Saturday, May 31, 2014

Recap of ApeyMAY - Ready for Summer!

It has been a crazy and very stressful Birthday Month, otherwise known as ApeyMAY. We did a lot of things I love to do.

We took a trip to the beautiful Nashville, IN for their Taste of Brown County celebration.

It was chilly, but walking around casually and looking at all the art and gifts, then trying all the food samples made for a good day. I liked getting there early, before the crowds, and having leisure time to explore.

I set up my pond, having to empty it and re-fill it once when the 7 year old knocked a tiki torch over, spilling torch fuel into the water.

I discovered the frog from last year had hopped its way back into the pond and definitely didn't want to kill it.
I also bought the water plant this year. It is really helping to keep the pond clean.

I have no idea what I am going to do with it over the winter.

Using pots to house the plants that wouldn't fit in the little flower bed, I created a little hummingbird garden. I'm hoping it attracts one or two. I did see a shadow of a hummingbird one evening in the front window, so I think it worked.

 For my birthday, I bought myself some entryway organization. This is the before picture of my entryway..
 This is the after. I like being able to hide the shoes, sit there if you need to, hang up backpacks or jackets, and I re-purposed two of those pictures as calendars for each boy for summer. The glass is a dry erase surface. :)
 I also bought myself a fire bowl. I have wanted a fire bowl for a long time.

I even got to build my first fire in it and enjoy it one bug-free evening. The dog was excited, too!

We took the boys to the first festival of the year to ride some rides. Here they got to enjoy their first Himalaya, which is one of my favorites.

I have been trying to keep up on my garden. It is harder to weed it this year, as more weeds have popped up in the established soil. Baby maple trees are the worst! We had a cold snap right after I planted, then it rained for 4 days, so some of the seeds did not germinate, and my peppers hated it. I had to replant. We shall see what kind of harvest I get.

I also planted this tulip tree in the perfect spot in my yard. The boys brought home 2 for Earth Day. One was accidentally mowed over by a careless 11 year old. This one, however is loving its new home!

The stressful part comes from work. I am so glad it is the end of the year! They say the third year is when you really find your stride. I'm hoping next year is smoother. This second one was full of learning experiences! I already have plans for next year; ideas of things to change and improve. Working in a class like mine, every year will be new, bring new challenges, and be completely different. I enjoy this. It also brings new stresses. These I have to learn to deal with. For now, I am ready for summer and a mental break for my mental health!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mental Health: Turning Negative Thoughts to Positive Ones

I'm a slacker.

Here's my excuse:
This has been a tough year (January and February), emotionally. I would come home completely drained, and still have documentation to write, which means I had to relive the day. I would then watch TV shows that allowed me to escape reality for a little while. I would have anxiety dreams of all kinds at night, and do it all over again the next day.

I am just now (at the end of April) getting over the stress that hit me in January and February and March.

I am new to this whole 'dealing with people' thing in the way that they manipulate words and ask leading questions, and pry, and gossip, and manipulate others around me so that I am entangled in a web of deceit and emotional trauma and drama.

I asked others for help, and was given assignment after assignment and change after change to make. I was given direction after direction and made every effort to keep trying new things. I struggled. I limped along. I cried. I tried to find my grip on the edge of truth, justice, and sanity. Finally, the persons who instigated this drama got fed up and left. I must not have played into their hand the way they wanted. I'm counting it a victory.

Then another drama came along. I, in my lack of tact and wisdom and maturity, did not approach the persons involved professionally and just say the words plainly and privately. I have some guilt with that. I also have not been taking good data. I am really guilty and upset over that.

I have to pick myself up instead of beating myself up. I have to create a new beginning. I can start the data collection now. (Why is there so much data collection?!? Can I have an aide just to do data collection?!?)

While this may help solve my problems, the point here is to look at how I turn negative thoughts:
"I'm such a failure."
"I can't do this."
"I want to quit."
"I'm a slacker."

into positive ones:
"I just need to reorganize."
"I need to step back and rethink things."
"I need to talk to that person."
"I can do this. It will take time, but I can do this."

I accept them. I can't fight myself. These are problems that need solving.

When I was able to solve the problems, my dreams returned to vacationing instead of fleeing. The getaway that I truly desire is not one that makes me run with fear and trepidation.

More than anything, I have been dreaming of writing. I have been dreaming of summer. I could use a writer's retreat! I could also use a massage, and yoga lessons, and a hot tub, and a pedicure...

But I digress.

The truth is, I have to admit that I am not a slacker. I have had to divert my efforts and energies into pursuits I am less passionate about and find less fulfilling. I have had to give 13 tests. I have had to write 10 papers. I have had to pay bills, register for a big exam, work out my sons' school locations for next year, be a Mom, a wife, and a teacher. I have had to juggle life a bit.

I may be writing an excuse, but it is not a complaint. I have learned so much this year! I have learned that it is time I grew a set of balls. It is painful to grow a set, but once they are in, directing others will be easier. I'm way too nurturing, accommodating, and respectful of other's feelings to step on toes, even when they need stepping on.

I can learn, painful as it is. I can deal with people. I can get my work done, manage my time, and still watch a little mind-numbing  TV at the end of the day.

I can do this.