Crazy Daze

I’m a teacher. The kid who takes work home, dreams of upcoming lessons, emails parents on the weekend, and witnesses astonishing growth. I don’t know how to work 7-3pm and not leave my heart on the court. The court being my classroom. I really truly believe in the essence of education. Guardians all over the globe place immeasurable trust in people they don’t know to educate, protect, care for, believe in, and love their children.

Some expect teachers to do more than they are doing, to give what they don’t have, and to teach what they cannot. This year has been a whirlwind and the growth I’ve experienced makes my head spin. And still…with 6.5 days of the school year left I can’t let up.

I don’t know how this type of instruction is manageable. I have assisted in the teaching and development and RAISING of 575 students (ages 1 – 12). That doesn’t count the 2 children I’ve taught online, the 100+ kids from the group home I worked at, the middle schoolers 200+ I have instructed on life skills, and the 80 students I chaperoned and led during college campus camp tours. If you were doing the math thats more than (382+575) 957…oh, I’ve left out the 40 children I have assisted in before and after school programs, daycares, and as a babysitter.

Whew! That math really hurt. And if I’m being honest, I used the help of my 4th grade students. They love solving math problems. And I love teaching them, but this hurts my brain. And I have things that I work toward after hours. I am just as passionate about these things as I am about teaching.

So, the burden and the challenge and the struggle becomes, HOW ON EARTH CAN I HAVE ENERGY TO DO EVERYTHING. The easy answer is “I can’t.” My answer is “I’m figuring it out”. Next year, my role will shift. I will be teaching teachers who teach children. My impact will expand and so my work will change. Same passion, same goal, increased potential.

Rather than reaching just the 15 children I am teaching, I can impact 29 teachers (times 15 kids), affecting 435 children. That is 29 times the impact. That is success in my opinion. In one year, I can streamline my efforts and increase my “reach”. I’m excited for next school year. I am EQUALLY if not more excited for a break and renewal and the opportunity to dispense all of my energy in a different direction for the summer.

So far, in my brain, I have planned:

  1. An online teaching gig to make fund the list below
  2. A book relaunch
  3. Coaching for the book relaunch
  4. Supporting 3 friends’ gifts AT the book launch
  5. A vacay to and around Houston
  6. Girl time at Essence Festival
  7. Launching an internet t-shirt business
  8. A reunion with my sister friend in Denver at a women’s conference
  9. A trip to an old home (city)
  10. A family vacation

…as I look at this list it is full of A LOT of giving. So, how, where, when will I ensure that I do somethings to fill my cup full. Le sigh. This is the story of my life. I’m promising not to add to the list. And I’m vowing to subtract if needed.

I commit to getting and keeping my energy. What comes to mind is:

  1. gyming (eye candy)
  2. shopping (look good, feel good)
  3. writing (connection and reflection)
  4. beauty (massage, waxing, trimming, styling, etc)
  5. …and most of all, the one thing that should be at the top of every list and quite honestly falls at the bottom way too often…clinging to the cross.

I decided to make #5 sound churchy on purpose. I need to pray, ready, and meditate on the Word of God if I really expect anything listen above to get done. Not to mention ALL of these things while getting out of debt and saving for a car next school year!

Quite honestly, lets add “securing the bag” to the list.

#crazydays #crazydaze

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Finish Strong

We have 10 days of school left and I gave my students a lecture, that we are going to finish strong! “I’m not slacking on my planning or my teaching and I expect you to work hard until the last day of school”. Its true. I don’t know what it is about me, but I just don’t believe in the “last two weeks of school is a wash” methodology.

I don’t want to babysit, therefore I plan lessons. Engaging lessons that require thought and effort and planning. Some of my best lessons have been taught in the 4th quarter. Some of my students’ best thoughts and moments have been uncovered in “the final hour”. Their work is improving, their brains are expanding, and I know there is still a little untapped potential that they can dig into.

The crazy thing is that this finishing strong drives me insane. If I’m being completely honest, right now I feel like I need a 18 hour nap…and its Thursday. Which means I want to take Friday to do some sleeping and lounging. I have to grocery shop, I have a bathing suit I want to buy, and I really need to get my glasses fixed or replaced. I just don’t have the energy to do any of it.

So, for tonight I’m going to go home. Sleep. Wake up and try to sleep again. At least that is the plan. Last weekend, I went to a staff party, danced for 4 hours at an audition, had dinner with friends, and went to a BBQ, recorded 10 episodes on a podcast, and upgraded my social media presence. I know it sounds like light easy work, but my head is spinning and I realize that I need rest in order to finish strong. I need rest. I need food. I need energy.

Last night I slept from 5-9, woke up and slept from 120-5am. That was 7 hours of sleep, but it didn’t cut it. Tonight has to be different yet it is hard for me to finish this blog post because all I keep thinking about is my bed. I need rest. Its crazy how sleeping does not always equal “rest”. How do I rest? I have a long to do list this week and weekend. I’ve done so much budgeting and planning! I have an observation tomorrow, a field trip next week, a test, comments, grades, another project, and two additional field trips…in yes, 10 days left in the school year!

Wait, if I’m feeling like this – maybe my students are, too. I’ve had this thought several times this school year, because I believe in energy and I believe that I control the climate of my classroom- rain or shine. So, today I will take a little survey. “What is one thing I should know as a teacher for the final 10 days of school”? My students are sweet, so I will tell them to be thoughtful. Sometimes you all talk directly to me, sometimes to one another, often to parents, and probably mostly to yourselves. What is something you haven’t told me yet that I should know as we end the school year. I will keep you posted on the results.

For my sanity, I am going to use these last few moments to clean my desk and prepare for dismissal. With a quickness, I will be heading to the grocery store and then home. I just made a decision in my head. I need food and rest in that order. Apples, Kale, Salad, Eggs, Steak, Peanut Butter (and strawberries, plantains, mint, tomatoes, onions, carrots, greens, banana, watermelon from the market).

I just made a list so that part of my journey is complete. See, its important for me to plan. I am a planner. Have a plan. Stick to it.

Eat.

Sleep.

Joy

…is an inside job. Its something I knew I wouldn’t find joy from a job, a man, a new country, or really even with financial gain. I knew joy was an inside job and that it required work.

Work work work work work (cues Rhianna).

But seriously, nothing good comes to us without some work. Sure, there are instances where an opportunity come, but we have to do the work on maintaining a blessing that has seemingly “dropped” in our laps.

So, for the past few…years, really, I’ve been doing work. Work on my self esteem, work on my relationships with God, work with my mindset when it comes to obstacles and entitlement, work with my need to be accepted and acknowledged by men, by my friends, by my family.

The work I have done is leading me into a new freedom. Free from the opinions of others, I am discovering that my Joy simply comes from the Lord. Knowing that I am completely utterly and unconditionally loved and accepted by God NO MATTER WHAT has been the key to my joy and my hope and my freedom. I recognize that He is number one. He is most important and because I am human and I will fail, His grace is the best gift that never stops giving.

I can smile in the midst of defeat. I can laugh in the stead of failure. I can shift when I feel stuck because he gives me joy…that passes beyond all comprehension. Its amazing, its fulfilling, and its free. I didn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it. I can’t repay it. And it will never be taken away from me. Incredible love. Incredible joy.

Untitled.

This past week has been terrible. I literally feel like I’ve experienced emotions from a year ago. I thought I had progressed. New city new job, same emotions. Started with things not going my way at the church. I have a trend. Things don’t go my way and I get upset….stress…then shut down and withdraw. I’m fearful that this was a pattern in my marriage. And then that makes me think I’m a part of the reason I’m divorced. It’s a coping strategy, a defense mechanism, and now I’m pissed that the guy that I like called, I missed it, went to work out, heard a sermon, and now he didn’t answer my call. He is probably sleep, so I’ll talk to him tomorrow night. Its not on my terms and I under the school of thought that if you are going to disappoint me, then just leave. Everyone in my life has disappointed me to a point where I would prefer to cut them off completely and live in isolation. I mean EVERYONE. I don’t …nope everyone. I felt that way when married, but I was married, so I was stuck. And there were benefits to being stuck, I thought I had someone who loved me unconditionally and liked me. So, one person who made a conscious effort to never leave me. And then he left. That sucks.Terribly. Last night I cried like I cried last year. I don’t know the deep source of my pain. I’m in a job, that stresses me out, doing things other than what I was hired to do, which takes up time that I could spend working my other job that took up so much time I barely remember married life because of the time I devoted to jobs. And so I’m actually left with some free time and have no desire, energy, or thought of what to do with it. Its scary. I’ve had visions of parking in busy traffic. I thought to take a massive dose of all the medications I take. The medicine thing might actually work, so I’m not so sure I want to risk it. Deep down I guess things will get better and I’ll be happy and feel useful and purposeful and in a good spot, but until then I’m doing the bare minimum. I’m establishing balance. Something I think I’ve lacked my entire life. Its going to start with my room and my car. Those are the two areas that are my domains. And I’ll see if some sense of power will assist in my desire for balance and energy to do this job with a smile, do enjoy my Mary Kay, to meet new friends and establish a life in Houston. I’m already over it. Mainly because its hard and I don’t know how to rest or enjoy. I feel like I need a vacation. Even that is an expense and luxury I cannot afford. I should be caught up in a month so that’s good.

 

Fun something?

 

I’m upset….well I was a few days ago and I didn’t have a laptop so I am just now writing it down….I was sad about being married and about being divorced. How can I be both? Sad that my marriage ended in divorce and sad that divorce ended my marriage. And then on top of that I wasn’t settled and stable, well I was and I chose to trust God and shake things up. So now I’m walking by faith and I sometimes have the tendency to look backwards and I know it’s a little crazy, however…I’ve decided God is all I need and that I can stay looking forward.

 

New thought: I’m pretty sure I’m meant to love you- deeply. And I’m becoming even more convinced that I’m meant to learn from you. And when I said I don’t know what I can give you that’s what I was getting at. There have been things that others taught or could have potentially taught me. They were carnal things. Things that at the end of the day do not really matter. You can teach me spiritual things. You have taught me spiritual things. And I could say thank you. No I will say thank you, knowing you really didn’t have a whole lot to do with it. So, I thank God. And in thanks to Him to who He is, to His gift of you, I choose to honor Him, myself, and you. We will not go there. And I knew it when we did and I know it now. We are worthy of more. And if we wait and end apart- we saved ourselves didn’t we. And if we wait and last forever- there is no rush. Amen?

(raw and real…never published, until NOW…publish)

 

Every where I go…

I have 3% of MacBookPro battery life to type this. I’m feeling the #feels, so here we go.

I just got back from my “See you Later 2017 Summer Tour”. I said “see ya later” to friends and family and it was an amazing time! If I can just figure out how to make that my life 365/24/7 I will have reached my #lifegoals. (not sure why this is so hastaggy, but oh well).

NYC- love the city, love it more with family. It was so good. And so so so needed. Bonding and walking, lots of walking. I learned that my family can have a good time anywhere. We are so different and have so much in common. We are like an oil and water sandwich. God is the bread. I assigned personality assessments for my family. They humored me and took them and reported the results. So, I tested my luck and sent a love language quiz, still waiting…

Mine is:

Words of Affirmation!!!!!!

Quality Time!!!!

Acts of Service!!!

Physical Touch (higher when I’m dating)!!

Gifts!

 

Saw Girls Trip. Its was amazingly funny, slightly inappropriate, as is life. Go see it.

I miss my l….(again I didn’t finish this…what was I going to say?)

do overs

They don’t exist, but I need them.

Teaching career

  1. Love life
  2. Spiritual Walk
  3. Habits

This weekend we talked about noticing who we are and how we relate to those with whom we are in relationship.

We can fall into one of 4 categories:

a) phenomenally skilled, phenomenally willed (obviously where I want to be)

b) phenomenally willed, average skilled (that’s me)

c) phenomenally skilled, average willed

d) average willed, average skilled

 

I was a little saddened that my skill level is average. It was a self-assessment, so perhaps it is an inaccurate assessment. Nonetheless, it caused me to evaluate the things I do. I had no choice but to translate average as medium as mediocre and it made me cringe. I don’t want anything I am or anything I do (well, the way I do it) to be considered mediocre.

I have some work to do. Some self-building work. With teaching, I think I just need to be prepared to go above and beyond in terms of systems and taking time to create quality lesson plans and then implement them with accuracy. I can teach. I could teach well- it will just require more than I have been giving. More time, more energy, more thought, and more preparation and planning.

Love life- standards need to be raised. For myself and for others. I haven’t the energy to dwell on this topic too long. Some of my mistakes are irrelevant.

To Do Lists

Obviously this blog doubles as a to do list. I really find no shame in that fact. I’ve put off blogging or commenting much on the fact that last week I packed up my life and moved to Costa Rica to teach. No big deal. I decided to do it a couple of months ago and have learned lessons on hoarding, overpacking, friendships (or the lack thereof), sex, drugs, and money. Two of the last three are overexaggerations that just felt right in the moment.

I have had one hell of a month and 10 days. Estimation. I’ve been to Houston, Kanasas City, St. Louis, Chicago, back to Kansas City, Columbia (Missouri), Waynesville (google it), back to St. Louis, New York City, back to Houston, to Charlotte (just the airport but still), to Miami (wait then when was I in Charlotte???) to Costa Rica. I want to cry. That was a lot of movement with people that I love. And I think I managed that time well. Toward the end of my travels, I blocked some feelings because I still had more ducks to nudge into a row. I left some ducks in the USA. Quack quack.

So, now, I’m here. Creating new lists. Living my best life. Still wanting to cry, but things may be too new, too real, to raw, to unprocessed to really let the rivers flow. I think if anyone asks me in a real way “how are you doing with everything”, I may cry. Like, if someone took a moment to check in on me, not my transition or the weather here or even what I need, but if a brave soul checked in on me- grab an umbrella.

Anyway, I’ll pour more out when I have a steady hand. Right now in this moment, I’m breaking up with my excuses. My belly keeps making me feel like I’m with child. And I love me and I love my body, but I’m confused…where did this infant inside me come from- sugar, indeed. No more excuses, I work out.

My audiobook is now two weeks past its release date and sure I moved, but it could be done. It will be done by the next time I blog….next week. Ahhhhh! I miss my excuses already.

My money- I haven’t spent what I budgeted. I also haven’t quite paid what I owe.  Chase and ‘nem were acting REALLY slowly as I ( I never finished this post, but I don’t like having drafts, so…..”publish”.)