Peaceful Mornings

It’s Friday morning, 4 o’clock hour, and I’m sleepless once again.

I woke up to go to the bathroom and ran into my oldest in the hallway- this was around 3:30am.

He said he heard a distinct Milo meow outside his bedroom window around 2:30, and had been calling for him since. We had set out clothes and used kitty litter around the yard yesterday- and we were feeling hopeful that maybe he’d find his way home in the calm of the night.

I couldn’t sleep after that, and walked the yard with a flashlight- with no luck.

On the bright side, I’m not feeling too bummed about being up so early again. I had a great morning yesterday! After I wrote in here, I had the best workout I’ve had in over 6 months, and that was me not wanting to work out at all. I was so glad I got on the bike- it felt good to ride 7 miles before work. Riding my bike one mile to work will be a piece of cake 🙂

I also had time to meditate- although it wasn’t a great session. I’ve been meditating daily for several months now, but haven’t had very good sessions where I feel in a trance. I’m either completely conscious- or I tend to fall asleep. Last weekend, after my friend visited- I meditated in the afternoon/evening. I was very tired from staying up so late, but I was also holding my coffee cup (it was an impromptu meditation session) – which I think prevented me from falling asleep and helped me achieve more of a trance state.

For the first time in awhile, it was a good session. I went to Crystal Cave, and my mom and Anthony’s grandma (who passed while on a cruise in 2002) were there. They were getting on my case about not visiting our parents more (his and my dad/stepmom). Then Anthony’s young cousin showed up. I asked him if he had a message and he said to tell his sister that he is taking care of all her passed pets (she loves her pets!).

It made me think that maybe I should meditate later in the day instead of first thing. Yesterday I did both, but my afternoon session wasn’t great.

I had a pretty good day at work. The kids were extra wound up, and I was kind of cranky, but I ended up emailing my principal with my schedule and the issues I am having. I told her I planned to reach out to my boss- but didn’t want to blindside her. It’s a start and it feels good.

Today is not only Friday, but it’s the Friday before Spring break! AND.. and Parkview it happens to be pajama day, which I intend to take full advantage of! I’m even bringing my slippers. I don’t always participate in pj day, but today it’s happening.

On a side note, I was thinking about the upcoming summer and wondering if I’ll be productive or not. I began to think of the summer of 2020 and how magically awesome it was. I heard a song, which reminded me- that’s what got me thinking. It was amazing, but why weren’t the summers after, and how do I make this coming summer more like 2020?

In 2021, I was preparing for my son and nephews graduation party. I did a ton of work, especially outside. It was great to feel productive and get things done outside, but I think that took most of my summer. The party was at the end of July and by August, I’m already in back-to-school mode- so when that party was over, so was my summer it seemed.

In 2022, I slept. My hands were so sore, I think I weeded around the pond once. I spent the summer trying to heal with diet changes, and just got worse and worse. By the time school started, I could hardly get up off the ground. My legs were stiff, swollen, and horribly painful.

Last week I almost cried at an IEP meeting, and nearly made the mom cry. It was for that little boy who I get off the bus everyday- the one who struggles walking. The team began talking about how amazing and inspiring this child is.

I told mom how sick and immobile I was in the fall- and how her little boy changed my entire outlook. And that was no exaggeration.

But my thoughts about summer is that right now 2023 is a blank slate. How do I want it to look? What a great prospect! I thought hard about this yesterday. I definitely want to write- as much as I can- and then just household chores will keep me busy- especially outside. We bought the acre lot next door a few months ago, so I’m excited to figure out what we’ll do with it and clean it up.

I feel like I could be totally content staying home all summer long and doing nothing but writing, swimming/bike riding/other leisure activities and fixing up/maintaining the house. It sounds absolutely perfect, actually.

When I first got sober, it was the summertime, and I would sometimes think of my home as a sober retreat. It included all the good stuff- spiritual work, recovery work, grounding while gardening outside, meditating in the garden, wholesome food, etc. My wish for 2023 reminds me of a sober retreat. I can’t think of a better way to spend summer vacation. Pretty hilarious for a girl who lived for drinking all summer- and the thought of a sober summer would scare me away from sobriety- until I learned and experienced the truth (that alcohol is a big, fat liar).

This was supposed to be a quick update- but I keep getting off track. It’s after 5:00 now, and I’m deciding if I want to work out or not. I think not. I think I’ll make some pancakes- or something else hardy to eat because I’m feeling famished.

Thanks for listening to my rambles!

Have a great Friday everyone- happy weekend!

Help Me See this Another Way

Today is Friday the 13th, and quite frankly, I’m scared Sh**less.

It’s been an icky week. As I’m typing how awful it was, I’m realizing, though, that really, it was not a terrible week. No one died, no pets got horribly sick, I didn’t have a ton of appointments- it could have been worse.

On Sunday morning, I got an email from a teacher who got under my skin. Although I tried to put it in the back of my mind, it overshadowed all of Sunday. It wasn’t a horrible email- it’s just a really irritating situation in general.

On Monday, I had to meet with her and my principal. I dreaded the meeting horribly- but it actually wasn’t that bad and we made some progress towards some solutions (the MAIN problem is the lack of staff and support and scheduling teacher assistants-this teacher wants more support than we are able to give her, and it just sucks).

Tuesday was a fine day at work. However, I had the first of 10 classes of this professional development I’m taking. It was Tuesday after work and went until 9:15. The instructor was teaching it like there’s no tomorrow, and any hope of getting out early was lost. I’m very happy it’s online though.

On Wednesday, I received an email that I think will change me forever. It was from a parent, and the worst (angry wise) email I’ve ever received in my life. Unlucky for me, it was to me, and me alone. Lucky for me, it wasn’t an attack on me, personally, so that helped. It stemmed from an unfortunate incident involving the bus and the sub bus driver that morning.

On Wednesdays my hubby goes straight from work to give swim tests to Boy Scouts. He doesn’t get home until I’m in bed and so I wasn’t able to talk to him about it to debrief Wednesday night. I was able to talk to colleagues during the day, but they were just irritated with me. Not at me, just with me.

On Wednesday night and Thursday morning, I begged the Universe to give me a day of positive connections and positive interactions for Thursday. While I did have positive interactions, I was also riddled with technological and other stupid, but minor, problems throughout the day.

On Thursday I gave angry parent’s daughter an assessment and she did incredibly better than when I tested her in the fall. Any joy that I felt about this was overtaken by dark thoughts of that email. It’s not that I was taking it personally, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. In fact, it stole every joyful moment on Thursday.

For the first time in my teaching career, I wanted to quit.

By Thursday night, it was still bugging me. I think that by then, I was more bothered by the fact that it was bothering me, than I was about the actual email.

When hubby asked about it, I told him how I felt. He asked if he could read the email and I asked him to help me see it another way.

You see, I talk to him all the time about seeing things and situations from another perspective. Usually, though, it’s him that won’t let a situation go and me calming him, telling him how useless it is to let it occupy his mind. I think he might be listening.

His response wasn’t profound, but it was extremely helpful.

First he explained that based on the email, this was probably a person who normally cusses while talking and that’s just the way they are. But he pointed out that when the parent wrote fu**ing, he put the stars in there and had the thoughtfulness to sensor it.

Then he reminded me that while this parent was in a horrible situation and feeling so angry that transportation couldn’t help him, he trusted me enough to reach out to me for help.

And that was all I needed to hear, as simple as it may be. And he was right.

I’m still apprehensive, and still kind of want to get out of this field, but I’m feeling much better.

It’s Friday, mid-morning, and so far the work day has been good. I have a few absent today, and we have a three day weekend, so today feels comparatively easy.

I’m still feeling slightly apprehensive about the date, but happily feeling grateful as I wrote this out and realizing that for how awful I felt on Wednesday and Thursday, I really do have so much to be grateful for.

I need to remember that “This too, shall pass.” It might hurt like a kidney stone, but.. ❤

I Only Stuff My Face at Night

I probably mentioned this 100 times, but I’m doing the Lotus and the Lily soul program for the third time. One of the last days, has you think of a movie title that describes your life. My immediate thought was like, River Lo; Goes with the Flow. After much thinking, I knew that I’m not there yet, my resistance is strong at times.

So, thinking about the past year.. the movie title I came up with, is: Gimme, Gimme.

It was about a year ago, I took Reiki I and II classes and vowed to heal myself. Lisa, my teacher, talked about purging old emotions, including not only my own trauma, but my ancestors trauma as well.

But, that’s not what I really did.

I continuously looked outside for the answer. Physical therapy, grounding, vibrating plate, rebounder, massager, sauna… if it promised to purge toxins and/or cure pain, then I was fully vested.

And I still catch myself doing it.

And while I did do a good job of staying on the AIP diet, I never gave up cacao- which I was supposed to (according to most AIP diets. Some allow it- which is why I was okay keeping it-plus I knew it would help me be successful with this diet). I reintroduced eggs, but probably not properly, but kept eating them anyway. Having eggs made the diet a bit easier too.

I think you know the rest of the story. August was too busy- I went back to eating the standard American diet and stopped cleansing with juices and smoothies. And now it’s December, and I’m still here.

Some days I eat great, until nighttime. Some days I hardly eat at all, until nighttime. And some days I eat junk all day long. Those days are rare, thank goodness!

The confusing part is that I feel SO much better than I did in the summertime. I’m still sore and some days its hard to get up and down. Most days I feel almost normal with motrin. For weeks now, I usually only take motrin or tylenol in the morning. It’s hard to believe that I was taking both 3-4 times daily very regularly over the spring and summer. My weight is back to normal (I gained 20 pounds when my leg edema was at its worst), and I feel like I can start working out again.

And I have crazy thoughts of doing that diet again! I know I need to work on it, but am pretty scared now of picking up bad symptoms- like edema. I keep thinking that I’ll just cut out dairy and gluten and start with those. That would be fairly doable and when I brought it up to my hubby, he mentioned that he would do it with me and that he wants to eat better too. Starting it is a whole nother thing.

I hate that this is so cliche, but I just have January in my head as a starting. With holiday festivities coming up, it seems pointless to try to crack down. I’m going to do the best that I can. I want to start training for that half marathon in April. I’ll start working out again over break- and will start slow and gradually increase. I can’t wait until I can run again!

Plus, life has been insane with work lately. I started the new schedule with my new classes this week. The kids are doing great, and seem to be happy and comfortable. The adults, could take a lesson from the children.

That was mean. “Kindness made me kind.” is the affirmation I use when my mean comes out.

It’s been an adjustment for everyone. And really, for the most part, everyone has been great. There are little hiccups here and there, but they are getting smoother everyday. I even got observed this week- I think even twice!

I couldn’t tell you exactly what I was doing the first time, except teaching writing to the self-contained class across the hall. These students have significant disabilities, but I’ve been teaching them writing all year, so we’re into a routine and I’m sure the observation went fine. The second time was yesterday, Friday. It was very busy when she came. I had 5 students in my room and 3 parapros. They oversaw the students working while I pulled two students aside to give them quick assessments. I think it went well, except that my newest student continued to grab at my mask every time I got near him. It was so annoying, lol, but in his defense, it’s the first time I wore a mask with him there. She knew what would be going on, and I think was impressed.

I never felt as nervous as looking at her in her apprehensive eyes and assuring her that I’m okay with this class change and think that it truly is the best thing to do (she is new to our district too, and this is quite different than what we did pre-pandemic times). I’m glad she saw it so busy and running well.

Besides all the kinks, I’m really liking this new schedule and groups. I enjoy teaching and had time to do read-alouds this week and create corresponding activities that practiced different skills. It felt so much less rushed and so much more productive than before. I feel like a real teacher and even will have papers to bring home and grade sometimes 😊

I’m really connecting with the students and learning what gets me excited now- like when I’ve been trying to teach a 2nd grader all year long to differentiate between adding and subtracting and he not only does it independently now, but I’ve caught him catching a mistake with a tool I printed for him and it gives me that joyous feeling!

One of my favorites is my youngest, M. She was my most difficult student in the beginning and I was pretty terrified of her. She was awful. She didn’t want to come with me half the time, and whined and argued with everything. She has speech apraxia and you can’t understand her words which made it even harder.

Let’s go back to the very first day of my new job. I woke up to an owl hooting. I took it as a good sign that I was where I was supposed to be and thought it was a good omen.

At some point, M discovered a stuffed owl I’ve had in my classroom since last year. I let her play with it and we made a game out of her hiding him for the next student and finding him when she comes in. The owl was our turning point.

A month later, M was routinely knocking on my door on her way to the bus- just to give me a hug. Her parapro would apologize for interrupting, but M was persistent. And no one could have known that I needed that hug more than her.

I kind of laugh when I look back at the beginning. I seemed so incompetent and didn’t know anything- but it’s amazing how quickly we can learn and grow. Some things are still hard, but I love it at my new school. And I LOVE my five minute drive! I dream of the days that I ride my bike to and from work. It never happened this fall because of leg edema, but if I keep improving, I can ride when winters over.

That’s about it. All is well. But I still stuff my face at night ❤