Welcome back to PPP after a bit of a hiatus! Nothing major going on (as I mentioned last post), just the general business of life and constant other demands on my time. Stuff has not calmed down in the least, but I realized that I need my writing time. I function much better when I’m doing it regularly. This blog is the closest thing I get to therapy, so I need to make an effort to keep it out of the backseat!
This is something of a Weekly mishmash “Catch-up”, plus with a few more recent goings-on. So, what have we been up to over here?
1. EASTER. Here we are after mass. We showed up 40 minutes early, got to sit in front, and the kids weren’t horrible. It was an all-around win.
2. I took the kids on a day trip to The Museum of Clean. They loved it! There were toys and antique toilets! Fun for all ages!
3. We got a new kitty in January. We adopted her and did not change the name the rescue group had given her: Beatrice. Once the kids got over the need to carry her around by the neck, it’s been good. Beatrice keeps us young; she is really hyper. Especially at 2am.
4. I stayed up late every night this week to declutter the basement. In the ensuing time, I went through 6 Rubbermaid totes of “Keepsakes” that my mother had saved for me from childhood. Here is what I learned:
First of all, I don’t advocate for throwing out all of your kid’s artwork, school projects, writing assignments, etc. But you certainly don’t have to keep every. single. one. I think my mom was sweet for doing so, most likely under the impression that someday…..someday….it may mean so so much to me that I have my junior high math tests and my preschool macaroni art, but I realized that I can really live without those things cluttering up my basement. I filled an industrial-size garbage can.
However, I appreciate my mom keeping some of those things, because there were some gems. Like all-caps handwritten notes from my grandmother for me when I was first learning to read. And the cute little artwork from my younger brothers and sisters. And the kitchen-table notes from my mom to my younger self that reveal, not only what kind of kid I was at a younger age, but what kind of mom she was (and looking at it with my mother-eyes now, I realize I totally get her in a way I didn’t at the time.)
I also realized that as an adult, I am coming full-circle into what my likes and passions were at that young age. Gretchen Rubin says in her books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home that we need to look back at what we enjoyed as children to figure out what we enjoy now. Now, for some people this may be a “duh” moment – “I played matchbox cars as a child and now I love my job as a mechanic!” – but for others of us, myself included, our likes can sometimes be obscured by what we feel as adults we should do. I graduated from high school thinking I should be a doctor. Not necessarily because science was my strong point, or because I truly enjoyed all those labs in high school. I just thought it was what I should do because my parents were in the medical profession and it was a good job. I failed to consider that I was not really a people-person (not all doctors are, but doctors with the best bedside manner certainly are), nor was I ever good at handling stress (which can be a little bit of an occupational hazard in a stressful profession). I also was never a science or math person and my grades reflected this. So, when I finally conceded defeat as a pre-med student, I felt relief but also felt a great deal of self-hatred for “not being able to cut it”. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I might still be able to graduate from college with some sort of degree, but I would always consider myself a failure because I couldn’t follow through with my initial goal of being a doctor.
So I majored in history. Which I loved. Which didn’t guarantee me a job (as my mother constantly reminded me). But I figured that if I chased my love, and something I was good at, eventually I would figure something out.
And I had to laugh as I went through those keepsake boxes.
There was a running theme through all of those papers and assignments: History and writing. I found an assignment I had to write in 5th grade – a letter to my parents about why I was excited for the beginning of the school year. I wrote, “I am so excited for 5th grade because we finally get to learn history this year!” I discovered a nightshirt I had craft-painted that had a picture of a boy and girl in colonial dress, and emblazoned above them in bold letters was “HISTORY”. I found dozens of stories and plays I had written. I found a note from my sister telling me that she always thought I would be a great historian or writer. I understood that all throughout my childhood, I always knew my likes and my strengths. I just thought that they were stupid and I should try to do something more “realistic” (and probably more lucrative monetarily) than writing or something with history. Ha. It would have taken less time and heartache if I had figured that out earlier!
And this super-long take leads to the next take….
5. I’ve decided to become a middle school/high school history teacher. I graduated with a history degree but opted not to do the teacher certification at the time because I didn’t think I wanted to teach. This may have been another fallacy of thought; growing up I heard disparaging things about teachers – despite the fact my grandmothers and aunt were teachers – hmmmm…I’ll have to maybe analyze that in a future blog post…. At any rate, I didn’t think I would be a good teacher, plus I figured I’d hate it.
What changed my mind? Volunteering at my children’s school. I have been participating voluntarily for several years doing this program called FAME. It stands for “Fine Art Mini Experience” and every month volunteer teachers present lessons on one work of art/artist and one musical piece/composer. I have had so much fun with this! The kids are always really interested and ask the best questions. I love doing the research and I learn so much. It is right up my alley because both art and music are closely aligned with history and I love helping kids make those connections. The best part is how energized I feel after spending all day at the school teaching these lessons. As a SAHM, that doesn’t happen very often at home, and I got to the point where I realized I wanted to have that experience more often.
Hubby was very supportive of this. I am doing an online, accredited program where I can take the teacher certification test in Idaho and can be in a classroom within a year if I so desire.
My youngest, Evvie, is only three, so I have been dealing with some anxiety/guilt about possibly going to work full-time before she is in school full-time. I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but my main concern is to get my teacher’s certification by next spring and then decide at that point if I want to begin looking for a job or wait a bit until Evvie is in 1st grade.
Ultimately, though, I am confident this is what I should be doing at this point in time. It took a lot of prayer and soul-searching but I feel excited for this next phase in my life!
6. We had an awful day on Monday where we had 50 mph winds. It was terrible! Power poles got knocked over and trees fell into buildings. I am so grateful we rarely get tornadoes here but I am beginning to wonder if these high winds we’ve been having lately are not nearly as bad!
7. I’ve been rocking out to Ed Sheeran. When I was in Europe this summer, Galway Girl was on the radio a lot when we were tooling around northern France and pulling in British radio stations. My kids, though, love Shape of You. For the beat I think. The lyrics aren’t the most G-rated which makes me a little leery when I listen to it. There’s that part that goes, “Last night you were in my room/ And now my bedsheets smell like you”
Spike was in the car and yelled up to me, “Why does it say ‘my veggies smell like you’?”
I replied, “Yes, yes, that is what he’s saying, isn’t it? I guess sometimes that happens.”
And now, every time it comes on my kids crack up because it is SUCH a SILLY SONG!!
Have a lovely week!