities that change from time to time to keep our learning, our growth, and our encounters fresh and new. And we have also been given sufficient time in each phase to linger long enough to gain worthwhile familiarity and make these places and these opportunities part of who we are today.
What an interesting pattern of events, jobs, houses, experiences, people, and life.
Now I wonder – what will the next set of 11 years hold?