Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Turn for the Better with a Huge Leap of Faith!

OK, so I haven't done such a hot job at keeping up this blog. I'm a bit encouraged by seeing my stats increase for "lookie-loos", but still can't manage to get a follower. I'll keep dreaming...and writing. Sigh.

One Blogtember prompt this past week was to describe a time when your life took a turn. I suppose that could be a turn for the worse, or the better. Since I choose to look at life positively, I'll write about the turn for the better.

It's a pretty recent turn, but a really, really big one that happened about 15 months ago when I quit my teaching job. If you read back at a few of the first posts on this blog, you'll get an insight into my psyche back then. I was miserable and in such a sad place in my life. With a ton of prayers, and many long discussions with my husband, I decided it was best for me to hang up my teaching hat. It was such a hard thing to do. My  entire world revolved around my job...and maybe that was part of the problem. I didn't give myself a break in the evenings, on the weekends or even in the summer, I took classes to make improvements and learn new practices. I realized that I was totally burned-out and needed to cut loose.

For one full school year, I worked on healing my mental and emotional state after being in education for 28 years. I did volunteer in a 2nd grade classroom on a weekly basis, plus I mentored a needy little guy at the same school. I connected with a ladies group that supported me as I staged my new life. Going out to coffee with them weekly meant more to me than they'll ever know. I dusted off my sewing machine and realized how much I really love to sew. I worked on several rooms in the house to clean and reorganize and just plain throw out stuff, or donate to Good Will. I am lucky to have a wonderful husband who can support me financially and even deal with me staying home. So lucky! He does appreciate the more relaxed side of me and says he can feel the absence of the stress.

So, this school year, I felt myself in a better place. I'd been open to new trails and new possible careers, but nothing presented itself. I applied to substitute in the elementary schools. The day after applying, I got a call for a 10 day job in special education. I took it and it's been interesting, to say the least! I have such a diverse group of kids in my room, from autistic to severe behavior disordered, to brain injured, to even a young man who I'd describe as "feral". They are all kids and they all need loving. I will give them my love and I will give their teachers great appreciation and respect for what they do on a daily basis.

Enough for now! What turn in your life made a big impact for you?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Useful Advice

Blogtember continues with:
Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered. 
With my loving husband, we've raised 2 kids, now ages 25 and 23. They weren't easy kids by any means. God gave them to us for a reason. Not sure what that reason was just yet, but we loved them every day and still do. Perhaps He thought we could handle these restless souls and mold them into loving, productive adults. We certainly tried and hopefully, God is pleased. They are good people finding their way in the world.
So for the advice part. If I were to do it all over again (raising kids, that is), I would add one important thing/activity into our lives. That is the activity of helping others in the form of community service. It's not that I didn't want to do this as a young parent, it's just that our children were not the type that we could take to places and get them to cooperate in a helpful way. Oh, I could go on and on about the difficulties we had. Maybe another day, another blog post.
Community service is such a great way to show kids how to help others. It builds that warm feeling inside that only can grow when you do something for others and expect nothing in return. If we had gotten involved in the soup kitchen, picking up trash in the parks, donating old toys, "adopting" a family at Christmas or any holiday, making a deal of random acts of kindness, I think my kids would have a more generous heart.
People need people. It's all we have in this world. We need to help each other in any way we can.
Be a blessing to someone. Practice kindness.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Blogtember here I come!

So I came upon this challenge on A Plethora of Pondering's blog...(never mind that there is an apostrophe in that last word. It drives me nuts, but maybe that's why she does it. I'm just putting it out there as it's stated on her blog title.) The original challenge blogger asked bloggers to write a post stemming from an idea or question or activity, one being listed for each weekday of the month of September. Yeah, forget that it's already the 7th of the month and I'm just getting around to it. Nobody reads my blog anyway. :(

Yesterday's idea was to write about a time when something made you scared or afraid.

My childhood was filled with times like this! No kidding. My father was an alcoholic. Not one of those fun-loving, dance-with-a-lampshade-on-your-head kind either. He was the mean, violent kind. The kind that scares everyone. Especially little kids. My young life consisted of going to bed early, locking the bedroom door (a dead bolt was later installed), and shivering in bed waiting for sleep to take over before HE came home and woke the house. At some point, my dear mom joined me in my bedroom to sleep at night. She was tired of being brutalized and hurt, physically and emotionally. Not that being locked in a bedroom kept things quiet. No. Yelling, throwing things, stomping and all sorts of things happened that scare kids.

It took me a long time to trust men and realize that not all men are like my father. I married the dearest man alive that has proved it to me. It also took me a long time to not be afraid of the dark. I slept with night lights, flashlights and often some sort of weapon (a stick, baton or other battle-worthy object) for protection.

That man, biologically my father, will not take a hold of my life. He is not going to make me afraid anymore or weigh down  my soul. I suppose I have forgiven him, but mostly I have forgotten him. It isn't important really. He had a disease, if you want to call it that, and he suffered with it. Too bad he had to make so many others suffer along with him.

God, I hope the next blog idea is more enlightening!