Lessons that never end

and really they don’t. Just when I think all is in order I get thrown on my ass again.

Last week’s day in a sentence (hosted by Illya‘s EVO Blogfolio) was actually a year in a sentence and it called for reflective sentences on the year that is about to end.

I left the call for sentences post open in my browser for a day or so. I’d stare at it, go away, stare at it again, go away again, until finally I typed:

Learning about what is important to me – lessons that never end!

Beaver Lodge

Beavers don't build a lodge and they are done. It's constant - always building, adding and taking away - and necessary for survival. This picture and the lodge making story was found on Mon@rch's Nature Blog. Click image for source.

It always seems to be this time of year when I lose my focus. It’s run run run all the time with teaching. teaching. teaching. This year in particular – my days are long. very long. I leave my house at around 6am and sometimes don’t return until 13 or so hours later. My dogs are loving this schedule (not) as am I (again, not). At this time of year that means that my down time is all in darkness. Yuck. (And I am getting tired of telling this story over again year after year.)

For the past few weeks I have been an elastic ball of exhaustion, ready to snap apart at any noise, annoyance, divergence from plans. Not a good quality to have when a) I work with teenagers, b) I have 2 dogs and a cat who need more attention than I am giving them, and c) I am experiencing my first winter in my 100 year old home in the country. (stove pipe fell out of the wall last week, filling my home with smoke, on the same evening that my furnace ran out of oil, so I had to sleep with the windows open on a night with no heat in the house. Yesterday my pipes froze – apparently that can happen when you heat primarily with the (now-fixed) wood stove on really cold days. Really, this could be a funny movie if it were being filmed.) Oh, and d) I apparently have some health issues that my doctor wants me to check out in more detail over the holiday break.

I met with my principal just before leaving for the break on Friday and he pointed out that he was worried about me, that I need to know I can speak to him before I completely burn out. That I need to remember to take care of myself. On Sunday morning my boyfriend held me in his arms during a bit of a …moment… after I had put the dogs into the veranda because they were driving me crazy running around the house and soon after noticed they had torn up a garbage bag I had forgotten to bring outside and decorated said veranda with its contents.

So, what the heck have I learned this time that is important to me? Well, for one that it’s a continuous process this focusing on what is important shtick. That’s what they call keeping balance in some parts. One thing I sure learned in the past few days is that keeping people in the picture rather than on the sidelines helps everything else fall into place. When I was in my boyfriend’s arms he didn’t say anything but just let me blubber for a while until I found the words I needed to say. I get so frustrated with myself when I set myself up to fail, when I make choices that make my life harder than it needs to be –> Working and living so far apart. Putting the garbage bag in the veranda instead of directly out to the garbage bin. Not learning about the ins and outs of heating an old house in the winter. Not approaching people for help before I get overwhelmed.

I may be a little bit hard on myself as well. Maybe. A little. The little upsets and failures are being measured by my out-of-whack yard stick for success. I was teased this weekend about being slightly ticked off that I received an overall mark of 97 in the course I took this semester.

Time to reevaluate choices, create some of that hope for the future I’m always talking about. But guess what? I’m thinking of actually letting other people help me out with that. Novel idea, I know.

Pearls need discomfort, right?

“Those that have survived such perils of the sea as typhoons, suffocating red tides, and attacks from predators are brought ashore and opened. if everything has gone well, the result is a lovely, lustrous and very valuable pearl.” Click image for source.

Yesterday after work I was typing up a commitment contract with our head teacher, Lynn, for one of our students. We had had a day. I remarked that it’s like that in Alternative – each day is ‘a day’ – and that is what makes our jobs more interesting – every day is different and exciting.

We joked about that for a while and then I said but seriously, even though they can be trying in the moment, it’s responding to the varied situations and the behaviours/needs of our kids that makes me a better teacher. It’s on the job professional development. I feel I learn so much each day about relationship, caring, learning. Lynn responded – better teacher? It makes me a better person.

Thought that pearl was worth showing in the light.