Thursday, January 2, 2014

What's Happening Lately: 2013 in Review

It's amazing how fast time flies by. For example, I can't believe I haven't posted since September! Being a teacher is very busy, but not so busy that I couldn't have posted on here more, I'll admit. To be honest, though, I didn't have the time to do the types of posts I WANT to do. Recipes, projects, etc. I wasn't doing them like I wanted to before I took an unplanned sabbatical, though, so there ya go. I will confess that teaching/education is my passion, and while I could blog about that as well, I find I prefer to learn more than share at the moment in that area. Maybe when I'm feeling a little more experienced and feel I have new insight to provide. :)

Left to right, top to bottom: Volleyball signed by the team I coached, The Hubs and our dog Daisy, My goddaughter Emily and I taking selfies, the set from OSF's "A Streetcar Named Desire" which we saw on our summer vacation!

Let's do a little recap, though, to share what I've been up to/how this year has gone:
  • Professionally, it's been on an upswing, but 2013 was AWFUL job-wise. Without going into details (because you never know who cyberstalks you), I was in a bad situation at my last school that was just... it messed me up emotionally. Seriously, it induced regular panic attacks that even after the job was over I was still suffering from for months afterwards. I'm happy to say that I haven't had a panic attack since at least August! The fact that I'm at a school where I'm supported and encouraged really helps with this, though. My students are wonderful for the most part (there's always some knuckleheads, but most of them are just knuckleheads who need to test if someone cares), the staff is friendly and encouraging, and the support staff is on it like comet. I'm really happy there, and while there's a chance I might not be back next year (I'm on a temporary contract), it's nice to feel confident that the reason I might not be back has 100% NOTHING to do with me, and I'll always be grateful for this school reinvigorating my love for teaching and reaffirming that I AM a good teacher. 
  • Personally, things are mostly good. Friendships have strengthened, for the most part, and the few that have weakened aren't due to fights or hurt, just distance and time apart. It sucks, but it's also a part of life. Marriage is mostly good as well; there are things to work on, because we are human and we are fallible, but we have pledged to work on those things together, and we still love each other very much.
The highlights of this year have been:
  • My new job! Seriously, I love it there. 
    • Adding to the job enjoyment was coaching our middle school girls volleyball team - we made the playoffs! I was so proud of my girls. :)
  • My husband's job seriously improved as well, in very positive ways!
  • We became godparents to the adorable Emily, and it's been a blast spending time with her while also becoming closer to her mom (I am an old friend of her dad's, but I've grown closer to his wife/Emily's mom over this year also). 
  • Our trip to Ashland, Oregon! A great weekend away with wonderful theater, cute boutiques, and great food. :)
  • My 32nd birthday was just all-around awesome, for some reason. Probably because I forced myself to not make a big deal out of it, which resulted in my not over-thinking it and just ENJOYING the time with family and friends! :)
Overall, I've ended 2013 on a happy note, and I'm hoping it continues into 2014. We have a lot of stuff happening early this year - a trip to the Chicago area for my grandmother's 80th bday, moving to a bigger place, buying a new car for The Hubs (which is long overdue), and *sigh* possibly finding a new job. We're also hoping our family will be closer to expanding this year as well, but that depends on my continuing to control my health issues. 2014 is full of possibility, and I hope I will maximize those possibilities as much as I can!

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