However, I did try to sweeten the deal. Yesterday I heard that the clarinet teacher had resigned.... so when I told my head teacher I wouldn't be able to teach next year, I said that if she would like, I'd be happy to come for one day a week, take the concert band in the morning and then teach clarinet (or saxophone, or musicianship) all day. It's quite possible that she'll take me up on that offer too, which is quite good! It means I pretty much have at the very least one day of definite employment a week next year, and at $60 an hour, if I get 5 hours worth of students it's $300, so about the same amount as a day of casual work. Better than nothing!
The decision to not continue next year sparked discussion about what I actually will do next year for work. I may be starting my Masters thesis, which will be intense. I potentially could get 3 days a week teaching music at a high school that's about a 40 minute drive away... but I don't know. It's not as bad a commute as my current job, but it's still a fair way away. And it means commitment, particularly to senior music students, as well as possible bands and concerts etc. I just don't know if I can handle it.... but, on the other hand, it's regular and consistent, whereas the casual work option could run hot and cold.
My experience this year has been fantastic, but it has made me realise just how much my narcolepsy impacts on my job. Maybe if I was a Maths teacher it would be different, but geez it's hard gearing up energy for teaching, and rehearsing, and gigs after school and at night, and working on school stuff at home. With vet nursing it was intense, but it was intense for the 8 hours I was working. I didn't have to come in for animal concerts every so often, or develop new drug administration programs. It was work, and that was it.
I don't know what's in store for me for next year. I'm hoping that each time I need to make a decision I'll be able to do it with a clear head and be able to put my health and sleep first, and not just say yes because I'm afraid I won't get anything else!