Random Stuff

Hello my lovelies!  In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t posted much lately.  It’s the middle of June and I’m a high school English teacher…that’s just the way it goes, I’m afraid.  Since it’s already after 9 and I teach a 6am fitness class tomorrow, this will be a “random things” type of post….here goes….

1. My husband went back to work today – I was spoiled and got to spend an extra 2 days with him, since he had a specialist appointment today and therefore didn’t go back to work on Monday when the rest of his shift started.  It was lovely to have those two extra days.

2. I wish he was home every night.

3. I only have one week of classes left before exams.  That is both exhilarating (because it means the end is VERY near), and terrifying (because I have A LOT of marking and other work to accomplish in the next week).

4. One of my closest work friends resigned from her teaching position and will be moving; it’s a bit of a ridiculous story and I can’t really get into it here since airing any sort of gripes about colleagues, administration or my school division is against the Teacher’s Code of Conduct and could get me into a lot of trouble.  I feel incredibly sad because the students are losing an amazing teacher, and I am losing a wonderful colleague and a great friend.  It sucks.  We had an assembly today, so the kids said their goodbyes and presented her with a gift.  I cried.

5. There are a lot of things about my career that are making me very unhappy lately.  Those things have absolutely nothing to do with my students.

6. I love my students, and if it were just about the teaching, I would be in my glory.

7. My husband told me to quit last week – not to give my notice, but to actually quit – because he is so fed up with seeing my frustration and tears.  Sometimes I think he’s right:  no amount of money is worth my sanity and self-worth.  On the other hand, it makes zero sense for me to actually quit at this point in my life.

8.  We have a plan.  That plan does not include quitting my job.  It does include making some changes to how I do things so that I can reduce my workload.  That should help a bit.  It won’t eliminate the other issues (the ones I can’t talk about online without risk of breaking the Teacher Code of Conduct!), but it’s a start.

9.  My fitness classes are going well.  My students want me to run Summer classes, and I had fully intended to do so…but now it looks as though there might be an issue with the venue I use being unavailable to me over the Summer, so I’m not entirely sure what is going to happen on that front.

10.  Maybe that’s the Universe trying to tell me that I need to take the Summer off of teaching and just focus on my own fitness, running and yoga practice….

11.  Today is Day 22 of my 30 Day Yoga Challenge.

12.  I kind of cheated on the Yoga Challenge on the weekend:   I played in a Slo-Pitch Tournament, so I didn’t do any Yoga on Saturday or Sunday.  I think I can just double up and do two 2 practice days to make up for it, but I don’t really know how that works.  It’s my own damn challenge, though, so I’m saying it’s totally cool!

13.  I am getting sleepy, and I really want to get to read a little bit of my book club reading selection before bed, so this will be close to the end of my post.

14.  I wrote “book club reading selection” to make it sound fancy, but I’m really reading smut – Fifty Shades of Grey is what we chose for this time.  I’ve only read the first few pages, but I’ve heard from some of the other ladies in my club (and virtually everyone else) that it is pretty raunchy.  Whatever….my husband is away for 3 weeks, so I need something to keep myself occupied! Ha!

Emerging from the Hibernation

Hello lovely blog readers!

I have not gone into hibernation, I promise – although I’ve certainly been away from you for far too long, and the gorgeous weather of late reminds me of hibernating creatures waking from their slumber and stumbling out into the glorious sunshine.  Sincerest apologies, but sometimes a mini hiatus just cannot be helped.  The life of a High School English teacher (who has zero prep time) simply does not lend itself to blogging daily.  Especially during progress report time.  In addition, I’ve been dealing with some other “time suckers;” I believe that I mentioned some medical issues a few posts back, and they are exactly what I’m referring to.  I’ve got two entirely separate, but fairly serious medical problems right now.  One of them I am not quite ready to speak about publicly (but it is not life-threatening, so please don’t worry!), and the other is a tumor on my liver.  Now, I know that the word “tumor” can be awfully frightening, so let me start by telling you that my specialist DOES NOT believe that my tumor is cancerous.  He does, however, think that it needs to be surgically removed.  I had a biopsy this past Friday so that we can learn more about the mass, but I don’t have the results back yet, so I am still not sure when I will need to go for surgery.  I don’t imagine that the surgery will be scheduled immediately, as Cancer patients with more pressing needs will obviously take priority, but other than that, I have no idea about timelines.

What I do know is that the recovery period from such a surgery can be a rather lengthy process, where intense physical activity must be avoided.  That likely means no running, no yoga and no weight training.  Yuck.  Now is not the time to stress about these things, though – I will cross that bridge when I get to it.  For now, I will focus on being as active and healthy as I can, and I’m sure that everything else will fall exactly into place in due time.

With all of that being said, I hope that you can forgive me for not posting in over a week.  While life in the next while will still be nutty for me, it looks as though it will slow down at least a tiny bit.  I will try to post at least every 3 or 4 days from now on…and if I don’t, well, I think you can handle it.  🙂

I hope the rest of your week is fabulous!

Sunrise Sweat

It’s official – I am clinically insane.  I am not sure how I can possibly fit more on my plate right now, but I am going to try!

I’ve been team teaching an “Early Rise Circuit” class on Thursday mornings, but due to a previous booking in the gym space, we are unable to continue after our session is up this week.  A few of the ladies in my class asked if I would be continuing, so I did some thinking and crunched some numbers.  Partly because I’m an idiot, but mostly because I truly love sharing fitness with others, I decided to give it a shot.

That meant that I had to find another space to hold the class, put out some ads, and purchase some small equipment of my own with which to run a class.  All of that is no problem at all.  The insane part?  The other woman who I was team teaching with was not interested in striking out on her own…so I agreed to teach both Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Just to provide some perspective, I am a high school English teacher who currently has zero prep time.  ZERO.  Work monopolizes my life:  it is currently 11:00 pm and I arrived home from work 56 minutes ago.  I just finished eating my dinner.  Anyone who honestly believes that teachers work from 9-3:30 deserves to be smacked upside the head.  But I digress…

I found a space (at the school where I teach, actually!), the ad came out in yesterday’s local paper, and I will be purchasing some of my own stuff this coming weekend.  The class is called “Sunrise Sweat,” and it starts next week.  There is no turning back now.  Oh boy.

Oh the Insanity!

It just hit me.  This week is going to be crazy.  Insane.  It’s a big week for me, in a lot of different ways.  This is what I have going on:

Tomorrow – first “Early Rise Circuit” class (I’m not teaching this one, but I still have to be there), hair appointment after school, dinner at my parents & grocery shopping.  I’m not even coming home; I’m going to stay over night so I can see my husband, and then drive back home at 6 am.
Wednesday – My grade 12s write their Diploma Exam; for those of you non-Albertans who have no idea what I’m talking about, it is the government exam that is worth 50% of their grade.  It’s a big deal.  I told them I would make them breakfast before the exam, which pretty much makes me stupid.  Make breakfast for 43 kids?  Sure, why not?  Idiot!  Why do I do these things to myself?  Because I love them – well most of them, anyway.  There are a few who sometimes make me want to scratch my eyes out.  I would probably get more satisfaction by scratching their eyes out, but that would be wrong.
Thursday – My first “Early Rise Circuit” class!  I’m super excited to be teaching a fitness class finally.  Pretty nervous, too, but I’m confident I’ll do okay.  I also have to drive to my parents’ house to drop off our dogs, then we’re off to Edmonton for the weekend.
Between Friday and Sunday, I have an appointment in the city, an Edmonton Oilers game with some friends for my husband’s birthday, a night out with the same group of friends, and my first weekend Yoga Teacher Training course.  Somewhere in there I need to fit in a whole pile of marking.  Oh the joy.
The craziness will start to ease up by Monday – I think.  Please don’t be too disappointed if I don’t get to write much more this week.  On that note, I have to attempt to shorten that pile of marking I referred to earlier, so it’s back to work I go!

Grandmas are Awesome!

Hello my lovely blog readers!

Today is the last day of my Christmas holidays, so I thought I’d give you a little update before I head back to work.  I spoke with my Grandma on the phone earlier (It’s her 79th birthday today!), and she has been reading my blog.  That is actually pretty exciting for me because computers ≠ her stong point, which means that she must love me A LOT.  I already knew that, but a little bit of reinforcement is always nice.

This is what she had to say:
  1. “I don’t know about you saying ‘fat ass;’ what if your students read that?” – I told her that I doubt my students have any idea that I am writing a blog, and even if they did read it, that hearing me say “fat ass” probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal.  Then she realized that my students are 17 (not 6, like hers used to be), and probably won’t be going around copying everything I say.  Then she laughed at herself a little bit.
  2. “I liked the part where you wrote about falling and the dogs – where Jax licked your face.” – I am really hoping that she didn’t mean she was happy about me falling down.  I think she meant that it was funny.  I am going to go with that.
  3. “I don’t think you are going to have time to write that much when you go back to work.” – she is right; I probably won’t have time for this much writing when I’m teaching/prepping/marking.  I will still be writing every day, but instead of writing an entry or two every day, it might take me a couple of days to complete one blog entry.  It’s funny because I was thinking literally the exact same thing while I was running with the dogs a few minutes before I called her.  Sometimes we are almost the same person born 47 years apart.

Wow, I just did the math on that to figure out that we are 47 years apart.  My Grandma became a Grandma at 47 – I would have to give birth this very second, and my baby would have to get knocked up at 15 for that to happen to me.  Weird.  I don’t think that will be happening.

Why I am Grateful for the Bull*%!& of a Pinched Sciatic Nerve

Yes, you read that right.  Grateful – really and truly, no kidding around here.  As much as having a pinched sciatic nerve sucked, I am also thankful that it happened.  Here’s why:

1. It got me a month away from work.  That part was lovely and terrifying all at the same time, but nobody died and life went on without me.  Sure, a few of my grade 12 students were stressed out that they wouldn’t be ready to write their English Language Arts Diploma Exam, but I’m pretty confident that they will indeed be ready in a few days when they have to write.  Most of my students still learned some stuff, and I realized that I need to stop taking myself and my career so seriously.  It is perfectly all right to focus more on me than on creating a perfect lesson (which often ends up moving in a different direction than I had planned, anyway!).  That month gave me time away from the stress of lesson planning, marking, and disciplining, and it allowed me some time to move closer to being healed.

2. It gave me time for pleasure reading.  I am a high school English Language Arts teacher, so you would think I would get to read a lot.  I suppose that I do read a lot, but I wouldn’t exactly call reading high school essays “pleasure reading.”  Occasionally student papers are quite good, and more often, the really bad ones are quite laughably entertaining.  I do read for pleasure, though I don’t get to do this as often as I would like, and regularly when I DO engage in pleasure reading it takes me so long to finish a book that I forget parts of the story.  I even joined a book club* in an effort to make myself read something other than student work and academic/professional development pieces; quite often I enjoy the books that are picked, though sometimes I REALLY don’t like them at all.  While I was away from work with my pinched sciatic nerve, I was able to read four whole books* that I picked out all by myself for no reason other than wanting to read them, and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one!

3. It made me realize how much I love running.  I REALLY enjoy running; not being able to do it made me sad.  I don’t think I actually realized how important running had become for me until I wasn’t able to do it – now that I know, I can prevent myself from taking the ability to run for granted ever again.

4. It brought me back to yoga.  I previously posted about the universe bringing us things – sometimes it presents an idea to us so many times that we just can’t (or at least shouldn’t!) ignore it, and other times the universe allows forces pushes us to learn, grow, see, etc. simply because the time is right.  I think that my return to yoga is a combination of these two things:  I hadn’t practiced any yoga at all for almost six years, but the opportunity to practice and/or learn more about it had been “popping up” all over the place pretty regularly for quite a while.  I think the universe was trying to tell me that I should do yoga again, but I basically ignored all of those messages.  When I had to stop running and weight training, though, I needed something active to do, and almost all of the health care and fitness professionals I encountered suggested yoga.  I hadn’t been listening to the universe, so it stopped making suggestions…and basically forced me to practice again.  Okay, the universe did not hold a gun to my head, but it did push me in the right direction!

If it wasn’t for the pinched sciatic nerve, it would have taken me much longer to renew my appreciation for yoga.  I remembered how much I enjoy practicing – for both my body and my mind – and now I am in the process of becoming a certified instructor (another one of those universe brought me here things – it just fell into place so perfectly)!

Thank you pinched sciatic nerve – I appreciate you!

* The best part of my book club is NOT the books – it is the great conversation with a group of fabulous, intelligent and funny ladies…and the wine.  The wine is pretty good too.

* The books I read are The Road(Cormac McCarthy), The Birth House(Ami McKay), Galore (Micheal Crummey), and Water for Elephants (by Sara Gruen).  This last one was actually for my book club, but I suggested it, and would have read it even if the book club hadn’t chosen it, so I’m including it here.