Thursday, June 27, 2019

In waiting

Thank you to the people who reached out to me, even though I told you not to.  Lol.  I am grateful people don't listen. HA

This is another "private" post, unadvertised.  I haven't done my brother's post yet, I only yesterday started to truly feel like myself.  I am highly anxious today, but I suppose that is to be expected.  Tomorrow is the service and frankly, I am tired of crying and being sad and upset.  I know this is normal, but I don't want to be normal, as usual.  But that makes no difference, what I want.  I am what I am and I feel what I do.

I have had a few people tell me that, and I really do listen.  Even if I seem like I don't.  I do pay attention.  And I know a couple of them like to be right all the time, so there it is again.  You were right, I will be fine, but it is ok to be sad and cry.

I think I have cried more in the last 6 months than the last 6 years.  I know that is true.  Again, when life throws you some of the biggest highs and lows of your time on this earth, all in the same week in some cases, you are going to have some emotional stuff coming up. 

So, I am making plans- creative plans.  For a workshop or two, and more travel, and some concrete and mosaic work....  and of course the photography.  And next summer- more travel....

I really wish I didn't feel so damn anxious today, I just want to go and do it and hold my grandchildren and be with family. And then start to see where this all takes me....  and find my joy again.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

NOT good

This is a fast, down and dirty post.  I am not sharing to Facebook, I will write a better post later.  I am NOT doing well today.  I always am doing well, my optimism is the core of my being....  but the events of late have knocked me fucking over.

I have had such a mix of good and bad, of highs and lows and now insecurity and fear and grief and sorrow...  I am haunted by not being good enough, by thinking I have done everything wrong, though back then I did the best I knew how and I can't regret my decisions of years gone by.  But the thoughts are making me second guess everything I have thought, I'm full of the fear I am not good enough and always always too much.

I am not asking for phone calls, or messages or sympathy.  I just think you should put out your ugly side once in a while.  Then maybe the joy will follow some time.  Hopefully soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

more thoughts...

One would think that one would be ecstatic to be retiring, but I have come to find out that it isn't as easy as it appears. 

There are several weird mind things that are going on here- in reality, you are really an expert at your job when you are ready to retire.  I mean, I feel so successful at teaching most things, but the painting series I do with the students is totally rocking effective....  I am referring to the hs kids here of course- but the same goes with the littles- you know what you want them to be doing and you know how to get them there- it is just picking out the projects that will be most effective for that group of kids.

Next of all- I don't know about all of you all, but I am pretty sure I am not old enough to retire.  My birthday begs to differ, but I seriously feel like I have only just started a few years ago.  It sort of feels like cheating.  I have never felt (and some say acted) my age, and I think hanging out with teenagers every day gives you an altered outlook on life.  These are some fine people that I am teaching, don't for a moment believe the negative people in the world who do the "the kids these days" thing.  Guess what - the old people said that about you too- the world does not stay stagnant and it is a different world from when we were growing up- you have no idea what these kids do.  And they are fine humans, who happen to be trapped in some serious hormone overload at the moment.

I made the decision REALLY fast and I haven't had a lot of time to acclimate myself to it.  I have embraced it but I haven't fully had it integrate in me.  I am looking forward to it, yet it has defined such a big part of my life and it is so weird to think I won't be doing it anymore.  It is a relief and a seriously terrifying idea this whole being done with your career.  I'll adapt and I will stay busy, but I am looking at the time in front of me this fall and wondering how I will react.  Fortunately the summer is a buffer and I will just let the fall happen.

I am a person who has to process by talking out loud, and I am more than a little worried I am driving my closest friends crazy.  I want to leave them alone, but I feel totally afloat and a little afraid....  good thing they are so patient with me.  I am very lucky.

I- for better or worse- have a countdown going, something I refused to do before this year.  I just didn't want to know how many days of school were left, I didn't want to think about it usually.  Time goes too slowly if you count things down, I thought, and that is true to a degree.  But it also makes it possible to really embrace the day, live in the moment and try not to wish your life away.  I tell my high schoolers to not hurry their time in school, that some day they will realize how good their time here actually was (for most of them) and I am trying hard to take that advice.... and find all the joy  that I can while I am at it.... but somehow I can't help saying- Is it June yet?

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Another life event is on deck

I know....  it HAS been a long time.  It has been an interesting early 2019 shall we say.  One life event leads to another and sometimes you are some place you weren't expecting....

The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.
C. S. Lewis

I have sort of let it be known lately that I am retiring at the end of the school year.  If  you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I was going to be done in May of 2019 with the career I waited so long to get and love so fiercely, I would have looked at you askance and tilted my head and rolled my eyes at you....  I can't yet would have been my answer.  But, a sad twist of fate came up- my mom's death and subsequent settling of the estate- gifted me with something I hadn't expected.  Retirement.  Basically I will have enough to pay for my insurance for a few years and with the catalyst of some situations in the teaching profession that I may or may not talk about at some point in the future has caused me to make the decision.

That particular moment of change was the culmination of many factors, not the least being that two of my very best friends and colleagues were going to be retiring- the Mad-science teacher, Laurie and my buddy, the band teacher, Pat.  I had a hard time imagining my life next year without them- especially mornings with coffee without Laurie.  But I was working on that visualization, and was settling in to it.  Then the school calendar came out and teachers have to report in 2 plus weeks before school begins.... which is ridiculous.  And my former idea of 3 years out before retirement became one year.  Then a situation arose and I decided on the spur of the moment I was done. It was a traumatic event in many ways (for me only) ...  then I had a couple of conversations at school- I was crying (this is how I handle stress- what can I say?) and they were talking me down, and then I had lunch with the MA and Laurie, and they told me exactly why I could and should indeed be done.  I believe I was told that someone was glad they wouldn't have to listen to me complain about meetings- staff and otherwise- any more... hmpf.  But he has a very valid point.  There was no reason of any sort to keep me working in an increasingly difficult situation.

Fortunately those are two very calming people in my life who coached me through the initial decision- even though I had really already made it.  But I needed their words and validation and steadying influence that day.  Then another person very close to me continued (and still does- YOU'RE DONE) to offer words of calm reflection, advice and support.... I have a few of those people in my life and I am SO grateful.  And then I have my dear Mad-Missouri friend who tells me how much I am going to love it.

The next few days were a rollercoaster of giddy relief and teary regret.  I have never ever doubted I made the correct decision, I just wish I didn't feel like I was deserting my kids.  Especially the HS kids.  It took a full month of being on the edge of breakdown to talk about it without crying.  I sometimes still do- I love my job.  But it isn't the job I took when I began this career.

This winter was hard- between my mom and being sick with influenza for a LONG time, and a few other personal things and the freaking weather that kept me cooped up- it was very difficult. And of course tax season REALLY sucked this year, people.  The retirement decision did not make me a more stable individual either.  Lol.  But I am feeling better all the time, and I, once again, am redefining my life and heading in directions that I NEVER thought I would be going in.

There is a lot more that can be said, and I will in subsequent blog posts....  I have many related topics.  And I have a couple celebratory vacations coming up too- and you will have to stay tuned to what happens next.  I have a few things up my sleeve.....  Including my very own retirement party!   Like I said- topics to be covered soon.

I have been posting a bunch of oddities on Facebook and Instagram, definitely helping me come to terms with this- the whole Wroger and Wrachel craziness, but the ceiling tiles and the senior pictures and the Eagles are giving me so much joy.  The memories come flooding back and I have been getting messages from so many students of the past.  I love talking and reconnecting with them- I hope to see them soon- Might have to arrange a Flambeau-rama meet-up time or something?

Anyway- I have also been taking photos (like that is a surprise)- so the above photo is for attention only. Well, maybe not- that picture and the quote are very, very apropos.  Which is of course why I chose it.

So much joy has come out of some serious heartache- and as I take on this next adventure- you can be sure I will be taking pictures and making art, probably writing as well...  and who knows what else.  Change is challenging, but the best things in life are hard won, waited for and anticipated and sometimes they come out of the blue- you HAVE to recognize them when they appear so you can embrace them and get the most joy possible.