A Meaningful December

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon.  December is here before it’s June.  My goodness how the time has flewn.  How did it get so late so soon?” ~Dr. Seuss

December is usually the month where people let their hair down.  It’s the month where you can go a little crazy.  People tend to be happier, mostly because of the holidays.  It’s the time to eat, drink and be merry.  It’s the time to get in all our bad habits and bad decisions before the new round of “New Year’s Resolutions” begin.  It may even be when you try to accomplish all the things you set out in last year’s resolutions.
All of the above are true for me, usually.  I use December and the holidays as an excuse to be a little lazier, eat a little more, drink a little more, be a little messy, work out a little less and sleep a little more.  It’s a trap I fall into and then wind up hating myself for by the end of the month.
I decided that I didn’t want to do that this month.  I’m not going to sit around and let myself slowly slide back into complacency.  I have worked too hard the past couple weeks to get myself back to where I need to be, to get myself back on the right track.  Now that I am back on the right track I need to stay there.  No excuses.  So I’m using December as my starting off point for my New Year’s Resolutions.  The best part about a resolutions is that you can make them at any time of the year, month, day, ect.  I think we all get hung on on time that way.  I failed this month, I’ll try again next month.  I already ruined my diet, I’ll start again next Monday.  I didn’t wake up to run, I’ll just try again tomorrow.
But really, if you think about it, the things I want to accomplish are not even New Year’s Resolutions.  They are life changes, life goals, things to make my world a little better.  And really I only have one: Get rid of all the clutter.
Now when I say ALL the clutter, I mean it; physical, emotional, and social.
Physical Clutter:
I have way to much crap.  I realized this when I was cleaning for Thanksgiving.  We have broken toys all around the house.  Things the kids played with once and then never again.  I have shoes and clothes I have not worn in an embarrassing number of years (think pre-kids).  I tend to hold on to things thinking I might need them again.  And sometimes I do.  But most times I don’t.  It’s time to start going through everything and donate the things we don’t want or need anymore and trash or recycle the things that are broken.
Physical Clutter (2):
I feel like now that I actually have my gym routine down I need to keep it there.  Gym in the morning, running at night.  Take a day off only if needed (though with the Running Streak, I have to do it anyway).  No getting on the scale and letting myself get down.  As a matter of fact, no scale at all (I’ll weigh in again on January 1).  Only drink once a week. Eat healthy, but no over analyzing.  If I want the french fry I’ll eat it, I just won’t eat 100 of them.  Everything is OK in moderation.
Emotional Clutter:
It’s time to let go, I mean really let go, of things that I have no control over.  Whether my worries or obsessions are from the past, present or future, it’s time to concentrate on the things that I can actually do something about.  It’s time to move on from the things that, no matter what a do, the outcome won’t change.  And when I do, it’s time to use that new found time to start thinking about the direction I want to go and make it happen.  Do I still want to be a teacher? Do I still want to live in Baltimore?  It’s time to find the answers and get the ball rolling to make them happen.
Social Clutter:
Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my blog, and on and on and on, I know I waste a lot of time.  Just last night, when it was time to go for my run, I was thinking that I just didn’t have time.  But I did.  I just preferred to use that time playing on Facebook or playing candy crush.  Right now, I literally have a Facebook tab open so I can see any new notifications as they come in.  Somethings got to give.  So I think, at least for the month of December, it’s going to be Facebook.  Twitter and Instagram really don’t waste a lot of my time.  Games that I enjoy likes Words with Friends don’t really take more than a moment.  And writing in my blog is sometimes the only sanity I have.  I really do feel like it is addicting at times.  I wish I had the willpower to just say I won’t use it, but I know I don’t.  Maybe once December is over I’ll be able to gradually ease back in, but I don’t know.  It will be interesting to see how well I fair when I can’t facebook stalk people or get offended by political posts, or get jealous when I see people doing things without me.  And really, if people really want to get in touch with me during this month, they will.  And vice versa.  I shouldn’t need to rely on Facebook to stay in people’s lives.
It’s also time to simply stop making a social effort all the time.  I always feel obligated to go to or participate in any event in which I am invited.  And I have to learn to say no.  I have to learn to say no to non-required obligations I don’t feel like attending.  I have to say no when my plate is already full and someone else is asking me to do something.  I have to learn that it’s ok to take time for myself.
I guess that’s it.  I’m dubbing December as “No Clutter December”.  It’s time to start simplifying my life.
In case you need the info since I won’t be on Facebook starting later this evening:
Blog: https://hereswhatimtryingtosay.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @greatcasserini
Instagram: @clstegman
Or you can play me in Words with Friends (Great Casserini) 🙂

What the hell am I doing?

“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.” ~Joss Whedon

I had my formal observation at school today.  Normally I am nervous and fret about it for days on end.  I can’t sleep the night before, I stay late in my classroom every night cleaning and getting ready, I spend hours writing my lesson plan.  Not this time.  I spent maybe 20 minutes on my lesson plan, stayed maybe an hour later the night before cleaning up and slept like drunk (though I was not) last night.

You might think it was because in the four years I have been working in public schools I have learned a lot, gained more confidence, and understand the value of growing as a teacher.  You might think it is because I have a complete understanding of my students and their needs, and what I, as their teacher, need to do to meet those needs.  You might even think that I’m simply amazing at my job so there was never a need to worry in the first place.

None of this is true.  Not one bit of it.

The fact of the matter is I simply don’t care.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am pretty good at my job.  My children learn.  Everyone is alive at the end of the day.  I still continue to go above and beyond what is expected of me.  But really, I think it’s because those things are ingrained in me.  I have a strong work ethic.  I will never just quit and walk away when other people are counting on me, nor will I simply not do what I am getting paid to do.  But I just don’t care anymore.  I don’t really like teaching.

I was at an Arts Everyday meeting with a friend the other day (on my own time, not getting paid) and we were listening to this person behind us who was obviously new, or at least relatively new, to teaching.  He was going on and on about all these programs he wanted to start, how he’s in it for the kids, basically that this job and the children in his class are his reason for getting up every morning; his reason for living.  All I could think was that this is a clear sign that I shouldn’t be doing this job anymore.  None of these things applied to me.  Yes, I used to be that idealistic and love my job and love my kids.  Pretty much as recently as last year I knew (thought) that this is what I was meant to be doing and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else ever.

But things have changed.  Something in me has changed.

I don’t like waking up every morning spending my day with this eager little people.  In fact, most days I loathe it.  I hate the fact that I spend more time with (and on) these children than I do my own.  I hate the fact that my children get the brunt of my bad days because I’ve listened to whining and tattling all day so when I get home I literally explode when my own children do it.  I’m upset over the fact that I used to have so much idealism, used to believe I could “be the change you wish to see in the world” and now I’m just happy if I make it through the day without having to call a parent and pray none of them text me for some insane reason.

But mostly, I simply hate the fact that I don’t care.  I wish I liked my job.  But not liking it has lead to not caring and really, it’s not fair.  It’s not fair to me because I am miserable.  It’s not fair to the people around me who I make miserable because they have to deal with me being miserable.  It’s not fair to the kids who really, for the most part, didn’t do anything wrong.  It’s not fair to the teachers who don’t have a job, because I’m selfishly taking this one and I don’t even want it.

So, really, what does all this mean?  I means I need to look for a new job.  I mean really and truly look for a new job.  No more thinking I’m going to and then getting lazy because I make pretty good money and have great benefits.  Frankly, it’s not worth it anymore.  I have to stop sacrificing my happiness.  Ever since the end of last year, ever since the summer, I feel like I have been simply going through the motions, not being completely here or there.  It’s like I’ve been holding on to something I shouldn’t have, been waiting for someone or something else to come along and make this decision or change for me. And I have to stop.  I have to let go.  I have to move on from whatever it is.

I have to grow up, put on my big girl panties, and make some real choices.