Saturday, December 17, 2011

What is reality?

Got my haircut today. My stylist is a friend from high school. During the hour our discussion turned to Facebook statuses. We laughed at how sometimes it seems that people only post what is going well, attempting to make their lives seem perfect. I know that is easy to do and I am guilty of the same thing. After coming home I glanced through my status updates. There are the updates that are positive:

But more often than not I share an article or post a photo. And I know that more than a few statuses have been that my children are driving me crazy, rough day at school, etc.

With that thought, I turned to this blog. Glancing through my reflections I noticed a theme, they are all dealing with the good side of teaching. My students are learning, I see that, all is well in the world. And truly, for the most part, it is. However I don’t want to paint myself in a heavenly light. With that in mind, I thought my reflection today could be on what might need to be improved in my life. We’re hitting that fateful day, January 1st, where it is time to take stock of ourselves and make some resolutions. What do I need to work on – and out of those – what do I actually WANT to change.

1) My house is a mess. Seriously. Have a look at my dining room table.

Excuses for this range from the fact that we have no other spot to drop our stuff when we walk in to the fact that I’ve just made it through finals week in grad school. In reality, it often looks like this until my husband has had enough and picks it up. My goal is to see the actual table by tomorrow.

2) I have a horrid diet. I eat out too much, I love chocolate, and if I am upset, angry, anxious, worried, etc. – I eat. Thus, I need to lose weight. Which would require eating better and, I don’t know, working out? I don’t do either of those things but am still shocked that the scale numbers don’t go down when I weigh myself. I seem to be under the impressions that I can continue doing what I’m doing and my body will magically decide that it is time to lose weight.

3) My language could make a sailor blush. Ever since my friend Johanna taught me swear words in 6th grade I have enjoyed peppering any conversation with a variety of them. I can contain myself – I don’t swear in front of students, my children, or (usually) my parents. Other than that – all bets are off.

4) I tend to be very judgmental. I get irritated easily. I believe in “saying what you mean and meaning what you say.” I work hard and expect others to as well. I don’t like excuses and am often bothered when others hide behind them. I work to be more open-minded but it is a constant struggle.

5) I am never more than five feet from a device that can connect to the Internet. My phone, iPad, laptop, a computer. I spend way too much time on these devices.

6) I have become a huge procrastinator on projects that aren’t important to me. Had to add that last part – when it is something I want to do (read, blog, etc.) I am all about it. When it is a paper for grad school or the like, I wait until the last minute.

7) I spend an excessive amount of money on my classroom. Thousands of dollars on books is a bit too much. My defense would be that I don’t buy much else for myself, books and reading are my hobby, but I could absolutely improve in this area (and Chris would be ever so grateful).

8) I can tend to dwell on the negative. Gossip, at times, is so enticing. So is complaining. But once started, it is hard to stop. This is a difficult time in education. We are asked to do more than ever and are respected less and less. Teachers work hard, but some teachers give the rest of us a bad name. Those teachers are held up as the example of us all, what the problem is. We are all lumped together. I try hard to steer clear of negativity but have found myself feeling beaten down as of late.

So, what should I work on this year? I do think I am a decent mom, wife, teacher, and friend but can strive to be better. I think working on my overall health is a good goal; after all it has been a resolution since 1999, why stop now? I want to be more positive and that is one of the driving forces in creating this blog. And I think I will create a “book budget” for myself for the year. Chris will be very pleased. How about you? Are you still here or did I scare you off? What is your resolution this year? Join in and feel free to police me throughout the year. I could even begin exercising today but I’m thinking tomorrow would be better.