Sunday, January 27, 2013

Next Steps

As I've probably mentioned a few times, I want to live a beautiful life. Focusing on little things that bring me joy - a home I'm comfortable and proud of, good food, and spending time with my loved ones.

After the long hours I've put into my current job (and to be "rewarded" with a pink slip for all of this effort), it made me realize that while I am proud to be passionate about my career field, it's become a distraction from the previously mentioned goal. It lead to me neglecting everything outside of work, and while I plan to finish my contract without neglecting my students, I also plan to take this as a sign that I need to re-align my focus.

Go figure, this re-focus comes at the same time that my body literally added injury to insult. Last Sunday I woke up with a sore back, but continued on like it wasn't and made it worse, and it seriously hasn't stopped hurting all freaking week. UGH. It's JUST now starting to get to a point of tolerable. So all the things I want to get started on had to take a back seat so I could heal (plus still working the whole time didn't really help, heh).

Luckily, we have a vacation week around President's Day, so I'm thinking I'll start working towards all the habits I want to develop, and any of those habits that need more focus can be during that week.

Also, during this vacation week will begin the job search; I've decided to keep working in education, but expanding what I define as "working" to consider other parts of the field. I'll also be looking in other fields as well, but only if I see something that genuinely interests me. The Hubs is very supportive and encouraging, and believes in me as a creative person; if we can find a way for me to be creative and bring in enough income, he's behind it. It's something I'm considering as well.

All in all, I'm looking at this situation as a re-direction to finding what makes me happiest. I think being an educator is part of that, but I don't know if the education field and I share the same vision. We'll see where I'm meant to be. Despite the negative circumstances, I'm actually looking to move forward and stop relying on my job to fulfill me.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Forcing Myself to Find Peace

I realize this statement could be confusing, so let me explain what I mean by this.

Like I said in the previous post, I love what I do (or what I should probably say a field in which I try to stay gainfully employed), but I'm really tired of the employment jerk-around and I'm not sure if I want to put myself through the job-hunt in this field AGAIN.

While I make this decision, though, I still have to finish the contract I'm under with as much enthusiasm as I can muster. So in the meantime, I want to switch my focus.

I tend to focus my self-worth on my hire-ability, just like I focused it on my scholastic achievements as a child. When I went through a period of crippling depression in 7th grade and earned my first Ds and Cs, it broke the dam of self-perfection and while I still wanted to earn good grades, if I knew it wasn't my academic strength I didn't sweat it if I didn't get an A. Unfortunately, when I started getting jobs, I applied that same self-perfection standard to my job hunting and job hiring. For a while, just like in academia, I did well without much effort, but then I entered my current job field and it's just been awful. Despite putting a lot of time and energy into my work, I have yet to find my "home" and instead am always back on the job hunt come the summer. My ego has taken a repeated beating over the last few years, and it's emotionally exhausting.

So I need to "break the dam" on this focus of employment perfection, and shift my focus to my overall life, not just work. I have been living for work (or waiting for work to begin again to feel like I have a life), now I need to live to LIVE. My job is not my life, my LIFE is my "job".

Here's to focusing less on career success (which is obviously NOT going to happen the way I imagined it would), and focusing more on finding passion in living well.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Moment of Honesty

I received news on Friday that was unexpected and felt like a slap in the face.

It's not the first time this has happened, but there was no clear indication that it would happen again, and rather than be hurt and sad like the previous time, I'm feeling hurt and ANGERED. Angered because this came despite my best efforts to prevent this from happening again, and even with the reception of this news it's been indicated that it's not really that I did anything wrong... but I am still the one being "punished" (as it feels).

Of course, I can't lash out with this hurt, which is really frustrating. I have no real outlet for this hurt and rage, because I have to be a mature, responsible adult. I don't want to be a jerk, even though I feel like I've been jerked around. Turn the other cheek, be the bigger person, etc. I really, really want to be the bigger person and not let it affect me so much.

But I know me, and I know it will affect me. The bitterness will reappear, and hang over my head and... ugh, I just don't want to go through all of this AGAIN. I am dreading the emotional, ego-bruising bullsh** that will result so much that I am honestly considering not bothering again. I'm tired of putting my heart on the line, devoting my time, hoping this time it will stick and believing that maybe this really IS what I'm meant to do only for this to happen again.

I love what I do. I really feel I'm meant to do it. It's possible, though, that the current state of society is contrary to the way I approach my job. It's frustrating and insulting and I'm completely exhausted by the whole rollercoaster. I want to give up.

If we're being honest, though, this same attitude reared its ugly head last time and I said "just one more time" because I'm a masochist, and I really, really love what I do and I want to keep doing it.

I honestly don't know if my heart can take it anymore, though.

So far, step 1 has been accomplished.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello, 2013!

The tiara I was rockin' last night - Happy New Year, y'all! (Darn right it coordinated with my outfit!)
 2012 has been a pretty flippin' sweet year. My attitude shifted in a positive way to the point where I went from self-loathing to borderline megalomania, I got me one of them thar job thingies that people are always raving about (and I actually enjoy it!), and The Hubs and I have taken big steps forward with plans for even bigger steps in the upcoming years.

Of course, no one would know any of this from reading this blog. Heh. As a teacher, I want a certain amount of anonymity so I tend to not mention the specifics... which, frankly, kind of sucks. This blog is boring and repetitive because I am stymied by what I can and can't discuss in blog form. It's a symptom of my overall writer's block. I haven't written something good in literally years.

That said, another reason I don't write as much on here is because I spend my online time in vacant pursuit of Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook (with occasional dalliances with Twitter). Hell, I don't even read actual BLOGS that often (let alone books - and I'm an ENGLISH TEACHER)! I have noticed, though, that the blogs I do read with some regularity are ones where people present their lives in a way that I find beautiful - beautiful homes, beautiful activities, basically what I consider beautiful lives. But not in a Martha Stewart way - their lives/lifestyle seems attainable while also gorgeous. (Not that Saint Martha is totally unattainable, but it requires a lot more effort than I think I will ever be willing to put forth.)

So while so much of my life is wonderful and blessed, I still find myself wishing for these little life changes that I see on these other blogs I admire. I also find myself constantly telling my students that their life is what they choose to be, it's all about choice, choice choice choice CHOICE.

Recently I realized that I need to tell myself this a little more often.

In my early 20's, one of the smartest things I ever realized was that one's life is dictated by how they choose to react - they can't choose what happens to them a lot of the time, but they can choose how they react to it. It started a change in me that has ebbed and flowed from then on, and I find myself in another flow of recognizing it. I didn't choose to get hired at my current job, obviously, but I chose to put my best foot forward and it helped me get the job; I now choose to put my best effort in at work, and I'm seeing decent success.

So if I want my life to be more beautiful, like these blogs I so admire, then I need to choose to make it so.

One thing I know about myself is that I don't do well with change when it's an overwhelming amount - I can't do big shifts. (Frankly, I think this is a problem for all humankind, but the majority of people still seem to bite off huge chunks of change then wonder why they don't succeed...) Yes, the new year does lend itself nicely to starting with big change. So while I'm not making a resolution per se, I am aiming to work towards making better choices.

I choose to make a beautiful life for myself.

I choose to make my life with The Hubs more beautiful as well.

I choose to make my health a priority.

I choose to work towards being the best teacher I can be.

Every choice will be a miniscule step at a time that will hopefully add up to something wonderful altogether. Little steps, little choices, creating and further adding to the blessed life I currently have.

The first little steps I want to take are to increase my creativity and cutting out the technology noise. The technology noise is to put down the computer (she says as she types on her internet blog *eyeroll*) to read more actual books, and to eat dinner at our table with music in the background rather than on our couch watching the boob tube more often - I think at least once a week would be nice. Of course, that means I need to make our table more inviting and get all of that crap off of it. The other little step I'm going to take in a minute is to get a blank journal of some sort and do a little daily art journal - I've done, like, 5 pages total last year and it was fun, but it takes a lot of effort. I stumbled upon this version of the idea via Pinterest, and I'm going to go buy a cheapie 2013 calendar to cut up for the actual dates, and a cheap journal from Michaels as my book. A little creative output and writing down of my day at night should be a nice way to relax! I'll share how well it's working at the end of this week.

While I remain a hot mess housewife, the blog will be chronicling my overall journey to make my life what I want to it to be - good and bad, right and wrong. Hopefully my new tagline - "Putting the 'F' in 'effort'" - will be untrue by the end of 2013.

TL;DR I'm excited for the new year as a continuation of all the good things from 2012, and I want to pursue little things that make my overall quality of life better!


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