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.