May 13, 2023 Day #1508

Serendipity- Good luck in finding valuable things unintentionally.

I don’t know what to say, or how to start- I have so many things on my mind this morning!

Milo… I think that at age 46, Milo is the first soul that I’ve truly truly mourned and grieved, properly. I guess when I say properly- I mean like in a healthy manner- unlike when I grieved with vodka when my mom died.

It’s been almost two weeks since we learned that we will never see him again. About a week after we found out, I played hooky from work (I did have a rheumatology appointment, but could have worked most of the day). I figured I could work on Milo’s grave. I needed to pick up some mulch and needed strong hands so I took my oldest out to lunch and then to Home Depot.

The day prior, his friend sent me pictures of an adorable litter of kittens and a message saying that he has one left to give away, and that my oldest thought we should get it and that it would be a “good distraction from Milo.”

That line bothered me. We needed to mourn Milo, not stuff our grief down and cover it with the distraction of a new little soul in our lives. But I understood what he meant, and that we had always done that before.

I politely declined, but thanked the friend. This topic came up while out to lunch. To my surprise, my son was shocked when I told him I wasn’t planning on getting another cat.

You see, I had been having this conversation in my head for years. I talk a lot about it to my sister and my hubby, but I guess not my kids. I don’t want any more pets when these ones are gone. I don’t even think I’m a great pet owner- and the responsibility is overwhelming. But, I never really voiced this to my kids– my kids who have always lived in a home with one dog and two cats. The last few pets to die were quickly replaced. It was truly the only thing that helped my grieving heart. When Chloe died, I actually found a kitten that looked just like her and was going to get her and name her Chloe. I don’t think that cat ended up being available- and in the end we ended up with Zoe- whom we named after both Chloe and Sunshine as she reminds us of both of them (even though she’s 10, hubby and I still occasionally mistakenly call her Sunshine).

So my 20 year old was surprised, and sad. He told me that he thinks two cats and one dog is a really good balance, and is perfect.

Yes, I replied. For a young family, it’s perfect. But we aren’t a young family anymore. I feel so guilty every time we have to leave them. I want to be free to leave when you guys leave, and don’t want to feel guilty.

We had a great conversation about this and he seems content. At the same time, it’s so bittersweet to acknowledge that our family is much different than it ever was before. He didn’t believe me about the no pets, until I told him how long I’ve been pondering it and have decided that I’ll probably not be able to live with zero pets, and will have a little dog who can travel with hubby and I. No cats, I hate leaving them, but I did tell him that I would probably have a cat when I’m old and mostly at home. It’s funny how life stages are so different- and require different things.

Oddly, it feels good to mourn Milo. That day I took off, I spent hours on his grave. It was very therapeutic, but also kind of sad because my hands have been painful since. I hope I can garden this summer!

I used to run from my grief- now I welcome it. It feels good to cry for Milo- and the grief comes in waves usually when I am reminded of him.

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep the promise to myself to not get another cat. I’m relieved that I have zero desire for another one. I’m 100% content loving on Zoe all day and all night. Now when she passes, and we have no cats at all- well that will be the true test I guess.

There has been something else that has been heavy on my mind…. work.

I spent the majority of the year paranoid that I won’t get renewed. When I talk to people around, this seems very silly. Additionally, my department, specifically, has said they are adding more teachers to our program.

I talk about this pretty openly at work. I was talking with the speech teacher the other day, and about next year. She is pretty fed up with our building and requested to move to the preschool if they have an opening. I told her again, my thoughts about not getting renewed- or not being back at least to Parkview the elementary I’m currently at. She thinks I’m crazy, but I told her that my intuition is many times right and feeling pretty strong on this one.

Two days later I saw a job posting for a ELA teacher at the high school- teaching English Language Learners. I would not have even clicked on it, if it hadn’t been for a random conversation during a meeting on the previous Monday. It was our department meeting and my mentor mentioned that one of the special ed teachers at another elementary was leaving.

Who? I wanted to know. I knew Andrea and Marlene are both pretty new and I think they are both spiffy so I was pretty sad to hear this. My mentor said Andrea was moving to the ELL program. I was sot of surprised but not too shocked and happy for her. It turned out to be a seed that would begin to grow.

ELA. High school. ELL’s and lots of scaffolding and differentiated instruction (which I’m proficient at- being in special education). I clicked on the job posting and began to daydream.

I’ve often said I would never want to do high school again. I did a .2 position for one semester my first year in Royal Oak. I hated how students would make out in the hallways. That’s probably what I liked least- along with the attitudes.

My daydreams turned into, what ifs?

I have been so unhappy this entire school year. I mean, on a daily basis, I arrive to work well rested and motivated, I love most of my students (I like them all- but I have some tough ones. Like a 3rd grader who thinks it’s HILARIOUS to put his finger far up his nose and threaten to touch me with it). So in general, I live my school days with joy- but I miss the connections I had with my previous students. I’m tired of my job being 90% behaviors, and meetings and paperwork and managing adults and schedules, etc etc.

I. Love. To. Teach.

This is evident when you walk in my room and I’m in the middle of a lesson- this is my element. But it’s happening less and less as I get more kids added and more time is eaten up.

Although I’ve said I never wanted to do high school, so many things seem to make sense.

I’d enjoy being at the same school as my youngest and at the school where my oldest works (he works at the pool), and where my niece will go next year. It’s even closer than the school I’m at now. I’d have a slightly smaller class due to the ELL’s and would be able to teach reading and writing every single day.

I’ve been not feeling so fulfilled and practically begging the Universe to send me somewhere where I feel that I’m making connections and making a difference. I wanted to influence people in a good way. Could this be the gateway to my ultimate wish?

I’ve made pretty good friends with the ELL teachers at my current school, so I asked them about the posting to get more information.

The gave me the name of the current teacher, who they said is amazing and urged me to reach out to her which I did.

She gave me lots of great info, and after reading her email I’m pretty determined to apply. I have no idea if they’ll choose me, but I don’t care because I leave it all up to the Universe anyways.

She knows what’s best for me ✨👊🏻