Saturday, October 27, 2012


As promised last weekend, I decided to just make some time to do something I wanted.... scrapbooking of course!

I selected a photo that I really liked that had a good back story and worked a little at a time: selecting papers one day, beginning the design one day, and then continuing the work a little bit more each day until finally- this morning I finished it.

Now, this isn't my greatest layout ever, but it has an even greater significance for me. It helped me to realize that it is not HOW much scrapbooking I get done or even how "professional" the pages end up. What matters is the fact that I get to use my creativity and just DO SOMETHING! Selecting each piece of paper, brad, stamp, and element relaxes me and helps me forget about the stress and strain of paperwork. Of course, it is still there.... but for just a few minutes I am able to push it to the back of my mind and just have FUN!

This definitely won't be the last page for me. I may not get one done every week, but I will definitely make more time for this hobby that I love!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Plank in my Eye

Today at church the sermon really hit home with me. The minister was speaking about how we sometimes are so busy looking at others and their problems that we overlook things that we need to work on. He also discussed how God could not bless us unless we prayed and studied the Word. His biblical reference was from Luke chapter 6: 41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

As I listened to him I kept thinking of myself, lecturing my students about setting priorities in their own lives in order to make time for schoolwork. The thought came to me that I could not be a good example to them if I did not make priorities in my own life for what was important: family and self.

I really think that God may have been telling me that I need to step in and do something of my own to take care of this situation. Life itself isn't going to step in and say, "Take a break. Do it for yourself." It is really up to me to make it a priority. I truly think that if I do, then maybe my outlook on life in general will improve.

I have set a goal to begin a scrapbook page at some point this week (and hopefully finish it). I have also set a goal to sit down each night with my daughter and just talk..... maybe not about school, but just about what is on her mind.

Check back later in the week to see if that "Plank" is disappearing my eye.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lost in a Sea.....

There are times when I feel as though I am just drifting through life, lost in a sea of events with no real control over them. I get tossed about by the waves that are created : some of them tumultuous and storm driven, some of them calming.

I don't remember when the feeling started; I can't point at one thing and say, "That is when I gave up control." I wish I could. Then I might be able to figure out how to go back and reclaim it. Instead I keep drifting- another meeting that someone says I must attend, another task that is required of my job, another day with little or no rest.

There are some people who say that it will change- WHEN I retire. If I knew that would make the difference I might actually consider it, but I am not convinced. I think that I have been SO busy for the past several decades- being a wife, being a mother, being a teacher- that I may have just forgotten how to be the essential ME.How do I relearn that? Is it even possible? Until I find the answer, I suppose that I will stay here, drifting and allowing the waves of life to carry me.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Will I Ever Figure This Out?

We have reached midterm- that halfway point at which Keenan gets to come home for a "fall break", Kari gets her 1st quarter grades from her first dual credit classes, and I get to post grades for my own students. I face this period of time with mixed feelings.

I am THRILLED that Keenan is getting to come home for a few days. It seems like forever since I got to spend much time with him. He hasn't been here since Labor Day weekend, and that seems like AGES ago. I am pleased that Kari has faced her classes with great effort, but I am nervous about how she will feel when she sees her grades. I have seen the stress and frustration that she has been under and I know how hard she has worked; I think she does too, but I am still worried that she will be disappointed.

And then..... there is work. I had hoped that, by this time, I would have made some headway in the "making my own time" department. I mean, I keep having people advise me that this is the time in my life when I should be rediscovering hobbies and setting aside time to enjoy my own interests. Yesterday at work, I got one of those emails that companies send out to us teachers, advising us how we can be a better teacher. At least half of the list talked about taking time to relax and making time to enjoy things that I want to do, not things that I have to do.

I keep hoping that things will settle down in my professional life so that I can actually have "ME" time. Then I find myself with another stack of papers to grade or a new week of lesson plans that need to be written. I am having a lot of difficulty putting things off or just letting things go...... I don't know if I will ever master that skill. Will I ever figure out the recipe of being a good teacher without allowing it to dominate my entire life? Will it really take retirement in order to find the free time that I can spend on something like scrapbooking, that I want to do just for me and for my family? Is it possible in this day and age to be a good teacher, a wife, a mother, AND still have time for myself?