There's alot about this whole Coronavirus situation I can't seem to wrap my mind around, but one of the things that's most hard to believe is that, next month, the new year, we all had so many hopes and dreams for will be halfway over. Isn't that insane? Time during social isolation seems to be flying by and moving at a snail's pace both at the same time.
Some mornings I wake up feeling positive and hopeful about it all. I feel we're adjusting to our new normal of virtual learning and social isolation and feel positive that we'll be able to move back toward our normal lives soon enough. Other mornings I wake up and just feel so sad. Not over the loss of busy--it actually feels pretty peaceful looking at our open calendar. I feel sad about so many other things, though. I hate hearing story after story about people coming down ill or passing away from this thing. I hate hearing about mystery children's illnesses and medical workers having to be separated from their own kids. But maybe what makes me saddest of all is that, during one of our darkest hours, we seem more divided than ever as a country.
I feel so lucky to have grown up rich,
to have grown up privileged--
never having had to do without.
Our family was so rich in love & laughter that, despite what I can now look back and see as a modest upbringing & tight income, it never occurred to me we were lacking anything.
I was so privileged to be raised in a home where we were the priorities--
I never once scanned the classroom or audience wondering if mom or dad would be there,
I never once went without the school clothes or the dance lessons, although I can now look back and see that my parents went without quite a bit for themselves.
I'm turning 40 tomorrow.
Just typing that sentence is crazy. Turning 40 amidst all the Coronavirus-ness is even crazier. There's a lot about this turning 40 thing I never pictured.
First, I never pictured feeling so--well--not 40. I suppose everyone feels that way. I certainly don't feel the way I pictured I would when I was younger. I guess what I mean is that I don't feel the way 40 seemed to me back then: old! I don't feel over the hill--I feel like I'm just setting out to climb the hill, just getting started on the REAL journey. There's this feeling like I'm coming into my own, dropping what other think or feel I should be doing, and just living a more free life on my own terms. It feels a little like the dress rehearsal is over and the actual show is beginning.
I also never envisioned celebrating 40 six feet apart from those I love in cloth masks but hey, given what's going on I'm just happy to celebrate another birthday feeling well and happy that those I love are here to say hello, even if from a distance. And, I have to admit, for an introvert with a bit of social anxiety I'm actually finding not having a big blowout kinda cozy. My own parties always end up feeling like a sweaty, nervous, happy whirlwind that I don't end up remembering well later because of the mixture of beverages and being in my own head the whole time. Last night my husband bought all my favorite snacks and we camped in the backyard with strung lights and wine and s'mores. As we laid down for bed my boy whispered "this was the best day of my life". I don't know if he would've said that after the big shindig we originally had planned at the nice hotel on the water with 20+ people. The best day of his life is the best day of mine, so I think it might've worked out better this way.
When did it become "mean" or "bad" to enforce rules, limits, boundaries, or consequences of any kind? When did setting restrictions become synonymous with lacking empathy?
I suppose some would say I'm pretty liberal when it comes to discipline with kids in the sense that I see misbehavior not as something to squash, but as a call for help--a plea for the adults in their life to dig deeper and give them the tools they need. They don't know what they don't know, so a child's behavior is the language they speak when they can't articulate their needs. I suppose this is true with adults, too. However, pain or ignorance is not a free pass--personal responsibility plays a role
I was grabbing a smoothie one morning when a familiar face walked into the store, a former coworker of mine from public school. We greeted each other and she asked where I was currently teaching. I told her I had recently taken a position at a private Montessori school. Her mouth formed into a pained expression and she leaned in close, “ooh, how is that? Ya know, working with those kinda kids?”
My heart started to race & the Mama Bear in me started to stir. Because I knew exactly what she meant by that question--I got different forms of it all the time. The implication behind the questions is usually that they are incapable of doing things on their own or are entitled.
I’d been through this before so I took a deep breath to tame the bear and calmly told her the truth. “Honestly... ‘those kids’ are no different than the kids I taught in public school. Some are entitled, others are not. Some are gifted, others have significant learning disabilities. Some come from wealthy families, some don’t. We have a mix of different kids, just like anywhere else.”
I shamelessly admit that I’m a goal-setting kinda chick--big on self-improvement and setting intentions so that I'm (hopefully) always continuing to grow. The way I figure, it's difficult to reach a new, exciting destination if you've given little to no thought where you’d like to end up.
I'm aware some find people like me annoying. Ya know, the camp that thinks resolutions are pointless because we humans are likely to fold after the shine of the new year dulls. While I can't deny that's it's just in my DNA to be a goal-getter, I do recognize that follow-through is likely the biggest stumbling block to accomplishing our dreams. This became even more evident to me when, at the turn of the new year, I looked back on my own goals over the past decade.
I know the holidays are coming up and it's to be expected, but does anyone else feel like they’ve been tossed into a blender and set on high speed lately?
Or, maybe more accurately, like you're trying to put out all these little fires but they're those trick candle kind of flames where, when you blow one out, another relights?
Our past few weeks have included a 13-hour road trip (well worth it but still exhausting with a 5 year-old), a broken washing machine, a heart attack in the family, an inaccurate & hefty bill we get to spend time disputing, and a leaky roof. (I’ll spare you the “when it rains it pours” pun, but it’s there.)
Add to that the usual stress of the holiday season...
I’m just waiting for my one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club to arrive so I feel justified in screaming “Hallelujah! Holy s**t! Where’s the Tylenol? “
I'm Krissy & I'm so thankful you're here. Teacher-Mom life is rewarding but it's tough--we need fuel (& each other) to keep going. I hope this is a place you can go that feels like caffeine for the soul--uplifting & highly addictive ;) Check out the categories below and, if you like what you read, subscribe to make sure you always have good Sunday morning reading to go with your coffee :)