Last week I traded in my old car for a new car. This morning I had to go back to the dealer to pick up some paperwork and there sat my old car, lonely and sad. Tears came to my eyes as I felt that part of my life slip away. That car carried my family from hockey rink to lacrosse fields, from school to the mall, and every where in between. That car kept me safe during a dangerous ice storm, plowed through snow like a trooper, and carried 8 of us to the beach to enjoy some surf and sun on many occasions. I loved that car, but it was time for a change.
Seeing it sitting there was a reminder of all the changes I have been through and am still going through. My daughter went off to boarding school, my son is now like an only child, and I am forging ahead in a career that I am not sure I want right now.
Last year at this time, I was finishing my Masters in Health Studies, preparing to take my exam to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), and learning a lot about myself, my beliefs, and my passions. I was so excited about my future. I didn’t realize how hard my life was about to become when I returned to the workplace after 12 years of being home with my children.
Today, I am struggling. I am struggling to find the time and energy to take care of myself, struggling to find time to spend with my family, and struggling to enjoy my journey. Its hard to go from stay-at-home mom to working full time at 50-60 hours a week. I know the learning program I am in is hard, time consuming, and a big committment. But I spend every waking moment thinking about my lessons and how and what I am going to do for my next class. It’s exhausting and draining. I know that I am not the only one that feels this way and I am so hopeful that things will change as I become better at being a teacher. I enjoy the kids but not the amount of time this profession requires. I am also not teaching a subject I love, so I am having to learn as I go and this causes constant anxiety and frustration. Can you say “bad attitude”? Yes, today is one of those days.
What I also know to be true is that tomorrow I could feel the complete opposite. Yes, my life and my emotions are like a roller coaster right now.
I am not writing this to whine (well, maybe I am) but to share that some things worth doing are hard. Life is hard. Learning something new is hard. Feeling incompetent is hard. Multi-tasking is hard. I know I am meant to be on this path and I am learning a lot, but I do question if this is the right profession for me and this is not he right time to be making the decision. I know that no matter what I do, I am gaining skills and knowledge that I can take with me no matter what I end up pursuing. Also, I have promised myself to hang in there until the end because everyone says this is the hardest part of the program and that a turning point is coming. I am holding on to that with all that I have.
I am lucky to have a team of cohorts that are really supportive, make me laugh, and understand how I feel. I don’t think they realize how much I need them right now. I am also lucky to have such great kids in my class that make me laugh and keep me going with their amazing energy. I am truly blessed to be so lucky.
As I sit here feeling conflicted, tired and unmotivated, I know that I need to make time for myself. I need to meditate, eat better, exercise, spend time with my family, and honor the passion in my heart. I don’t know where this journey will lead but I do know that I have to learn to take care of myself no matter what I am doing. Maybe that’s the lesson…to take care of myself no matter what the situation, good or bad. If I can learn to do this then I can help others in a similar situation.
The up side is that I am moving forward. I am growing, learning, and challenging myself. It might be messy but it’s very empowering. Life isn’t meant to be easy…although sometimes we all wish it was. I always remind myself that it’s easy to live in peace and to be positive when things are going well in your life. The challenge is to maintain a positive perspective when things are NOT going the way you want.
Did I mention it’s rainy and grey outside? Yes, that combined with too much sugar and not enough exercise can really trigger a bad mood. So I am putting on my happy pants, going for a walk, and going to give myself the time to meditate and give more attention to all the good things in my life. That’s how you turn around a bad day.
You do not have to pretend everything is always perfect. Life doesn’t work that way. We have bad days. So when things aren’t feeling so great, acknowledge what is bringing you down. Reflect on how you go there and what needs to change. Write in a journal or diary. Then start to focus on the good things in life, moving forward, and taking care of yourself. Make a plan and do it!
I deserve to take care of myself and so do you.
May peace and love reside in all our hearts!
Thank you for taking this ride with me.