The Hormones

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Oh, the hormones. I knew things were happening a week or two ago, when I loved everyone and men were nicer and wasn't my waist a little smaller? And now,  here I am. Men ignore and/or are cold (except MY man), I keep shoving food in, even though I am stuffed, and I am so tired, I. can't. feel. fully. awake.

Welcome to life as a woman. When you wonder why I have so many kids, here you go. Because it is the only reprieve I have from this suffering. And this has been an easy month. Every third month or so it is HORRIBLE and I will be angry and alienate people and have to stay home and watch sappy movies and cry all day. And I can only take a day, but it lasts for days, so I act weird and hide from people so I don't say things that feel so right at the time, but are really so wrong.

I mean, granted I am glad I am not a nasty man, with sweaty smelly hanging parts, but this isn't much fun either.

Sunday Morning!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I haven't jogged since last Monday, and I am not happy with myself. I am going to jog today, IN THE DAYLIGHT, and I am horrified. It wouldn't be so bad if I could get someone to go with me, but Taryn won't, and Karl has to watch the kids. Taryn doesn't work until 5, so maybe I can talk her into watching the boys for 30 minutes so Karl can go with me. I just don't want people focusing on me as I huff and puff IN THE DAYLIGHT. I know they don't care. But I FEEL like they do.

I am so excited about my classes. Okay, the poetry one. I am going to struggle. There is no doubt. But if I try and stretch myself, then maybe I will pull off an okay grade and learn something. The research class is so great. A classroom full of smart people working towards meeting our own individual classroom-based research goals. I am sad we only meet once a month.

I feel the yearning to go to church. Trying to push it down. I guess I could go without Karl. But I already feel like an outsider-I would really feel it as a married woman without her man. Should we try a different church? I don't know. I like familiarity. The church we have been going to has that unstylish, churchy look and smell. I do wish they did holidays, though. Maybe I should switch to nondenominational or Baptist. I remember those wonderful holy moments around Holidays really feeling how real it all felt. And the women there--there is noone like me. I guess there is noone like me anywhere, because I see differences rather than similarities. And I feel a sense of shame that I am still in. this. same. place. Why drag other people into my oddness? Home is safe.
Liam is falling into unbelief. That is struggle with smart, scientific people. Making the ends meet. Karl doesn't understand how I can reconcile believing in evolution with religion--I just can. But I think the bible was written my men inspired by God. So maybe that is why. Man's knowledge is limited. Even now.

But then I wonder if I am just grasping at images, wanting to believe-and then, I realize, that is okay. Faith is believing what you don't see. What you choose to believe. Maybe it is not for everyone. I don't know. I just want to fill the catch in my chest that wants to worship and belong. I can't explain it.

So anyway, no church today, because it requires so much organization to try and dress myself and boys decently. It requires confidence to face people who I feel set apart from. It requires trying to get Karl on board, and playing down his irritation with every imperfect thing the boys do, because in his head we should appear perfect. And then I get stressed--oh no, I am not perfect. Don't let me misrepresent. I get irritated with how we look. I get mad when the boys are less than perfect in dress, because that is what people see. Karl gets irritated with their inability to sit still, and then I get irritated that he is irritated, and no, let's just stay home.

The baby is waking. I have so many little pains breastfeeding this time. But how I can deny my baby what is best for my own comfort? It is a struggle. We will see how it goes.

I wish I could stay home and still be middle class. Maybe a little poorer, I don't have to shop so much. Right now, shopping is my consolation for having to work, but gosh I wish I didn't have to. I wish I could walk Liam to the bus stop, or homeschool. I wish Karl wouldn't throw it in my face that he made the money, like the last time I tried to stay home. I wish ... but I live in this world. And I like it. I like seeing people outside my family, even though work politics are so hard on my soul, and I feel like I NEVER WIN. But blah.

I want to stay home. I guess like everyone else, I will keep buying those lottery tickets.

This is whiny. Personal journalish. My brothers won't click like, because it isn't up to their standards. Maybe one or two people. I think most people just don't follow me. and it is weird to me. Why I am so unpopular. Is it the introspection? Is it my looks? I think I look okay. I mean, I do what I can with what i have. Maybe it is just short man syndrome. I was always the smallest in my class, always clamoring for some sort of recognition, always the flower girl when we played wedding. And now, I am weird Jill who talks about her feelings too much, and gets too dramatic, and well, let's just unfollow her. Facebook is weird. All your life you think, if they would just get to know me...and then you let then know you, and you still don't make the cut. And it's weird. Because I am grown up and I know, I am just as okay and good as them. I am just not....whatever.

I am deeply hurt that my mom's sister didn't come to Tierney wedding or baby shower. Is that wrong to share?

I can't believe it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I just can't <expletive> believe it.
So my class. My literature class. Is a contemporary indigenous poetry class. I saw a teacher from my school in there. She was friendly, but I was dazed and probably standoffish. I feel so lost. OH MY GOSH.

I just can't believe it. I mean, I love linguistics. I love writing and reading. Why am I so bad at literature classes. These people are talking about this poem, and I was sitting there wondering why I was paying to discuss these uncertainties with people who are just BSing through possibilities. I wondered why I hadn't taken history (no jobs), why I was so damned practical. Why I can speculate fine on the whys of history or even science somewhat, but can't generate a single response into what some obscure poem means. I am so disgusted with my self. My simple, practical S self. What I am I to do? Stick it out? Drop. Switch into history really quick and quiet, and then apply after? I feel so ashamed and embarrassed. Can I avoid literature? Can I just stick it out and make my way through.

Why can't I be creative?

Why can't I enjoy this.

I am so pissed.

Perspectives

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thanks to Facebook and its awesome advertising, I am constantly hit with images of other houses. These houses range from nicer, but I can get that, to nope, just tantalizingly, out of reach houses.

And it is easy to get pulled in. Flipping through the pictures of someone else's home, it is easy to imagine living with soaring ceilings, granite countertops, french doors, and wide-planked cherrywood flooring. I play with the calculators and see that I can theoretically afford a house worth almost twice what I have now. And I feel like I should strive for that.

Afterall, what will my coworkers think if they see my boxy, rectangular rooms, and painted faux-finish chipping countertops. And the lack of good lighting!

But then...I see the house of people who are doing even better. The houses which belong to people whose husbands have even better jobs. The ones that are just out of reach, barring my starting a successful business doing....what? Of course, those houses really belong to the bank. The bank is just willing to let them play house and spend decades working toward a bigger, fancier house.

And then I start to feel hopeless again. It is so easy to fall into competing with the Joneses. Where does it end?

Even yesterday, when a friend of Tierney's complimented my home, I downplayed it, mentioning, "Yeah, but I wish..."


And then...an old neighborhood friend of Tierney's and her mother came. These are people who struggle, and  who will continue to struggle. And they raved over my nice neighborhood and my beautiful home. I gave my polite smile and thanked them, until the mother mentioned, "It's a long way from Stewart Avenue." Or something similar. And I gave my standard, but true answer about how thankful I was that my dad bought that house and rented it to me for cheap. And then it started to sink in.

I WAS grateful to live in that two bedroom with my three kids while I finished college. My kids had a yard to play in instead of living in an apartment.  I am grateful I have a house that is big enough, even if a late 70s standard house. I am so thankful that on the second try I got an experienced mortgage loan officer (??) who knew how to write up my student loans properly.

So yeah, I could do better. But I have more than enough. And in some people's eyes, I have a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood. Almost all my dreams have come true.

P.S. This blog was more moving and charming in my head, but the boys will not let me think in quiet.

Mission Statement

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I am not really fond of the phrase mission statement. First, it sounds like something a supervisor would make a group of people agree upon, and one which, being designed to please the supervisor while also appealing to a large group of people, would really not affect anyone.

I am tired. I awoke at 2:30. I won't bore you with the details of my stress.


So Mission Statement! This is my rough draft and the why.

My goal as a teacher (I think educator or learning facilitator or something is what they are going for, these days, but Tradition!)

Anyway, so tired.

My goal as a teacher is to expand the horizons of my students, share joyful learning experiences, and encourage each student to strive toward greater growth and improvement of self.

So what does that mean?

Expanding the horizons. I want students to know there is more than they know. The world has much more to offer than they know, billions of people are buzzing around with their own individual experiences, and they can achieve more than they thought possible.

Joyful learning experiences. I do  not mean to brag when I say I love all the subjects. I never said I was excellent at them. I love reading, and writing, and math, and all the forms of science, and history. I love the arts, even if I don't excel, physical education if we weren't graded on it. In its purest form, learning is to be treasured.
 Think about preschoolers or kindergarteners. Imagine children who haven't yet learned they are expected to "measure up" to someone else's standard and who aren't spending their days glued to a TV. Think about their natural curiosity. WHO WOULDN'T be fascinated by the infinite universe, the bacteria in a drop of pond water, the usefulness of adding numbers, the vast amounts of expressive words, each with its own meaning?  Who could help but to be fascinated by Egyptian pyramids, the French guillotine, or the Declaration of Independence? The idea of human rights, which still need work (we need protection from private entities, as well), the way yellow and blue makes green, and how the right blend of musical notes can bring a tear to your eye. I want to capture that and share it with my students. Whatever we are studying, I want them to feel the joy of uncovering, not the stress of failing yet again.

Greater Growth

Students are  not realistic. Some have already given up and see no future for themselves. Others have unrealistic pie in the sky dreams. I get it. I once really really wanted to study astronomy. I took the general calculus based physics. And got C's. C's. Yes, I could graduate with C's. I could probably get an entry-level job in some industry if I built the right internship experiences into my resume. But C's are not rocket science. C's are not an astrophysicist. And I had to adjust. And it was hard. I loved the physics people. I loved their rationalism and calm quiet while still being utterly fascinated as students of the universe. But I knew it was time to step away and find something else.
 I want to help students find their strength and help them discover ways to build on their strengths to make their lives more meaningful. I want to show them what they bring to the table of life, and how they can affect growth in the world.

Improvement of self. Learning can be hard. It can be really hard for my students. Most of them don't care. Years of failing and parents giving up on them, or never even caring about their education have taken a toll on my students. But if you look, really close, you see it in their eyes. "Please don't give up on me. See me. Help me."  I like to think I am not just projecting.:)
And I want to find out how to encourage them to put a little more effort in. To work on putting capital letters in and how to use spellcheck and how to punctuate, even if it is so their online resumes look great, so maybe they can afford a luxury or two after the bills are paid. I want them to know the joy of writing words in a journal to laugh and cry over later. I want them to get excited when the see Astronomy or National Geographic magazine, and not roll their eyes at all the long words. I want them to understand compounding interest and the real effect it can have on their future lives, and why they should have an emergency fund and avoid payday loans. I want them to understand why our system of government works, and why we are so lucky to have checks and balances, and still open their eyes to current injustices and feel that their voice matters, and that they can make a difference.

That's what I have so far.


Finding Passion

Monday, August 14, 2017

I have been floundering career-wise lately. Actually it has been an ongoing thing since I started teaching.
I know why. My brain just wants to take care of me, wants to keep me and mine safe. So it is always scanning the environment, looking for danger, which can be simple or complicated. Danger-perceived danger is always there. Not that I fear being physically hurt. I fear being left out. I fear being left out of opportunities. Because to my brain, that means I am not safe.

The thing is, safety is never guaranteed and yet, chances are, in my country, with my ability to understand things, I will be okay. I could probably use the system, if necessary. That is why it is there. Barring a war or some crazy huge thing, I am going to be okay.

But these little things scare me, make my stomach sick, and my brain panic. And panicked brains make poor, emotional decisions.

And now. I just want to let it go. Let go of the fear and focus on the why I am there.

Is it just for a paycheck? Summers off? Liking young people?

I need to find, or refind, my passion.

I need to focus on the why I am doing this, beyond the paycheck. I need to find the joy. Because without that, it is all just scrambling for scraps and pettiness. I want to step beyond the scarcity mindset, and realize that I have a purpose for being here that goes beyond my own selfish desires.

I plan to spend the next couple days thinking on this and defining my own mission statement.

Even now, saying that, warning sirens are beginning to turn. My stomach is tightening. Physical Jill is afraid that I am softening, and I am going to lose the fight. Heart and soul Jill is saying, Dear Body, it isn't a fight. It isn't a struggle. It's a mission.

Stay tuned.

Giftedness and Learning for the Sake of Learning

Saturday, August 12, 2017

As many of you know, I have worried over Liam for years. Mainly because from about two on, his self-driven purpose has made him challenging. Sit down? Mom, why would I sit down, don't you understand there is a <insert current interest> over there. I have to study it...

So it was such a relief when he qualified for the gifted program. Now the Springfield gifted program is really just an enrichment program, but it gets Liam out of reg ed one day a week where he can go focus deeply on whatever the current topic is with other similar kids. He loves it. Now if he were a super (145+) kid, it wouldn't be enough, but it works for him.

So last year when his first grade teacher made a comment, "He does have good critical thinking skills, I guess that is why he is gifted," that little mom bell went off in my head (Karl doesn't agree-we see things differently). Because Liam isn't an A+ student. He doesn't get excited about learning new math concepts, and his spelling is not fantastic. He failed some spelling tests. And I wondered if she was going to question his intellect the whole year based on his academic performance.

Ooh, which reminds me. Sixth grade we moved back to St. Louis County for a short time. I loved my middle school there. They had tracking which means I got to be with other quick learners, and lots of extracurricular activities for all kinds of kids. I even played floor hockey after school (back row-ha, my reflexes are so slow). I AM a joiner, which is weird for someone so insecure, don't ya think? Anyway, my homeroom teacher, was my math and reading teacher. Although I was in the higher class, they kept the kids in there all in one reading book for the year. At my smaller school in Springfield (seriously, only four classrooms, fifth and sixth grade, loved it-Shout out to Jane Shurtz!), we had worked through more than one book. So I had finished the book.

"Oh, I did that last year." My teacher was annoyed, and took down the name of my previous teacher, as if I was lying. I told her and then mentioned it was in Springfield. "Oh, " She pursed her lips and put down her pen.

Anyway fast forward a couple months in, and I got confused over hostility and gave the definition for hospitality.

"Well, clearly, you still need to be in this class, if you don't know those words." Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Coming from an emotionally abusive household (sorry Mom, Love ya, but none of us are perfect), this was extremely painful. Trust me, I already felt stupid most days.

Anyway, painful life stories aside-I do not want my kid to have to feel as if he has to prove his intellect on a regular basis. I want him to remain excited about learning, follow his interest, and of course, put good efffort into the other areas that don't excite him so much.  So reading this article,

http://crushingtallpoppies.com/2014/06/09/a-gifted-child-checklist-for-teachers/

was nice.

Here is the summary. Gifted children don't always excel in school. Duh, we all know that. Some struggle with insecurities as soon as they have to actually work at something. Others just want to learn what they want to learn. Gifted children are often extremely sensitive. Preschool made Liam cry. Although he isn't Mr. Popularity now (we have yet to get a birthday invite for elementary), he is recognized and people call him out by name, so I guess that is good. They struggle socially and "DEVELOP ASYNCHRONOUSLY

Anyway (Oh, look I have picked up the font from cutting and pasting, hahaha), when my heart is hurt (and oh my gosh I am hurting today, I can't help but dwell on other hurts. I was digging on our world wide web and this is what I found.

I am never going to be a popular blogger, am I?

Oh well, to thine own self be true.

It's a lonely life for some of us.

Peace.