Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things Are Coming Along Nicely

I've had the chance to work in my classroom for a total of 4 days, all told.  And, I've amazed myself at the progress that I've made.  And when I say "I", that really means Peanut and I.  She has been such a great help - and has done so much to help me out.  I wouldn't be near as finished as I am if it weren't for her.

So, today, we've decided to take a day off - because there's really not much more we can do until I get to meet with my principal tomorrow morning and get some idea how the year is going to start.  I've held off on finishing up the decorating - because I really want to put up posters that reflect that current learning....not just cute posters that make the room look good.  Such a teacher, aren't I?

Even though not too much has changed since I posted pictures last time - I wanted to show the most updated pics of my classroom.  So, here's the before pics and the most current pics - that I took yesterday...

Day One
A week later
Day One
A week later
The desks all now have name plates on them and colored pencil holders.  The bulletin boards are pretty much finished - except for the purple one in the corner.  And, I've made some progress to my desk and the library area...

I still need more storage room for my books.  I only emptied less than half of my book collection - and the book shelves are already almost full. 

All in all, we are pretty much done with what we can be done with until my meeting with the principal tomorrow. 

It really is such a great feeling walking in to my classroom now.  It's all kind of sunk in that I'm really going to be doing this - teaching, that is.  It's been a long time in the making, and finally it's really all setting in that I've accomplished a life-long dream.  Such a surreal feeling, that's for sure. 

I have a week and four days until I go back to work.  That sounds weird.  A week from Friday, I'll be attending new teacher orientation - and my journey will officially begin.  Just a weekend and two days after that, the kids will be stepping in to our new room for their first day.  I'm ready...well, not exactly - but mentally I am. 

OK, time to enjoy my day off - I guess.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Exciting Thing to Another

The last time I wrote here, I was all excited because my kids were going away for a week to their grandparent's house - and I was going to spend a week completely alone with Hubby.  And throughout that entire week, I didn't come here once.  Not sure why...it was a great week.  But, I didn't.

That week, we spent time being extremely laid back.  We did make a few trips out.  One trip was to Tulsa to spend the day shopping.  Another trip was to the movies - where we saw two movies - and then out for dinner.  Both trips were nice - but nothing compared to the time we got to spend at home doing nothing more than relaxing. 

But even spending a glorious week relaxing with Hubby is nothing compared to the excitement that I've felt this week.  An excitement I've waited so long for, it's not even funny.  And that excitement was attributed to the fact that Monday was the first day I was able to get in to my classroom.

Words can't even explain how amazing and wonderful it felt to step in to my very own classroom.  And one the excitement wore off just a tad, the sudden onset of overwhelming anxiety hit.  Seeing my classroom, completely bare, made me realize just how much work I needed to do.  But thankfully, I have a couple of weeks to get it all done - and now I'm not so overwhelmed.

The very first thing I did when I stepped in to my room was take some pictures.  I wanted "before" pictures to look back on.  And here they are...

Pic from the back of the room

The literal first glimpse at my room
And after spending two days in my room, it now looks like this...

Bulletin boards now decorated

Desks and chairs unstacked

Some improvement - but still a long way to go.

Peanut and I will spending another day in there tomorrow, and then all next week will be hitting it hard.  My goal is to have the room completely ready to go by next Friday. 

It's so exciting!!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

What To Do When There's No Kids For A Week?

I'm a little giddy today.  It will sound bad why I'm so giddy... but in all honesty?  I don't care!

Tomorrow or Monday, I'm going to be taking my kids to my parent's house to spend an entire week.  All three of them.  Well, one is already there... but the other two are going to join her.  And that excites me beyond explanation.

Before anyone starts thinking that I'm the kind of mother who can't wait to pawn her kids off to someone else - check yo'self!  I've been home since May 17th with my kids.  In fact, for the first four weeks following that date - I was not only home with them, but with three children that weren't mine.  So, I know you're thinking "Big Whoop - They are my kids I should be home with them".  But EVERYONE deserves a break!

I love my kids, and I love spending time with them.  But, sometimes this momma needs some alone time.  She needs time to be able to spend some quality one-on-one time with her amazing fiance.  She just needs time to breath.

And, the best part is the fact that my kids LOVE spending time with their grandparents.  My mom has a pool - and a pool during the summer is all my kids need to keep them occupied.  So, this isn't just a vacation for me - it's also a vacation for them.  Cause, I know that my kids sometimes get sick of spending every single minute of ever single day with me.

So, what is a gal to do when she has a whole week to do whatever the heck she wants?

I have no idea.

I know I'll be spending a lot of time at the gym.  I know that I'll be spending a lot of time with Hubby.  But, I really want to have a "stay-cation".  Something that we wouldn't normally do with the kids in the house.  Go to the movies, go out to dinner, visit places we haven't been before.  You know, like date stuff.

One thing Hubby and I didn't ever do was the "dating" thing.  We met, we chatted online and on the phone, we started meeting regularly at my house, and then he moved in.  We didn't go out.  We never went out on dates.  Dates consisted of spending an hour or two at my house watching TV before he had to leave to go to work.  We got to know each other by spending hours and hours talking online.

Now that we've been together for more than 7 years?  I'm ready to date my Hubby (who isn't technically my official Hubby yet, but that's in the works). And this may be a little more challenging than it sounds.  You see, Hubby is a homebody.  He would much rather rent a movie, sit on his chair, and relax.  Going out isn't something he particularly likes doing.  Going out is my thing...something I always want to do.

But what's the fun in that?

I can do that any time...with our without the kids here.

So, now I have to come up with some stuff that we can both do - and both enjoy.  And I only have a day to plan.  The decision for my kids to go to their grandparents just happened this morning.

What makes it more difficult is the fact that Hubby works nights.  He has an inkling that he might have a few days off next week - or even get off work early - but that still makes being out during the day difficult... cause the guy has to rest.

But, I'm confident that I'll come up with some stuff.  There's no way I'm going to let this opportunity slip through my fingers.  Just not going to happen.

Time to start planning!!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Less Than One Month to Go

Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.  Or more appropriately, time flies when I don't bother to come here and update what I'm doing more often.

Truth of the matter is, it's hard keeping up with two blogs.  I'm religious at posting on my other blog - and when the purpose of this blog is to share everything else that's going on in my life minus the weight loss stuff, I come to the conclusion that not much more goes on in my life.  Period.

It's been four weeks since I got back from my parent's house.  Four weeks of waking up whenever I want, moseying around the house, coming up with things to do to keep the kids occupied, and trying not to stab someone anytime I hear "Mooooommmm...can you tell *child of choice* to stop looking at me".

Ahhh, the life of a stay-at-home during the summer mom.

Then, this morning, it hit me that in exactly four weeks tomorrow, I'll be returning back to work...as a 4th grade teacher.  And honestly?  It still hasn't sunk it.  I still haven't been able to wrap my mind around the fact that in four weeks, I'll be embarking on the journey I've waited my whole life for.  OK, not exactly my whole life - but 25 out of the 30 I've been alive.

Since being back from my parent's, I've successfully boxed up all of the books I've collected over the past few years to go in to my classroom library.  All 665 of them.  It took so much longer than I thought it would.. because it's not as easy as taking them off the shelves and placing them in boxes.  Nope.  I had to catalog each book in to an online catalog system, write my name on each one, and then add the AR reading information in to each book.  It took days and days and days.

There are now 6 huge boxes full of books sitting in my kitchen.  And the thought of now having to lift them in to the truck and unload them in to my classroom has me a little worried.  They are freaking heavy!  Thank goodness we own a dolly. 

I'm hoping that in the next week or so I'll get an email from the principal to tell me that I can start getting stuff moved in.  I know it's going to take me a while to get my classroom cleaned and organized the way I want it.  Thankfully, Peanut is excited to help me out.  I was worried that helping her mom in the classroom would be the last thing she wanted to do - being that she was so upset about having to move school districts - but she's told me she wants to help.  So, I am very happy about that.

In the past couple of weeks, I've realized I wasn't allowing myself to be as excited as I should be - because I was clinging to the sadness that came from having to leave the other school district I worked in the past year.  But, a lot of home truths have surfaced in the past few weeks that made me realize that I got the job in the place I'm supposed to be.  I've realized that I can't hold on to the past.  And I most certainly can't feel upset that I didn't get a job in the school I thought I would. 

A new start is exactly what I need.  A new area.  A new faculty.  A new beginning.

Now, I'm rearing to go.  My summer has gone on quite long enough.  Yes, being at home has been wonderful - and I definitely needed the break... but now I'm ready to start.  I want in my classroom.  I want to start preparing.  I'm ready to meet my students.

Just one more month!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Summer Begins in 24 Hours!!

I last wrote on the night of the half way mark of being at my parent's house - so it's only fitting that I write the night before I finally get to go home.

In approximately 24 hours, I will be on my way back to my own house - for good. And it feels FANTASTIC.

Things haven't exactly gone as smoothly as I thought they would go. While I've only been watching one extra child this past week - stuff around the house has been an issue. First, the toilet broke in the kids' bathroom. Nothing major - it's still usable, but will need to be fixed when they get back. Then, my son broke the ride-on lawnmower. My niece broke her glasses. One of the baby chickens died. And the kicker was, two days ago, one of the laptop screens just broke. For no rhyme or reason.

So, my parents are in for a few minor problems when they return.

It could be worse, though. At the end of the day, they did get someone to come and live in their house and take care of their foster kids while they were away. Not only that, but I also had farm animals to take care of, yard work to keep up with, and the rest of the household chores. Not exactly the scenario for how to spend the first month of my summer break - so they can't complain too much. I hope.

When push comes to shove, it could have really been a lot worse for me. While I have been stressed to the max with not being at home with Hubby, and having a lot more responsibility than I'm used to... I'm glad my parents got to take their vacation.

Once I get home, I'll have about 6 weeks left of my summer break before it's time for me to start working on my classroom and getting ready for my first school year as a 4th grade teacher. But, my work will begin WAY before that.

The first item on my to-do list is to inventory and box up all of my books that will go in to my classroom. Then I have to box up all of the other stuff I've collected. I feel like I have a ton of stuff at home - but I'm sure that once it's all in the classroom, it won't look like much.

My office will look bare once all of my school stuff is cleared out. It will feel very weird - but good weird. It will all finally be in the place I've been intending for it to be - in my very own classroom.

I honestly feel like once I go home, it will finally sink in that I got my job. I haven't had any time to celebrate or think about the journey that I've been on to get to this place...and now that I've reached the destination - I need to celebrate and let it soak in. Practically the minute I was offered the job, I had about 20 minutes to celebrate. Then, it was right back to taking care of the stuff for my parents.

I plan on making up for lost time. I have some stuff planned for the next couple of weekends - and I really hope that at some point between when my parents get back and when it's time for me to start work, my parents will babysit my kids for a few days so that Hubby and I can have some time to ourselves. I've missed him a lot. And I think it's only fair. They got a whole month of a dream vacation - I at least deserve a few days of not having any kids.

I'm just glad I made it to this day...and I'll be even more glad at this time tomorrow.

Bring on the new job celebration!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reached the Halfway Mark

The weather today is absolutely beautiful. I'm sitting outside on the front porch watching the kids play - and it's barely 70 degrees. Almost a little too chilly to be out, compared to the weather we've had the past few days.

Being that today is almost over, I can finally celebrate reaching the halfway mark through my parent's vacation - and my time having to babysit. I've endured two weeks, and have only two weeks left. It's been rough, I'm not gonna lie - but I know that if I can make it this far I can make it the rest of the way.

The hardest part through all of this has been the arguing among the kids. Six children - that aren't used to being around each other - can be hard on them. It's even harder on me. The little kids are always bickering among themselves, and the older three are just plain mean to each other...the two girls versus the one boy. It's like Wrestle-mania with words all day long. Nasty stuff. If they would just get along, my life would be easy sailing.. but when does that ever happen?

The past two days, I've been able to spend some time at home. My home. That's helped ease some of my tension - but gosh I can't wait until I can sleep in my own bed again next to my honey. That's something I've dearly missed - and will miss for the duration of this time. Another down side has been that today I said goodbye to my dog, Asia. Hubby and I made the decision that she needed a better home - one with a fenced in yard. I found someone who seemed very nice - and someone that will give her a good home. Tough on me, but better for Asia.

Today I also got all of the stuff needed for my MO license in the mail. That's one stress off my mind. Now that's all taken care of, all I have to do is wait until I get the notification that I'm licensed to teach in MO. No more tests to complete, thank goodness. It's sad to think that I didn't even get a chance to use my AR teaching license in AR, but I will get plenty of use out of my MO teaching license.

Tonight, I'm going to curl up on the recliner and watch some TV and just relax. I deserve it. I have a couple of movies to watch, and I'm just going to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Tomorrow, one of the kids are going away for the weekend - so that will end some of the fighting between the little kids. Saturday, I get a day/evening out with Hubby. He and I are going to a wedding - and the kids will be staying with a friend of mine. It will be so nice to have some alone time, even if it is only for a couple of hours.

Alright, I've had enough... I'm actually cold - which is a great feeling. Time to get inside and relax!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Stuff That Can Change in 9 Days

Nine days ago, I sat in the exact same spot I'm sitting in now typing the last entry I made to this blog. Nine days ago it was a Sunday...the Sunday right after getting out of work for the summer, the first Sunday after arriving at my mom's house, and two days before the interview that would forever change my life as I knew it. Yet, it's been nine days since I've come here to talk about it.

That's mostly because I've written so much about it on my other blog, and in my private journals. Sometimes I forget about this blog...until times like this. It's 8pm..I'm sitting outside enjoying the summer evening, and I don't have anything else to do - so I think about coming here and writing. All of my other writing seems to take place in the morning.

Dinner has been cooked - by me. The dishes have been cleaned - by me. And now it's time for me to take a few moments to myself. No children. No noise - except the sounds of nature. Just me and the blog I often forget about.

The last time I wrote on this blog, I was talking about how calming and relaxing it is being at my parent's house. That situation has changed drastically. It didn't take very long to realize that taking care of 6 children all by myself is anything but relaxing. There are a lot of responsibilities I have to take care of. I have my own children to tend to, and three children that are not my own. I cook, clean, and run all over for appointments and errands. When I'm not doing that stuff there are usually arguments or bickering that I'm tending to. Occasionally, like tonight, I shut myself away from it all and take a few minutes to myself.

The last time I wrote in this blog, I wrote about how I still didn't have a teaching job yet I had an interview lined up the following Tuesday. It was the interview in Missouri. I went to the interview. I met a principal that had never met me before. She had only seen my online application. She had only spoken to me for about 5 minutes before meeting me in person to discuss the interview. She was not alone in interviewing me, she was with her assistant principal, another elementary principal, the superintendent, and a 4th grade teacher. She asked me questions. She listened to my responses. The whole thing took less than 30 minutes. Yet, in that 30 minutes that principal saw something in me that no other principal seemed to. She was the one I've been waiting for all this time. The one principal that would give me a chance to show her what I could do - and that I was born to be in the classroom.

A miracle happened that day. After answering the questions, being myself, laying everything out on the table....she offered me the chance. She asked me to be a 4th grade teacher in her school - right there on the spot. No "thanks, we'll let you know". No "well, we're interviewing a lot of people". All I heard was "I'd like to offer you a 4th grade position". A part of me didn't even believe it was real.

For so long I've been asking for that one principal that would do that very thing. I worked for an entire school year in a school district thinking that would be the key in making some contacts and getting my foot in the door for a teaching job. I was wrong. Even though I did get an interview - it wasn't the position I was supposed to have. I wasn't supposed to get a teaching job based on who I knew... I was supposed to get a teaching job working in a school that wanted me based on what I believed, my passions, and my ideas. And all this time I've been told that wasn't possible. HA!

I have many times described how I think that everything in life happens for a reason - even when the reasons make no sense at all. There was a reason I didn't get a teaching job last year. I didn't know what it was the whole time I was searching and coming up empty. There was a reason I took a teaching assistant position. However, the reason I thought I took that job wasn't correct. You see, this whole time I just thought I didn't know the right people. I didn't have enough connections in "the teaching world" in order to get noticed by someone. I thought that the TA job was the step I needed. I was wrong.

What I've now learned is that the job I've performed this past year served a very different reason - a far more important reason. I wasn't supposed to get a teaching job last year because my ego was too big for my head. The TA job was to teach me what teamwork really meant, it was supposed to give me more experience...and the most important reason I got that job was because I was supposed to discover how much I love working with diverse, economically challenged kids. The kids that don't have much - and need much more than a teacher in front of them.

The school in Missouri has a very diverse, low-income population. Walking in to that interview I already had an upper hand because I'd spent an entire school year working in a school that had a very similar population. The job I've done the past year was to prepare me for that interview. It was to show me the type of school I wanted to work in. And that was the school that finally hired me.

So, even though the past year has been tough, I now know the reason for all the heartache, all the let-downs, all the rejection. It was because I was supposed to wait for this opportunity. And when the opportunity finally came - it all made sense...every last bit of it. If that's not a sure fire sign of believing that everything happens for a reason - then I don't know what is.

I will be at my parent's house until June 15th. At that time, my summer can start. I can start making all the preparations I need to make to walk in to my classroom and start making it my own. I can box up all of the books, posters, anchor charts, and lesson plans I've collected over the past 5 years - they will now all have a home.

This is the moment I've been waiting 25 years for - and it feels fantastic. I couldn't be more happy...and now I know that my dream has just begun.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

School's Out For Summer

Can you believe the last time I updated this blog was the week before Benchmark? And now, school is out. It's been over a month. How quickly I let my blogs slip through my fingers - but that's what happens when you try and keep up with 4 blogs, private journals, and everything else I've got going on with my writing.

I wish I could say that I've managed to find a teaching job, but alas - no such luck just yet. I've had two interviews. One interview was a district wide interview, and the other was at one of the schools in the district I'm working in. It's a job I'd love to have - a small, quaint school, but a part of a huge district. The best of both worlds. I interviewed a little over a week ago - but there's been no word as of yet.

I have another interview scheduled on Tuesday morning - in Missouri. It's right over the state line, and not very far from my house. While I don't want to leave the district I'm working in now, I don't want to limit myself either. I have to expand and branch out with my search. I'm positive that I'll end up where I'm supposed to be.

The minute school got out, I gathered the kids up and traveled to my parent's house in Oklahoma. I'll be here for the next two weeks. I'm house sitting/ baby sitting for my parents while they are on vacation. In a way, it's a vacation for me. I'm out in the country. There's lots of open space for the kids to play, and the animals my brother has serves as a petting zoo to keep the kids occupied. I'm woken up each morning by a rooster or a turkey or goats or geese or ducks. The sounds of the country - got to love it.

Even though I'm suffering from the worst allergies, I'm a gluten for punishment. I'm sitting outside typing this. The weather is absolutely beautiful, and it's just too nice to sit inside. I don't even care that I have to stop every thirty seconds to blow my nose. The runny nose is tolerable - and this glorious evening out-weighs the annoyance of sniffing and sneezing.

Being here is definitely helping my stress level. A few days ago I was a panicked mess. I was at that stage I was in last year - tearful, depressed, wanting to do nothing more than curl up with a bag of M&Ms in the fetal position. But there's something about my parent's house that brings a calm over me. Being here tells me that everything is going to be OK - and everything will work its self out. Spending the next two weeks relaxing and soaking up some sun is definitely what I need.

This year, things are better. Worst case scenario is that I don't find a teaching job - but I have a job to go back to after the summer. I didn't have that little luxury this time last year. And worst case scenario isn't the best way to say it. Even though I want a teaching job more than anything, it definitely wouldn't be bad having to spend another year working with the people I grew to love this past year. I deserve a classroom, but if that just doesn't happen for me again this year - life will still be just fine.

I've spent some time writing today. I've updated my other blog, written in my private journal, dabbled with some poetry - and now I'm here. I have a feeling there will be lots of writing done over the next two weeks. It's what I do to help me relax. It's my meditation tool. I don't share most of the stuff I write with the world - but I enjoy sharing some of it. I've downloaded some neat journal apps on my iPad, so I'm all set to write as much as my little heart desires.

I feel really good right now. Better than I have in a long time. I don't feel like the world is against me. I feel like I just have to be patient and let my life's plan play out - my time will come...and until it does, I'm going to enjoy the moments in between. Relaxation is what it's all about right now...and relax I shall.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble

Now that I have my iPad - and a fancy keyboard that basically turns my iPad in to a laptop - I get more of an urge to write.

For the past couple of nights, I've come home from work and fired up the iPad and just wanted nothing more than to pound away at the keyboard with the first thoughts that pop in to my head.

Most of it ends up in the cyber garbage can...but I figure I could use this sudden urge to write to work on updating this blog more often. There's some crickets a chirpin at me from these parts of the woods. It's time to dust off this blog and start using it for what it's for. To catch all of the crazy, idol thoughts that pop in to my head.

I bet you'll never guess where my head is tonight. Yep, you guessed it...job hunting.

I'm just over a week away until the rush starts. That magical time when Benchmark is finally over, and principles can start thinking about how they're going to fill the vacant teaching spots that are starting to appear. It's like the Black Friday for teaching jobs. If you don't get in early, you're just going to be aimlessly walking around hoping that someone's missed one of the great deals.

I thought I might feel a little more confident by now. I mean, I'm working in a school. I got "my foot in the door" as they say. But, I don't feel confident. I'm terrified. Terrified because there doesn't appear to be any openings at my school...and even though I'm working in a huge school district - I don't have any other contacts other than the people I'm immediately working with.

It's like my student teaching year all over again.

Being a student teacher in a huge school district didn't help me get any interviews in any of the other schools in that district. Why I thought it would be different now, I don't know.

I keep telling myself to stay positive. Don't let my stress get the best of me. Don't start falling in to a panicked frenzy. Don't slip in to a routine of a mind numbing case of reaching out, receiving no response, and ending up crying in bed at night. I just can't let that happen.

I have a game plan. I've made out a list - and checked it twice. I've polished my resume and portfolio until they gleam with pride. Now, I'm going to have to put my destiny in fate's hands. The universe has a plan for me - I know it. I was born to teach - I know it. Now, hopefully the two will collide and finally complete everything I've ever dreamed of.

I truly believe that there was a reason I didn't find a teaching job last year. I was meant to end up in the position I'm in now. I've learned so much over the past school year. I've learned how to work with kids from all walks of life, from all backgrounds. I've learned how to work on different teams. I've learned about the value of school culture. I got a chance to live my first year "out in the real world" sitting on the side lines and soaking up more knowledge that will benefit me in my own classroom.

But now? I'm ready. I know it.

Next week is going to be stressful. It's Benchmark testing week. It will be a long week, a tough week - but I need to be strong for my kiddos. I need to be there for them. I need to support them every step of the way. And I shall.

I'm keeping the stress at bay. I'm hoping this blog will keep me straight. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Freeing the Bad to Enjoy the Good

I've come to accept that when good enters my life, I should prepare for something bad to happen.  It's just the way I think.  Not in a negative "nothing good can ever happen to me" way - but more of just being cautious not to get too big in the britches about having my share of goodness.

For the past few months, I have felt some weight on my shoulders.  I thought the best thing to do would be to ignore it, pretend like it's not even there, and eventually it will disappear.  As long as I stay positive, keep my mind focused on being happy - I wouldn't let the stress and turmoil have a second to rear their ugly heads.

I was wrong.  The more I pretend, the worse it becomes.  Keeping a smile on my face just isn't working anymore.

This week, I had the first "positive" week since starting my weight loss journey (again) in January.  In the past three weeks, I've gone to play bingo twice - and won $3100...bringing $1700 of that home (after splitting my first winnings with my mom).  Life has been good for the past few weeks - on the outside.

Moments like those make keeping the smile on my face easier.  They make me start believing that all my troubles can just disappear.  Then, I get blindsided with an event that makes all the inner demons rush to the surface.

For those of you that don't know, I have a son that had to spend 3 months at the end of last year in a psychiatric hospital.  Since he came home, I've told myself that I can't ever let something like that happen again.  I've told myself as long as I show him nothing but love and support, he won't have any more "episodes", he won't lie, he won't get in to major trouble.

When I've seen glimpses of an episode, or he lies, or he gets in to major trouble - I tell myself that it was somehow my fault... I somehow failed him... I'm not doing my job right.  Up until yesterday, I truly believed that everything that's happened to him was my fault.  Until yesterday.

A visit with his therapist unveiled some truths I'm not sure I was ready for.  The first one being that it's definitely not my fault he acts the way he does.  He has an illness that affects his brain.  It's not anybody's fault.  Stuff like this happens.  Another being that the more I try to convince myself that just showing him love will fix all of his issues, the more damage I'm doing to him.  That one was the one that knocked the wind out of me.  What I heard was loving my son too much would destroy him.  Of course, the words that were actually said were more along the lines of not allowing him to make mistakes, go through episodes, and learning to handle his behaviors would end up harming him more than help him.

I hold a lot of fears in me when it comes to my son.  I fear that he will never have a normal life due to the illnesses that affect his brain, stop him from processing his thoughts and actions.  I fear that he will end up moving through the system of psychiatric facilities, alternative schools, and maybe even prison.  My biggest fear?  That he will end up like his biological father.  I know that sounds stupid - compared to my other fears - but it truly is the one I fear the most.  I never want my son to turn in to that man.  I just can't let that happen.

The problem is, I'm denying him the chance of fixing his issues and putting him on the fast track of turning in to that man.  Just because I'm refusing to hold him responsible for his actions.

Everything I do in life has a stem from my past.  My emotional eating.  My nervous anxieties.  My quirky fears.  And the way I parent.  Some of the stems I'm aware of - others are hiding inside of me, waiting to be set free.

His therapist - who is now going to become my therapist for a while - unveiled the secret of the demons that I'm carrying around.  He made it very clear - if I don't fix me, I'll never be able to fix him.  As long as I carry around the fears and guilt that I do - he'll continue to increase his behaviors until he explodes.  I have to let him fail, I have to let him face the consequences of his actions, I have to enforce those consequences - regardless of what he may do in the process.  I have to let him face the truths of life.

I left the therapist's office yesterday full of mixed emotions.  I was scared.  I was hopeful.  I wanted to pretend that I wouldn't need to "get tough".  And then, just one day later, my son needed the toughness my therapist was talking about.  My son's lying is habitual.  It's out of control.  He lies for the sake of lying - even knowing that he's going to get caught.  Today, I had to lay the law down and take away a visit to his grandmother's this weekend.

Of course, his immediate reaction was anger and to blame me.  I'm the one being unfair.  I'm the one that makes his life so horrible.  I hear the words and they are like razors to my heart.  As much as I wanted to hug him and say I was sorry for making him mad, sorry that I was hurting him - I just couldn't.  He has to face the consequences of his actions.  He has to feel the pain.

He doesn't know or realize the pain it causes me.  And I'm OK with that.  Feeling the pain makes me realize that I'm doing the right thing.  If it was easy, I would doubt the love I have for my child.

In the next few weeks, there are going to be some drastic changes made to my lifestyle.  I have to start getting a grip.  I have to start shelling out some tough love.  It petrifies me - but it's completely necessary.  If I want my son to come to terms with his illness - he has to experience it, learn about it, and learn how to cope.  I just hope I have the strength to do it.  I do have the strength to do it.  It's just accepting the bad that comes with the good.  I won't get to enjoy any immediate actions, I'm sure of that... but I'm going to free the bad so that eventually - I will wholeheartedly enjoy the good.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm In That Mood Again...

I've got the urge to write.  Not about anything in particular, but just let my fingers go 90 to nothing in an attempt to cure whatever it is that's plaguing me and making me want to write. 

I always know when something's bothering me - just by the level of how bad I want to start writing.  Most of the time, I don't even know what it the problem is... but writing always makes me feel better.  I think I know what's eating at me today - but it's really a topic for my other blog.  I'm feeling a little down because I haven't been able to get back in to the swing of losing weight.  See.  Told ya it was meant for my other blog.  Don't worry, though, it's not what I'm going to write about...even if it is what's on my mind.

It's not really about the weight loss, or the lack thereof, when I think about it.  It's not being able to follow through.  Not being able to commit.  Keeping this wall up in front of me that stops me from taking a leap.  I'm feeling the same way about work. 

I love my job, don't get me wrong.  I love working with the kiddos, and the awesome people that I work with.  It's not the job that's been niggling at me - it's the looking for a new one that's causing the niggles.  I know, again with the job searching stuff, right? 

It's not really about that, either.  It's the fact that I can't put my heart completely in doing what I'm doing because I'm so damn preoccupied with thinking about finding a new job...even though I don't want to leave where I am.  If my life was meant to be perfect, I'd get a job teaching full-time in the school I'm in now.  That would be the perfect scenario.  It would fix all of the ills going on inside of my head.  But how often do I get to have my cake and eat it too?  I mean that metaphorically, and not speaking about my weight whatsoever!

That's the part that scares me the most.  Every time I feel like I've found my place...where I'm supposed to be.. something happens and I don't get to do what I want to do.  It's out of my control - and my hopes and dreams come crashing down around me.

Being able to stay in the school I'm in now would mean so much.  I'd be able to stay with the kiddos I've grown to love.  I'd be able to stay working with the people I gladly call my friends.  I'd be able to work for a principle and assistant principle that I deeply respect.  My daughter would be able to stay in the school that she's grown to love...and my son would join her at that same school next year. 

You see what I mean?  That's so much to hang my hopes on.  I have even more at stake than I did last year...and look how last year turned out for me.  I can only hope that there was a reason I was brought to this school.  Boy, I hope that's it.  For once in my life, I'd love to be able to scream "A-HA!! This was what all that heart ache was for!!"  That would be nice.  So nice.

But, it's still very early in the year.  I still have a few months to go before I have to get all "crazy" with the job search.  But I can't help letting it take over me right now.  Believe me, I've tried.  I know this is going to sound pretty stupid - but I think this is the reason I'm having such a hard time with my weight loss.  Somewhere in my warped mind, I feel like if I succeed with something like my weight loss - I'll take the chance of not succeeding with my job search.  I know... I did warn you that it would sound stupid.  But I can't help feeling that way. 

It's like I'm trying to store all of my success so that it will flow in to getting my dream job. I can't go around doing something great like losing all the weight I gained last year...that might jinx me when I need the success for an interview. 

Then again, on the flip side, if I can buckle down with my weight - and lose it again - maybe that will be a good talking point when I'm trying to persuade a principle how good I am at committing to something. 

It's all crazy talk.  But, again, it's nice to be able to come here and let it all out.  Even if I did sway back in to the weight loss topic...it was still related to what I had intended on coming here to write about.

I need to get my head in the game.  I need something else to focus on.  Maybe if I started losing the weight and working out again, I'd be preoccupied with something more healthy than worrying about getting a teaching job next year.  Sounds like a plan to me! 

See - writing works miracles!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Time Has Come... Once Again....

It feels weird to think that 10 days of 2012 have already passed.  Ten whole days.  I made a few resolutions, like getting back in to losing weight.  Then, there's the resolution that I really have no control over.  The resolution that makes my palms sweaty just thinking about.  The resolution to try, once again, to find a teaching job.

I know. It's only January.  It's far too early to be worrying about that.  But it's not.  Not for me.  It's all I've thought about since January of 2007 - the first time I stepped in to a college classroom. 

I wasn't planning on thinking about it yet.  It just kinda happened.  Someone I worked with casually asked me if I had started thinking about looking for a job...and that was it.  I was infected with the virus.  The virus that had my emotions doing a crazy dance for the majority of last year.  I didn't want the ride to start yet.  I thought I had another couple of months.  But, apparently, it's out of my control.

I keep telling myself that I won't drive myself nutso this time around.  I'll do what I have to do... but I'm not going to let myself fall in to a downward spiral of despair and frustration.  I know, who am I kidding, right?

This year is a little different, for now.  I'm working in a school.  That's a big start, but then again, I was in a school last year.  The plus side is that I'm not in a school with 5 other interns, all competing for one job.  No, now I'm in a school competing all by myself - but there's no guarantee that a job will come open for me or I'd even get hired for a job if one came available.  Another year of graduates will be walking across the stage this May.  Another pool of hopefuls all in the same position I was in last year.  Which makes my competition that much more fierce.

One thing I keep telling myself, though, is that this year if things don't go my way - I'm still employed.  I still have a position in a school.  Trying to stay as positive as I can. 

I've already started working on my resume and portfolio.  Don't want to be worrying about it at the last minute.  It keeps me hopeful, and reminds me that I've got a task in hand, goal in sight. 

I don't know how often I'll come here to complain vent explain how I'm feeling.  I'm going to use the blog for what it was intended for - to let off some steam when I have nowhere else to do it.  My other blog is still a mish mash of my life... but I don't want to consume it with job hunting.  No, I have this blog to do that.  No one will read it, I'm sure, but it makes me feel better.

Writing is my relief.  It could be drugs or alcohol or gambling.  I'm blessed that I use writing as my way of getting the blues out and making myself feel better.  Goes to show how much I should be a teacher, right?  Yeah, I think so too.

I'll probably be showing my face a lot more around here, now that I've got the job hunting virus.  I just hope with everything inside of me that this is the year I can start a blog post with I GOT A TEACHING JOB!!  One step at a time, Joanna, one step at a time.