Day 21: Unrested

I am a vivid dreamer- I remember all my dreams and I’ve had 2 reoccurring dreams since I was little. When I dream, real life dreams, meaning that I’m at work, with my current co-workers/students, I wake up feeling completely unrested.

Last night’s dream consisted of one of my student’s following me everywhere I went. I was basically being chased by her. She is, by all accounts, a very needy kid and always wants my attention. I assume that’s the reason for the dream, that tension I feel when she is trying to have a running conversation with me all day has now transferred over into my dreams.

I feel extraordinarily unrested because the dreams feel so real and I’m stressed throughout it. I am hoping to snap out of the tired and get outside to enjoy the sun and the nice weather. I do, however, see a nap in my future.

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Day 20: The Barn

Every other Saturday I get to go to the barn and endlessly pet and dote on horses and I LOVE it! I grew up around horses, but I forgot how magical they are.

There is something so therapeutic about petting them and just being around them. They are so big and so powerful, yet love attention, just like humans do.

It’s the best way to start the weekend, especially today because the sun was shining! Nature and animals are good for the soul!

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Day 19: Fri-Yay

I am so happy it’s Friday, I can’t even describe it properly. I have nothing planned for the weekend and that makes me very happy! I love to just let the weekend days come to me and have the freedom to do whatever I want or do nothing at all.

I can predict that this weekend will most likely be “a nothing at all” weekend with a lot of rest and relaxation, just what my brain and body need.

I’m sure I’m not alone in being thrilled that it’s Friday; even under normal circumstances, by this time, everyone is ready for Spring Break. So, cheers to whatever kind of weekend you’re hoping for!

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Day 18: Hard Days Work

Today was hard. It was hard from the get-go. My one group of students has a more heavy energy than the other group and as soon as those few students enter my classroom, I can feel the positive, joyful energy start to leave my body.

I always take a deep breathe and greet them with an enthusiastic, “Good morning, ________, how are you?” And every single time, the response is dismal or I don’t get a response at all.

I didn’t realize how much energy I was expending to compensate for the heavy energy that was coming through my door, but today I felt it. I am exhausted, truly exhausted. This year has tested all of us and I’m in need of a break… 6 more teaching days, I think to myself.

After having not been in the classroom for 3 years, I forgot how impacted I can be by the mood or energy my students’ bring. I remembered today. I remembered today that I, too have to dig deep and employ my own strategies to get through a hard day. I remembered today that it’s hard for them too, even though everyone always says how resilient kids are. I remembered today that it’s ok to shut the engines down and just have a heart-to-heart to help us all get back on track. And most importantly, I remembered today that tomorrow is a new day and it’s ok to to rest so that I can be my best self for my students’, no matter what.

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Day 17: The Room is Spinning

Twice a year I get vertigo and it’s awful. It happens a lot when the weather changes in a quick and extreme way… like 60 degrees to 30 degrees for example. The room is spinning a lot less than it was this morning when I got out of bed and fell into my night stand. But I have taken my vertigo meds and done all 3 of the crazy exercises I was taught to do when I have it so the crystal moves out of my inner ear and balance is restored.

There’s not much you can do when you have vertigo, so I slept and went over and over how much I have to do and can’t. The overthinking was… I mean is so hard for me to deal with. It produces anxiety and the truth is, I just have to wait until it fully passes and then life goes on. I’m trying to tell myself that over and over.

But, at least I am able to kind of sit up to type this blog so that one of my responsibilities is taken care of, even though the room is still spinning.

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Day 16: Procrastination

I am a procrastinator- it’s something I’ve tried to work on but it’s been years since I actually realized I was a procrastinator and I’ve made little improvements. This week I am feeling the stress of my procrastination; I have 4 days to finish half of an IU course… that started in January.

I regret not spending my weekends work on it- I could have easily done one assignment a week and been totally fine, but instead, I started working on it last week and now it’s crunch time. In this moment, I know I have to push through and just get it done, but that seems really overwhelming at this moment.

This is the procrastination life though- every single time, the same feeling of regret and dread. So here I am, sitting on my couch knowing that the next few hours of my evening will be spent working on my class instead of watching TV or just relaxing.

Natural consequences, I guess…

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Day 15: The Take-Over

Today begins the 4 week stretch where my student teacher takes over the class fully. I told myself to not interject, to just let her fully be in charge… I failed by 8:35am. I interjected.

It’s so hard, not because I don’t trust her, because I do. She is actually the best and most capable student teacher I have ever seen in my career. I think it’s more to do with the kiddos. They a respectful, they treat my student teacher almost nearly the same as they treat me, but in times when they don’t, I want to jump in.

The thing is, this is the real teaching; the tough kiddos, the needy kiddos, the kiddos who say your name a thousand times a day. This is it and she has to build the stamina to cope with everything that is coming at her without anyone saving her. It’s the next best thing to actually having a classroom and she’s doing great, better than great- even without my interjections!

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Day 14: 83

My dad is 83 years old today. I am 38. Growing up I always felt embarrassed about how much older my dad was than all the other dads- especially at the Daddy Daughter Dance; they thought he was my grandfather. It took me many years to get over the fact that my dad was so much older than me and now as a 38 year old, I think about how lucky I am to have him here. He has been blessed with the gift of years, something my mom was not afforded.

Our experiences inform our perspective and with one loss came a flooding of gratitude for what is. My dad is in relatively good heath and still offers up great nuggets of advice that will stick with me for many, many years. So today, this morning and this evening, we celebrate him- he certainly deserves it.

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Day 13: On This Day…

A year ago today, I took a half day at work because I was exhausted and only had a morning meeting with the coaching team. We had worked for days in a row to get packets out to our respective families at our home schools because by this point knew we were going to miss a week of school before and possibly after spring break.

Kids never stepped foot in our schools’ again that year. Classrooms and offices were left as if we’d return; dates frozen on the board for months- March 13, 2020.

A year later, we are all different people. How could we not be? I remember the isolation all too well- wishing I could see my family and friends so badly. I lived alone at that time and felt a type of loneliness that I’d never experienced before. Anxiety was high, with a level of fear to match. As each part of our normal lives faded away, so did a little bit of myself.

And here we are today, a year later, still enduring the impact of the pandemic, but with so much hope that a return to normal is near. My fear, anxiety, and isolation have been replaced with hope, love, and happiness.

I realized today, as I was thinking about what a year of life really holds, and that each year if my life, since I was 20, has been drastically different from the previous. This past year is no exception.

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Day 12: Hard Work Pays Off

Today is a big day for my family- my niece Kyra’s story made the front page of the Chicago Sun Times today!!! She has always worked so hard and been passionate about journalism and it feels like today is THE day that it really paid off! I don’t have my own kids, but I imagine this is what it feels like; I’m so proud and I can’t stop sharing the link to her article with everyone I know!

If you’re interested, check out her article AND her other story is running on Sunday! Two cover stories in one week, what an accomplishment!

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2021/3/12/22321953/cook-county-covid-deaths-coronavirus-cicero-city-view-alden-manor-joanna-bermudez

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