I am fairly concerned that several of my posts are going to come across as being pessimistic or depressing. I don’t mean them to and I hope that these are read with the tone in which they are intended. A tone where I am discovering me, who I am and where I am going. I will fully confess that my life is full of spectacular moments full of nothing but pure joy. Those amazingly bright spots, have also been speckled with a lot of introspection, pondering and soul searching. A combination of both will be randomly intermingled as part of my random stream of consciousness.
This morning, at 7:20, I found myself surrounded in familiarity as I scrambled furiously around my house finding a boy’s second shoe, signing a field trip permission form, throwing power bars into my purse because the boys had not yet eaten. I went through the same routine of yelling a reward for whomever found my car keys and name badge and lanyard.
At 7:25 I gave up hope of finding my other gray boot and settled for my less than favorite pair of shoes throwing off my idea of what my outfit was going to look like. It isn’t all that bad, since I wasn’t able to find a pair of matching socks this morning anyway.
At 7:27 I sighed as I looked around at my house, my dishes were unwashed in the sink. My laundry was yet to be folded on the couch. My pantry door was wide open displaying the insanely disorganized array of food that my boys had ravaged through looking for their box of pop tarts. I picked up a my purse and put on my name tag.
I know that if I don’t leave my house by 7:30, I will be late for work. I have to be there at the very latest by 8:00. The math still does not make sense to me. I live 15 minutes from work, yet half an hour gives me just enough time to drive those few miles to work and walk through the school doors in just the nick of time. I still do not understand what time warp I drive through starting at 7:31 that gets me to work ten minutes late. I am sure that it is just as frustrating to my children as it is to me.
At 7:29 I took a quick last glance around to make sure that the lights were all turned off, the thermastat was turned down, my case was packed and the kiddos were all accounted for and in the car (which backpacks, socks, AND SHOES…..) I would just have to comb the boys hair once we got to school. It is moments like these that buzz cuts would make so much more sense to me.
I get to my garage and turn around to close the door to get into the car…. and it hit me. My last glance as I looked into my house at 7:29 and 38 seconds, was my old life in rapid fire slow motion. My eye took less than five seconds to scan my old kitchen table, sitting on my back porch waiting to be refinished, the box of brightly colored satin, chiffon and organza that I had brought up over Christmas to make some of my favorite fabric flowers, and my DSLR camera, sitting on the counter next to it’s fully charged battery, still in the charger. Although, this momentary glimpse took virtually no time at all, those brief seconds have consumed my thoughts for the entire day.
7: 29 and 43 seconds, my car starts, I back out of my driveway and head to work. My mind drifts off in thought and my driving to seemingly autopilot mode as I contemplate the last 60 seconds.
I have always been a project gal. I love to keep busy and be creative. I usually have a dozen ideas swirling around in my head of things that I want to do, patterns that I want to try, crafts that I want to learn, furniture that I want to paint, and projects that I want to finish. I love pinterest. I used to peruse it in my spare time, looking for new spare time ideas. I used to relish in the times that I would find that someone had pinned a craft that I had come up with and blogged or a pattern I was selling on Etsy or You Can Make This.
For the past 6 months, I have put my projects off to the side thinking that I would get to them on the weekend, or in the evening when I get the kids to bed. With being divorced from their dad, I don’t have my children with me every other weekend, what a perfect time for me time! Right! I thought that I had the perfect plan.
Before going back to work I was in a constant triangle of conflict. I had a very hard time finding a balance between spending good, quality time with my children, putting efforts towards making money and supporting myself with my small little business and crafty nature and keeping a clean home. I felt a constant pang of guilt when doing one, that I was ignoring the other two. I somehow managed, albeit imperfectly, to merge all three, and still find time to do what I loved, and stay in shape.
Adding a full time job has added another spinning plate to my performance act. Believing at one time that I was super woman, I thought that I would be able to pull off teaching flawlessly. I had done it once, really well actually. How hard could it be? I knew what I was doing. Or so I thought.
Rewind to last week, I sat in the office of my principal going over my teacher review. As she went through my review talking about the good things that I was doing, my eyes zeroed into the areas in which I saw improvement was needed. It hit me, and enormous crocodile tears started falling in large droplets onto my brand new silky top leaving bit salty stains. I just couldn’t do it. I was not cutting it… not to my standards. I expect a certain amount of perfection when it comes to teaching and according to that piece of paper, I was not where I wanted to be. My cute boss and friend proceeded to tell me that I was doing well and to not worry. She told me that “considering all that I was going through” I was doing fantastic. Well, I don’t want to be int he category of “considering anything.” I want to be fantastic… PERIOD.
I do not like mediocrity. I loathe it. However, that it how I felt. I was devastated that I was pouring every extra piece of me into my job. I have been sick, very sick lately (anther topic for another post) and crawling into bed immediately after work left me as a severely unimpressive parent. More than I care to admit, I have come straight home from work, crawled into bed and had my children sit around me as I tried to stay awake long enough to help them through their spelling, Kyra picking up the slack by making the boys P.B. and J. sandwiches for dinner. Knowing that is simply not an option to not do my job well, any extra energy or moments of clarity, went to my job. I spent my weekends seeking out curriculum, discovering strategies, making packets and lesson plans, and sleeping.
Fast forward…. After my chat with my principal, my kiddos were gone for the weekend and I decided to spend the weekend working my tired hiney off doing all that I could to improve my teaching. I ignored my house, my kids were gone, I skipped the fun plans that I had of finishing a project and started to make a kick a$$ new project. It took the whole weekend, two reams of paper, two printer cartridges and who knows how much $ in supplies and purchased lesson plans. The sad part of this story, is that even after all of that work, it is still not ready and will require another weekend of work to get it to the point where I can incorporate it into my classroom.
Today, at 7:29 and 39 seconds…as I looked at the house, and my poor projects sitting longingly and lonely in the corners of my home. It was at that moment, I realized that I am now in a position that I have to give up a part of me. Where at one point in time, I thought the time would come, today was the kicker that someday doesn’t come. My life has changed. I no longer have the free days when the kids are at school. I don’t have the summer vacation to spend with my kids and enjoy time with them. I don’t have those long carefree weekends. The days of making me time have had to be neatly folded and tucked away. There are some things in life that do not have room to give. I have found that those things are my job and my children….. and I have played a game of roulette with my time with my children.
7:35, on the way to work, my mind started the somber thought process as I realized that that portion of my life has ended. A chapter has closed. It is hard to let go of such a big part of yourself in order to take care of the bigger picture.
8:00, I stepped up to the school doors, scanned my badge to get into the building and walked down the hall to my classroom. I opened my door, set out my lesson plans, pulled the field trip note out of my briefcase and quickly chugged down half of my 5 hour energy drink… the only way that I make it through my days without falling asleep.
8:25, the bell rings to signal the beginning of class. As my boys ran out the door for their own classes, I realized that neither of them ever did get their hair combed. One forgot his backpack and one forgot his spelling. Kyra slid her way out the door while I was down the hall leaving a post it note on my desk, “Bye, mom. I love you. I hope you feel better today.” This coming from a girl that had three cavities filled and two teeth pulled yesterday.
8:26, My class files in and I realize that this, is my new life. I need to make it as good as I can.