Today was a good day. This morning started out with the usual school groups. My second school group was a high school class that was to have a "Daily Life in the Ancient World" lesson. As you might imagine, high schoolers are not the easiest audience I encounter. Just holding their attention can be an epic struggle sometimes. But it turned out to be one of those tours where I really felt like I had their interest. Nothing beats this job when you feel like people are getting something out of what you're doing. Even the teacher afterwards told me I was "wonderful" and that he was impressed with how well I kept their attention.
That compliment right there was enough to improve my day, but then after morning teaching assignments it got even better because I was scheduled for a massage. Nope, that's not a typo. A masseuse comes to the Villa once a week, and at the insistence of Eric and another friend of mine, I finally scheduled my first massage ever last week. WOW. Not only did my neck and back feel so much better afterward, but the ethereal music (courtesy of her iPod) and the smell of the lavender massage oil made for an incredibly relaxing experience. Considering that kind of first impression, it's not surprising I made another appointment for this week. (After all--I reasoned to myself--my teaching schedule won't allow me to make an appointment every week, so I should take advantage of it when I can!) After my massage, feeling nice and loose and smelling like lavender, I tucked myself away in the reading room of the Villa library to work. The Villa's reading room is bright and sunny and quiet with a view of the ocean, and it was a great place for me to finish out my afternoon.
As much as my job involves interacting with the public, it's not every day that I'm able to leave work feeling more positive and relaxed than when I arrived. Thank God for small miracles, eh!? As I drove home along the Pacific Coast Highway, enjoying the view of the sunshine and ocean waves through my shades, I thought maybe--just maybe--living in California isn't all that bad.
[Keep in mind that, even after nearly six years out here, that's still a maybe. :-) ]