Maintaining my Focus
Today is the first day of a week off from teaching. It’s spring break, and I am so happy to have some time off. We’ve entered the fourth nine weeks of school, which I usually call “Hell Weeks” because the kids can smell summer, we’re constantly interrupted by testing at various times through out these last weeks, and then we have exams, some of them mandated by the state and standardized.
It’s a stressful time to be a teacher.
I’ve been suffering the effects of stress in the last couple of weeks too. Between needing to grade essays for work, and design lesson plans for church, and wedding planning, and everything else that’s going on, I’m finding that I don’t have a lot of time in my day left over for self-care, which I know is soooo important.
I read this article called “What it Means to Love a Libra,” and it even mentions the self care aspect and how we usually don’t do that. I posted it to Facebook, and Erin said, “Minus on or two things, it sounds about right.” It sparked a conversation between myself and my astrology-expert friend, KD, about how not only am I a Libra, but I’m a “Gemini rising Libran who has her moon in Virgo.” KD said, “You’re full of so much air, I have no idea how you stay grounded at all.”
Which reminded me of the appointment that Erin and I had with our therapist after the adoption fell through. Landa said, “Kel, aside from everything that has happened with the adoption falling through, you are more grounded now that I have ever seen you.”
Erin keeps me grounded, I told KD. So then KD ended up running Erin’s chart against mine and found out some fairly interesting things, namely this picture. You should be able to click on it to make it bigger, but in case you can’t, here is what it says, “This is an excellent combination for an enduring relationship. Both Erin and Kel share a mutual respect for each other and are willing to work towards sound communication. They take each other seriously, and are likely to share an interest in a though-provoking pastime or a business enterprise. Shared values also mean that this relationship has firm foundations for the long term. Erin and Kel realize early in their association that this is a lasting union. Therefore, it is likely that they slowly and surely get to know each other, rather than rushing headlong into a relationship. As a result, they eventually form a strong bond. Erin respects and learns from Kel’s wisdom. She is better able to communicate her own thoughts and ideas thanks to Kel’s well-received advice. Kel’s organizational abilities shine in this relationship. She discovers different methods of approaching activities through her association with Erin.”
I think that’s pretty awesome, in my humble opinion. Hah!
After a long conversation and some reworking our budget, Erin and I decided to postpone starting our family until Erin is out of graduate school. She’ll be making a lot more money then, and we’ll be more financially sound. We’ll also have her new car and a lot of my debt paid down by then as well. It wasn’t a decision that either of us were really happy with because we both know that we’re ready to start a family and have kids, but we also know that my risk of multiples is going to be very high, and we want to make sure that we’re prepared for that.
With the stress of everything going on and the wedding approaching quickly, I was starting to really start feel run down. I was ready for this much needed and much desired vacation.
88 Days to go. My cousin and my aunt on my dad’s side are throwing us a bridal shower in May. My aunt on my mom’s side is throwing us a bridal party luncheon on the day of the wedding, we’re having a BBQ and pizza party at the pool house for our rehearsal dinner, and wedding ceremony and dinner is pretty much completely done.
We’ve been going through our vows, going to tastings, Erin’s dress is in and hiding at my parents’s house, and I still feel completely and totally overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that I feel like is still left to do and how expensive everything is (although, with my parents pretty much paying for everything themselves, I feel like we’ll never know the true cost of it all; all I know is that my parents never do anything small, and this isn’t an exception to that rule.)
Funny side-note: Our caterer is the father of one of the girls who place third in the banner competition at the State Beta Club competition, which I’m an adviser for. So we joked about that for awhile. He’s a fantastic cook and use to own a bunch of fancy restaurants before the economy went south and everything shut down. Now he caterers big events and says he makes just a much and has more fun doing this. I think it’s the travelling he gets to do. We also planned out our flowers for everyone, and so I felt really accomplished after all of that.
But now I’m sitting here staring at the mountain of invitations that I need to address and send out, and I start to feel that tugging on me again that there are more things going on than I can handle all at once.
But one of the things they teach at church is that the divine energy flowing around and through all things is always working towards the good, towards the better, and in a loving and protective way. With everything that was going on and the stress that I was feeling, I realized that I’d lost touch with that divine energy. And I realized it yesterday.
We got to church at our usual time, and I wasn’t sure if there was a teacher in the elementary classroom. I wasn’t given the plans for this week, which usually means that I’m not on schedule, but I felt like something was off. I was standing by the door and waiting, knowing that I would need to jump in and take over if no one else showed up, when Erin comes out of the service.
“The computer won’t let me access the PowerPoint for the service, so I can’t change the slide.”
“You’ll have to restart it.”
I eventually walked into service and decided to hang out until the kids were dismissed, and right as I sat down next to some friends, the minister said, “Sometimes, God just tells you that you need a reboot.”
I know he was talking about the computers, but he was right. Sometimes, we just have to realize that not everything is going to go the way we want it to, and that’s okay. The Gods are always working for our advantage, and sometimes we just need to stop and reset and keep going. I need to take time to remember who’s in charge and take my days with that knowledge moving forward. The Gods are going to keep me and my family moving on the path that is needed.
During the lesson that day and after helping the kids with their craft, I decided that since next weekend is Easter Sunday and the service will probably be fairly large, that it would make a good service for me to be announced in. So next week, they’re going to announce me as the new Youth Education Coordinator for Unity Church. It’s exciting but also nerve-wracking, but I know this is the right path for me.
Immediately after the service and after I had decided that next weekend would be the day, two parents came up to me. And one of them offered me volunteering support and financial support to help me start the middle school program at the church, which is becoming more and more clear to me that it is abundantly needed. It’s falling into place. Everything is, and now that I’ve let go and just let it happen, I feel so much better about my place and role in this story line.
After church, Erin and I went out to the dog park with our dogs, Yukon and Bentley. We let them play for a couple of hours before deciding to walk around the park some. We ended up going on a small hike that led out to a river. Yukon is absolutely obsessed with water. He loves swimming more than anything else in the world, I think. If we play fetch with him and throw the stick out into the water, he will dive in and just be the single happiest creature on the planet.
The spontaneous hike was a lot of fun. Minus the fact that I was in a skirt and sandals. Not exactly the best hiking material around. On the way down the side of this hill/mountain, Erin almost stepped on this green tree frog. Call me a nerd, but I absolutely love tree frogs. They’re my favorite amphibians around. I did some research on them in undergrad, and by research, I designed some traps and helped set them up, but then it got too cold for them to come out, so the people who came after me actually did a lot of the work.
This particular species is invasive to our area. I was one of the first people to actually report their findings to the University I went to, and it ballooned out into an entire project from there.
After playing in the water, we came home, gave the pups a bath, went out on a dinner date, and then came home and played video games. Needless to say, the day was really fantastic. It reminded me to let myself be led by the powers at be and to always put my relationship with Erin in front of all other things. We made so many plans to get outside and back out with nature more, and I really can’t wait to see them all come true.
Including the one where we go kayaking on Jocassee before our wedding. Erin said, “as long as we make sure we don’t get sunburned.”
Yes. That will definitely be a priority.