I haven't posted on here in forever. There have been several times during the school year that I felt compelled to write, and then life took over and it didn't happen. This morning I was thinking that maybe if I put my thoughts down somewhere semi-permanent, they would have a better chance of sticking. Basically this is an experiment. We'll see what happens.
In a few months I'll turn 33. I don't feel old, or scared of getting older. I'm fine with it. However, 33 is a weird age for me. I have known several people who died when they were 33. It's always struck me as odd that all of these people died at the same age. I know it has no real significance, but it makes being 33 feel strange. They didn't get any further than this.
One of those people was my first piano teacher. He died when I was in third grade. We had just moved to Kentucky, and he died a few months later from pneumonia (he had AIDS, only a handful of people had known). At the time I had no real understanding of how young 33 was. Now it's very real. Another one of those people was my first boyfriend. Anyway, I don't want to focus on their deaths. This morning I started thinking, I should be doing better. I should be trying harder. I often feel lazy, or overwhelmed with so much that it makes me shut down and I don't know where to start. I really just want to feel better, and not spend my year of being 33 dwelling on the people who aren't here anymore. So I'm going to try and set some goals. I'm not good at goals. I often give up and quit early. For example, I'm about reach a milestone in my life: my third year of teaching also marks the longest I've ever had a job. Yeah, you read that right. I've never had a job longer than two years. And I've never been fired, that's by choice. I can't seem to stay anywhere very long. So sad, but true. But it's ok, we're going to try this anyway.
Goal #1 I want to be more flexible
I mean this in every possible way. I want to be more flexible with my time. I love a set schedule. I love a plan, a to-do list, things I can check off. I have anxiety when I am forced to just "go with the flow." But I can appreciate that there are times when a rigid schedule just ruins the fun.
I want to be more flexible as a parent. Sometimes I feel like I'm forcing Ellie to do things my way and she is an extremely independent (seriously, I think she could live on her own by age 5), intelligent, creative individual. If she can find a solution to something that isn't the same as mine, I need to learn to let it go. I encourage that in my classroom, so why would I shut it down at home? This is especially difficult when she won't sleep (which is often), but I should be able to trust that she knows how to get herself to sleep. I don't always need to intervene.
I want to actually physically be more flexible. At the beginning of the year, back in January, I did this 30 days of yoga challenge on youtube. I love her channel in general, but I actually only made it to Day 19 (see? I can't finish anything). I guess I could blame it on school starting back up, but really I just got lazy and distracted. I mean, the videos were only 15 minutes long, and Ellie LOVED doing them with me, I had no excuse. I really loved how I felt for those 19 days. My back and my head didn't hurt as much, and I just felt lighter.
Goal #2 I want to be healthier
This is easier for me during the summer. The school year creates stress and chaos and I cave and order pizza too many times. I try to prep on Sundays, but that only happens on the weeks when I feel like I'm ahead of the game. I love to cook, and I would say 90% of our meals are home-cooked. But Ellie is picky and creating one meal that we can all eat is frustrating. We also often eat in front of the TV because I've been talking nonstop to teenagers all day and I don't want to talk anymore. I want to sit and stair mindlessly at a box that will talk to me. (See? Lazy.) However, I know that Ellie eats better when we're at the table, and if I've spent all day away from her I should probably enjoy some conversation over dinner before we begin our evening battle of getting her to fall asleep.
Goal #3 I want to be more organized
I love organizing. I like the process of sorting everything out, figuring out the best arrangement for it all, and then putting it away. The Container Store is my idea of heaven. I can't get enough. But lately I just feel overwhelmed. I spent spring break cleaning out and de-cluttering our entire house: clothes, toys, books, dishes, craft supplies, everything. We refinished the floors in the den and I feel like we've been attempting to put the house back together ever since that project. I don't know if my entire house has been clean since last summer. I get one room clean, and by the time I get the next room clean the first room is a disaster again. Along with the fact that we don't have a dishwasher so I feel like I spend 1/3 of my time standing at the sink. I can't wait to remodel that kitchen, but that's a dollar sign I just don't have right now.
I want my car to be clean, and I want it to stay clean. I don't know how to do that apparently.
I want my classroom to be organized. This is an endless battle. I can't seem to stay on top of assignments and grading and returning graded work and having lesson plans actually written any earlier than the day before. And now that I'm teaching AP, I'm a little terrified. I'll also be taking two class each semester to finish my masters, and with theater department responsibilities, I have a feeling next year is going to be a total fail in the organization category.
Goal #4 I want balance
This kind of coincides with Goal #3, how do I balance work and home and grad school? Usually during the school year I feel like either a bad parent or a bad teacher. I never feel like I'm giving anyone 100%.
And this one may sound weird, but I want physical balance too. Nathan convinced me to try out one of his bikes once maybe last summer. It was awful. Riding a bike used to be carefree and fun. I felt extremely unsure and terrified of falling. I want to be able to fall. I want to be ok with falling. I didn't trust myself or my legs to be able to stay up on that bike or catch me if I fell. I want to be to know that my body can hold me and will catch me if I hit the ground. Right now I just feel weak and out of balance.
I don't know if that makes sense, but I plan to keep these goals in mind for the year as I turn 33. I will focus on what I can do, instead of dwelling on what those who are gone didn't get to do.