What does that Russell kid say in the movie UP! ? Tents are hard.
Well, I have found myself saying transitioning is hard many times (in the same whiney tone) this summer. It’s been awesome…and not-s0-awesome…and middle-of-the-road-awesome too.
The Big Purge took place in my photography studio at a sale that I advertised all over the planet. It was successful, but very, very weird to see my tools (expensive tools bought over 13 years) carted away by complete strangers. I kept reminding myself that where I was headed was the right place….the X-You are here spot. The place that destiny was waiting…a bit dramatic, but I do believe it was divine intervention that brought me back to teaching.
This was how my story unfolded into something completely different.
I guess teaching elementary kidlets isn’t completely different in that I’ve done it before…but after such a long stretch of owning my own business (which also means grocery shopping, eating, working out and even peeing when I want to), being in a school’s four walls for close to 9 hours—what can I say? I’m anal!— is going to be a major adjustment. Not just that, but I happen to know that the difference between a good teacher a SUPER TEACHER is about ten-twelve hours a week, depending on the units of study. Some might think I’m exaggerating, but I truly believe that the prep work for doing innovative, creative and memorable lessons is always more time-consuming than we think it will be.
To be honest, I’m harboring my nemesis fear a little bit in this transition.
It’s not fear that I won’t be able to do a good (or super) job, because I’m positive my students will get all that I’ve got…it’s more a fear of letting go of an identity (pro photographer/author/blahblahblah) and also turning my face to the work at hand and letting go of how things used to go…
Again with the letting go ! Seems to be a theme, lately.
Obviously, there’s the giving away and hauling away of accumulated stuff (hoo-boy—had it ever accumulated…more like exponentially expanded into mountain peaks) But there’s also a simplification of schedules, activities, meal planning/buying/cooking…just trying to get it all in the week is going to be an interesting feat. It’s been so long since I’ve done it! Meal planning, not one of my spiritual gifts, is going to have to magically appear in my Daytimer each week and this frightens me…more than the science project leftovers living in my fridge in Tupperware of said meals.
I might just have to cut some things out to allow for the necessary.
As in “the Blairs gotta eat” necessary. Or the “get up and work out so I personally don’t exponentially expand into a mountain” necessary. Or the “the girls don’t drive and they need to get to a game” necessary. Or “what is that strange wire sticking straight up from your braces let’s get to the ortho” necessary.
What’s NOT necessary?
Facebook, for one. Stopped cold turkey. check.
Blog reading. Kinda stopped that awhile ago (minus my weekly hit). check.
Cleaning. Oh, good grief, how I would love to pitch that altogether. not close to a check.
Shopping. Made a deal with myself that it’s just food, toiletries and underwear. check.
Dates with friends. Don’t want to give that up…where does it fit?
Guilt induced volunteering. Heavens! I gave that up long ago too. check.
Reading for pleasure. Insert sad face here…I love reading..but might need to backseat it for awhile.
It’s too bad that clearing out the schedule is not as easy as de-cluttering my bathroom cabinets. I had a blast playing hotel soap basketball into the trash last week. Why my sweet husband insists on bringing home every teeny tiny lotion, shoe shine cloth and mouthwash from days on the road is beyond me. Whenever I have needed a “fill in” soap because we were out, he throws up his hands in triumph and trumpets the necessity of hording the Hilton Toiletry Bundle into some sort of toiletry bomb shelter supply. Sickness!
YET…wise words from PH, the toiletry horder, came at me this week when I was having a freak-out about getting my classroom together in 4 days.
Small chunks, Lara.
Chunk it down to manageable pieces and go a steady pace. IT WILL ALL GET DONE.
Of course, he’s right. I haven’t seen a freak-out (you know, a la Jerry Maguire) from him in the 17 years we’ve been married….because honestly my rational self (only reserved for Saturdays and Sundays) knows that freaking out isn’t going to solve anything. It pretty much adds stress to an already nail-biting situation and also creates alone time because no one wants to be around it! Got it.
In this slim-down of my new teacher existence I would like to make a public promise. I hereby pledge to do my best to for-go the paper bag for hyperventilation, breathe a big ‘ole yoga breath and piece out what needs to be done and what can be eliminated…Namaste’, my fellow freak-out pals…Namaste’.
Paring down…letting go…all part of this new journey….it’s like a hot tub in Hawaii after being in the sun all day. Sliding in carefully and slowly.