I did my yoga this morning. I don’t know what today will bring. Nor do I know what tomorrow will bring but in this moment now I am tired yet content.
Some of my earliest followers out there in the blogging community may recall when I was contemplating divorce and my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. I didn’t want to make her life worse by leaving and bringing more stress to her life, but in the end I left and she survived and remains close to me to this day.
Two weeks ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer on Valentine’s Day. Exactly a week later, I was told that my job contract would not be renewed… Quitting jobs and being told my contract won’t be renewed every few years seems to be a theme in my career so I obviously need to work on self promotion and management of the aides because my students do meet their learning goals each year and are happy… Before my mother’s diagnosis, I fantasized about taking a break from work, but now, I don’t want to worry her… I don’t want to give her life more stress; especially since my brother also recently left his job.
With the teacher shortage going on, finding work should be quick, so my plan this week was to find another job before telling my mom that I am leaving the current job, but I don’t know if I have the energy for that right now and would honestly enjoy spending my energy on my current students, staff and mom. The time I have with all of them is limited and I don’t really need much money as I always keep enough in my savings. I haven’t told my staff yet that I am leaving and dread telling them as I intend to tell them soon. My mom is still working a lot. I wish I could spend my days making her life easier by cleaning, cooking and thoughtful things… I am terrible at providing care to my parents though I do better at it than some by always choosing to live and work close to them so that I can see them often, which is something I work hard at since I love going off and exploring the world…
So I’m at a cross roads again…. Which way to go? Do I continue to live the life my mother wants me to live or do I take time off for myself and to spend time with her? Will she be disappointed if I do the latter?
It’s pouring right now. I am at home with my tea cup sitting on a coaster on the window sill next to me enjoying the sensory deprivation from all other sounds save the water dropping onto the floor and other surfaces.
It is 2017 and another life change is upon my family. That is what I am calling this now: a life change, not a tragedy. I am remarking to myself how different people react to life events differently. For instance, I have taught Special Education for a few years now and there are many mothers who are deeply depressed, hopeless and bitter by the fact that their child / children has/ have special needs. Then there are mothers who are so unbelievably loving, idealistic, generous and happy; you wouldn’t believe it! Life is truly what one makes of it. Maybe there aren’t any real tragedies in life: just mud (the messy yet nourishing events that one must suffer through) and lotus (the blossoms and growth that make us smile)…No real tragedies…just mud and lotus…transitions or life changes, albeit sometimes heart-wrenching, that come with the everyday lives of every being whether old, young, rich or poor.
I am looking forward to a long weekend of sipping hot teas, listening to the living room clocks tick and the pitter-patter of rain falling on the skylight. I have much to think about… And much to love about finally being able to sit in silence. Last Sunday, I finally got two hours alone with the piano. I’d like that again this weekend. I’d like to do my yoga and spend time visiting with my parents… All of the things I haven’t taken time to do yet this week…
It’s February 5th. My thought yesterday was that I failed my January target habit. My seemingly ever-positive boyfriend pointed out, “You’ve gone to bed by 9 PM more times this month than you ever have in your life.” I realize he may be right. I have made progress this January. I have gone to bed by 9 PM on at least 4 days per week and been exercising almost every day.
The main changes I made to my life that helped with January’s target habit are:
-Sleeping with the cell phone in the kitchen instead of the bedroom.
-Wearing workout pants daily instead of jeans or slacks. One step less to get met to the gym!
-Placing clothes appropriate for both work and gym by my alarm clock to put on when I awaken.
-Replacing journaling as the habit to address anxiety over reading random items online on my phone.
The feeling of destressing through exercise has helped me to get out of bed early and to get to bed early. Monday evenings have been Pilates. Tuesday and Thursdays have been grueling workouts at 5 AM or 4 PM at the gym. I’ve been doing an hour or more of yoga on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I want to start running more on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings. I recently found out one of my coworkers has the same running schedule but she has been working out a lot less than I have due to having to take care of a sick husband and kids. We intend to meet up to run three mornings per week, which should help with my motivation: motivating another. Hiking has been less frequent lately. I’ve been trying to reserve Sundays for hiking with my mom but our sleep schedules just haven’t matched up and weather hasn’t been great. I think I need to be more gung-ho about going outside on Sundays because it is motivation for me to go to and get out of bed. My recent car problems have not helped. I suppose that, for now, I will stay in on Sundays and try to be self motivated until I make the effort to purchase a new car in about a month. Or I could just do local trails on good weather days and yoga indoors on non-good weather days. I am not feeling ready to start my February target goal as of yet until I increase the percentage of days I meet my January goal by just a tad.
I have been feeling a ton of stress at work and at home due to the health of my aging parents, the ever increasing demands of very needy parents, the ever increasing number of aides under my supervision… They are preparing me to take on only the kids with the severest disabilities next school year and each student will have his or her own aide! And then I learned some new secrets yesterday that made me realize how many people must be struggling with much more difficult problems than I have ever had inside. It’s time that I see how wonderful my life is: from the school garden I finally had planted to the many doors open to me now. And to warm dinners at my dad’s to at least having a chance at Sundays with a healthy mom. That’s more than some people will ever have because life is short. I thought his life was perfect but I guess no one’s life is perfect no matter how it may appear. To those of you out there struggling through life’s daily difficulties, I have this message: