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Archive for December, 2011

Writing these blogs is kind of like watching television reruns.  I have the moment but often don’t get to writing the moment until a week or two later.  Yesterday as I related how I had learned from the last lesson I was already wallowing in the next and was having a hard time relating past feelings when I was struggling with present ones.  It seemed a little down to me because well I was REALLY down yesterday, and the day before that and the day before that.  I don’t call it depressed because to me depressed is sad and slow for no apparent reason and last week I felt like I was mourning a lost dream.  The difference?  Well for me depression is an indicator that I am missing something that needs attending; mourning is a sadness process we all need to go through to let go of someone or something in order to move on to the next step.  It’s something that needs to be lived through not worked out and I think I may have tossed it out on its ass.  Not the most spiritually grounded approach.

So here’s the story, sometime in October a position came up where I sub.  It was a paraprofessional position in our special education room.  I had been subbing in there a lot and was comfortable in the room and I absolutely love the kids.  Another para suggested I apply.  I let it go; after all I am focusing on my book.  About two weeks after that a teacher asked if I was going to apply for the position.  “No I am working on getting published,” was my answer.   “Too bad,” she remarked, “you’re really good with them.”  Ok so I admit I’m thinking a little about it now.  At this point I am in the classroom just about every day, really getting to know the schedule, I could do this.  About a week after that I am at the bus stop and my cell phone rings.  It is the teacher from the classroom.  She and some other teachers were talking about who they would like to see if the position and my name came up.  She asked me to consider applying for the position. 

Ok, I can easily ignore a passing suggestion.  I can walk away from a question.  What I  can’t do is deny when I get a phone call from the teacher asking me to work for her.   I am working on paying attention to patterns.  I can’t ignore this one.  I go online.  The position in question is not there but three more long term sub positions are posted two of which are Language Arts positions, my niche.  It must be divine intervention!  I go into work the next day and they are interviewing for the para position.  Ok so I’m too late for that one I will apply for the 8th grade LA job.

I apply, I interview, and I don’t get the job.  I am crushed.  Actually I’m a little more than crushed I am broken.  In truth, I am subbing in the hopes of getting a full time job.  If they see how I work and what an amazing teacher I am that has to help in the long run right?  It didn’t.  Apparently my cover letters and resumes still get me in but my interviews don’t get me hired.  (Am I really that obnoxious?)

It had all felt so “meant to be.”  If I am working on looking for patterns then what am I supposed to get out of this?  Focus on my writing?  Well wasn’t I already doing that when I received a phone call?  Do the powers that be not understand that I can’t walk away from a paycheck?  While I work to be spiritually connected I can’t ignore my responsibilities.  We need to make money to survive.  It is necessary I do my financial part in this family not to mention me working would definitely help ease some of my husband’s stress. 

Am I being called to let go of my dream of having my own classroom?  Well why?  Why do I have to?  Can’t I focus on writing and still have a backup plan?  So, yesterday as I am driving around doing errands and spending over an hour waiting at the registry I tell the powers that be to go take a hike.  I am not tossing my dream, not yet.  I’ll accept not teaching anymore if my writing takes me somewhere.  I’ll accept not having a classroom again if I find another direction but I’m not abandoning it yet.  You may not have to make a living up there or understand the limitations of time but I have to live it and if I’m not ready I don’t see why it matters if I keep hold just a little while longer.

Yeah yelling at the angels is probably not the way to go.  Being angry and sad is not usually the path to working out the problem.  It’s the beginning.  It’s the alarm that lets me know a new lesson is starting and I am well aware I am not approaching my studies with a positive, open mind.  The new term has just begun and already I am late with my first assignment.  Oh Happy New Year.

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So I woke up Monday morning a little down.  I knew right away I needed to attend to the feeling.  If I ignored it then something would come up where I would say the wrong thing and then I would feel worse.  This is what I have learned from writing this blog.  Pay attention and be in the moment even if the moment is a little sad.  Look for what the Universe is trying to tell you.

Later in the week I was visiting with a friend and she was sharing a frustration with one person and then an hour later she briefly touched upon her frustration with another and made the comment ‘why do the same type of people keep showing up in my life?’  I immediately jumped on the meaning.  That’s a pattern.  If the same type of people keep showing up then that means the Universe is trying to teach you something.  You need to stop and explore that issue.   It was perfectly clear to me. 

That is what my blog has done for me.  I explored the pattern of me saying the wrong thing and feeling bad about it only to discover the Universe wanted me to be present in my own life.  I think I actually got the message.  I’m sure I will still need to be reminded to be in the moment but now it will be me reminding myself rather than my stupid mouth and the resulting guilt. 

The down side to learning one lesson is that it’s time to explore the next one.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive.  Real lessons hurt before the message becomes clear and I’m concerned I’m not up for the next task.  I could ask for a break.  I could say I’m not ready at this time.  In the past when I have done that the difficulty weighing on me was immediately lifted but so was the sense of a constant supporting presence and spiritual guidance.  The break was stagnant and I must admit I feel more alive working through a difficulty than resting after or before one. 

So I can be taught.  This experience has shown me that.  I take a tentative step onto the next task armed with the knowledge that I can learn and grow.  I am a powerful spiritual being.  But along with my spiritual guides my dread of the next difficulty is with me.  Am I up for the challenge?  I admit I’m a little doubtful, but if the angels believe in me do I need more than that to believe in myself?  Part of me wants to scream YES!  I need more than that!  I need a LOT more than that! But the other part of me, the small wise part of me, the only part of me not running in incessant circles and screaming like crazy, sits quietly in the center of my soul and softly says ‘it is enough.’ I take a deep breath, steady my nerves, and listen to that small wise woman sitting in my center.  Ok, I’m ready, take my hand, walk beside me, here we go.

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And I am back.  I wrote 50 thousand words in a month!  Well actually I wrote 25 thousand in 27 days and the last 25 in three and it was amazing!  So for the  month  of November I had been substituting at the middle school pretty much every day and every day I calculated how many words I was short.  I even did a math lesson on it.  I had to get creative.  I started writing on the weekends.  I started writing in the car, when someone else was driving of course.  I outlined and researched while waiting for the bus, watching karate, and observing gymnastics.  I planned dialogue while driving.  No I did not get into an accident. 

Then Thanksgiving came and I stalled.  I just couldn’t get into writing while we were away.  My goal was to have 30 thousand by the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  That would leave me 10 thousand for Monday and ten for Tuesday.  I’ve written ten thousand in a day. I could do it.  By Sunday I had 28,000 and it was midnight.  On Monday I was only at 35 thousand.  I had barely written 7 thousand words the whole day!  I wasn’t going to make it.  I was disappointed.  Then I was resolute.  No I wasn’t going to give up.  I set this goal and I was going to follow it through.

I stayed up until almost 2am on Monday and wrote like a mad woman all day Tuesday.  My husband was away so suppers were easy and the house was a mess and I wrote.  Surprisingly I was not as disorganized as I thought I would be.  The kids had clean laundry, breakfast and lunch were prepared every morning and aside from Chinese food on Monday and leftovers on Tuesday the kids were fed well, they were clean and went to school with matching clothes.  I even managed to do my daughter’s hair every morning. 

I was up every night until at least 1am and awake every morning at 5 and I wasn’t tired.  I was in the same position for three days straight living on coffee and Aleve and it felt great.  The story was amazing; the writing was satisfying and when I hit 50,000 words at 9:20 am on Wednesday morning I screamed, texted my daughter and slapped the table.  I had done it.  I uploaded my novel to www.nanowrimo.org and was never so happy or proud to see the little purple bar declare me a winner.  I had set a goal and did it.  I just might have what it takes to become a writer after all.  With determination, hard work and an absolute love for my craft I am going to make this dream come true.  I am going to continue to build the foundation underneath my dream and one day I am going to be an author.  This is where I’m going.  This is where I’ll be.  This is who I am. 

You can go to www.nanowrim.org and check out the talent and humor of hundreds of writers who were also crazy enough to write their hands off.  If you find Mrs. W, that’s me, you can check out my synopsis and read an exerpt from my book.  Maybe next year you’ll decide to join the fun.  I might just be crazy enough to do it again. 

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