My Real Life

January 18, 2016

Did I Miss Something?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:12 am

Teachers measure time in very different ways than civilians.

January 1st can come and go, but we all know that the year really starts and ends in September, when our classrooms fill with fresh, new faces and that scent of “possibility” is in the air.

Our time at home is also measured differently.

Home projects and travel are considered and planned based on “breaks” and days are carefully plotted and planned.

For myself, I have a running list of things I need to get done around the house, and am consistently planning how and when I can get those things done.

The strange thing is, this year, despite the fact that it is January 18th, I continue to be planning for winter break.

“I really need to go through my closet and donate some clothes. I’ll get to it over winter break. Wait…”

“The garage needs another sweep before winter weather finally arrives. Winter break…hang on…”

“I need to list more items for sale. I’ll do it right after Christmas. But…”

Did I miss something?

How is it January?

I had a busy and productive winter break.

Christmas was wonderful and full of family and laughter and smiles.

The following week was spent with friends and each other (and Star Wars) and highly productive as I cleaned out three different areas of the house that had been long neglected, allowing me to keep doors to rooms open that have long been closed.

New Year’s was a great time, and, although I don’t sweat turning 44, I had the normal January 3rd birthday blues as I came off of the high of the activities of the week before.

Yet, as soon as we went back to work on January 4th, I started planning things to do…over winter break.

Completely forgetting that it was over.

So, it wasn’t that my time was wasted or boring or sad.

It was wonderful.

So, why am I still waiting for that winter break?

Part of me wonders if it was the weather.

New Jersey Christmas isn’t supposed to be almost 70 degrees.

Cousins aren’t supposed to be able to play in my driveway and yard on Christmas day without bundling up with snow gear.

One of the reasons that I have always loved living in New Jersey was the change of the seasons.

And this no longer seems to exist.

So, maybe it’s the weather.

Maybe it’s the fact that our Christmas decorations are STILL up.

However, our record is St. Patrick’s Day before taking it all down, so I still have a few months to go, so that can’t be it.

Whatever the cause, January is almost over and President’s Day weekend looms over the horizon, and I still can’t make that switch in my head.

Am I going to be sitting in the kitchen over Spring Break, wondering where the snow is and planning the things I still need to do for Christmas?

(Of course, at the rate we are going, there will be snow over spring break, but that’s another post.)

Time is just moving at a pace that is too fast for me, these days, and I can’t put my finger on why.

This was, by far, the fastest school year in which I have ever taught.

And that counts the school years where I only taught for six months because February brought a garden of little monkey babies to my life.

People say that time passes more quickly as you age, and, as a parent who is looking down the barrel of a 15, 12, 10, and 5 year old when March finally arrives, I realize this is true and I wonder how the heck that happened.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m still waiting for December 23rd.

So, if we’re talking, and I mention to you all the exciting things I plan to get done over winter break, just smile and nod at me.

Because, clearly, I missed something.

January 4, 2016

Hope Springs Eternal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

2015 passed and I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in that year.

For the most part, I think I was fairly successful.

There’s a lot of talk about not making resolutions, and part of me thinks that maybe I should just throw in the towel and not make any.

I mean, who has ever made a resolution, or a list of resolutions, and kept them all?

Is making resolutions the epitome of setting yourself up for failure?

I don’t know.

I think resolutions and goals and wishes show hope.

And isn’t that really what we all need?

A little hope?

So, for 2016, I’ve got some hope.

Hope that the world will be better than it was last year.

That people will treat each other with more kindness and respect.

That we can heal.

I also hope that I can be better.

I have hope that I will make good choices.

I have hope that I will be patient.

I have hope that I will be a person I want my children to grow up to emulate.

Those are my big hopes for 2016.

On a smaller front…

  1. I hope to make time for myself this year. In 2015, I rejoined both my handbell and my singing choir as an effort to regain some much needed time doing something that was just for me. And then hockey changed nights and suddenly, I had to bring Tiny and Monkey Boy with me to handbells, and couldn’t stay to sing. That’s being a Mom and having responsibilities, and I am 100% aware of that. However… whether it’s getting a sitter on choir nights or carving out thirty minutes a day to exercise, I need to commit to myself.
  2. I hope to bulk up our bank. I always have goals to save money or to make money, but the bottom line is, in 2016, I want to be successful with our finances. We have four kids to eventually put through college, and places we want to go and things we want to see. This is the year I hope to pay more attention to the little things and stop the leaks before they happen. There’s a lot of stuff around here, as well. Stuff that I think someone else might be happy to have, and so I plan to sell and donate many, many things.
  3. I hope to write. Somewhere, something. Just write. Publishing would be amazing, but I love to write, and I want to get back to that. Writing for the love of it.
  4. I hope to be the change I want to see in the world. I tell my own children and my students countless times per day that we should be as kind as possible as often as possible. In 2016, I hope to be a living example of this. I think I do a good job of this, but we can always do better. We have to do better.

And, so there you have it.

And, with any luck, hopes turn into reality and we all have a good year.

January 3, 2016

15 Wishes – Checking In

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:50 am

2015 has come to a close and I had set some goals for myself, and it’s time to reflect and see how I did.

However, I will say that, no matter how many of these things I have accomplished, it was a tough year for many people, myself included, and the fact that we all survived it is good enough for me.

  1. Take the family to DisneyWorld. Didn’t happen. We watched many friends take their families, and, quite frankly, I just don’t know how to find the time or the money to get 6 people to Disney or Universal. Sounds like an excuse, but it’s the truth.
  2. Participate in at least one random act of kindness per week.  There may have been a week or two when I missed the boat on this one, but I think, for the most part, I was able to succeed here.
  3. Exercise at least twice a week.  Some weeks, yes. Some weeks, no. I actually just checked the MyFitnessPal app and I’ve gained 10 pounds in the last year, but I have a feeling that has more to do with my eating than my exercise.
  4. Watch less tv.  I may have succeeded here. I did cut back on a lot of the shows I watch. However, I still watch a lot of tv. And I stream a lot. But, I like to be entertained, whether it is movies, tv or books.
  5. Make $1,000 by selling on eBay, consignment, etc.  Maybe $100, but it wasn’t even close to $1,000.
  6. Blog at least once a month.  I came close. I did. And some months, I blogged more than once. However, some months were empty, here on the blog. I had more than 12 posts for the year, so the average is once a month, but we all know that’s not really the same.
  7. Read 50 books (and keep track!)  I actually read 60 books in 2016. That makes me very happy. They weren’t all deep and thought-provoking, but they kept me entertained.
  8. Really go through my closet and be ruthless with getting rid of what I don’t wear.  I did this, but there is more work to do.
  9. Play piano at least once a week. I did this and loved it. This was a great goal for myself. It makes me very happy.
  10. Write in my journal more often.   I am looking in my journal right now, and I can see that I wrote in my journal twice this year. So, I’m going to count this one as a miss.
  11. Get published, again.   Can’t get published if you don’t write. And I didn’t.  So, no.
  12. Re-edit my novel.  It didn’t happen.
  13. Shred and pare down all of our files. Did it. Feel great about it.
  14. Entertain more. Um, yeah, no. I did not do this. I love to have people here, and I had a candle party, a work party, and hosted Christmas, but for 2015, that’s it.
  15. Be kinder to myself. I don’t know. Part of me thinks I did this, but part of me thinks I didn’t. Probably the part of myself that is too hard on myself is the part that thinks I failed.

So, I guess you win some, you lose some, and when I look at this list, I see things that I want to carry through to next year. I don’t know what is coming in 2016, just like, in a million years, I couldn’t have guessed what was going to happen in 2015. Life throws you curveballs. All you can do is keep your head held high.

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