Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Evolution Revisited

This is it......... This week brings an end to the first year of my fifties. This time last year I was busy trying to get myself in a mindset that would allow me to face this milestone. As a result, I selected "Evolve" as my word for the year. (You can read more about that in this post HERE.)

Before I close the year, I wanted to look back and see what I have accomplished...... How did I evolve?


1. Facing Grey- I did it..... I went the entire year without coloring my hair and...... it really hasn't phased me a whole lot. Every time I went to my hairdresser, she would say, "Are you REALLY not coloring your hair?" At the last visit her daughter asked me the same thing. My response was, "No..... I have earned each and every one of these grey hairs. They are kind of like my war wounds." That may be a bit of an over-exaggeration, but I truly feel that the grey in my hair stands as a symbol that I have been through time, stress, and turmoil and I have survived! (Besides, it doesn't look nearly as bad as I expected. Some people have even pointed out that it looks almost like I have just highlighted my hair.)

2. Becoming a Caretaker- I have always heard that we go through life and the roles change, with the child eventually becoming the parent. This year I have come to realize that this change in my life is quickly approaching. My mother spent an extended amount of time in the hospital and nursing home, and my father has been rushed to the emergency room twice within the last 2 months. Throughout all of this, I have taken on other duties. I have been chauffeur, cook, housekeeper, and liaison between them and their doctor. It has given me a slight taste of what I have to face in the future. This has all been stressful, on them and on me, but we have come through it and I know that I am stronger because of it. There is no doubt that I will continue to be called on to do things that I have typically not done, but I now know that I am strong enough to handle it. I also know that I will not face it alone. Through everything, my husband has been there at my side, allowing me to lean on him for support. More importantly, God has been there, always helping me and providing me support.

3. Rethinking Retirement- I am now in the middle of my thirtieth year of teaching. I have always heard that I need to keep teaching until I am 55. That would require me to teach 34 years- WELL..... technically 33 1/2 years, but I like round numbers. I have always thought that I would do just that.... teach 34 full years. My thinking on this is still evolving. Students have changed, the system has changed, and I have changed. At this point, I truly am not certain that I can do this job for four more years. I may or may not be a teacher for 4 more years; I am praying about it and waiting for God to help me decide.

4. Rediscovered Creativity- This year I have spent a lot of time rediscovering my love for crochet and card making. I find myself constantly surfing Pinterest to find other patterns and ideas that inspire me.  I have sold a few items and, at one point, when I had run out of people to crochet items for, I actually crocheted items and mailed them off to people I knew, just so I could try out patterns. I love being creative and I REALLY love seeing people's reactions to the things that I make.

Yes, this year has been one of rediscovery and evolution for me. 50 hasn't been so bad and I'm ready to see what 51 brings!