Revelations Upon Waking

I keep focusing on the negative in my relief teaching at a new school. I make jokes and accentuate how difficult it is. And it is difficult but it isn’t impossible. I’m feeding that negative outlook. Foolishly. 

Upon waking this morning, I was struck with successes I have been having. 

Yes, there are a lot of classes that are misbehaving and that are very hard work. But those kids are the ones to greet me in the playground, are the ones who settle after a few periods, are the ones to long for contact outside of the classroom, and within it. 

I don’t know why I’m feeding the negative. Maybe it is too humbling starting all over. Maybe I feel like I should be failing so that I leave teaching or so I don’t miss it as much when I do. Maybe it keeps everyone’s expectations of me low. Maybe I don’t feel supported by my old school so I’m trying to prove to myself that they were right. 

Maybe I’m overthinking it all and just need to chill lol. 

What I take from this is that we all need to feed the positive, irrespective of how small or seemingly insignificant that positive is. Feeding the position Ve nurtures the positive to magnify. Surely, we can all use more positive in our lives. 

Excitement

I have a weekly doctor’s appointment at the moment to keep an eye on my blood pressure. The last couple of times it’s been measured it has been 170 over 115. One week of medication, at the lightest dose, and it is down to 150 over 95. One week! I am excited. And with my dietary changes, I just feel so much better. 

I feel like I am on the right path. 

And it isn’t just the diabetes and blood pressure. 

This year, my gap year, was taken to explore opportunities and options, something I don’t have time to encourage within myself when working in my permanent full-time position. 

Already, I have realised how much of the world there is to explore when you aren’t committed to a permanent full time position. Life is different when lived in balance. And very different when you are doing things that inspire you. 

I don’t know exactly when teaching became work for me. I used to love it; I would jump out of bed in the morning excited to go to work. I can’t remember the last period of time that I consistently felt this way. Probably when I was working in CAPA, but even then, the hours were killing my life. 

Anyway, kinesiology is a modality that I have felt a pull towards for a long while. I’ve been researching courses. I want to be close to home so have focused on the Southern Highlands. This afternoon I spoke to the teacher of said course, and as I was speaking to her, listening to her, I began to understand the pull I’ve felt. 

The point being, trusting these pulls towards certain things this year is opening my world in a way I never dreamed possible. 

I have my Sound Healing course. I am attending a writing conference. I am seeing Elkhart Tolle. I am travelling. I am writing. I am building my business. I’m socialising with friends and family regularly. And soon, I will commence my studies in Neuro Training and Kinesiology. 

I am just so excited this afternoon. 

Life is good. 

And, it is good because I am making it so. I am controlling what I do. I am transforming my life. I wasn’t happy with the lack of balance and I’m correcting it. It’s not always easy but I’m doing it. And I’m loving it. 

I wish the same for everyone. 

Hmmm …

Just watching the tail end of Sunday Night (which I never watch) and cried through Sally Obermeder’s story as her surrogate gave birth to Sally’s daughter. Following on from watching Drew Barrymore and Toni Colette in I Miss You Already. 

Two mothers with breast cancer. The birth of a baby. Lots of tears. 

And so this post is just about getting out the emotion. I know and I accept that I will never be a birth mother. I even understand why (serious lack of patience at this advanced maternal age) and I believe that in some small ways, I am much better off having never carried to term. 

But every now and then, I get a twinge of emotion. A sadness and still a longing for a life I will never experience (not in this lifetime anyway). And the reminder of the baby I lost; the potential never realised of a child who would be three later this year. 

I am okay with it. I know it is for the best. But I am human. And being human means I will occasionally feel it. Tonight is one of those times. 

Maybe today was just too peaceful 😉. 

Ah, Sunday Mornings …

Lying in bed. Scrolling through Facebook. Finding inspiration, or consolidation, or articles of interest as I listen to the clock ticking and the birds chattering. Light is coming through the open back door whilst my room breathes in the last moments of darkness. The summer heat is gone and a fresh chill settles the air. Max scratches his head whilst Sammy’s jaw rests on my leg. Molly is sitting on the floor next to me. 

My home. My family. My life. 

Solitude and happiness; contentment I never thought I would experience. 

It is these small things and in these moments that I feel peace within my soul. Nothing is worrying me, I feel no pain, I am safe and I am free. The day spreads out before me. I have no plans. 

I might write. I might work on my Sound Healing course. I might read. I might dig out the garden bed. I might dye my hair. I might sit outside and reflect. I might – 

Possibility. Endless possibility. 

It reminds me of some of my childhood days. Usually summer. Neighbourhood friends. Daisy chains. Lemonade. Play. Days that seemingly lasted forever we were so present in each moment. 

And that takes me to the days that were the opposite extreme. I didn’t know that the pain would be temporary at that time. In childhood we don’t know that we will be okay; we have no life experience to know this. It is one of the gifts of aging: resilience. I didn’t really learn or believe or know that I would always be okay until my thirties; only I could defeat myself, life would not defeat me.  

It had no desire to. 

I was here to learn as much as I could and experience as much as I was able. 

This damaged child has travelled, studied, loved, and continues to do so. I have grown into myself, trusting that all will be as it should be in every moment, and that I will be okay. It’s been a process, a long journey, and I am grateful for it. 

I choose to learn from experiences, not to be bitter. I choose to feel the pain and choose to work through it to attain wholeness, irrespective of how long it takes. I choose to see beauty and to express my gratitude for it. 

Especially in the seemingly small, blessed moments; they sustain me and remind me that life truly is worth living. It is a special gift to be present as the years unfold, and as life becomes richer and I become more myself. 

A beautiful, wild, intelligent, empathic, powerful soul. 

Namaste. 

And, I wish for you, gratitude for the small moments of beauty you experience today. 

Bits & Bobs Upon Reflection 

I enjoyed going back to work yesterday. 

The first two periods were brilliant. I was worried about first period because I’ve had that class three times already, and whilst they were getting better and we all quite like each other, morning periods have been the worst. One of the boys went to open the infamous window (had thrown things out of it last week) and I said, “Uh uh,” and he assured me it would be okay because he’d taken his tablets today. 

No lie from him; what a difference some pills make. We went to the Library to work on resumes. 

And, in Period 2, I was in the Support Unit. I love the kids and staff in this unit. We worked on numeracy and capitalism/market strategising by playing Monopoly. 

I had a massive run in with two rude seniors during Periods 3 and 4, and a massive success with the rest of the class, surprisingly. And I think it stemmed from a few of us crying during Big Daddy. One of the friends/co-conspirators stayed behind to talk to me into lunch. I love those moments. 

And Year 7, last period, came in, in dribs and drabs, which made control and settling harder. 

I’ll follow it all up and eventually the kids will behave, but I’m too old for the patience required. And I’m just not into teaching as much, well, snobbily, teaching kids who don’t want to be taught. 

But I love tutoring, and love my business. 

Kids that do want to learn and do want to improve. My first client yesterday afternoon is a smart child who struggles with getting his ideas onto paper. I started some meditation and focus activities with him that worked. And my second client yesterday, well, she has been helping her friends in class with their Maths and getting it right. She said that she had never been able to do that before. 

And the best part is their faces when they see me; they light up from their toes and straight into their eyes. I love it. 

If I can grow my business, supporting people that want the support, I’ll be a very happy woman with lower blood pressure. 

Nice segue, hey.

Five days on my meds for Diabetes and I can feel the difference within me. 

At first I struggled with extreme hunger and needing to eat at night which is abnormal for me but has been happening for the last couple of weeks; I’d just put it down to my period and emotional eating. I now think my sugar levels were out. For the first few days I also suffered gastro but felt like it was a good clean out, and it’s stopped now. 

I’m managing my diet a lot better after a lot of reading, and will be seeing a dietician soon. I’ve minimised my sugar intake and now need to start on the carbs, but I’m adjusting well. Just the kick in the pants that I needed. Exercise will follow. I feel much better within myself. Oh, and I don’t get up to go to the toilet during the night. Who knew. 

I’m spending time with a sister and the nephews today. A Day Out With Thomas ( the tank engine) at Trainworks (across the road). Very excited to meet the Fat Controller (ironic) and ride on Henry. Woo hoo! 

A Thoughtful Week

Generally, when I go quiet here it is for one of two reasons: flat out or processing something big. 

This week I have been processing. I have also had a cold, then gastro, and then a migraine (which is still here but permitting some function finally). 

Since finishing IVF a couple of years ago, and after my miscarriage, I have had ongoing issues with my menstrual cycle. Prior to fertility treatments, my cycle was regular as clockwork (with only a couple of exceptions in like thirty years).  Since finishing IVF I have experienced two runs of menhorragia (abnormal bleeding) with my last run of bleeding lasting from September last year through to February this year, virtually every day. 

As a result, I went to see a new doctor and he referred me for full blood work. The results came back to me on Monday. 

My iron, expectedly, is low. My sugars are high. My blood pressure continues to be high. 

I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. A bit of a shock on Monday and it has taken some processing. I’m on meds for both now, hence gastro. 

It is reversible and I will reverse it. 

I hadn’t mentioned it here, but last year I attended an information session regarding weight loss surgery. I actioned my health insurance and had my initial consultation with Dr Zarrouk last week. I also booked in the surgery for later this year. 

With lifestyle changes and the surgery, my diabetes is entirely reversible. 

I’m okay with it; it is the kick in the pants that I needed. 

However, the diagnosis also forced me to track my journey to this point. And, as a result, I’ve had to focus on some negative things that cause shame (stupidly). 

There is family history of diabetes and hypertension, so I should always have been more proactive regarding prevention. 

I’ve had to revisit why I wasn’t. I don’t feel sorry for myself but I felt the need to acknowledge how I got here. I asked myself why I emotionally eat, when did it start, why did it start, why did it continue, when don’t I emotionally eat, why, etcetera etcetera. 

Childhood trauma, shame, silence, inability to form healthy relationships, poor life choices, work related stress, being empathic, alcohol, experimentation with drugs, self harm and suicidal tendencies, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, putting others’ needs first, failed IVF, failed fostering, and the list could go on. I don’t emotionally eat when I travel; travel equals happiness and comfort in my own skin. I like me when I travel. 

And as an emotional eater, last year was a horrendous year for me. Diet and exercise just didn’t factor into my choices; anxiety reigned supreme and getting through each day became an achievement. 

I’m an intelligent person. I could have prevented this. But I didn’t. And as a result, I’ve had to work through feelings of shame and fear all over again. Ridiculous, really. 

And I do trust that things happen when they are meant to. So I haven’t cried over this and I’m alright with the diagnosis. For real. 

I’ve modified my diet. I’ve read heaps. I’ve thought heaps. I’m taking my medication. I’m making appointments. 

I know I will beat this. 

My mum was diagnosed similarly at my age and she reversed it with diet and psychological strength. I’m her daughter; I will achieve the same. 

I am regarding this as a continuation of the wake up call I had already given to myself. And, as affirmation that the surgery decision was the right one to make. 

This year for transformation really is becoming a year of transformation. 

I’m blessed, really. 

My Lesson is Patience 

I believe that we are born to learn and to be happy; that learning will lead to our happiness. 

One of the cliches often shared with me in my whinging times is, good things come to those who wait

Hmmm. I do believe the essence is true but I have also come to realise that I lack patience. I hate waiting … for anything. It definitely is my lesson to learn this lifetime. 

What prompts this grand epiphany, you might ask. Well, a few things thus far this year. 

Waiting for work to come and trusting the universe that it will be there when I need it. It did come. Too much of it has come – be careful what you wish for lol. 

My hair colour – I am unhappy with its darkness at the moment but lightening will be a process so I haven’t started yet lol. I do understand that lightness won’t come without any action whatsoever. 

And the big one. Last year in March I attended an information session about the Weightloss Surgery (sleeve gastrectomy). I had to wait a year for my health insurance to activate. I have had my heart set on the surgery in April/May. I had an appointment with the doctor last week and due to travel plans, I can’t have the surgery until July 20. 

I was the same with pregnancy and then fostering, it was all about waiting. And this last week, I know the kids at the current school will come to show respect for me (some already are) but I want them to show it now. Lol, I’m so not patient. 

With my things. 

I am in the classroom with children’s learning and I am with the pets, most of the time. 

Just my life, I want things now. 

I guess I’m set to learn the hard way …

😜

My mum once gave me this … ‘Nuff said. 

My Relationship With Food 

Yikes! Can’t believe I’m sharing this here. But here goes … 

I had lost 3.5 kg in as many weeks, without trying. No effort at all. I was enjoying life and eating things I wanted to eat. Lots of fruit and veggies, lots of water, lots of healthy food, by choice. I wasn’t even craving sugar or junk or crap or taking the easy option. It was amazing. I wasn’t even thinking about my weight and to be honest, except for a doctor’s appointment, wouldn’t even have known I’d lost it. 

Then I started back teaching this week. Not really enjoying it. Having to use every trick to get kids behaving. A bit of stress. Tiredness because I’m not living my life again. And good choices become bad choices. 

Well, less the type of food and more the portion sizes. I just don’t stop. I am most definitely an emotional eater. When I am happy, I make great choices and feel very satisfied from significantly less food. 

Another sign that my gap year is the right choice, and another reminder that I need to trust the universe and say no to any teaching work that I do not desperately need. 

Exhale. Done and dusted. Reboot. 

The Price of Not Trusting đŸ˜œ

So, I started casual teaching this week. Four days because I had an appointment on one day. Four days of ‘teaching’ every period with detentions every break because I am introducing and establishing myself. Four days of fighting with a lot of kids to engage them and get them excited. 

It’s been a rough one. And an illuminating one. 

I am carrying stress in my shoulders and back this afternoon for the first time in a very long time. My throat is really sore and I am exhausted. 

The life of a casual teacher. 

But, it’s more than that. 

Today’s illumination started yesterday. I didn’t want to get up and go to work. I didn’t want to teach every period. I didn’t want to argue with kids to get them working. I didn’t want to become frustrated by some of the dodgiest lessons I’ve ever seen, torn feeling gratitude that at least there was a lesson left. I didn’t want to ask someone for a key to go to the toilet. I didn’t want to keep asking people to unlock the classroom door, please. I didn’t want to ask the kids to write their names down. I didn’t want to not have rolls, access to Sentral, say my name repeatedly, and the list goes on and on and on.

In one particular subject, the work has been so boring it has not surprised me that the kids prefer to sit on their phone or look out the window. When I found out I had that subject again, well there was only one remedy. 

Today I made up my own lessons for the classes that had no substantial work. They weren’t perfect but it was smoother. Kids are starting to respond to me, engage with me, confident enough to ask questions. I’m starting to hear kids say, she is such a cool teacher, and I really like her

But I don’t really care. 

Today was more about me realising that because I didn’t trust enough, I accepted work for every day until the end of term which leaves no time for me to do what I took this year off to do. Today made me realise that I’m falling into the same trap I always do; I put the needs of others before my own and don’t have enough left to give myself. I’m still learning to value my needs. 

So I’m working in a school where kids are needy and cry out to be heard, seen, acknowledged in every way they can, not caring who they hurt in the process. A kid in Year 9 pegged a piece of rolled up paper at me whilst I was helping another student with their work. 

Other kids dobbed on him. Immediately. He denied it. Anyone that knows me can imagine what happened next. As I told the class, I don’t care that someone pegged something at me; I cared that they were too gutless to own it, that they take their littleness out on someone who by law, cannot defend themselves, and that the poor delusional child thinks it makes them look strong to their peers, and I reminded whoever it was, that their friends dobbed him in real fast. I then suggested to the class that the gutless wonder cares so little about them that they compromise their learning environment; the gutless are just that selfish. And I watched the denying thrower get redder and redder with each breath of shame as they sank lower and lower. 

And so today, I really felt that I don’t want to fight with kids anymore. I don’t like being that person, that teacher. Yes, they learn, and the victims always feel stronger when I am this teacher. But it’s boring. 

I love teaching but our curricula is so disconnected from the realities of our kids’ lives. Adults are so disconnected from kids that it’s no wonder some kids struggle to connect to their teachers. And I think these are the things I blame for casual teachers and teachers in general having to fight so fucking hard to inspire kids to want to be more and to realise that they deserve more. 

And a lot of you are right. These kids do need more teachers like me. I see a few but we are not in strong enough numbers to exact real change for the masses. Meh. I deserve more too. 

Successes kept coming. Last period today I used Reading to Learn with a Year 8 class that were positively horrible yesterday, and today had great success, great engagement and great comprehension. 

On Monday I was offered every Friday in Careers and in TAS. Today I decided I probably wouldn’t see that through beyond this term. I think I could achieve great things with those Careers classes in time, but I don’t want to invest the time and emotional energy required to achieve it. Selfishly, this year is my gap year and I don’t want to corrupt the freedom of it. 

At least I’m learning … 

I’m not being negative, just keeping it real for myself. And I love my business activities (which do not feel like work at all) but do not feel that same live for teaching anymore. Teaching is work, and bloody hard work. 

Back Where It Started 

On Monday morning I was called in for my first day of teaching-in-a-school work for this year. My high school. And the first school I taught in twenty five years ago. It has been eighteen years since I left Airds for Sarah Redfern which ultimately lead to my first and only permanent position at Reddall. 

Today I am not working to attend some appointments and this has afforded me the opportunity to reflect whilst I wait for my blood to be taken. 

There are only two teachers still there that I worked with, one who was teaching there when I was a student. Another ex-student is teaching there and a few friends. So, I was safe. 

The school seems physically smaller and the student population is reduced. Plants have grown in the planter box I used to sit near (Years 7-10) and the seats I sat at during my senior years are gone. There are no demon tables and there is a new hall. The admin block has been refurbished. The classrooms are the same. Some staff rooms have moved. I haven’t been through the whole school yet; full teaching days. 

What a trip! 

As a student, and as a beginning teacher, I learned a lot and had some amazing times. As a teacher, I also had some of my strongest lessons taught to me about teaching. 

Yesterday I ‘taught’ a class (really it’s about establishing relationships and boundaries at the moment), and towards the end of it, a couple of the girls asked if I could teach them all of the time. The next class were really unsettled and the lesson was a bit dodgy which didn’t help, but even those kids stayed for detention and commented on how much they liked me, “You’re real, Miss.”

Yep. I’m real. There have been a couple of small issues – nothing major and nothing that caused me any stress; I just go into patient teacher mode and go through the steps – but I realized how bored I am with teaching. 

I can do it standing on my head, eyes blindfolded and hands cut off. Even the discipline. I’ve been doing it so long, have refined my practice, and just go through the motions. I don’t expect these kids to respect my authoritar straight off but I am surprised at how many are. To be honest, I expected more feral than I am getting. 

In two days though, I’ve come to a few conclusions: 

1. My school so takes my skills and talent for granted, and should have utilized it and supported my move up the ladder a long time ago. 

2. Lessons for kids need to be engaging, relevant, fun. 

3. Respect them, stay calm, be patient, follow up, be clear about expectations, and they will ask you to teach them forever after one period. 

Teaching isn’t hard. It takes perseverance and a commitment to learning from the teacher. 

Back at the school I started at, I have a greater appreciation of how good a teacher I am these days. Did I say good? I meant amazing; I’ve always been good. And that realization is a gift.