A Woman Divided

Well, at least my last week at work won't leave me with feelings of regret.

I've got sick kids.

And a sick husband.

I'm dropping balls at home.

And at work.

I've got teacher drama.

And more teacher drama. (The second of which, admittedly, I got myself into. Sometimes I just can't leave "well enough" alone.)

I've got a huge stack of essays.

With more on the way.

And, despite hubby completely catching up two days ago, a decent-sized pile of laundry.

My attention is constantly divided. Wondering how the kids are while I'm at work. Grading essays while I'm at home.

That, right there, is the big problem. At least if I'm only doing one, I won't feel so divided. Tonight, I came home from work, unloading the bags of gingerale and bananas, and fought back tears of exhaustion as I thought, "Ok. I'm home. Now for diaper duty, making dinner, baths, and grading essays." So, instead it will be, "OMG. I feel like I have done nothing today but change diapers!" I get that. Believe me, I do. (I have summers off, remember.) But, oh, to not feel like I'm being torn in two all the time. 

This week is kind-of reminding me of all the reasons I'm leaving. To hold my babies when they're sick. To sit on the floor and read a book to them when they ask. To not have to grade stacks of half-decent essays, wondering where I went wrong and how I can possibly manage to do more. To not have to deal with grown adults acting like the age they teach. (Oh, you mean I can't get away from adult drama? Darn. Couldn't let a girl have a little bubble for even a minute!) To combine those two loves, and instill in my children a love for learning. To at least feel like one part of my life is getting all of me, instead of spreading halves way too thin.

And I know I chose the right half (for us). My family will benefit so much more from having all of me than the school district would from keeping the half. There, I'm just another cog in the wheel. Here, I'm irreplaceable. 

P.S. This is the right choice for us. I wouldn't dream of saying I know what's right for anyone else. 

Hello, 2013!

New Year's Resolutions are kind-of a dirty word to some people. I actually really like the idea of them, though. I think it's helpful to make some goals for the next year. Some of my resolutions are more important than others, and I give myself the freedom to abandon them if I truly feel it's best that I do. With that said, here are my 2012 Resolutions:
  1. Kiss all my family members good morning and good night each day (or as many of us who are sleeping in the same house). 
  2. Run in a 5k, then decide if I want to run in a half-marathon. 
  3. Become healthier. The goal is to lose 75 lbs, but that may not be completed this year, as I'm breastfeeding, and want to make real change in my life. So, any weight loss will count, as will being able to run farther, play longer, eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. 
  4. Count one thousand gifts that God has given me. Like I said, I started this in March, while reading the book, but this year, there's a whole community of people doing it with me. Read this post for more details. Will you join us? 
  5. Be realistic.  
  1. Meh. I probably did this about 75% of the time. I actually completely forgot that it was a resolution until about two days ago. I'm confident that every person in my family knows I love them, though, so I'm not too worried about it. 
  2. Great! I ran in a 5k at the end of January! I rand that distance many more times over the course of the year. I worked towards running a half, but ended up quitting ultimately after a car accident in August. For a long time, I couldn't run more than 3 miles without being in extreme pain. I got mad and gave up. After that, though, I decided I like running 2-3 miles. I have 5 kids. I don't want to take hours each day to go running. The best part is: I'm absolutely ok with that. 
  3. Good. I am healthier, though nowhere near my goal of 75 lbs. I lost about 20 lbs by August. I gained about 10 back in September, and have been struggling ever since. That's also the time frame that I quit running, moved, and went back to work unexpectedly. So, I'm calling progress good enough. (see #5)
  4. Awful. Not even close. I'm not so good at sticking with things like this. I might try again this year.
  5. Good. This, like the health one, is a work in progress. I'm better at it now than I used to be, and I'll take that. 
2013 Resolutions (updated with results, 12/31/2013):
Enjoy the journey. I want to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy playtime with the kids. I don't want to miss all the little things that make life amazing. (With this, I may choose to write moments down and continue counting 1000 gifts.)
I did really well on this one for the first part of the year, when I was staying home with my kids. Then, life happened, and I had to go back to work. That obviously made it harder, but it is definitely something that is constantly on my mind to do more of. I call that progress.

Read one piece of classic literature each month. Also, if I find that I hate a classic (I'm looking at you, Anna Karenina), give myself permission to drop it and find another one. I'd also love to start or join a book club to do this with other bibliophiles. 
Again, I did this for the first half of the year, until I went back to work. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have usually read YA literature during the school year (it's light, and it gives me recommendations for my students), and the heavier stuff on breaks. I'll stick with that this year. 
Be healthier. This year, the goal is about 60 lbs, and a much more active lifestyle. I'll be happy with 30 lbs, and/or lasting changes. I've decided that I don't care how long it takes, I just want to be healthier each year. But, I also want to give myself a measurable outcome, hence the weight loss. I want to exercise more, eat more real food and less processed junk. Most importantly, I want to respect my body for what it is and what it can do right now.
I have made definite progress here, though not in the area of weight. Sometime this year, I discovered some encouraging bloggers like Go Kaleo, who taught me all about being strong and not falling prey to fad diets. I've embraced some important mantras like "Take up Space," "Do The Work" and "Eat The Food." I feel like I've truly learned moderation. Get this: I've had 2 of my favorite chocolate bars in my desk at work for weeks (before break - break doesn't count, obviously). I'm much better at not eating my emotions, and I don't hate my body as much as I used to. It's a process. 

Write more. I want to write a book this year. I also want to blog 2-3 times a week. This year, I want to call myself a writer and not feel like a fraud. 
Yeah. Big fat fail here. 

Know God more. Lately, I've felt like I don't know the true God at all. It seems like the God I worshiped in childhood is not a God I want to worship. I'm not saying I'm changing my religion, but rather that I'm learning new things about who God is. I'm abandoning religion in favor of seeking the Truth. I'm still talking about the "Christian" God here, I'm just saying I may have been looking at God all wrong. There'll be more blog posts about that later.
When I first went to look at these, I thought I'd be disappointed about whatever spiritual thing I put down. But I'm not. It's been a struggle, this relationship with God, this year. But, I feel like I'm moving forward, however slowly. Again, it's a process. 
So, basically, my resolutions are about enjoying life more. Doing things that I love, and that make me feel good. It's also going to be about deciding who I am and being ok with that. 2012 showed me that I'm not a marathon runner. I'm ok with that. I may not like a whole bunch of classics. I'm ok with that. I may completely change my relationship with God. I want that. This one's not working well for me, to be quite honest. I want to decide who I am as a writer, experiment and define my style. I turn 30 this year, I guess it's time I figure out who I am. ha! 

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? If so, share them!