(Photo from here)
I'm not quite sure what the new chapter put in my egg sandwich this morning, but I feel like I'm bursting with energy and inspiration today. And, given this past week has been kind of tricky for me, and I'd prefer not to repeat some of my mistakes, I'm going to "take a post" to show what I've learned, or in some cases re-learned.
Teaching can be tricky sometimes. There's the teaching element (working with and looking out for the kids, preparing lessons, making assignments, grading assignments, etc.); there's also the social, work-place element-- the politics of it all. This year I've found myself in a deeper a political pit than I'd like to be. I find myself getting more worked up and drained by the social and political elements of my job than by the teaching/kid element. It makes me sad. I often pride myself in comforting some of my female students by saying, "don't worry, the social part gets better after high school," but does it? I'm not so sure. So I guess one nugget I've pulled out of last week is that it really is okay to spend the majority of my school time in my "hobbit hole". It helps me stay focused on the teaching part of my job (the most important part) and helps prevent me from getting sucked up into a world of social mishaps and politics that only leave me tapped out and depressed. Granted, I know it's important to emerge from that "hobbit hole" from time to time, but it does help to be reminded of the quiet sanctuary it can provide.
This week I've also realized I simply talk too much. I'm not sure what possesses me to talk so much sometimes, but I'd really like to do it less. There are so many interesting things out there just waiting to be read, heard, or observed, and most of them are far more interesting than what I have to say. Not to mention that my Chatty Cathy tendencies are also wearing on me during the time of the school year when energy is a much sought after commodity. A good friend once told me that we have two ears and one mouth and we should use them accordingly in that ratio-- we should listen twice as much as we speak. I'm going to try really hard to follow that advice. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Who knows, maybe my progress will even translate to my writing style.
A couple of years back when I was having a really rough time, my mom sent me an amazing birthday card. I'm pretty sure it was from the Mia Angelo collection-- it has that simple and wise Mia Angelo tone to it. I keep it posted above my desk because it's chalk full of little nuggets of wisdom that are so easy to forget but often make all of the difference. One part of it says, "Listen to your heart. If you can't hear what it's saying in this noisy world, make time for yourself. Enjoy your own company." Boy, was that ever the reminder towards the end of this week. Thanks for the reminder Mom and Mia; I feel much better after some much needed me time. I can finally hear my own heart beating.
My mind rarely rests (one of the plagues of being a wandering spirit who musses), and sometimes I need a little help saving myself from me. I'm lucky to have friends who understand this about me and seem to instinctively know when I need help escaping from my own criticisms and weird need to please others. This time I found my help in the new chapter. I'm pretty sure he didn't even realize he was helping me-- I didn't say a word, nor did he-- but he rescued me from me none the less. After a particularly long session of beating myself up about stupid things and feeling really unbalanced, I emerged from my lady lair attempting to be composed, buried my head into the crook of his shoulder, and instantaneously the fight within stopped. Not long after, my brain shut off, and I fell fast asleep-- which never happens to me. I'm lucky. I'm so lucky.
And now I find myself at the start of a new week. I feel refreshed. I feel lucky instead of defeated. I even feel at peace enough that I can read for my own guilty pleasure, not because I have to read for work-- something I haven't been able to do in a long, long time. Ahhh....