I can't believe I've been away from blogging for so long. I have been reading blogs, but just not writing for mine--a mistake.
So, to catch up, here's the Cliff's Notes of the last few months:
I am changing schools and jobs. I have accepted a position as the instructional lead teacher at another high school in my district. This takes me out of the classroom and puts me squarely in front of other teachers, primarily as I plan, develop, and present staff development for my new school.
I am both excited and very nervous about my new position. After 18 years in the classroom, I'm feeling more than a little odd at the thought of not working with kids. I feel kind of like I'm floating right now, loose, with nothing clearly anchoring me.
I've worked so much this summer already, attending meeting after meeting, inservice after inservice, all in an effort to get a handle on my new position (still not there yet). And at the back of it all, there are tears and an immense sadness at the thought of leaving my school and my kids, tears and sadness that I just keep biting back for fear they'll overwhelm me.
I know that I needed a change, that this new direction will help me grow both professionally and personally. I am already seeing that.
But still, it's hard to say goodbye.
pretty in pink
Tomorrow, weather permitting, I will plant pink and white petunias in my front yard, beneath the weeping cherry that is now barren of blossoms. My husband will make new homes for pink azaleas and hostas in the backyard next to the fountain. Life is good.
Today it is gray and dark, gloomy in fact. I have only 35 more essays to grade in this marathon, and yet, it feels like a hundred still to go. My usually cheery office feels cold and dungeonlike.
But yesterday, I walked under trees like the ones in the picture, and the wind blew, and petals cascaded through the air like snowflakes, fragile and temporary. But beautiful.
As Paul McCartney so succinctly expressed, "Now I long for yesterday."
spring has sprung
Finally, it's here!
slacker no more
It's official. According to Tickle.com, despite all my anecdotal evidence to the contrary, I am not a slacker.
Hey -- you're no slacker. You're just fronting. Lucky for you, you're not too uptight either. You've struck that wonderful balance between slacking off and keeping busy. It's not an easy task, so congratulations. Your efficiency and determination let you work in a timely manner. And that laid-back approach means that you'll never get too stressed out. Sometimes you're pulled in two different directions, but you know how to handle it. You can take control of a situation without strangling it. This healthy style of work will lead to both success and happiness. What more could you want?
Friday I went with my mother to the doctor. It was an important appointment. Mom had a CT scan last week, and it's been almost a month since her last chemo treatment. We were all worried--the physician's assistant had freaked us out more than just a little at her last appointment, as he stated matter-of-factly, "Well, of course, you know you've got bone cancer." Uh, NO. In fact, the oncologist had told us that she in fact DID NOT have bone cancer, but instead breast cancer that had manifested in various places, including some bone lesions.
So, needless to say, we were all anxious. Anxious for clarification, hopeful that we would hear something positive and that Mom wouldn't be facing another round of chemo.
The doctor entered the room all smiles, and a bit surprised I think, to see not only my mom and dad, but also my sister, my sister-in-law, and myself crowded in. He looked at my mom, and gushed over how good she looked. Then he took off his glasses, smiled again, and said, "I'm going to take my time and savor this, because I have nothing but good news for you."
I won't go into all the detailed medical specifics that I don't totally understand myself. I'll just give it to you in the simplest way he gave it to us: If 10 is the worst you could be, and 1 is healthy, my mom started her treatments at 9. He said that at this point, she is somewhere between a 2 and a 3. Not total remission, but really close. For now, no more chemo. Just her daily dose of hormone pills and regular doctor visits, blood tests and the occasional CT scan.
Really good news.
So why do I still feel scared? I feel tears of relief every time I think about it, but I still feel nervous. It's like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe that's the insidious nature of cancer, how it slowly destroys not only the body, but also the ability to trust in health. She's okay, for now. No guarantees of the future.
Is that ungrateful of me? Maybe. And I do know that none of us have any guarantees, that we are all fragile and vulnerable at any moment of any day. So for now, I just have to be grateful for the present and enjoy the fact that my mom is better. For now.
I should have known better. As soon as I make a post about how I'm writing so much more, work sidelines me and I am unable to post to any of my blogs for over a week. And it looks like I've got another crazy week ahead. I'll be back...eventually.
I realized this morning that I am writing more.
Now it's not that this is a startling revelation--clearly my decision to maintain not one but three blogs, in addition to the one I keep for my classes, necessitates a good deal of writing. It makes sense that I am indeed spending more time getting the words down. But that's not exactly what I mean.
It's not just that I am writing more often. I am writing with more focus and more enjoyment than I have in years. And I am writing, even when I am not writing.
Case in point, on Friday, during yet another God-forsaken in-service, I found myself thinking in terms of blog topics as I listened to the speaker drone on and on. Because I am blogging, my professional life has taken on a new purpose. I look at my career, my students, and my reaction to them more reflectively. "How do I know what I think until I see what I say?" adorned my walls for years. Now I am really putting it into practice.
Another example: This morning, while reading an article in The Sun, I suddenly had an idea for my writing prompt blog. This has happened several times over the last two weeks, and it's pretty exciting to me.
In short, while none of this may be much of a revelation to the rest of you prolific bloggers out there, it's making me feel like a writer again for the first time in a long time. It's a great feeling.