Experience

Years ago when I started blogging, I wrote of my desire to experience adult life and shared my musings on what I thought were the purposes and blessings in life.

Tonight I am reflecting on how much of learned since then. I’m in awe of how much time has  passed  and of how much I’ve grown into the person I imagined. It’s powerful to look back and feel pride and distinctly see the journey that I took to get to Here.

At  the same time, I am surprised by how much has not changed. In those habits and presences I must have the wisdom to let go as well as step out of my comfort zone, in order to find balance in the most nuanced, mature way.

I want to be an even better person in 2015: more efficient, caring, stylish, considerate, and wise.

Chocolate

I have been eating so much chocolate. Kirby is selling Purdy’s on behalf of Scouts, students are selling delicious peppermint Girl Guide cookies, I couldn’t help but buy some of the Christmas chocolate on sale…

The two waves of report cards have come and passed, the field trip has gone without a hitch, and now I just have to organize the three school concerts before I pack my old apartment to move to a new one…

The winter break can’t come soon enough, and I am so excited for the new year! It’s been a full, full year of learning and surprises.

raspy

My voice is all but gone, rasping at a very strange, low whisper. It’s my body telling me to stop pushing myself and allow myself some rest. Of course I will woke up at my regular time and am now working in my living room on the paperwork that I’ve brought home from work.

I had a conversation with a colleague yesterday about how difficult it is for us to let go and trust that a sub can do our job. It is almost elitist the way we push ourselves, not allowing ourselves to be human so much so that we get sick and then panicked about having someone else come in to do our job for a day. I spent a good chunk of time typing up a plan for my TOC and this morning was relieved to find out that this teacher has been teaching for 30 years and is a retired expert. It’s good to know that I am part of a profession where anyone who is hired is also held to the same standard that I aspire for… and that I can trust the system to take care of me when I am really sick.

I am also reminded of how important it is to have balance in a working life. Time and again it comes back to this, and it always astounds me how tired my body feels after I return to the yoga mat after weeks of exhaustion and neglect. I am better about dedicating my time to choir and allow my voice to soar in the soprano range and not grind to a halt in the low ranges where I use my commanding and teaching voice. I need to work on diligence on the yoga mat, as well as a routine which can ensure a healthy eating lifestyle…

Above all, I am working on being confident, assertive, and kind to myself. I must acknowledge that I am giving a lot, and being the best I can be in my first year of teaching. I will not be a super star right away, but I know my students and I have a relationship with them which is the most important thing.

Light the night

This will be forever the night I met new friends and had some good conversation at the beach. We relaxed by the ocean waves and enjoyed being young but old enough to be independent and by the beach at night.

I felt the freedom I felt when I travelled abroad and didn’t feel limited. It made me very happy to see Darryl afterwards, for he always wants the best for me. I feel supported in my goals and loved in all the ways that I am Me. No longer are we limited in how relationships are construed but instead we are in a partnership that is strengthened daily.

I keep reflecting on the conversations I had with students. It was a tough week, challenging because of the balance between experienced and brand new instrument players in my classes. I know I made a huge difference in a few lives and I want to believe that that is enough. This weekend I’ve  been trying to leave the baggage at work and enjoy my life.

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Evening by the beach

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Me and my new friend

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Light the night

Thanksgiving

There is much to be thankful for: loving friends, caring family, hilarious students, and a thoughtful roommate. I am especially thankful for the beautiful memories and abundant blessings from this year. From getting my first two contracts with the school district, to living a full year on my own, I have been constantly aware of how lucky I am to have Darryl support and love me through it all. I am glad for the beautiful leaves outside, glowing with warmth from the deep conversations with my closest friends… My apartment smells like butter from a cozy night of baking with my roommate.

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Home baked egg tarts

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Pumpkin pie tarts!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Persistance

Yoga was enlightening yesterday as it gave me the mental fortitude and perspective change that I needed to process the intense three weeks back to school. I have been struggling with the logistics and knowledge required to jump start a successful music program at my school. It is hard for me to recognize my strengths on days when the steep learning curve affects my ability to teach my lessons and coordinate with the teachers for whom I provide prep time. In reality, I must know that my organizational skills, creative thinking, passionate energy, and flexibility have been positively challenged in this position.

My band program is gearing up, and I must remind myself of the same words that I’ve been blessing my students: patience, kindness, and joy. Every class I sense the eager energy from my students to learn new songs, yet I must exude patience to care for the students new to band on completely foreign instruments! I told them I hope we can play a ‘spooky tune’ by Halloween time, before we start working on Winter holiday tunes.

It is a blessing to be part of two dedicated staff teams. Today at Meet the Teacher Night, a colleague told me that I have to look forward to the day when this band teacher experience will come back to me and serve my classroom teaching!

Patience

It is an uncomfortable time during which I am adjusting to yet another new schedule. It is difficult to balance work, life, and my personal wellness but I am committed to finding a balance as soon as possible.

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Moved some things to the classrooms but I still have so much to do.

First I need to prioritize my classroom and school commitments, as I hope to establish an even better relationship with the staff and students at both schools. I still find myself working the full weekend tutoring and teaching evening ESL classes and it is a little upsetting to commit so much time to these students. It is not easy for me to sever these relationships with the kids who I’ve known for up to six years now! Last night it occurred to me that I may need to establish a running routine before and after school everyday in order to get my fitness in. Singing and reading have become part of my commitment to doing things for myself… And I will join the knitting club at one of my schools to learn some more about that art.

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My knit circle scarf

It’s a new term tomorrow , and a new season today!