Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Travel Bug

I've recently been bit by the travel bug. I want to go somewhere fun, adventurous, exciting, and I want to go far. I've been wanting to travel more and more as I have aged, but for some reason, the international travel just hasn't happened. I started this school year with some big dreams to travel to Italy to see my friend, Pam. She's recently moved from teaching in Dubai to teaching in Rome. I was all set to head there this summer, but the prices are inflated about 500 dollars from what they normally are. Perhaps I need to get creative and fly into Germany or France, and then take a train to Rome. I've not given up Rome as an option, but now I am not sure where I want to head.
Most likely this will be a singular adventure for me. I've never traveled internationally by myself, but I figured if I can handle New York City on my own, then I can certainly travel abroad on my own, too. Sure, company would be most excellent, but, I am not afraid to go at it alone.
I started to do some research online. I found that Icelandic air will allow a stopover for up to seven days with no price increase. This got my mind flowing. I could stay in Iceland a few days and then fly to Oslo or Copenhagen or Amsterdam. I could go to The United Kingdom. I've always wanted to tour England, Scotland, Wales and even Ireland. The question is, where do I want to go, and what options will make the most of my summer adventure?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Hey, you...over here. Do you see me?"

Invisible. No one likes to go unnoticed, and those who claim otherwise are just lying. Every girl likes a compliment, and the most valuable compliments often come in forms of physical flattery, recognition, or for some people the even bigger...complimenting the mind. It is how the human flourishes. 

You ever wonder why so many jokes start with, "A girl walks into a bar?" That is because that is where the women go to receive the highest form of flattery. Never mind it may come from inebriated blokes who probably are hiding their wedding ring in their pocket; it is all about being noticed. "Can I buy you a drink?" Cue the giggles, the gushing, and the occasional pushing forward of the either endowed or Bombshell-endowed chest. 

We buy outfits to go out in, we get our nails done, hair colored, eyelashes extended, spend time in a tanning bed, workout 6 days a week, bleach our teeth, buy the tallest shoes, learn to contour, suck in our tummies, wear Spanx, pick the most stylish jewelry and purses, spend thousands at MAC and Sehpora, and wax-tweeze-buzz-laser-shave and bleach whatever hair may or may not be visible that night. When our friends look cute and we feel out. There is no way that I will have fun looking like a grouchy oompa loompa over in the corner while you procure all the good drinks and desperate men. Admit it, as drama-licious as this sounds, we've all been there in some way-shape-or sound. 

What we don't bargain for is the day these things become difficult. When we can't get a discount or out of a speeding ticket because we aren't young and hot any more. Maybe we have a few crows' feet, a few extra pounds on our frames, the kids are in the back of the mini-van, and our usually perky boobies are hidden under the comfy hoodie and baseball cap we decided to slip on and get that extra 10 minutes of sleep. My mom has been telling me about the invisible syndrome for years now. She says that people just don't pay attention to her any more, and it is because she is no longer cute and young. "RIGHT, Mom, you are delusional," I'd think. I mean, heck, I am 35 and I still get help and I am not young and cute anymore. Just go up to the tire counter and get that discount and the extra help because you ARE cute, and you are a woman. We just get those things because of the sheer fact that we are women. I didn't listen and I didn't understand. 

But do you know what? I've been learning lately that all of what my mom has been saying is true. Not just because of what I have personally experienced, but from what I have witnessed. I guess I have just been more in tune to this whole invisible phenomena. I see it at work. Being a high school teacher, I see the younger-cuter teachers get more respect. I hear the kids bitching about the "old" farts, and how there is no way they are going to listen to someone with one foot in the grave. In complete AWE, I realize I am precariously close to being completely disrespected, and how can I ever make it through 20 more years in this profession with dwindling respect as I age? I feel young and cute, but clearly, I am not in the eyes of the younger generation, and I am basically screwed if I want to continue to keep the respect I've worked for 11 years to get in my classrooms. 

The sad thing is, as in tune as I have become from my own job, and honestly, even my own experiences as of late, we are not the only ones who think that with age brings invisibility. Amy Poehler in her hilarious book Yes Please said "Getting older makes you somewhat invisible. This can be exciting. Now that you are better at observing a situation you can use your sharpened skills to scan a room and navigate it before anyone even notices you are there. This can lead to you finding a comfortable couch at a party, or the realization that you are at a terrible party and need to leave immediately...Getting older also helps you develop X-ray vision. The strange thing is that the moment people start looking at you less is when you start being able to see through people more...Finally the phrase 'actions speak louder than words' starts to make sense" (Poehler 100).
So, I suppose us middle aged women (because I am middle aged in the eyes of society)need to get a grip and embrace our invisibly. We need to rock the fact that we are not in the spotlight, being judged by our clothes and most-sassy hair cuts. We need to enjoy our lives, and stop caring so much. We need to live in the moment, and enjoy not being under a microscope. The truth is, we all age, and inevitably, we will become less desirable to others. Maybe we need to start taking the things that matter as more of a commodity than our looks. Use our hearts and our minds to make a difference, and frankly screw those who think we aren't worth looking at. Sneak into that party, find our seats on that couch...people watch, have a ball, and relish that although we might be invisible to some, we are fabulous to others, and have a hell of a lot to offer! It's time to move forward from this youth-based society and rock our less than perfect selves! Be visible. Be strong. Be the woman you always wanted to be, and don't worry what others think!  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Destroying Date Night

On the topic of "date night" (insert other equally obnoxious term here) Girls' Night Out, Bros Without Hoes, Man-Cave, Guys' Night...

Do you ever hear a word come out of someone's mouth, and immediately cringe? I am not talking about profane words, or even sexist words, but more along the words like moist, juicy, or even ooze. Words that have no particular context, but when they fall out of a mouth, the cringe factor jumps up a thousand times? Words that make you shudder and make this face:
(Picture borrowed from "Bad Santa" via way of

The word date night gets under my skin, and I immediately go "Bob Chipeska" on the subject proclaiming, "It is date night!" 

Why does this term grate on my nerves? This is a happy time, right? Couples posting elated pictures of their beloved date nights with their spouse. Cheers-ing the camera, sharing a smooch in the restaurant booth, taking a selfie in the car, or asking the kid to take a photo where the heads are almost always cut off. Women or men announcing to the world their one night of "single-dom" where they can forget their cares, and party like a 22 year old once again for one night. It's obnoxious.

Start having fun, people. Having kids doesn't mean that you need to immediately become home-bodies, and you can only go out as a couple once or twice a year. You see, the relationship between you and your significant other should come first. FIRST. How else can you cultivate your relationship and show your children that you love them? You do this by loving your mate, and not making a production of the one or two nights you can sneak away from your kids. You show your children that you love your partner, and loving them means doing things regularly with or without the kiddos in tow. You show by example what a good relationship looks like, and one day, hopefully, your kids will have healthy relationships where the balance between partner and family is equal.

I realize this proclamation that we need to remove the word date night sounds awfully hypocritical coming from a woman who doesn't have, and will never have her own children. I can go out with my guy whenever I dang well feel like it, and I can have fun at the drop of a hat. I don't have to worry about sitters, or bribing someone to watch my precious little devils. "Our" girls (2 teenagers live in my househould--but I didn't birth them) understand when we want to go out without them. They don't question the fact that we may or may not be going to their favorite restaurant without them. It's life, and it is a fact they just have to get over. Parents have fun without their kids. Kids don't rule the roost; they are part of the workings of the roost, and everything works out just fine--like a well-oiled machine.

A great example of a celebratory date night each week goes to my friend and family member.  She once told me that her husband buys her flowers every week. They also go out one time a week on the weekend like clockwork, and they leave their five kids at home. They don't date-night-it-up: they just go out and spend time together because they believe their relationship needs to be strong to keep the family strong. When I heard her tell me this, it just made me happy. I am happy because even if all of the kids are all under the age of ten, finding time for one another is a priority. They demonstrate what a healthy relationship looks like to their children, and even people looking in from the outside see that partner time is important, takes time, but is well worth the effort.

Let's remove the term date-night from our vocabulary!

Easier said than done, right? So, what can we do to remove this dreaded term from our vocabulary? We can make it a point to spend time outside of the house with our spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends/significant others, and we can spend time with each other regularly. We can find time to love on our loves, and not feel like each time we do so, it needs to be a grand production, since the last time we went out without our kids was 6 months ago. I get it. Babysitters cost money, but make a point of setting aside a little each month to get out...even if it is just for a few hours, and you and yours get a scoop of ice cream and wander the mall. Hold hands. Love each other. In so many cases, time is money, but in the case of a relationship, time is time, and it is one of the most important pieces we can give each other. Without time, relationships fail.

I challenge all of you to make it a point to get out of the house, and do something fun for the sake of fun. Walk through model homes and dream about "one day." Go to the park and put your toes in the pond, or make a snow-angel with your love. Go for a walk--whatever it is, spend time with your partner because you love them and want to show your kids that mom or dad is just as important as they are. One day, sooner than later, your kids will see your relationship blossom, and they will just know that is what moms and dads do: they leave their kids and have fun!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Snapshot of Perfection

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever other social media that is available has become a common place for people to post the ins and outs of life. The menial, the heart-wrenching, the exciting, and the sad. Whatever we have going on in our lives, we post it for the world to see. We've become a society where over sharing is the new best friend, and like it or not, it is here to stay.

A few things happen because we put so much of our lives on display. We become over scrutinizing of our lives and others' lives. We feel like we know someone we "follow" {but may have never met}, and we find ourselves embroiled in the lives of others--oftentimes even wishing those lives are our own. Can we really covet someone else's life because what we see on a daily Instagram post shows the beautiful and what seems to be perfect life? I think so...because I have felt this myself at times, and have even overheard women in coffee shops and store lines having the same conversation with one another. So-and-so is perfect. Look at her, she lives a charmed life. I love her hair, her clothes, her style; her family is perfect.  But the thing is, LIFE is just that: LIFE. It can't be perfect and never will be perfect.

We can make our lives comfortable and be happy with what we have, and maybe that is our own little slice of perfection. Find perfection in the everyday things. Seek happiness in the daily grind. Think about what makes that day good for you. It may be someone else's worst nightmare, but it is what makes you happy. Is it setting up a perfect-staged Insty-shot to showcase how beautiful your coffee is with your new flannel blanket, perfectly-placed raspberries on your homemade waffle? Then boom: make that day yours. Is it falling out of bed, and happy that zit you had yesterday isn't as big anymore, and maybe, just maybe, you won't have to shave your legs one more day? Then make THAT your happiness.

This year, make it a point to be happy with who you are. Post something that might not be perfect, and might not be pretty. We all have those days, but our escapism makes us only want to post the perfect. Maybe, just maybe, we can begin to live a life that is meant for us. We won't be envious of others, and we can find our own little piece of what is perfect in our own lives. Zits and all.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mean Girls Part 2

This session of mean girls is brought to you by other mean girls. While I have slacked on my writing as of late (more than as of late), I feel the urge to write something that has been on my mind recently. Mean girls, mean women, mean men. 
What is it with mean people these days? I see so many things that make me just cringe. People posting passive-aggressive things on social media. Posting hate-filled lyrics from songs that someone has to translate. The memes that elude to someone who may or may not be causing issues in your life. The blatant posts about someone outright- knowing that is is easier to slam someone on social media than it is to someone's face. Intentionally mentioning everyone on your social media page who you love, and clearly leaving off someone who loves you--just to prove your, again, passive-aggressive point. Staying friends with someone who you know has caused hurt in someone's life. Choosing friends over blood, and never knowing the whole story, but using social media as a way to say-fuck you- to the other person, because clearly, you've walked a mile in their shoes and know the whole story. Blocking people on social media, and then stating in other places that you've blocked them...that makes you the bigger person, right? Ha. Posting things that everyone on your friend's list can see, but blocking one person, but then when the people who are friends with the others post on that post, the person who was intentionally blocked from the post can see it. ...And the list here can go on and on. You've all seen it, and like me, you are probably guilty of committing one of the above acts. 
What gets me even more than social media hate is face-to-face hate. Calling yourself a Christian and then intentionally going out of your way to make someone feel hurt and ostracized. See, the thing is, maybe you are the bigger person sometimes, but if you are a Christian, proclaim to be a Christian, then you wouldn't go out of your way to hurt someone. That is FLAT-OUT un-Christian-like behavior. I am witnessing the very same thing I am writing about right now with someone I love. One or two people are going out of their way to hurt this person. And while this person might not be perfect, they (please go along with this pronoun, although grammatically incorrect) are human beings. They have feelings. Feelings that you are destroying because it makes YOU feel better. When you intentionally jab them in front of others, when you ignore them, when you passive-aggressively post pictures of everyone at an event except that person, and tag everyone but them. When you crop just one person out of a picture, and think that person won't notice. When you host an event and invite everyone else BUT one person, but then talk about that event right in front of that person's face. It hurts, people. What kind of damage are you doing when that person goes home and cries? Does it make you feel better that you are the "Christian" that made someone cry, feel all alone, feel as if their worth is nothing? Because I can truthfully state, if you kick a horse so many times when they are down, they will just stay down. And then what? You feel better because someone's self-worth is destroyed? Just stop it. Stop. Stop hurting someone. A good someone who is better than all of you asshats who are trying to be mean. Someone who never fights back, who takes it all internally, and eventually is going to crack. I am sure once they do, you will feel your deed is done, and wow, won't Jesus be proud of your actions, now? 
The thing is, we are all human. We all make mistakes. We don't have to love, or even like everyone. What I do wish in this new-year to come, is that people forgive. People become nice to one another-to their face, and on social media. If you don't like someone, don't say anything at all. Don't be passive about your hate...just let it go.  Stop building up yourself by hurting others. Reach out to people you may haven't reached out to in the past. Love them, because they may be loving you, but hurting because of your behavior towards them. Rectify wrongs. It won't hurt to say you are sorry. Someone out there may need to hear these words. You don't need to become friends with your enemies, but please, say nice things and move on. If someone who you hate or has done you wrong reaches out to you, forgive them. You don't have to like their behavior, but as that dang Disney song goes, Let It Go. Please just LET IT GO. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

High School Highjinks

School is back in session, and I have been tossed into the bowels of the world of high school. This world is one that I am not familiar with, yet, intrigued by these animals we call almost adults. I call them almost adults, because they want to be treated with respect like an adult, they work, drive cars, prepare for college, and have adult-like relationships. On the opposite side of the spectrum, they act like straight-up babies. Like, their behavior is more horrible than middle school behavior.

Example: As most schools, we really don't encourage cell phone use inside the classroom unless they are being used for work, or when there is time to work quietly with music. That is about it. It is almost like I've asked one of them to cut off their favorite appendage when I ask one of them to quit reading his or her twitter stream and listen. I mean heaven forbid the phone has to be tucked away for 15 minutes. If I ask them to put up their phones: anarchy. So yes, seniors pitching a fit like 6th grade babies. So unappealing.

I think I have found a happy medium. These kids don't want to be told what to do and be lorded over with a iron fist. That may work for younger kids, while working compassion in until they trust you, but older kids? HELL to the NO. They want to give you input on what they think is best. I have learned that this is the best way. A compromise. So, I am not taking phones away and sending them to the dean. I have better things to do with my time. I don't get on them if they are getting their work done, and tell them when the phone has to put away and they have to listen. I then give them the time to take out their phones when it isn't imperative to be learning a new task. I have these kids for 99 minutes, and I will win them over with kindness and fairness rather than mean and witchy behavior. It's a fact, and it is working.

Aside from getting acclimated to high school, and the different needs of this age kid, I am actually really loving the school. I look forward to my classes, and trying to figure out what they need in terms of learning. My seniors think my class should just be easy and chill. Um, not happening. My sophomores are eating up the material I provide them, and are eager to learn, as long as I walk them through each task (I have the reading-needs kids). I search high and low for more engaging work, and I think I am finally in the swing of things.

Here are a few things I am loving about high school and my school in general:
1. Our population. We are so diverse and I love it. I have kids from all walks of life. We boast the fact that our population matches the United States census.
2. The building is GINORMOUS. Like a little shopping mall. It's like a maze, and a GPS might be needed at times.
3. The school spirit is unmatched. Everyone loves to be a raptor, and every dress up day, homecoming activity week was true evidence of that.
4. My kids are just so fun to talk to. I love to hear about their lives.
5. The pep assemblies!
6. We have a live bald eagle as our mascot. His name is Free Spirit, and he comes to important events and spreads his wings when he hears his name. Talk about breathtaking.
7. My colleagues. The English department is amazing. I feel more like a collaborative team than I ever have in my 10 years in teaching. I think part of it is the PLT meetings where we have to plan with our grade level, but more importantly, the camaraderie in the English office. We eat, work, and chat in our office, and I already love my teammates, and their amazing knowledge and input.
8. Our cheerleaders. We have some kids who are special ed kids who don the cheerleading outfits, practice with the team, and cheer. Talk about chills when you see these kids escorted out by the varsity cheer team, and participating in the cheers.
9. The leadership. These folks are busy, but they are knowledgeable, and expect every teacher to hold their weight. I respect each of them.
10. The atmosphere. It just feels RIGHT.

Now that I've wasted time doing something fun (writing) time to get some actual work done. These kids want their stuff back to them NOW.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Mean Girls Series: Post 1

Since it is summer, I have been reading some "fluff" books that my students would like so that I am more up to date on current teen reads. Honestly, juvenile literature is my favorite, so it isn't like my job is twisting my arm to read drivel or anything, I just actually have an excuse to read teen books!  I am almost finished with a book called The List by Siobhan Vivian. It isn't the greatest of reads, but WOW, it is the epitome of snarky girls, and what I witness on a daily basis. It got me thinking of all of the times that I encountered mean girls in my life. I decided since this blog is a chronicle of my life at times, why not tell some of my stories about the meanies in my life? And because I am an equal opportunist, there will be some of my stories when I was the mean girl mixed in with some of the stories I tell. I'm not proud, but yes, I have been a snot in my life, and can't hide from my bitchiness, only learn from it. 

Mean Girls Series: Post 1 

I always struggled with the need to be liked... even in to my late 20's. I have too many instances of me trying to be liked by others, that I would need to move on to my toes to count, because 10 fingers just isn't enough. I really can't tell you why I had the huge desire to be loved, but I did, and this desire drove me to be anything but myself just to fit in. 

Jump to 5th grade Meagan. 5th grade Meagan was skinny, gangly, awkward, gap toothed, and plain. My parents were your average middle class parents, but we didn't have a lot of extra to get whatever we wanted as far as clothes and toys were concerned. It never really occurred to me that I didn't have everything I ever needed until someone would point it out to me. I was always dressed nicely; my mother never let me leave the house without my hair done and my outfit put together. I thought I looked cute when I went out. I guess I was wrong.

Back then, every girl wanted a pair of Roos shoes. Remember those kicks? The kind with the zippered pouches on the side, big enough to stash a lunch ticket? I'd wanted these shoes for over a year. I was desperate to get a pair, but I guess my mom didn't agree with me on the cool factor. Everyone had them, especially these really pretty popular twins named Sharon and Sarah.* I wanted to be friends with Sharon and Sarah so badly. Everyone loved them. They were the hot girls who all of the boys liked, and the girls who all of the teachers adored, and truthfully, they were the girls who stirred the most shit, but I was too naive to know this at the age of 10.  {These girls are so nasty, they will get another post or two of their own}. 
I finally got my very own pair of Roos shoes. They were pink and purple, and I thought I looked pretty darn amazing in them. I know I probably bounced extra high on my strides to the classroom that day, because I wanted to show everyone my brand new shoes. I put my foot up on the desk chair as an embellishment, and made a point of putting my lunch ticket in my zippered pouch. Grinning as the twins came by, I asked them if they loved my new shoes, because impressing them was uber important to me. I can't remember the whole of the conversation, but they basically told me that no one wore those stupid shoes anymore, and anyone who was anyone wore Keds. Crushed, I went into the bathroom and cried, and hated those hellacious purple and pink monstrosities, and wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of shoes unless they brandished the rubber-blue rectangle on the back of the heel. Good luck convincing my mom that these shoes I was so desperate for were no longer desirable. It would have to take a huge act of having my new shoes ruined or lost to get the newest craze, Keds, but thankfully I wasn't a dishonest child, so I just wore the stupid shoes and felt like a loser every time one of the twins looked at me. 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How do you know? You know...

How do you know that he is "the one?" There are many things that determine whether or not a person is compatible with you, is your soul-mate, or maybe even just a great companion for a short time in your life. There were many things that told me that Pat was the one, but I am not going to write about every one of them, because that would be boring. I want to focus on one particular, SILLY thing. Furniture.

Yes, furniture. I knew it was serendipity the first time I walked into his house. He was giving me a little tour, showing me where he hides the dead bodies (not a funny joke to show a crawl space and make that kind of funny when you just met the guy), and taking me into each room of the house. I stopped dead in my tracks when we entered the bedroom, and put my hand across the dresser.

Meg: Is this furniture Attic Heirlooms by Broyhill?

Pat: Um, yes. {Because what dip shit knows not only the brand of furniture, but the specific name of the furniture line? Me.}

Meg: I have this furniture. Well, I have a dresser and a nightstand, but this is my exact furniture in my bedroom.

Ok, now this seems totally random, but it is quite funny. When I was married, I searched high and low for the perfect bedroom set. It took me months to find the pieces I wanted. My ex was over seas, and I'd express my disdain at the poor quality of furniture out there these days when I would talk to him on the phone. I am certain he thought I was cuckoo, because after all, it was just furniture. I wanted something that was solid wood {kind of hard to find anymore}and distressed looking. I finally came across the Attic Heirlooms Collection at a Broyhill store. I ordered 2 dressers, 2 night stands, and a king size 4 post bed. All of the items would have to be ordered, and delivered, so I waited. I waited patiently might I add. 6 months to be exact, because I wanted that damn 4 post bed. It never came, so I settled for the sleigh bed instead. I guess there was some sort of back order situation or something. I was disappointed, but happy to have my furniture delivered. Well, when the ex and I divorced, that was something I wasn't able to keep. I was so upset, because honestly, that was the furniture that was the best quality, and meant a lot to me because I had looked so long for it. That is OK though, because I saved up, and was able to get another dresser and night stand. That is all I could afford, but I was happy with it, and for just me, it was perfect. Damn I loved my furniture.

So fast forward to he is, having the same furniture as me. Because of a divorce, he only had one night stand, one dresser, and an armoire. Kismet? I think so. So we are meant to be. We are furniture soul-mates. A match made in decorating heaven. Silly, but fun to think, nevertheless. Now we are a complete pair, together, both in furniture and in love.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

On Gluttony

I do believe that it is a proven fact, that if you are truly happy, you indulge. My cloud nine status has made me forget my cares, and enjoy life.
Normally, even when I am truly in a blissful state, I beat myself up, convince myself that I am a fatty, and spend more time looking in the mirror loathing myself than loving myself. That hasn't been the case for me in over a year.
I think dating someone who you love makes you have metaphorical "beer googles" on. Mine eyes shineth over with the glittery fallacy that I am beautiful no matter what, because he tells me that I am. And dang, that is a good feeling. A good feeling when I raise that beer to my lips; a good feeling when I eat that baby gelato his daughter so lovingly picked out for me; that good feeling when the cinnamon roll drips with extra frosting; the bags of gummy bears, or the baskets upon baskets of hot-from-the-oven chips with cheese dip and salsa. Mmmmmm......cheese dip.

But, what does that ooey gooey love stuff get you though? Fat. Fat and happy? Yes, but fat nonetheless.

I stepped on the scale a few weeks back and was a tad shocked at what I saw. My gluttony along with the cold winter climbed up my midsection and camped out there awaiting the warmer weather and bikinis. Bikini? Zoinks....NOT HAPPENING. Sure, my clothes still fit, but they are tighter, but a bathing suit won't tell a lie. I have been awaiting spending time camping, but not the pup tent kind of camping that has set up shop around my gut. I've always had a squishy midsection, and that I am ok with, because my body type gains weight in my tummy. Some gals get saddlebags, some get a badonkadonk, and I get jelly donut. Sweet. Good thing I love jelly donuts! Wait... I am getting myself hungry with all of this food imagery. Holy ADD this morning.

Bottom line. I a content with who I am, and I like how I look. However, not everyone will like to see me looking like I do in a bikini this summer, so it is time to get back on the wagon. I want to feel a little better, so I am counting my calories with the help of my fitbit and myfitnesspal. I am not going to deprive myself of the things I enjoy. I can't. I want to live life and have fun. I love myself enough to not torture the fat off of me, but to be cautious about what I decide to eat during the day. I won't count every day... the weekends I will be laxed, but I need to find a balance between eating anything I want, and making healthier choices. It is amazing how many calories I can stack up having a bite of this, or a small piece of that. If I have to log my calories and see that half of my daily intake went up with a few small pieces of this or that, then something is amiss. The accountability piece is huge, and me knowing what I am eating instead of choosing to ignore the fact that calories DO COUNT is helping me tremendously. I am doubtful I have lost any weight, but I am happy that I am paying attention to what I am eating, and soon enough I can look decent in that bikini (or retro one-piece...who says a girl needs a bikini)?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bring it On, Denver! {On Education}

It is no secret that I love my job. I've posted for years the ups and downs I've experienced in my ten years as a teacher, with some of the ups being hilariously funny, and the downs pulling me to the bottom of the deepest pit. I realized that if I am feeling down more than the good days are pulling me up, then it is time for a change. That is why I left my old position a few years ago. The kids? I loved. The staff? I still miss teaching with them. The constant turmoil and change at the district level? Not for me. I tried to work my way through it all, I really did. Five years of change {Three superintendents, no superintendent, innovation zones, zone leaders, school upheaval EVERY year with what the new focus will be, when the old focus was never really became exhausting}. Part of it is, I am a perfectionist at work. I want it done right, and I am willing to do whatever it took to get it to that point. I couldn't half-ass my work, which years ago is precisely what most people did to survive, and I couldn't be so mired down with the little particulars, because I would go insane. I lost focus of what really was important {my kids} and let the paperwork dictate my late hours and grumpy disposition once I got home. Thankfully, once I was present, in front of my students, I became whole and happy. With each passing class, I laughed, loved my job, cared, and wanted success out of each and every kid. And THAT is why I was a teacher. I could escape all of the bureaucracy and the drama...leave it inside for others to bitch about, and I could go and be a coach, and see the happiness and success in each child I came in contact with. I longed for track and cross country. I longed for the hours where I could shut my door and work my magic. It is those places that I did what I did best. What I truly feel I was born to do, and that is TEACH.
When the thing I loved best became hazardous to my well being, I moved to another school district where they seemed to have it all together. In reality, they do. At every school, someone finds something to complain about. It is funny, because I've seen the worst, and the things some people find too hard to deal with is simply funny to me, and I think to myself, every teacher should teach in a school where they are challenged, and things don't go as planned, because you know what? You become a MUCH better teacher out of those challenges. Rather than experiencing the same thing every day, and becoming dis-content with your place of employment, look for ways to make things better, or go somewhere where you can be challenged and try new things.
That's the cool thing about education...we have to constantly learn. Once we close the doors on learning for ourselves, we can't be effective instructors. We need new ideas, new theories, new philosophies, new strategies, and new methods. Some will work, and some will come crashing down like a meteor hurdling millions of miles towards the Earth. That is OK...because it is like I said, those failures make education better. I am not scared of the things that are to come. I can track data, and I can progress monitor growth. In the last few years where the new SB 191 came into effect, I welcomed it. I almost think it is making me a better teacher. Not because I have to plug numbers into spreadsheets {I am not a numbers gal}, but because I really have to look at the standards, what I need to assess, and really look even deeper into what I need to teach and the way in which I teach it. I think in my dreams some nights about what I could do better for my kiddos, and how I could teach them more.
The last two years have been incredible. I love my job so much. I love my students, and am happy to see each little success, and am like a proud mama: I beam when they achieve something big or small.
It's strange to think that I will have to leave a place where I am feeling at my best. I feel like I have years to keep growing and making my job better. I also know that moving is the right thing to do, however, and maybe leaving a job where I am at my highest and not my lowest will be a great thing for me. I know I have bigger and better things in my future ahead of me. I hope others will see my desire and passion for education, and be willing to give me a shot in a new district, in a new place. I know moving for love and not discontent is what is best, and I welcome the challenges and excitement ahead. Bring it on, Denver, BRING IT ON.