Saturday, December 31, 2016

Resolve to Be

In 2016 I did not set goals for myself. I felt like I wasn't up for setting some lofty version of my self to try to live up to. I wanted to relax last year and just focus on the work in front of me. I had no time for additional goals.

Well, then life hit. I had back surgery in January. I was the right decision at the time. I feel so much better these days, but it did not come without loss. I was told I could no longer be a runner anymore. Or a mountain biker, that I was a walker now. I was a swimmer. For those of you that know me, that was a major hit to my hobbies. 

In March I attended the most amazing Ed Conference I have ever been to. SXSWEdu is the conference Educators must try to get to at some point in their career. It opened my eyes to the new landscape education is cultivating. This conference showed me that the moving and shaking in education was not happening in administrators offices. It was happening in the classrooms. This was a huge hit to my psyche. I always move up the chain, anywhere I go. I thought I was moving up in the world by heading into admin. But I realized at that conference that I wanted back in with the kids. I hadn't had enough time teaching to make my mark on it. So in June, at the end of the 15-16 school year, I resigned my post and went back to the classroom. I went back but also decided to run several pilots for the school. I went back busier than I ever needed to be. I was only three years removed from the teaching, it was crazy how much you forget while residing in the "Ivory Tower". 

I am now halfway through this school year and the pilots are for the most part going well. In the school systems, it's hard to think about a January reset button. Our resets are typical in May/June depending on the district. Even though it appeared to most that I had it all together, I was flailing about from January to June of 2016. So even though I am not ready for a giant reset, my year is only halfway over, there are a few things I will resolve to do this calendar year of 2017. 

  1.  I will host a once a month dinner party - Want in? Comment below.
  2.  I will go on a minimum of a once a month date with my husband
  3.  I will not miss Skiing on the slopes with Santa and Mrs Claus next Christmas (this year we chose to stay home)
  4.  I will read a minimum of 8 books this year. We got rid of the TV in the living room. So there should be no excuses here.
  5.  I will be kinder. I am a nice person, but I want to be kind too. There's a difference.
  6.  I will learn a new instrument (piano).
  7. Hang out with Anne Beck more in 2017

I think not making goals or resolving to something new left my soul feeling stagnant. I am a shark, I need to keep moving. Maybe not necessarily up, but moving nonetheless. 

8.  Learn to spell necessary without having to use spell check every time. 

So there they are, my goals for the year. Call them resolutions if you must. I may not have all the time in the world, but I am making these 7 statements a priority in the calendar year of 2017. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Second Generation Survivor

Up front I should tell you, I am a hot mess. I have all of these thoughts and feeling inside of my head that I cannot express without screaming or crying. I just found out some real Deliverance type $h!+ that happened in the family tree and I cannot make heads or tails of it. I will dramatize the names and relationships to protect those that wish to continue to remain blameless and clueless.

Beth was an 8 yr old kid. Her father like any red blooded back woods freak had high aspirations of being a Grand Wizard for the KKK.  Beth being only a child with no mother at home (because the mother selfishly left the home leaving backwoods dad to raise 5 kids) loved her father. The father here, who selfishly loved to hate black people, decided that, to make it anywhere in this sick twisted world of his daughters had to be passed around to the other twisted sickos (that hated all non-white/christian persons) for fun little romp of sexual pleasuring for themselves. You might be asking at this point, "What the Suck?". That's fine. I did the same thing. This is a story you might find from the sequel to Mississippi Burning, but it is actually a story ripped from the therapy session logs of my mother.

Cat's out of the bag.

Ok, a month has gone by since I wrote that last bit. I have had some time to process. And while she would be freaked that this was shared like know, at this level, this story must be told. Once I was married, once I had children, I really hated her. I truly did not like my mother. It was fun to play games with friends about the things we learned from our parents. I always had shock factor for the win, Alex. She took so many risks in mine and my sister's childhoods that could have easily gone so badly. She would always tell us that she did the best she could with what she had. This was always an excuse in my book. It sounded to me like there were no regrets in our upbringing. Was there really no room for improvement or "Im sorry"? It wasn't the absolute worst, but the list of gross oversights and grievances is long. I am not talking spoiled middle class teenage angst type complaints, I just mean needing to grow up too quick type stuff. The level of poor we endured was strength and character building, it was the other stuff. We were like the cockroaches of people I suppose, you know they exist, but don't want to find them around your home.

I told myself when my daughter Tatum was born and I whispered in her tiny perfect infant ear, that I would be better. I would do it so much better than my mom had done it before me. My kids are 10 and 7 now. While they still have a lot of growing up to do and I still have a lot of parental screwing up to do as well, I can say that I have kept this promise.

And then the mother in me realized

If she had said the same thing into my tiny perfect infant ear, then she did it. She made a life so much better for us than her upbringing. While my overexposure to life came too early, I was not passed around at KKK meetings or any variance of the sort. Then the guilt sets in. How could I have been so selfish for so long? How could I be blinded to this sacrifice? Thoughtless and selfish she was, but she did it. She raised two girls as a single mom against all odds. Both of these girls have now blossomed in their own paths. Both girls are now leaders due to the independence she taught us. Both girls knowing what it takes to survive early on. Many kids these days ever know what they are capable of because they have not had to endure. She gave us endurance.

I forgive you mom