Saturday, October 1, 2011

Getting Back to Me

I realised today that it has been nearly 8 months since my last post.  I realized this as I was putting the finishing touches on a necklace, and planning on what the matching earrings were going to look like.  It wasn't some huge revelation, or anything, but it was something significant to me.

About two years ago, I embarked on a new life journey.  At that time, I made the decision that I wanted to be a teacher.  Not just any teacher, but a middle school special education teacher, one of the more challenging breeds of teacher.  I had a background in working with children, both in daycare and in the school setting as an aide, and I knew that teaching would be something that I would find fulfilling and challenging.

Three years later, I can safely say that being a teacher IS both fulfilling and challenging.  And for a long time, I let it be all-encompassing.  I lived and breathed teaching.  The only time I wasn't focused on being a better teacher or figuring out how to tackle some challenge, I was being "mommy" to my kids.  My life revolved around two things: teaching and trying to be a better teacher, and mothering and trying to "make up" for suddenly being a working mom when my kids had been so used to mommy being at their beck and call..  I got away from all the other little things that I loved in life.

Well, this spring, when my first full year of teaching ended, I realised things needed to be different.  I needed to rediscover the things I love in life.  I needed to get back to the part of me that wasn't "MISS" or "MOMMY".  By doing this, I could not only be a better person, I would be happier, and get a better perspective.

So, I started a garden.  A small one.  Mostly in containers.  Most of the plants have died with the drought, but I have a few that are doing OK.  I grilled some fish with Sage and Rosemary from my garden for lunch this afternoon, actually.

I also got back to my jewelry making.  I had made one little necklace last spring, and it has become rather popular.  After making about 20 of them, I decided to start branching off and making different pieces as well.  Every weekend, I make a few pieces now, just as an escape from obligations, and to help me focus my mind.  Some of my best teaching ideas this year have popped into my brain while I was stringing a necklace or sorting beads for earrings. 

When we went back to school this fall, I noticed something.  My attitude had changed.  Challenges were no longer felt with an agonizing "I suck. I'm the worst teacher ever," and instead with a "OK, I can figure this out and get through it." I came in ready to learn and with a new enthusiasm.  Yes, there will always be bad days, but I have been so much more proactive and positive this year, and I like to think that it is being noticed by and helping my students.  I feel like the more I get back to the "other things", the better I am at working through and dealing with the challenges.

This blog is my next step.  I love writing this blog.  It doesn't matter to me how many people read it, it matters to me that I get the ideas and reviews out there, because, if even one person reads one of my reviews, or tutorials, or thoughts, and it helps them, even in a small way, then I am happy.  And I love writing my reviews.  I love trying new things, and writing the reviews helps me justify all of the little samples littering my shower to myself, if not my husband. 

I still have a lot of challenges.  I'm worried about the wire work.  Last year, I permanently damaged my right hand and wrist, and I'm worried about whether or not I am ever going to be able to properly wrap wire again.  Right now, I'm avoiding it, but I am going to have to face it someday.

I also need to get back to my sewing.  I haven't sewed since we moved to Texas two and a half years ago. I realised the other day how much I miss it.  The challenge will be setting up my sewing room, which is currently just a big dumping ground of junk.

I figure I will blog through my journey.  I'm going to keep writing my reviews and thoughts on samplers, and I'm hoping to have a few tutorials cleaned up and ready to post sooner rather than later.  It's going to be an interesting year, and I hope you, my readers, will enjoy being brought along.