When I Get Younger

Yep, you read the title correctly. When I get younger I’m going to do some things differently. Can’t we all say that? Don’t we all look back on our lives and some past decisions and think, “Man, If I knew then what I know now I would never have made that mistake.” Well, we can’t go back no matter how badly we want to. Even if that’s the way the world should work.

To tell you the truth I don’t have many regrets. Don’t get me wrong, I have some, but luckily my regrets aren’t huge. When I was growing up there weren’t cameras in everyone’s hands to record my mistakes for the world to see. Girls were still jealous, mean, and self-centered, but they didn’t corner me in a field to beat me up. It wasn’t cool to ink every thought onto my arms and legs for the world to see….forever. So mistakes back then were a bit smaller, luckily not so life altering or shattering. My mistakes were more “private”.

My mistakes were a bit more personal. They were in my mind. I regret not sticking up for Robert who was teased mercilessly throughout grade school and middle school. I regret feeling jealous over the new girl in school who came back into the lives of my friends. I regret my lack of confidence over the years that stopped me from having fun, making friends, keeping friends, or stopped me from kicking a bully’s ass. I regret not realizing that I was skinny for so many years. And I regret caring about being skinny constantly. I regret cursing the grey in my hair because I so badly want to grow younger when we all know that’s impossible. I regret other small, stupid things too, but these regrets are generally small and insignificant to others. They are only important to me.

I am so lucky because I don’t have to regret my big choices. I love who I married, I love my children, I love my family (I know I am lucky for this), I love my chosen professions, and I love learning from my mistakes. We all make mistakes. We all have to make mistakes in order to learn from them and move on.

I will not make an New Year’s resolution because resolutions seem to float away as February begins. I will make a promise to myself to live my life to its fullest. To focus on what’s important and to accept the changes in my life. I will also finally come to terms with the fact that I will never grow younger. The grey will always be there, my face will look older, but my family and friends will continue to love and appreciate me no matter how I look because I will continue to love and appreciate them.


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The Black Socks

I have this problem. My boys have all found black athletic socks to wear. There is always a pair somewhere in my house; on the steps, under the couch, beside the tissue box, and various other places. This is pretty annoying. However I was picking one up yesterday with attitude and George Bailey from It’s A Wonderful Life came into mind.

You see, George could not stand that he was stuck in a small town with an old house that needed constant repairs. All he wanted to do is travel, see the world, and become someone. George did not realize how important and valuable he was already.  He made a huge difference in many lives; he just didn’t know it yet.

The scene where he finally comes back to reality and the banister comes off in his hand and instead of looking at it with attitude, he kisses it. It meant he was home. It meant that his family was alive and well, and this banister was just an inconvenience, not the end of the world.

I guess I need to look at those socks with some fondness. It means my boys are home, that they are alive, that they are still a daily part of my life. I can still be annoyed and yell at them for their laziness, but deep down I will be thinking of old George.

Now, although this is a great theory, I have already planned out the future. When I am old and visit their homes, I plan on wearing several layers of clothes that I will leave all around their houses, use as many glasses and plates as I can and NEVER put them in the dishwasher, and I will use all the toilet paper up and maybe even hide the new roll when I leave…hey Karma baby!


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Christmas=Stress

So I know that one is supposed to love Christmas and when I was a child I truly did. But, like many things in my life, that has changed. Christmas makes me a crazy wreck (More than normal). I find this holiday so stressful that I cringe every freaking time I hear a Christmas carol. Thanksgiving is the omen that lurks in the back of my mind. When I smell the Turkey roasting my mind starts to streak towards anxiety that was once far, far away. As we sit down to eat the meal that begins the scales slow climb every year, my heart starts to hammer because I just know what’s coming.

Well, now it’s here. Christmas is just four short days away. Every time I think I’m done with my shopping, another “idea” seeps into my brain. Money drains from my purse and although I enjoy giving gifts, I so dread the bills that will come at the end of the month, that it ruins the experience. The traffic is horrific and people just walk in parking lots haphazardly like every car in their vicinity will stop by magic. Then the stores!!! What a nightmare. The lines, the “sales” everywhere. It’s all so overwhelming. The loud music, the huge varieties of everything, the choices, choices, and more choices. And always the feeling that I’m selecting the wrong thing. I worry that I haven’t spent enough or too much. I worry that one of my children will feel cheated although I try so hard to make it fair. I want people to love what I give them. I don’t want to buy gift cards because although easy, aren’t they just a cop out. I want to know the person I’m buying for so well that I will know the right gift when I see it.

Why can’t it be easy? Where has the joy gone? I want to enjoy the holiday again. I want to feel the spirit of Christmas. I want to remember what it was like as a child to wake up super early because I just couldn’t sleep another minute. I want to hear Santa’s sleigh and I want to experience the innocence I felt when I was little.

I want to be calm.


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We Are Truly Blessed

 

 

Well, we made it to the Christmas break. The last day of school was bittersweet. We know some of our students will be resposible for siblings while parents work two jobs and there will be stress for theUsm all. We (the staff) dressed up as elves and tried to make the final day as fun as we could for the students. We watched Christmas shows, had a Night Before Christmas play, had a prayer service, and ate Barbacoa with rice!

The best thing is that our staff had so much fun together and the students got to witness it. They watched us interact with each other, joking, supporting, sharing ideas,and laughing. They see normal, healthy relationships. We model without even really trying. We are a close staff. I have to admit we have some of the best teachers ever. I am not kidding. There is so much talent and dedication throughout our building it is remarkable.

It is a great place to work. It is hard to go to work every day and dread what you do. We are lucky. We love our fellow co-workers, we love our students (even though they are tough), we love what we do, and we love God! We feel truly blessed because when you have so many wonderful people around you, then you know you were all placed there for a reason. I think the kids see it too.

I want to shout out to Theresa who was my Secret Santa. She is battling several illnesses, and works like a dog every day with everyone asking her to do more, more, more, and she always does it. She bought me “way too much” but I love everything and appreciate all that she does for me, the kids, and the school! Thanks Theresa!

Heading out to dinner with Lori to celebrate her birthday. Let the games begin!

 


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I Just Need to Sleep

Okay so eating is overrated although I do love to eat and once I eat I do feel better and my mood does improve, but whatever. Now I need sleep.

Teaching is exhausting. I’ve taught for over fifteen years and I can tell you that it’s never easy. There is always “something”. The kids are crazy, the curriculum is crazy, the changes in education are crazy. Days are never the same, therefore even the best of planners can’t completely plan. The stories of the students exhaust you too. Knowing about their lives usually lay heavy on your shoulders as you explain, argue, take deep breaths, plan, punish, praise, and assess. There is nothing easy about teaching. Except loving the students. That’s pretty easy.

Now, as a first year administrator, I can tell you that I have never been more exhausted from the inside out. The days are so different than teaching, yet so draining. As an administrator you are pulled in a ton of different directions. I think in teaching the lines were more clearly marked. I’m not sure how to describe what I mean.

Okay here…let me start with this example.

I was in charge of the acting portion of the Christmas program. I had help (thank you Joe), but I was basically running it because while practices were happening, Joe was teaching. I had to organize adolescent girls into shepherds, kings, Mary, Joseph, angels, narrators, and sheep. Last year we had a few boys, but oh well…adapt. Students were being pulled out of classes, teachers were great but annoyed, chaos ensued, behavior went to the toilet, parent phone calls had to be made, permission slips had to be signed and collected, tears had to be wiped, nervousness had to be calmed and order had to reign. It was insane.

The program went great, the girls were fantastic, the others sang beautifully, the church was straightened up, and fires began to be extinguished. Order cannot return during Christmas. So the work continues. The breakdowns happen, tragic stories are listened to, worries are shared, arguments break out, complaints are heard, loud voices are quieted, and assurances are made.

I have ulcers all in my mouth and I dream of work. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of the kids and I pace all day solving problems. I laugh with my coworkers and then stare off into the distance as the phone rings and I just know it’s going to be a parent returning a call. I’m constantly learning my new trade and marveling at the responsibilities, the late days, the early hours, and the sleepless nights. It’s strange and very difficult because I can see everyone’s side. I know how the teachers feel, I hear the fear and anger is the students, I know and understand a parents worry for their child, and I’m becoming increasingly aware of the responsibilities of an administrator. I love what I do, but I just need to sleep soundly. Just one night.


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