Monday, September 19, 2016

When you love your job, and then you leave it.

I loved the last 5 years as a 5th grade teacher. When I was offered this job budget cuts and a summer of anxious job hunting, I was nervous, but it ended up being the best thing that could have every happened to me. Teaching 5th grade was incredible. My teaching partners became two of the best friends I've ever had, and I became a pretty awesome teacher. This job made me into the teacher and person I am now, and I'm forever going to be thankful for all it brought to my life (can you tell that the rose-colored glasses of hindsight have already set in?). No, it was not all sunshine and daisies. There were plenty of times where the job was miserable and I was frustrated, and the thought of doing it for the next 30 years was unimaginable. But it was my world. It was what I knew. I loved my kids, I love what I did... but I didn't love the commute. 

Ever since we moved in November of 2014, I had been commuting 45 minutes each way. Add in daycare and that was about 2 hours a day being spent in the car. 2 hours that I was missing with the kids. It meant getting up early. Getting home when it was dark out and never feeling like there was enough time for everything. A year and a half of that had taken it's toll. So last spring I went to my administrators, told them I was going to be looking for something closer to home, and asked for their letters of recommendation. After applications, interviews, and being ::this:: close... I didn't get any of the 4th-6th grade teaching positions I applied for (4 in all). So at the beginning of August I was prepared and even excited for another year of 5th grade.

Pretty Much
And then, as it often does, fate intervened and I found myself signing a contract as a middle school library/media specialist at a school just 12 minutes from home.

Scary? You bet. I've never been a librarian. But my inner geek was psyched to be the keeper of the books and the job included teaching several classes, leading reading initiatives, and (of course) curating and running the library. It also means I'm out earlier in the afternoon which makes my workouts/running or errands infinity easier to fit in. The kids' new daycare is 30 seconds from home and most days I leave work, run/workout, go home and shower, pick up the kids, and still manage to get home an hour (or more) sooner than I was able to all last year. That alone makes it all worth it. 

It's definitely a learning curve; new district, new school, new staff, new students, new curriculum, new programs, and new expectations all around. Right now I'm loving the role, but feeling a little isolated in the big old library. Hopefully as I get to know people, they get to know me, and projects get going more, I'll feel like more a part of the community and find my people. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Dirty 30

A little more than a week ago I hit the big 3-0 and it was a little bittersweet. While the number isn't really important to me (trust, I'm not that woman freaking out about "being in my 30's"), it was a little sad to end the decade of my 20's. So much happened over the last 10 years. The major highlights were, of course, marriage, 2 kids, dog, 2 houses, 3 jobs, graduating college AND grad school, and finally feeling confident in myself for the first time in my life.

So it's sad to see all of that cemented in my past as "my 20's", but more than that, my 29th year of life what phenomenal. Easily one of the best years of my life, and one in which I accomplished so much. During my 29th year I:

  • Earned my M.S. Ed. in Literacy Education with a 4.0 (because I'm awesome)
  • Lost all the baby weight from the two tiny humans and then some and then became confident enough to realize that my weight wasn't what was important in looking and feeling great about myself. 
  • Took a giant leap of faith at the beginning of August and left my classroom teaching job for a whole new adventure (which will have to be a post in and of itself... some day) as a library/media specialist in a different school and district 
  • Kicked my second battle with postpartum anxiety through exercise and a little re-prioritizing of my life (thus, less blogging, more family time and me time)

  • Made and further developed real, meaningful, and lasting friendships with some awesome people. Seriously, the benefits of true friends who have your back no matter what's going on or how busy life gets are priceless, and this last year really proved that to me.
  • Fynnie started pre-school which was a proud-Mama moment. I love watching her grow and become such and independent little girl, but it also is hard to realize just how quickly it is all going by.

So what's on the agenda for 30? Well, I don't really know yet, but I have some ideas.
  • In October, Drew and I are running our first half marathon which will either be one of the best things we've ever done, or the dumbest idea we've ever had... I'll let you know how that works out.
  • Later in October, our family is adding another addition. Nope, I'm not preggo (good lord I could not handle that right now), but we're getting another dog at the end of the month. Now. What kind of dog would go perfectly with our 9-lb baby of a Shih Tsu? Of course, a Great Dane. She'll probably only be about 140 lbs fully grown... no big. She'll just weigh more than I do. 

  • Drew and I have several other races planned through the end of 2016 which means a commitment to running consistently and making time for it even when it's hard
  • Probably more classes. Because I'm a nerd. Also because the job shift means I'm not completely qualified for what I'm doing now. And I'm a nerd. 
  • Wedding stuff! My brother in law is getting married next fall (on my 31st birthday to be precise), so there will be a lot of wedding activity as our entire family is in the wedding party. I can't wait to see my tinies as a flower girl and ring bearer... and being a bridesmaid should be an adventure too... though trying to do that while keeping my two from losing it could turn out to be "interesting", let's go with interesting.
  • And who knows what else? A year from now we could be anywhere, doing anything! 
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