Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Every day is important.

I made a big deal about my boyfriend wanting to buy me dinner for my birthday. I shuffled my feet about it for days, because he's been buying my meals quite often due to my underemployment. He's had to buy dinner frequently when we had to be out of town, usually for his son's baseball games. I didn't want him to buy me dinner, when he didn't have to. I was beginning to feel a bit like a money pit. It's not like it was even an important birthday anyway...just 24...not a major milestone or anything to be proud of.

Well, he's at least as stubborn as me, so I eventually came up with a compromise. He still bought, but it included ordering pizza from his favorite restaurant and watching Monday Night Football. Now believe it or not, I like football. I especially like watching it when I haven't had to watch it all weekend, while flipping around three different channels, trying to catch all the games, when really there was only one worth watching. That makes me nuts, but I digress.

On my actual birthday (Today), we had to go on another trip to Bowling Green for his son's baseball game. I love these trips to the games, and I am already missing them. (The last scheduled one was today, and a make up for a different game is tomorrow. I can't go.) I got to spend time with my boyfriend's parents (who are amazing) and of course the boyfriend (Really, is there a more accurate word to use other than boyfriend? It makes it sound like he's 15.) As the manfriend (No, that doesn't sound right either. It makes me sound like I'm twelve.) was leaving, I thanked him for helping make my 24th birthday important. He reminded me that all birthdays are important. He is so right. They all are.

But then I reminded him (as I had just thought of it, although I'd been told it before), that all days are important. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow, a next month, or a next year. This is not a reason to go crazy and live our lives completely willy nilly, but rather a reason to stop and reflect every morning on how blessed we are to have another day. Another day to laugh, another day to love, another day to fight, another day to make peace, and another day to keep doing God's work. I am so blessed to have these days. Not just these last several days that my friends have helped me celebrate my birthday, but just these days of my life.

I realized this morning that I had never been more grateful to work on my birthday. Getting only paid by the day, does that to you. If I had never been given this situation of only getting to substitute, I probably would have wound up teaching at a school full time, and never fully appreciating what I had going for me. I would have gotten bogged down in the work and the kids and the stress, and never actually appreciated each day for what it was. Another chance to help those kids and to overcome the stress. I had an amazing day with my students. I got to leave, and not take work with me. That's a blessing. 

Every single day is important. We have no way of knowing how we've impacted someone's life today. We have no way of knowing how a single day could impact us...until we go out and live it. 

A young actor, Brandon Lee, quoted Paul Bowles in an interview shortly before his death on the set of his latest movie, "The Crow." He said: 

"Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.” 

It all seems limitless, but we know it is not. That's not a bad thing. I daresay that if I died tomorrow I'd know that I'd had a very rich and blessed life. Trust me, I don't want to die tomorrow. I feel like there's so much more I have to do. So much more I could do.  Philippians 1:21 says, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." How many more kids will I get to work with, and show God's love through my teaching? Maybe none, maybe 10000. Maybe God's whole goal in taking away my job was to show me that I didn't need it to be happy, that in fact, (because I didn't appreciate it for what it was) it was actually stealing some of my joy. It was making me forget that every single day is important. They all count for something. I am extremely appreciative of the reminder. 

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it! 

Thank you very much, everyone, for being part of my days on this Earth! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Once upon a time.

This little girl once had a teacher, who failed her. I am extremely thankful for that teacher. It is because of her, that I woke up, and got my butt in gear. I decided I didn't need to do my homework, because it was boring and I knew how to do the work already. I made an "F" that six weeks. That, partnered with my parents' extreme disappointment, made me realize that I had to do the work anyway. I didn't have to like it. It was not fun, and sure it was "pointless." I still did it. It taught me to do things that I don't like to do. It taught me discipline. That teacher was fired, because she supposedly kicked a kid under a desk. I don't know if that's true, but I do know that because she was mean (meaning she made kids do their work), kids did not like her. I am afraid that she was fired, because the kid wanted her fired (there is no tenure in Tennessee) and nothing more. Did I like her at the time? No. Do I appreciate what she did for me now? Definitely.

Some of my favorite teachers were the toughest on me. In high school, I had a very tough English teacher. She was the same teacher that my sister had for AP English. Rumor has it, she was made to teach regular English, because her AP English class was too hard. I think it really had to do with the fact that U.S. Literature was what she liked to teach, and the AP English course offered was no longer a literature class, but I'm not really sure. All I know is that every single regular student thought she was the toughest teacher on the planet. Some liked her, like myself, and some of them just thought she was the meanest person in the world. Those of us who didn't complain about how tough she was, and took advantage of all the opportunities she gave us for success (aka extra credit that you actually had to work for), did fine. I made an "A" in her class, and it was easily the most satisfying "A" of my whole high school career. Why was it so satisfying? Because I actually knew I had earned that "A." I worked for it, and it made me proud. It made me think I was really smart, and I had never really felt like a smart person before. I knew I wasn't stupid, but I also thought I was pretty average in smarts.

I don't think that many kids today appreciate the thrill of working hard for something and actually getting it. They want it to come easily. When it doesn't come easy, they give up. I think part of that can be blamed on us adults praising them too quickly as children. I read lately that we should make sure that kids know it's ok to have to work hard to do something. It's ok if they don't get something as fast as other children. Life isn't a race. We will all meet the same inevitable conclusion, regardless of how long it takes us to get there, how many accomplishments we make along the way, etc.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekend gray areas.

During the school year, I (like every other working professional on the planet) look forward to the weekend. During the summer when looking for a job however, the weekends become a mixed bag. You see, the great thing about weekends in the summer is you can make plans for fun things to do, just like during the school year. The not so good thing is, that is usually when a school will tell you they will have their decision made about whether or not to hire you.

I was feeling particularly glum this Friday when I realized it was past school hours, and I hadn't heard from a school I really wanted to teach at. My wonderful boyfriend reminded me as soon as I realized this, "God has other plans for you." I have been told this before by many different people. I really wish that was automatically where my mind went after being rejected by a school, but I am not as strong in those moments as I'd like to be. Not five minutes after that, I got called by another school for an interview on Tuesday. He's right. All hope is not lost. God's got this.

I didn't let the news ruin my Friday. I got to hang out with my boyfriend and one of his friends, and go to a Drum Core International competition in Tennessee. I'm a choir girl with the best of them, but I really enjoyed the band competition. It was like any high school marching band performance....on steroids. I loved it. I got a lot of laughs in with the boys and managed to enjoy myself in spite of my current joblessness.

Then came Saturday. It was going pretty great. I got to hang out with the boyfriend all day. He and I had just gotten materials for making supper, and he was starting to fix it when I got another call from another school. The school is located 3.5 hours away, and they wanted me there on Monday afternoon for an interview. I told the principal that I needed a minute to go over logistics, so he gave me his cell number and I hung up. Immediately, I was falling apart. I have never once turned down an interview. Part of me felt like, if I got offered an interview then it was God's will for me to interview there. The stress of how to get there overwhelmed me. The idea of packing up and leaving for a place so far away where I knew no one yet again, made me sick to my stomach. Then I remembered something. God doesn't want me to do something for Him if I see it as sacrifice. Maybe it's not the most wise decision, but I called the principal back and told him that I couldn't take the interview. I knew that I would be wasting both of our times, because even if I went, my heart would not be in it. I would not be an effective teacher if I was left alone and heartbroken 3.5 hours away from all the people I care about. The students of that school do not need a teacher who is 3.5 hours away in her mind, even though she is right there in the classroom with them.

Throughout this little crisis, my boyfriend was present. At first he was like me, "Take any interview you're offered." While it was possible to make it to the interview and back before my interview on Monday, after I explained to him how my heart probably wouldn't be in the interview, he agreed that it was probably a waste of time. I really appreciate him encouraging me to go. He knows that at least part of my view of being successful is having a job. There are more important things to me than a job. These important things include my boyfriend, but also my church, my friends, and my sanity. You can't put a price on being with the people you love.

I have had people older than me (by 5 years to 40 years) tell me that they have no idea how I do it. Being fired every year. Madly dashing around trying to find a job, and yet still not knowing until a few weeks or less before school starts. During my little crisis, I asked my boyfriend this question, even though I knew the answer, "Have you ever had to just pick up and leave everyone you hold dear and move before?" The answer was, "No, but I can imagine how hard it would be." It is hard. It is especially difficult for a woman who likes to plan and know what she's getting into. The picking up and moving to Hopkinsville two years ago, all the pain and the aggravation, brought me to all the things I don't want to leave today. I know that good things can come from change, and yet I still rebel against it. I am not perfect. I don't have to be Superwoman.

On my way home from the boyfriend's after dinner, we were riding in the car and the song "Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns came on the radio. The chorus really spoke to me:

"And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am

And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm"



My lovely boyfriend got me home, and I sat down to my computer for the first time in about 24 hours. I had a message from a friend saying there was an opening at her school, which happens to be in this county, and she had given my name to the principal. So I have an interview coming up on Tuesday in Owensboro, and I may get an interview with this school. I still have a ton of opportunities waiting for me...brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. 

And now it is Sunday. This weekend so far has been a roller coaster, and it's barely halfway over. I find it hard not to be apprehensive about what is coming in the next couple weeks. I just have to remember "God has other plans for you." 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mobile

Everything's changin' when I turn aroundAll out of my control, I'm a mobileEverything's changin' when I turn aroundAll out of my control, I'm a mobile
-"Mobile" Avril Lavigne

I am probably one of the least flexible people you will ever meet. I'm not talking about being unable to touch my toes. I've got that down pat. I'm talking about my ability to let my life go however it wants to go, and not try to control it. I'm a control freak. 
My lease is up in 30 days basically, and I don't know if I can renew it or not. You better believe that makes me nuts. I haven't a clue if I will have a job that will allow me to keep my apartment or not. If I move in with my friend, will I have to find a home for my cat? I don't know what I'd do without Ms. Flo. She's awesome. How can someone ask a crazy cat lady in training to give up her kitty? 
I don't know if I can volunteer to do anything at church. I was asked if I wanted to be a lay reader. I'd love to, but I don't know if I'm going to be here or not. I was also asked if my boyfriend and I wanted to join their small group. Yet again, I'd love to, but I have no idea if I'll be able to do it. I don't even know if I should start going to choir practice in August, because I don't know if I'll be able to actually be in our choir. It really is making me sad to think I may not get to sing with those lovely people again. 
God is teaching me something. Something about letting go, and just going with it. I have an interview tomorrow at a school that would help keep me from moving, however, I'm afraid to get my hopes up again. I'm praying for peace and guidance, as I have been for the past four months since learning I was pink-slipped again. I have friends who say that I'll know in God's time and not my own. I know that's the truth, but it still makes me restless and impatient. I shouldn't conform to this world, but unfortunately I live in the world. The world comes with deadlines like lease dates and school starts. God's really cutting it close, and it's giving me gray hairs (that my boyfriend insists are blonde). 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some days I feel like the most irrational human being alive....

and then there are days like today where I feel like the U.S. needs to get a grip.

Yes, this is another blog post about something that's in the news. People are beside themselves that Rolling Stone decided to put a picture of the guy who is suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon on the cover. I for one, cannot remember the guy's name if you ask me right now. It's some crazy Eastern European name. Anyway, people say that it glamorizes terrorism. The caption under the Title clearly says something to the effect of, "The story of falling in with an extreme Islam sect and turning into a monster." Call me crazy, but being called a monster isn't very glamorous. I don't look at magazine covers and say, "I want to be a monster."

Furthermore, what's his name is not the only evil monster to grace the cover of a magazine. For example, Google "Time Magazine cover for October 1, 2001." That's right folks, Osama Bin Laden graced the cover of Time. Granted Bin Laden's not as attractive as what's his face, but that's a truth that people need to face. Not all bad guys are unattractive, old men. Sometimes they are people who you would not suspect, simply because they are better looking. Back in the day, Joseph Stalin was featured in Life magazine on March 29, 1943. We may not have known the full extent of his monstrous behavior, but he was truly just as evil as any modern terrorist. In February of 2012, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un was chosen as Time magazine's most influential person by its readers. I'm not trying to pick on Time Magazine. I firmly believe that it has a right to publish articles on whatever it wants. I simply would like to point out the hypocrisy of the outrage at Rolling Stone. If you're going to be mad that they are so-called promoting a terrorist, then you should be mad when other publications promote other dictators, terrorists, and monsters. It's as simple as that. Maybe people were mad when Time published photos of Bin Laden so soon after 9/11. I don't remember, however, obviously we got over it, because the magazine still exists today.

Frankly there are only so many times Rolling Stone can publish a photo of a half naked, overly-sexualized woman before it gets old and over done.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Justice, mercy, and grace.

When at the Great Banquet a little under two months ago we were given these three definitions.

1. Justice-Getting what you deserve.
2. Mercy-Not getting what you deserve.
3. Grace-Getting what you don't deserve.

Just a little while ago, the Zimmerman trial ended acquitting George Zimmerman of the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin in 2012. Some see this as justice. The system spoke. The six jurors did their civic duty, and made the decision. Others are outraged, and believe that justice has not been served.

Right now, one might see it as Zimmerman gets mercy. Which is not getting what he deserves. Regardless of how you paint it, he killed a boy. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not kill," not "Thou shalt not kill, unless the kid is pounding your head into the pavement, then practice vigilante justice and kill him." Zimmerman could have shot the kid, and not killed him. Zimmerman does have to live with the fact that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin for the rest of his life. For any normal person with a soul, that will haunt him forever.

Right now I just pray that Zimmerman finds God's grace, and that it brings him peace. Whether or not he deserves mercy is not my call. God's love is not limited by our sins. Isaiah 43:25, "I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,    and I will not remember your sins." We all need God's grace in our lives. None of us deserve the love He gives us. 

We could stand to show some grace for our fellow man. I don't just mean Zimmerman. Most of us will never have to meet him to show him grace. I mean the friend who shared a secret that wasn't theirs, the spouse who belittled your problem, and the child who stuck his tongue out at you in the check out line at Wal-mart. We all do things that disappoint and hurt the people in our lives, and we need grace from those people. To get that grace, we must show it for them when they disappoint us. I am grateful for those who do not give me what I deserve, and give me what I don't deserve on a regular basis. It shows that they care about who I am as a whole person, and not in one moment of weakness.

Advice for all women in love.

I read a free e-book called The Ultimate Marriage Vow, because it was free, and I'm on vacation. Not because I'm married, or need advice on my marriage. However, I was glad I read it, because of one passage.  The author is Darlene Schacht and this is some advice she gave her daughter on love which I will paraphrase instead of saying verbatim, because that would be plagiarism. The basic gist of it was, that she wanted her daughter to be ready in case her man ever let her down, because sometimes when he lets you down you start to question whether or not you should be together at all. You really need to read the whole section though to get the full impact. It's Day 18 in her book. The link is below. 

I think this is a wonderful message for all young women who are in love to hear. Married and unmarried. I've talked before about putting your significant other on a pedestal, and by being let down when you put your faith in anything other than God. She really put it together beautifully.  If you are married, reading the 21 day challenge and going through with it is a great plan. Her book can be found on her blog. http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.ca/2013/02/free-ebook-ultimate-marriage-vow.html. Please either like her facebook page or follow her blog if you're going to read her e-book. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Not a bad teacher.

I've been reading this blog lately called Single Dad Laughing (http://www.danoah.com/). I'm not sure why, as I am not a single dad, but I am usually laughing at his posts about his kid and his girlfriend, the Farmer's Daughter. Sometimes I connect his blogs about parenting to my life as a teacher, and none more so than his recent post "Crappy Dad." Insert the word teacher for dad, and you'll have my exact feelings about myself less than two weeks ago. I read this blog post that a reader left for him, and I similarly applied it to my own situation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html

Being pink-slipped twice is hella on the ego. It's even worse, when you were doubting your abilities as a teacher before you were pink-slipped the second time, because the kids wear you down. Before you start harping that I'm in the wrong profession know this: I love kids. Kids are fickle though, and one day they love you and the next they hate you. That is definitely the case when you teach them. For any woman who wears her heart on her sleeve like I do, it can be a chore to maintain a professional demeanor without losing your mind when kids' moods change like that.  I may not have the most consistent classroom management, but I think there weren't very many students who would say I didn't care about teaching.

So here I am two years out of college, still looking for that school that will be my niche. I'm down and out after a few mediocre interviews, that probably combined took less time than it takes to watch a re-run of NCIS on DVR. I may have to move from the town where I feel like I've found my home away from home, and I'm coincidentally away from that home away from home, at home for two weeks. (I was in Knoxville and West Virginia visiting my parents, if that last sentence was hard to follow. Sorry.) I feel like I've failed my students, and I've failed my profession. You see, for so long I was under the illusion that the good teachers I had loved their job everyday, and I was also under the impression that if you were called to teach, you'd be a natural at it.  My teachers always seemed to have it together for the most part. So the fact that I was continuously losing my mind trying to do my job, made me feel like I was a bad teacher.

People who have never seen me teach anything before constantly say, "You are a great teacher. I can tell." I've heard that line a million times this summer, and usually my thoughts were along the line of, "How do you know? You have no idea how well I teach. You haven't seen my students' failing scores, or me lose my temper on a particularly rough day."  I've talked to plenty of fellow teachers who have rough days too, but somehow (Maybe it's because I'm young and still a little egocentric) I feel like they must handle it better than me.

Teaching is like any other calling. Just because you are called to be a teacher, does not mean you will automatically be a good teacher. Future teachers do not come out of the womb with an Educational Philosophy and a Classroom Management plan. They do not come out of the womb with the knowledge of the hundreds of thousands of children's lives they are about to enter. Nope, knowledge of those things only come with experience. God did not give me knowledge of everything to do with teaching to help me with my calling. What did He give me? Tenacity. Okay some would say that's just a good word for being stubborn, but trust me, if you're a teacher you need a good dose of stubborn most days. When I was teaching at my first school, my principal told me, "You have to keep showing up, even when you don't think you can."

So take heart anyone who doesn't enjoy their job every second of every day. That doesn't mean you need a career change. It doesn't mean you aren't good at your job. If you get laid off, you shouldn't take it personally. It is not the same as being fired. Not being the right fit for your school, does not mean you are not a good teacher in general. Some days, I feel like Mary Poppins. I get to stay in a school as long as they need me, and then I have to move on to the next set of children. I will be thankful the day I find the set of children I get to stay with for a long time, and that could be any day now.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mawwiage, Mawwiage, Mawwiage.

Name that movie!

Anyway, I've read a lot of articles lately about really old couples who got married really young, and are celebrating their 70th/80th what not anniversaries. I also have a tendency to read the comments on articles. Don't ever read the comments on articles unless you can tolerate a mild amount of profanity, and a large amount of stupidity. I teach high school, so I'm good. The main thing I see people complaining about is how people don't go into mawwiage taking it seriously (Sorry, I couldn't pass it up.).

Why are people complaining about this as a comment on an MSN article? You know what would be more effective? Going out and working on that marriage you're so worried about. I think it's really beautiful that these couples have these great success stories, but I also think it's really sad that we consider these things so rare that they are news worthy. The stories definitely give me the warm fuzzies, and they are great next to the "Congress is trying to screw us"...no wait "The GOP is trying to screw us" stories. Trust me, I'll read about successful marriages all day long rather than read that junk.

Ok, so I am not married, but the statistics on marriage in the United States are staggering, and terrifying, and enough to make any single man or woman want to join a monastery or convent rather than risk it. I'm not repeating them here, because everyone probably knows the stats. Anyone know the stats on getting married the second time? Even worse. Gah, we're supposed to get better at things the second time around people! Anyway, I've recently read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and while that makes me far from an expert on love, marriage, and divorce, his book really did give me some perspective, and also a little bit of hope. I wish Mr. Chapman didn't need to make money, so that everyone could have a free copy of this book to read or listen to on tape, because it taught me a lot about people.

Marriages shouldn't just end. Unlike Elle Woods' decision to go to law school (which was perfectly reasonable), people shouldn't just wake up one morning and decide to quit marriage. Now I expect I just made a lot of divorced people really unhappy. "I didn't decide one morning and quit my marriage. I suffered for a long time, being very unhappy." I hear you. Of course, you tried to make it work. I'm not saying people who divorce are bad people. I'm just saying maybe we're looking at marriage wrong in the first place.

Most people love, love. I mean really what's not to love about it? Butterfly kisses, long walks in the park, cute messages left on your kitchen counter, and the perfect hug that is not too short nor too long (No, that is not a euphemism people!). Some people don't make it to the annoying part of love, before they tie the knot. Fortunately for me, I get annoyed easily. I get more annoyed with how pathetically disgusting I am, than I do with him. I wait for him to call. I clear my schedule for him. I don't even have to do that stuff for him. I just do. Guess what? He probably doesn't notice it. Then I get all huffy if I forgo a trip with the girls to stay home and wait for him to call, and he has no idea why I am unhappy with him.

I expect that many people do this when they get married. They sacrifice for the other person so much that they resent the other person for making them make the sacrifice. What if your spouse has no idea what you are sacrificing? If we consider it a chore, why do it? All it does is build resentment. How would you like it if you knew the only reason why your spouse always folded the laundry is because they thought they always had to? If you're going to fold the laundry, do it out of love, not obligation. If neither of you like folding the laundry enough to do it out of love, do it together. Misery loves company!

Another reason I see people get divorced for is, "I don't know him/her anymore!" Well let me tell you this, unless my husband turns into a murderous, megalomaniac, who emotionally abuses me, I am pretty certain (I won't go to 100%. I've learned to not make promises you can't 100% guarantee.) I won't divorce him. If your ex was emotionally or physically abusive, I am not talking about you. You divorced for totally the right reason. That person did not deserve you. However if you find out a year later that he/she's more immature than you wanted, and/or is prone to making quick decisions that may or may not be wise, he/she is worth getting to know again. Perhaps when you got married he wasn't comfortable enough to show you that side of him? Maybe she was trying to be perfect for you, because she cared about you so much?

I know that I put my boyfriend up on a pedestal early in our relationship. That meant that when he proved me wrong, I was initially disappointed. However him not being an a pedestal has enabled me to be more myself and allowed me to allow myself to be imperfect. He is not perfect, and neither am I. We do/will fight...actually, I fight with myself, and later talk to him about it. He will spend lots of time confused, and I spend lots of time confused. If he had kept up pretense with me though, I would have left him on the pedestal, and I would have kept trying to be perfect. We may have decided to get married, and I believe it would have been hard to keep up a marriage once we let our facades go. Now we get a chance to know each other for real. We get the chance to see if we can live with each other's imperfections, before we even think about vowing to love and honor someone all the days of our lives (We're not by the way, for anyone who actually knows us.).

The point is, I've seen couples work through differences and problems much bigger than personality differences and simple dissatisfaction. I'm sure not a one of them would tell you that it is easy. It requires work. I read somewhere that it is important to not be dependent or independent in a relationship. Rather it requires you to be interdependent. That means you equally rely on each other, rather than one partner depending solely on the other for support. I've also heard it takes giving 110% without expecting equal in return.

People don't enter marriage today thinking like that. They think that they have met the one person who is going to make them happy the rest of their lives. If I ever get married, I'm going to try to keep in mind that whoever the poor fellow is, he is human. He will make mistakes, he will get on my nerves, and he will fail me. I will make mistakes, I will get on his nerves, and I will fail him. I've found that's a good way to look at a lot of my relationships in life. I know these are only hypotheses, and I could be wrong about being able to sustain a marriage. If it does work though, I hope that there are other people my age out there who think like this. I hope we can change the statistics. Otherwise, I feel that there will come a time when no one gets married...that marriage will become just an antiquated ritual.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Fever

Usually the season changing from Winter to Spring doesn't kill me like this. Summer to Fall is what usually gets me down for the count. This year was different. Western Kentucky is just special like that. I woke up yesterday morning with swollen eyes, itchy throat, and runny nose. It was definitely a day to call in sick. 

I dressed up, went to school, ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, and then came home and slept for five hours. When I woke up, I felt fifty times better. The lawn mowing service came and did my lawn, quickly, and inexpensively. I cleaned a little of my house. Then the man came to take me to dinner at his parent's house. The sweetest man in the world, he had bought me flowers and a card as a get well soon gift. I'm not a girl who expects flowers, like ever, but he made me ridiculously happy. 

Today, my eyes are still itchy and my throat's a little scratchy, but I was in good spirits regardless. I jumped up this morning. I taught through an entire school day without getting tired. I was still basking in the glow the love of a great guy.There was nothing that could rain on my parade.

The job search still looms over me, but I'm trying not to let it ruin my current good mood. I am extremely blessed with wonderful friends, family, and church friends. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Learning to not be alone.

Breaks from school are often not really breaks for me. Typically this means that I travel somewhere with my family, and spend every waking moment with them for a week. This is a startling departure from my life at home. I'm so used to having to look for people to hang out with, and being able to run away at any time, that it's kind of stressful to be surrounded with people all the time. 

I love my family. They are an amazing group of people. These past few days have been cold, so I've had to stay stuck in the house with them pretty much the whole time. We don't do much. We talk some, and then we read, get on the computer, etc. I've put in grades, checked facebook billions of times, and written lesson plans for next week. I would love to go outside and walk around for awhile when it warms up tomorrow, but then someone will want to come with me. How do you tell your family that you hardly see, that you want alone time? Isn't that selfish? 

At the same time, I know I will miss them when I go back to work as usual next week. I'll miss having home cooked meals that I eat with five other people at a real table. I'll miss having someone to hug me and tuck me in like I'm five years old. I'll miss torturing my mom with my dad, sister, and mine's bad jokes. I'll miss mock fighting with my sister over the covers in the room we share. 

While in some ways I like being treated like a kid, it's frustrating when I try to be an adult and feel like they won't let me be one. I know that I'll always be the baby. They want to tell me how to do things, even though I already know how to do them. I'm not helpless. I do not always need direction to fix problems. I am not the best at gracefully accepting direction anymore. I know I should be more patient and let them  teach me things, but I get so much direction at work that when I am not at work I kind of want to do my own thing. People are constantly telling me what to do it seems. I'm good at obeying orders at work, but when I'm at home, I'm my own boss. It's weird to let anyone else be my boss now. 

I need to learn to be more patient. I need to learn to listen more and talk less. If I don't, I'm likely to regret the fact that I didn't do what my grandmother told me to do this spring break when I don't know how many more spring breaks I will have with her. I need to be grateful that she's here to nag me, because I know I'll miss it when she's gone. I hate to even think of it, but I know it's true. 

So this break, I'm trying to be grateful that I'm constantly surrounded by people. These people are my family, and I love them dearly. We get on each other's nerves and bicker, but we are fiercely loyal to one another. I will really miss them next week, when I'm dealing with a difficult student or new piece of paperwork. I'll yearn to be asked to do the mundane task of wrapping twenty packages rather than deal with the seemingly insurmountable tasks of inspiring 100 students to not flunk high school Economics or even to try to graduate high school. I will miss struggling to listen to the same story I've heard a dozen times, rather than try yet again to apply for fifty jobs and not wind up moving all over God's creation. I don't have to figure out whether I love them or not; I learned that a long time ago. I'll miss the simplicity. 

At the same time I miss the complexity of life at home. I want to get home to help my stubborn students do better. I want to get home to spend time with the people I care about there. I want to get home to be able to proactively work on my job applications and perhaps earning back my job. I want to go home to go to church and be with my church family. I cannot get any of that done sitting still here. This break was good for preparing me. Now I'm restless, and I still have four days left. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Positivity

I and many Christians often get into a negative place sometimes. We have zero reason to be negative, but it's very easy to slip into the negativity. It's like black ice. You don't even see that it's there until it is too late, and you're spinning without visible hope of stopping. Except you eventually stop spinning on black ice, because an object in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an equal and opposite force. Physically that principle is pretty simple, but how do we mentally do that?

Some people are naturally positive, they refuse to think otherwise. For those of us who are less inclined, it requires a lot of dedication and practice. Refuse to think of things as ending, but rather think of things as a new beginning. I'm not saying that I'm a new and instantaneously reformed positive thinker, but I am trying. David says in Psalms 6:2, "Be gracious to me, O LORD for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled." I know that it is a struggle for me to remain positive in all circumstances (See 1Thessalonians 5:16-18), but I also know that while being a Christian doesn't mean bad times will never come, I will be alright (See Isaiah 43:2).

Part of why I wind up in a negative place all the time, is that I rely on other things to make me happy. For example, I often rely on my job, my friends, my family, etc. to make me happy. This weekend, I attended a women's conference, and a woman said something in her testimony that really spoke to me: "When you put your trust and attention on anything other than God, you will be let down." That is so true. Some days I let how good my day at work was dictate whether the day was a good day. Other days I let it be how much time I got to spend with friends dictate how good my day was. None of those things can every bring lasting happiness.

If something disappointing happens in our lives, it is natural to go to God for help. That's ok, God wants to help us! However, it is important to remember that while it's ok to do what you can to fix the situation, sometimes it's just not in His design for it to be fixed. That's ok. God's been planning things for over 2000 years. Psalm 139 talks about how God has carefully put together each and every one of us. He's a craftsman who by hand pieces us together each individually. We're not stuck in a mold, and created en masse. He's obviously a better planner than you or I will ever be. I don't believe in predestination, but I have the choice to allow God to show me my greater purpose. I choose what trials I allow to defeat me, and I choose which battles to fight. However, God is with me either way I choose.

So I thank God for the new opportunities he puts in my life. Even that bad experiences help me learn and grow, and they draw me closer to him. I must remember to be thankful for all the good things that still exist when I am facing trials, because they come from him as well. I must learn not to blame God for my situation, but rather ask God what I'm supposed to do to change it. I must learn to not beat myself up if negative thoughts enter my mind or cross my lips, but rather ask God for healing to prevent me from doing it again.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Future Forecast: Winds of Change

Simplicity for me has always been the key to happiness. Keep your needs and wants simple, and life will be comfortable and non-threatening. I like things simple. While I can be a dramatic person at times I guess, I really prefer to know exactly where I stand at all times, and what I'm doing. Right now I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing. To assuage my confusion, I've been trying to keep myself busy. Last year I was so busy being awkward, that I didn't really find a church that I felt comfortable in. In January I started church choir, at First Christian Church here in town, and that helped me find a group I'm comfortable with. Everyone is always amazingly supportive of me being in the choir and the church in general. I really don't believe that I deserve half the praise I get. They say they can hear my voice in the choir, and I was always taught to blend. It's about worshiping God. It's not a Ms. G solo.

Speaking of solo, I'm used to trying out for solos. They've never just been handed to me. We got handed a new piece of music a couple weeks ago, and the choir director asked after we sang through it for me to look at the solo. I was embarrassed. What if someone else wanted it? Instead, everyone was like, "Oh, that'll be pretty." I know that church choir should not be as cutthroat as college or high school choir, but it was still weird. It's a kind of pressure I'm not used to having with my singing. We're also singing songs with notes in them that I can hit, but no other soprano in the choir can comfortably sing. Now the notes are high enough that on an off day, I could possibly screw them up. I'm a little apprehensive about my high A solo notes. I feel like a show off every time I sing them. I know that that's part of being younger and not in my 70's, but it makes me feel slightly singled out. I'm like a reluctant Rachel Berry (Not that I think I'm even close to as good as Lea Michelle.).

For the last few weeks I've decided to help with the children's choir at church. I was always getting there too early anyway. Ms. A who runs the program, jokes that she's too nice with them, so it's good to have extra hands. They are the sweetest kids in the world, and I've quickly become attached to them. Normally little kids don't pull on my heartstrings like they do. Does this mean my biological clock is ticking? I've been talking about parenting advice with some of my friends lately, and I'm like, "Why do I suddenly seem to think people care what a single, 23 year old woman has as parenting advice?" I've always liked kids, but this is a new and different feeling. Definitely a change I wasn't expecting.

Other things have changed since Christmas too. I finished teaching Civics, and I have begun teaching Economics. Economics is a lot more math than I've generally been comfortable with teaching. None of the math is too hard for me, but I know from personal experience as a student that not every teacher can teach math. I really appreciate the challenge of it, but I know it gets on my students' nerves when I kind of bungle my way through a lesson. My poor first period gets the brunt of my experimenting. It's hard to maintain good classroom management when you are busy learning how to teach the material. Usually content knowledge has been my strength that all observers (even my tough KTIP mentor) can agree upon. I will be relieved if I get to teach the same classes next year, because then I'll have a year of teaching all these new classes under my belt.

A sort of new person has entered my life since January too. I say sort of, because I knew him before, but we didn't really talk, even though our friends tried otherwise. Anyway, this adds another interesting, complicated situation to my life though I won't go into detail here. Some things have to remain sacred, right? Anyway, I try not to think too much about getting pink slipped, and having to leave here anymore. It's too complicated to think about. As much as I like simple, there is nothing that I want to cut from my life to make it more simple. Now I have to make sure that I write thing down to ensure I don't double book myself. I've thrown myself into new church activities, new experiences, and new subject matter. I know the changes have not even begun. It's wonderful, and slightly terrifying. I'm trying very hard to just roll with the changes, and not try to control everything. The other day I came up with this saying, "God's been planning things for over 2000 years, why don't I let him do the planning?" So far his plans are pretty interesting.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Personality Types

A lovely co-worker of mine had me and our other co-worker take a quiz called a Briggs Myers' Typology Test. In it I was Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. Now my co-workers and I figured there were some inaccuracies with the test, because it's hard to be objective about yourself. The biggest flaw with it is that apparently people with Judging personalities tend to be well organized. I always  mean to be well organized, but usually fall short in that category. Anyway, my co-worker made an excellent point. It wasn't so much that our different personality types were 100% accurate with that test, it was the fact that it opened up our personalities to discussion. I think we will be much better able to understand and work with each other. As much as we cut up about it, I believe that we make a pretty good trio when all is said and done. I'm very blessed to have two hard working people helping me this first time around teaching Geography, Civics, and Economics.

We also spent time about talking about the lovely cliche "opposites attract." (I promise we actually did get work done during all this talking.) One teacher mentioned, that "Opposites attract, but they don't stay together." Another said that it's especially true if your morals are different. I can see how having different morals could definitely make life difficult. At first, it's exciting and perhaps intriguing that they are so different. "What makes that person tick?" you ask. Then it starts to get annoying, "I wish he wasn't so dark and gloomy all the time." It stops being "oooo" mysterious, and starts getting darn right obnoxious. (By the way I am not making any commentary on anyone currently in my life, so if you think I'm talking about you, you're wrong.) If I went out with a guy who was a daredevil all the time, and did crazy stunts, I might find him exciting for awhile, and he could possibly shake thing up a bit, but I'm smart enough to know that my timid, self-preserving butt would not want to have to worry about him 24/7. I liked non-Christian men before, but there's only so many times I can handle a guy shaking his head at me for believing the way I believe, and I'm sure there's only so many times he can handle me trying to persuade him otherwise. Some couples can handle being opposite religions. I cannot. I would also make anyone who is a neat freak nuts. I am perpetually unorganized when it comes to my desk, but I am also perpetually on time. People who are tardy constantly make me annoyed. I think that is part of being a teacher. If you're early, you're on-time; if you're on-time, you're late.

Anyway if you would like to know your personality type based on the Briggs Myers' Typology Test, you can use the same one I did.
Quiz:
http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm
Descriptions of different types:
http://www.personalitydesk.com/story/compatibility-and-your-myers-briggs-personality-type

I am ENFJ, so Here's the link to my personality type Other than the organization part, I think it's fairly accurate. http://www.personalitydesk.com/enfj

Get a friend to take it, it's super fun to discuss the results!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Be a Child while you can be a Child...

Quite recently I was talking to a friend of mine who teaches elementary school. Apparently there are children sent to school with make up on a regular basis. I understand maybe a little lip gloss or nail polish on picture day. Those flash bulbs can wash out the cutest, darling girl. I just hate to think the precedent it may set with some children. That if you leave without make up, you aren't pretty, or at least as pretty as you are with make up. I realize that sometimes girls will learn this inadvertently from their mothers who always wear make up when they leave the house. I was always fascinated by my mom putting on make up, when she wore it. My mother was blessed with a mother who was an Avon lady, that didn't use her own cosmetics. My grandmother does however use Avon's skin care products. Take note, she doesn't look like she's 75 (That's my estimation of her age, I used to know for sure.). My mother doesn't wear make up pretty much at all now. Her job doesn't require dressing up, so she thinks that it's unnecessary to go with her everyday wear.

I'm not saying that mothers who wear make up everyday are terrible mothers. That's completely untrue. Make up is used to bring out the natural beauty in most women. It's up to the mother to make sure her daughters know they are still beautiful without cosmetic help. You wear your make up, but the make up does not wear you. I like the way I look with make up, but I'm still pretty happy with the way I look without it (except on some sleep-deprived days). I hope to share that philosophy with my daughter(s), if I ever have any. If not, I hope I help some of my high school girls realize that they can be pretty without covering up their faces with powder, rouge, etc.

I don't blame TV for everything. TV is entertainment. If people weren't entertained by the crazy stuff on TV, they'd stop showing it. However, many teenagers are played by women five or more years older than their characters. They wear make up appropriate for the 21 year old women they are, not for the fifteen year old girls they are portraying. These beautiful, seemingly sophisticated women can make girls think that's what they are expected to look like. Obviously this is not the TV industries fault, child labor laws make it practical to hire older actresses to play teenager parts that require long hours. It is the parent's job to ensure their child knows what is reality and what is just TV.

The reality is, we need to encourage our children to be children while they are children. I don't mean sheltering them, and buying them "My Little Pony" coloring books until they are 18 (My sister would like one, and she's turning 27 soon.). What I do mean, is that we need to give them age appropriate boundaries, and be consistent with all of our kids (I do realize that right now I'm talking hypothetical children, and I'm not a parent, so what do I know?). That means if your oldest didn't get to wear make up until one day a week in seventh grade, then your youngest (no matter how much younger they are) needs the same rule.

As a younger child, this may seem against my kind. I had the privilege of having a sister who never really wanted any privileges. She actually asked our parents to change her bedtime back to 8PM, when mine was still 8PM. Neither of us needed curfews. I did have to have a limit on the number of days I could wear heels when I was in middle school. I've always been short, and had an affinity for them. I understood that it was good to make sure my ankles grew properly though, so I obeyed. My sister almost never wore make up. I think the only times I've seen her in make up were for the 8th grade dance, Grease, Once on this Island, and Prom. I wore some make up, but usually it was just lip gloss and nail polish. I didn't wear serious make up at any regular pace until college, and usually it was for church.

Make up is fun. It's an accessory, like jewelry. It's supposed to add to what you've already got going for you. Women are beautiful without make up, and they are beautiful with it. Sometimes there is no amount of make up that can cover up what's most important, the inside. That's a cliche for sure, but it's a truth. On my craziest, most temperamental day, I'm pretty sure my students don't care if I'm wearing make up or not. At my happiest, when I'm laughing, and talking with a good friend, I feel beautiful, I feel good with and without make up. That is how it should be.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Security vs. Freedom: This is not a political statement.

When I was younger (granted this was only about five years ago), I was a big fan of the quote, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security, deserve neither." Politically I was just saying that if we give up our freedoms such as religious freedom, to have our government support us and protect us than we deserve neither our government's protection nor our freedom of religion. However on a much smaller more personal scale, I have been going against this quote for the better part of about the last four years.

We strive to find a secure work environment. I lose the freedom to do whatever I want, but at least I have  a steady income with relatively good benefits. What does this mean? Have I sold out? Well as far as work goes, I haven't. A) I do want to be a teacher, the benefits just come with the territory, and B) We have yet to see if I'll keep my job without being pink-slipped first. So much for a secure job.

As far as relationships with people outside my family though, I've sold out. Unlike most people my age, I am, as I've stated before a relationship gal. I don't do casual, and I don't go out with acquaintances. This is generally a rule, which I have broken, but quite rarely. I don't enjoy putting myself out on the line. That is something a four years younger Ms. G would do, not the 23 year old Ms. G. That's kind of ridiculous that at 19 I was braver than I am now. I'd like to say I was more wreckless at 19, but honestly, she was just a normal college girl who wanted to find "The One." Whatever that means. I gave up the freedom of choosing to go out and have a good time with other young people for the security of staying home and keeping up my own life. As long as you limit the variables, you can micromanage your life, and keep yourself secure.

Lately, I have been a little unsatisfied with my security, and I miss my freedom. My self-imposed routine and rules that I live by are a little suffocating, even to a woman who's liked rules since high school. With no one to write rules for me, I've written myself into a box. I've written myself as serious, mature, matronly, and ever so slightly cynical/bitter/jaded. The world around me has given me some reasons to be so, but I let it impact me the way it did. The worst thing about it is, I'm surrounded by moderately older friends who remind me all too often (through no fault of their own) that I'm just 23. During my not so misspent youth, they remind me I have missed out/am missing out on a lot of what being a young adult offers.

There are plenty of normal young adult things I'm glad I haven't indulged in. I have not drunk myself stupid. I have never been drunk at all. I have never needed to take an at home pregnancy test, or worry about getting checked out for an STI. Life has been stressful enough without those problems. Instead I missed out on having much of a social life my last two years of college, justifying it by saying, "I won't be here for long." I've done the same thing as an adult, fearing my latest pink slip.

The truth is, "I won't be here for long," can also apply to life in general. I'm not going all YOLO on you all. I agree with Jack Black when he says, "YOLO is just carpe diem for stupid people." Not living forever is not a reason to go out and do stupid things. I will not be scouring the nearest bar Friday night for a hot date Saturday. However I will allow myself a friendly chat on one Wednesday, perhaps even two or three. For me that is letting go of some of that security, and taking back some of my freedom. I'm still a homebody. I'm still serious, mature, matronly, and every so slightly cynical/bitter/jaded. I will still get in exasperating debates with my friends who think I should be doing more with my youth. The fact is, I didn't build this box for myself in a day. It will take awhile for me to be used to leaving it. I am grateful for my friends who have helped me open the box and look outside.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Advice

I'm not very good at taking advice, but there's usually a good reason (In my opinion anyway) why I don't take it. It's not because I don't respect the advice giver, it's usually because I come up with some reason why I can't do what I wanted in the first place. Like every time I am lonely, and think I want a relationship, I remember that at any moment this time of year, I could be pink slipped, and then I might have to search for a new position for the fall. Then I'm like, "Will any relationship that could possibly be even have time to form before I leave?" I'm not the traipsing all over Kentucky type. I know that I would especially not be able to do it for a fledgling relationship, and I would feel guilty if a guy did traipse all over Kentucky for me, when I wouldn't do it for him.

I'm not a person who believes in just dating for the sake of dating. Just because you're lonely, doesn't mean you should try to fill the void with the next 20-something bachelor you're introduced to. You can date people you barely know, but if you don't believe in dating for dating's sake, then you're kind of limited. Obviously you can't get hooked up with a stranger and start a relationship. It doesn't really work that way most of the time. You have to know the person, and they have to know you, before you make that kind of a commitment. That's why I generally prescribe to the "Be friends first" method, so usually that means that any interested party has to hang out with my friends and I in a group or be familiar to me from some other area, before one on one stuff. It is just safer that way then just going on random dates with people you hardly know. I don't want to waste my time, while I'm young, going on three dates with someone I'm only pseudo-interested in forcing myself to make merry.

 Also if I was dating, I would NEVER want to date someone else, even if the guy told me I could, because that's just not who I am. Of course, I could not expect someone I hardly know to be exclusively my date, because that's a little overbearing for being someone he barely knows. Call me old-fashioned, call me crazy, but that's just who I am. Then of course, he could become more attached to someone else he was dating, and I may start to like him, and then we'd have a stupid mess.

Furthermore, while I am somewhat bored and lonely, I'm not desperately bored and lonely. Boredom and loneliness can be cured by friendships too. If I rely on a man to cure me of my boredom and loneliness, then I will become forever dependent on a man for my happiness and contentedness. I don't want that to happen. Learning to be content with how you are is essential I believe, before you learn to be content with someone else in the long term. I've been pretty happy, single for the past almost five years. When I was unhappy, my singleness was not the problem, it was my lack of a job, lack of financial stability, and lack of having any friends to talk to in person (Like when I moved to Hopkinsville). I'm not willing to disrupt the status quo for some random guy a lady at church thinks might be interesting without actually getting to know the person first.

So even if I complain about being bored and not having anyone, I know that I don't necessarily want someone to fix my problem, because of the reasons stated above. I don't want to make someone travel for me. I don't believe in just dating for dating's sake. I don't believe that a man is the only solution to my loneliness and boredom, and the day that I believe that will be a sad day indeed. I prefer for someone to come up with something I can do on Friday night that doesn't require a man to make it a great time. I like time with my girls. I'm 23, and with all the junk I have to worry about with teaching, I'm not willing to make whether I become an old maid something I 100% have to worry about. If I meet someone I like, great, but I don't need to ask acquaintances to set me up with any young single man they know.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

If I were going to write a book.....

I would write about a young woman who is a teacher. I know that story sounds familiar, but seriously there is crazy stuff every day that I could write about. I'd make it only semi-autobiographical, because some days are less crazy than others, and I don't want the world all up in my business (Did I really just say that? I have a blog for goodness sake!). There is a certain anonymity given with blogging (If you choose.) compared to writing a book unless you use a pseudonym, which would of course defeat the purpose of writing a biography.

Teenagers are like the weather in KY. If you don't like them one day (or if they don't like you) wait awhile, they'll change. I have students who write me awkward love letters that I pray to the Lord are supposed to be jokes, and I have students who tell me that I'm hateful. Sometimes it is the same student. I have students who come into my room every morning before school, and talk with me, but then act like a nut case when I have them in class. Take courage new teachers of America, you may be sad, because they hate you one day, but the next day it may change. You can just never tell with children.

My students have shamelessly flirted with me before, and that always makes me uncomfortable. I always say, "I didn't even date high school boys when I was in high school." Hey, they don't need to know I didn't date anyone in high school. They are not usually graphic or crude, just like, "Hey Ms. G I'm free Saturday wanna go to Applebee's?" Ok one was, but he was that way with everyone, so I simply threatened to tell his mother and press sexual harassment charges. He stopped.

I've had students that were out of control. My first year, a student decided that he was going to answer the door every time, and the way he was going to answer it was by opening the door with his foot. This same kid gave me a chain with some dead snake skin on it for Valentine's Day. How sweet.This year, I had one kid who was so hyper that when my back was turned he got up on the counter and did a Captain Morgan pose with a chair. Seriously, I didn't even see him get up there. Just turn around and "BOOM!" there's Captain Morgan.

It hasn't been very long since I've been in college, and even my older friends can be a little crude, rude, and socially unacceptable at times (I love you though!). This leads often to me actually getting the awful jokes my kids tell each other. Nothing is worse then when you have to try to not laugh at one of those, "That's what she said," jokes. Yes, I know they are crude and tasteless, but I think we all are occasionally, if we are honest with ourselves. As the teacher, I have to take he or she out in the hall and explain to them that those jokes have no place in my classroom, because they disrupt order and instructional time, while I'm chuckling secretly on the inside about what he/she just said.

Of course if I were to write a book, I'd write about the less crazy, and more depressing parts of the job too. For example I'd have to write about apathy and laziness. I'd have to address my issues with classroom management, and kids' issues with authority. I have trouble managing a classroom like many new teachers, and I also have trouble getting kids to do their work, pay attention, and basically be a student. Those are not the moments that keep me teaching, however, and while professionally I must keep track of those weaknesses, I don't really relish talking about them much in my free time. I just have to keep telling myself that as long as there are more good things to say about my job than bad, I'm where I'm supposed to be.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, same me

Here I am sitting on my couch, watching my cat sleep. Sounds like a normal Monday night. Actually it's a normal Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night as well. I occasionally get out, but it's not with any regularity. Especially now that the holidays are over, I'm back to just the usual 9-5 (Except that it's 7-3:30, but whatever). I'm going to try to be a good member of our church choir. Sadly, I sometimes doubt my ability to motivate myself to go to a 7PM practice. Kind of pathetic right? These winter days make me particularly sluggish. I'm reminded of a Dorothy Parker quote that states, "I don't do a thing. Not a single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that anymore."

I've already talked about how I like to stay home rather than party at a bar or club, however every now and then, I kind of miss the Starbucks and being able to people watch while working on my work for school. I'm a creeper. I like people watching. I just find people's habits so interesting. I can't even go people watch at the library, because without a valid KY driver's license (I'm still validly licensed in TN.), I can't check out book. Boo.

I find myself conversing about two topics my cat and my job. I don't have much else to discuss. I've already exhausted the topic of my Christmas vacation, which consisted of me being deathly ill, snowed in, and extremely stressed. These are not exactly great conversation starters. I'm hoping doing choir and being more involved in church will give me something else to write home about so to speak.

I have trouble motivating myself to do anything when I get home from school. I don't want to cook, because then I'd have to clean, and I don't want to clean. I'm so lazy. First world problems I suppose. I am very blessed to have dishes to dirty, and food to dirty them with, but somehow unless I have company, I really don't think it's worth it to cook and then clean up after it. I'll empty the litter pan, take out the trash, pick up my socks, and stuff, but I don't have to dirty the kitchen, so sometimes I just choose not to. It's probably wickedly expensive and wasteful, but by the end of a day at work, I just don't care. Sometimes it's even hard to motivate me on the weekends, because I'd like to rest on my days off, but somehow I always wind up doing something on Saturday during the day, and then not wanting to do anything at night. Then on Sunday I go to church, and then write lesson plans and grade papers the rest of the day. I'm burnt out, and I have no reason to be. Probably the lack of sun, and the bad food I've been eating is part of the reason. I'm a terrible adult.

I realize I have nothing to be unhappy about. I have a nice apartment and a decent job. I get adequate pay and benefits. I have an adorable kitten and nice friends. I'm relatively healthy, and I go to a nice church. I feel like Charlie Brown. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, I'm the Charlie Browniest. (Please note: I in no way own that quote; The origin is the movie Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!) I'm extremely blessed, and I pray I work my way out of this funk soon. I think I need a snow day where I can be safely snuggled up in my covers, looking out my window at the snow, drinking some hot chocolate, and petting my cat. That sounds good. Too bad we're looking at above average temperatures for the next several days. Oh well, maybe I'll get some nice sunshine. :)