DAY 5/6 – Shall we Shuffle off this mortal coil?

So, I didn’t write on Thursday.  There’s two reasons for that.  First, I really just didn’t feel like it–I’d had a busy week and I was cleaning and I really didn’t feel like thinking.  Two, I really couldn’t think of a topic. So, I didn’t.

Now, I wanted to write last night, but I went to be early, and frankly, I can’t write when my DH is around–he gets all squiggly.  As it is, right now, he wants me to come in and caress him–don’t want to, it doesn’t get me anything, but if I don’t, I’ll have to deal with his attitude all day.  So, I’ll do last night’s post now, and do tonight’s tonight.

Anyway, I think for the first time in a long time I really accepted the fact that I am fat, unhealthy, and heading for an early grave.  I went to the doctor for a follow-up for an earlier illness, and they weighed me and took my vitals.  She also showed me my trends for blood pressure over the past two years.  I realized that I have been fooling myself as to how big I am, and how healthy I am.  Now, nothing she said was too alarming, nothing is to far gone that I’m headed for the coroner’s slab tomorrow, but I realized that what I have at 42 I shouldn’t have.

Since my new year’s resolution was to work on myself, as I said, one of those things that I want to work on is my health.  And since the New Year started, I have been doing some things right.  I have cut out non-diet soda, I haven’t eaten fast food (except once, but we have to celebrate small victories), I haven’t eaten chocolate, and I’ve been controlling my portion size.  I haven’t exercised, but I have had a terrible cough and stuffy head, so I don’t think getting on a treadmill and then hacking up half a lung is a good idea.  And of course, this weekend, we’re snowed in, practically, here, so I’m not going anywhere.

But, what’s more important than above is that I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself, which I usually do when I do these types of things.  Maybe my brain has finally turned that corner–this is not something I want to do, it’s something I need to do.  I’ve realized that I want to be half of myself by this time next year.  I’d love it to be by my birthday, but that’s in only six months, and that’s not practical.

Maybe being healthier wil make a lot of other things better.  Who knows?  Maybe it will change my overall outlook, or the outlook of those around me, and everything will get better.  Or is that too much to hope for?

Day 4 – Is it worth it?

So, I just finished a game for my students for vocabulary practice.  As I finished, I thought, as I often do – is it worth it?

I consider myself a good teacher.  I spend many hours preparing good lessons, creating games, grading papers, and overall, trying to make my classroom a good place to be.  I want my students to learn, and even if they don’t appreciate everything I teach, I want them to at least feel the need to be there.

My “is it worth it” question comes from observing two things today, and usually everyday.  Quite often, I watch my classroom of students make no effort to do anything I ask unless there is some immediate reward for them–candy, points, etc.  Would they put in the same amount of effort if I gave them a worksheet, printed from the internet, as long as I gave them a candy bar when they were finished.  Would they learn the same thing.  I spend two hours creating a review game, and while I know they’ll have fun when they play tomorrow, are they really getting anything out of it?

I ask “is it worth it” when a student comes to me in class and asks how he can fix his English grade so he doesn’t have to go to summer school and then watch him leave the list of makeup work on the desk when the bell rings.

I ask “is it worth it” when I repeatedly have to ask students to put away the phone or the Chromebook because they are not listening, writing, learning.

I ask “is it worth it” when I see students sleeping in my class who are sleeping not because they’re bored, but because they work to support their family–and for them, understanding Shakespeare is not going to make a difference.

I ask “is it worth it” when I look at my students and realize that preparing them for college is not the right path for them and that what they’re doing in my class is essentially a waste of their time.

I ask “is it worth it” when I give them an opportunity to share what they know in a way that works for them, they simply turn away and do nothing.

I could go on and on.

But, then, I realize that sometimes, it is worth it.  Today, a former student of mine came to my class to teach my current students how to do a presentation.  I gave him a day’s notice, and he did it, for no other reason than because I obviously meant something to him.  He got nothing from me except a “Thank you” and a smile.

I hope he felt it was “worth it”.

Day 3 – The Transparent Eyeball

I’m a teacher.  I teach English.  Today, I revisited transcendentalism for the umpteenth time.  American Lit is not my favorite part of literature, and I’ve never really been a fan of Emerson and Thoreau.  My first introduction to Thoreau was back in AP English when one of my summer reading assignments was Walden.  Not sure if you are familiar Thoreau and his time on Walden pond, but here is the short summary:

Goes to pond.  Lives in shed.  Grows food. Eats food.  Wanders the woods.  Goes back to society.

It was one of the most painful reading experiences I’ve ever had, and I vowed that if I ever became a teacher, I would never make my students read Walden.

Well, I don’t.  I do, however, read Emerson with my students.  I find Emerson much more palatable and because it is in much more manageable slices, my students can too.  He also doesn’t ramble as much as Thoreau, in my opinion.  As much as his thoughts are very drawn out and detailed, he always seems to have a point, while Thoreau seems to say the same thing fifteen different ways and never really makes a point.  Any Thoreau lovers out there, I apologize for my criticism.

Anyway, today we were reading an excerpt from “Nature”, in which Emerson speaks of the “transparent eyeball”  In “Nature”, Emerson says, “I become a transparent eyeball.  I know nothing.  I see all.”  Although I have read this many times, today, for some reason, it really hit home.

In essence, Emerson’s is talking about the fact that as humans, we need to truly be a part of and observe the natural world around us if we are to truly achieve spiritual transcendence–that is transcendence from the mundane of human existence.  The transparent eyeball is the eye that absorbs everything it sees and makes it part of itself–seeing everything while at the same time not really know anything, always being in a constant state of wonder.

As my last class left today, I found myself thinking that I no longer have a transparent eyeball, as we all do when we are young.  I have allowed myself to think that I know everything about a lot of things, and I have often stopped looking at anything other than what I already see.

I look at my family, but do I really see everything about them?  I look at my students everyday, but do I really see them–or are they simply bodies occupying space?  I look at myself in the mirror each morning, but am I seeing what is there, or what my mind thinks is there?  If I really thought about it, could I tell you with perfect certainty what building is on the left side of the street at the turn that I make when I go to work, or more importantly, can I tell you what it actually looks like?

In our lives, we look, but we don’t always see.  As I think about this in myself, I start to think that perhaps this is one of the many reasons for this blog, and for my resolution to fix things in my life.  Maybe this is the reason for my long-running mid-life crisis.  I have begun to see, and don’t like what I see, so I want to change it.

For homework, I asked my students to observe something in nature.  Anything.  A tree, the grass, the rain, their pet.  And not just look at it, but observe it.  Determine what emotions that things creates in them, how that thing affects them.  They requested I do the same.  As I sat in my front window looking out at my willow tree, I chuckled to myself thinking of my students sitting in their homes, starting at their pets, or staring at a menacing squirrel–their parents shaking their heads and wondering “What are they learning at that school?”  As I did my homework, I realized how little attention I have paid to that willow tree over the years.  When I stare at, I realized that it makes me happy and sad at the same time.  Happy, because it is my favorite tree, and my DH planted it for me at this house not long after we moved in.  Sad, because it reminds me of happier times gone by, and I wonder if he will ever do something like that for me again.  Happy, because it is tall and strong, and it reminds me of the kind old lady who lived across the street who was so happy to see a willow back at our house (apparently, one had been destroyed in a hurricane years before).  Sad, because it is winter, and it looks so barren and forlorn with no leaves, its skeletal branches bare to the wind.  It makes me feel cold.  I cannot imagine my home without it, but I realize that I barely acknowledge its existence.

As I finished my homework, I realized how true Emerson’s words are.  By truly observing the natural world that is around, I was affected–emotionally and spiritually.  I looked at my life in a different way.  I thought about things differently.  I realized how amazing that tree is and how much it is a part of my life and my families’ life.  While I am far from a transparent eyeball, I can see his point, about obtaining transcendence and peace by simply existing and allowing the world to exist for you, fully and completely.

I am excited to see what my students come up with.

 

 

Day 2 – My DH

First off, before I get into my thought(s) of the day–

I was pleasantly surprised when I  opened my email today to see I had a follower.  I’m doing this for my own form of therapy, but it’s kind of nice to know that I’m not just writing into the void.  So, yeah me!  And thank you, reader (s).

On to tonight’s stream–my DH.

Let me preface this with the following.  My DH is a great guy–he has a steady, well-paying job, he doesn’t drink or do drugs, he doesn’t sleep around, he doesn’t abuse us, he takes cares of the house, he loves our son dearly, he doesn’t waste money.  He can be funny, and he can be very sweet and charming.  He has never been a reader, an arts lover, or a talker, and he’s never been really romantic.  We’ve been together a long time, sixteen years.  Most days are good.  But, and it seems more often recently, there are days that are not good.

Today was one of those days.  This morning, we went to the local dump to throw out an old mattress and box spring and our Christmas tree.  I would have done it by myself, but there was no way I could have moved the mattresses alone.  The Christmas tree, I could have.  When I thanked him for the help, saying “I couldn’t have done the mattresses alone,” he added, “or the tree”.  When I replied that I could have, he called me a weeble.  You remember weebles.  “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”  I am overweight–I admit that, and that is one of many things I’m working on right now.  He continued his comment with, “You can’t bend down.  Have you ever seen a weeble bend?”  He may have intended for this to be funny, but it hurt my feelings.   I can bend down, I can move, and I can lift things.    There are many times he calls me lazy, because at 7:30 at night, I’m sitting on the couch watching some tv, or on Sundays, when I don’t get started with my cleaning until 8 or 9 o’clock.  My day starts at 5:30.  I work all day, on my feet, then come home, cook dinner, clean, childcare (he’s 11, but he still needs homework help, bed time stuff, etc.) prepare for the next day at work, then go to bed around 10.  I’m not complaining about that life–I love my job and my family.  He starts around 6:30, works all day on the phones, comes home, eats dinner, then plays computer games until 9.  And there have been many weekends when I have gone out all day for a variety of reasons and when I come home after 9 hours, he and my son are still in their pajamas, playing PS4 and there is a sink full of dishes.  I walk into the kitchen everyday and find empty cans or bottles right next to the recycling bin.  His clothes are always on top of the hamper.  I do not believe I work harder than him–my job is hard in a much different way than his job is hard–but I am not lazy.

I have interests away from my family.  I am very independent.  I love him and my family, but I am not the person that can be defined as a wife and mother.  That is not enough for me.  Today, I took longer to get back from an errand than he thought I should, and he said, “How’s your other family?”  This started as a joke, but now, I’m not sure whether he really thinks I have someone on the side.  He begrudges me time I do not spend at home.  If he’s not at home, it’s fine.  But if he’s there, I have to be too.  If I want to go out with friends, he makes me feel guilty if I’m out a few hours, although he is always invited.  If I need to stay up working on something for work, he pouts if I won’t come to bed to stroke him and touch him.  I don’t mind doing it, but not when I still have an hour of work to do before I go to bed.  I want to go to the gym more than I do (or at least I know I should, let’s be honest), but if it interferes with his time (like getting our son ready for bed), he of course lets me do it, but makes me feel guilty.  If I can’t take our son to a doctor’s appointment or a basketball game because of some other committment, he gets all huffy and grudgingly does it.  And as much as he does love our son, if he’s feeling tired, he won’t attend his events.  I would never dream of skipping something of my son’s, but he missed my son’s last play because he “didn’t feel like going.”

I’ve realized over the years that he has two really big problems–he’s selfish and he focuses on what he doesn’t have.  Let’s start with the latter.  We have a house.  It’s not a big house, but it’s good for our needs.  Most importantly, we can afford the mortgage, even if one of us is temporarily unemployed.  It’s not good enough for him.  He has a nice car.  It’s not brand new, but it’s paid for, looks great and runs well.  He wants an incredibly expensive pickup truck that he doesn’t need.  He hates his job, but he won’t do anything to get a better one.  Frankly, he makes me feel like a moron when I think we have a good life and all he can do is dump on it, because I’m part of that life.

Now, the selfishness.  I buy all my own Christmas presents.  If I didn’t buy anything for myself, I’d have nothing under the tree except from my parents and my in-laws.  He focused on not getting Starbucks coffee for Christmas, although he got a lot of other stuff.  I took our son out to spend his gift cards from his grandparents.  When my DH got home, he said, “Why didn’t you get me anything?”  I had to go to a conference a few weeks ago.  It was local, but I wanted to stay in a hotel close to the conference so I wouldn’t have to deal with traffic early in the morning.  He told me I didn’t need to stay in a hotel because “some people commute that everyday.”  In actuality, he didn’t want to have to deal with breakfast and dinner and bedtime and homework and all that stuff for three days.  I was sick last week, and he was mad at me for not “needing” him to take off to take me to the doctor.  I wasn’t that sick, but he wanted to take off to stay home and play computer games all day.  I do worry what will happen if I ever get really sick–I don’t think he’ll take care of me.  I broke my foot a few years ago–I couldn’t walk for four months, and he still expected me to cook and clean.   And well, sex —- I won’t even go into that right now.

I have thought about divorce.  But, honestly, I’m afraid he’d take our son and go back to where he’s from, where his mother lives, and I’d never get to see my son again. I couldn’t live with that.  And also, I really can’t afford to live the kind of life I want on my salary.  So, maybe I am to blame.  Maybe if I was willing to make a change, things would get better, so maybe I can’t blame him.  I’ve let him be this way for so long, what do I expect now?  And why don’t I tell him how I feel?  Because he can’t take critcism.  If I say anything negative about him, even jokingly, he gets so offended, but I can’t feel the same.   I’ve made my bed, so I suppose I must continue to lie in it.

It’s not all bad–we do laugh a lot, and quite often, we have a lot of fun together–it’s just getting clearer as time goes by that we really don’t have a lot in common–and we both have our own priorities.  Maybe that is something I can work on more this year, on my list of things I need to work on–finding a way to meet him where he’s at, instead of expecting him to meet me.  But, I guess I feel like I’m doing that already, how much farther do I have to go?

 

 

Day 1

So . . .  my New Year’s Resolution was to write everyday.  And, I’ve already broken it.  But, that’s okay.  Success is made of small failures.  So, today, I’ll write twice.  So, technically, even though it’s Day 2, we’ll pretend it’s Day 1.

So . . . why am I doing this?  I’m 42, and when I was 38, I started my mid-life crisis. There’s a lot of reasons for that crisis, but the problem is, I’m still going through it.  I have my good days and my bad days, and in the last few days of 2016, I got really sick, and I spent a lot of time thinking, and I realized that even though I have people to talk to, I don’t talk about what’s really eating at my brain.  I need a place to vent, a place without judgment, without censors, without solutions.  A place where I can say what I think or feel without any commentary coming my way.  So, this is what I’m doing.

Is this for the public?  Not really sure about that.  I am not using my real name, and I will change the names of people I talk about, just in case.  The internet is such a two-edged sword–it is anonymous, but at the same time, it’s not.  With enough investigating, your anonymous thoughts can suddenly be a can of worms that explodes in your face.  And despite some of the things I think I will say, I have no intention of hurting anyone.  So, for now, even though I am publishing this out there in the great vaccuum of the internet, I will keep things relatively indistinguishable–random and nonspecific, but still understandable and relatable.

This blog is not for anyone except me, but hey, if someone wants to read my ramblings, then so be it.  Enjoy!