Wednesday, August 22, 2007


As with most of us, I have a wide range of girlfriends… each of which is unique and touches a different part of my life / personality.

Erica is one of my closest friends and my spiritual mentor. Her husband and mine are tight. Their kids called me their Summer Mom because I watched them from the time they were 4 and 6 (they are now 13 & 15). They often joke that their daughter is half mine and half theirs. To Madison, their family is an extension of ours.

Erica and her family moved 4 hours away from us almost 2 years ago. Initially when they moved, we kept in touch regularly and I always knew what was happening with her and her family. I was reminded this week how that has lapsed and how much I have taken our relationship for granted recently.

Over this last weekend, Erica had a headache that was not only excruciating but caused vomiting. Erica is not a person to complain. Me? If I have a headache, everyone around me likely has one, too, from my whining. But she is the toughest person I know. So when I heard she had voluntarily gone to the ER for her headache, it floored me.

For three days they ran tests on her to rule out every horrendous possibility. In the meantime we prayed and wondered how she was really doing… so far away from us. Madison’s prayers were so earnest: “God, please just make Erica’s head stop hurting so she can go home with (her kids).”

Today, we heard the news for which we prayed. Erica has NOTHING seriously wrong; everything is healthy in her brain! She was diagnosed with her first migraine ever and is on medication that seems to be controlling it.

This incident was clearly not about me, but I can't tell you how eye-opening it was for me. It made me really realize how much I take some of my friends for granted… how out of touch I've gotten with others… how I’ve been too "busy" to stop and make an effort… how much I couldn't imagine losing those friends.

The best news is that we already had a visit to Erica’s family planned and we are on our way to see them tomorrow! My plan is to get reconnected and not let so much time go between our visits. Not only that, but my other girlfriends with whom I have lost touch: watch out! You will be hearing from me…

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back on my Highway

Once again I have not done so well in bloggedy-ville. How do you people keep up on this with “so much” going on?! I seriously need to figure out a better time management method… which brings me to my post today.

In exactly 16 days, I am officially stepping back into the workforce as a classroom teacher. With a load of prayers and discussions, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. Knowing that Tuck is behind the decision 110% makes it even more right.

Those of you who know me might be shocked by this decision, as determined as I’ve always been about staying home with Madison. You may be remembering how thrilled I was to be done with the headaches that came along with being a teacher; though I’ve always loved the teaching part of it. You may even be questioning how adding “one more thing to my plate” is exciting to me; I can seemingly not keep up as it is.

But that’s the jewel of this situation. My new job is not at another elementary school, but at a preschool. I’m going from teaching 4th grade to teaching 4-year-olds!

I will still be at home with my girl – she will be at school the same hours that I am, tuition-free, nonetheless. Those teaching headaches (grading countless papers, taking work home with me, etc) are a thing of the past – I will actually get to enjoy teaching! And finally, that part about adding one more thing to my plate, that’s the best part – for the first time in 5+ years I will be on a daily schedule again.

Think about it: when you’re in elementary, middle and high school, you are given a schedule and a plan. When you go to college, you get to pick your schedule and you have somewhat of a plan. When you have a job, especially as a teacher, you create a schedule and a plan to be even remotely successful.

When you become a SAHM, that all goes out the window. Your schedule is determined by your child/ren and his/her/their needs, whims, emotions, naps, etc, etc, etc. There is no way to realistically say: “I will get this done at 10:00, finish this by 11:00 and finalize that at 3:00.” Because you will probably be changing a blown-out diaper at 10, wiping crayon off the wall at 11 and picking playdoh out of the carpet at 3.

Now please don’t read this wrong. I have LOVED these times with my daughter more than anything else I’ve done in my life (btw: those times are not going away). But I’ve also learned a lot about myself in the time I’ve been home.

While I’ve always seen myself as someone who thrives on being busy, at heart I have the tendency to be lazy. I don’t have an internal motivation to get things done. I do have a lot of things in my life or “on my plate,” but I am apt to ignore the responsibilities until the very last minute. Then I do them halfway. Or not at all.

There’s a verse in Proverbs that talks about when laziness is prominent, your path is full of thorns, but when you’re doing the right thing your path is like a highway. How true this is for me! When I allow the lazy part of me to take over, I am stressed all the time and feel like I have “so much to do.”

As I’ve been attending meetings and working in my classroom to get things ready for the school year, I’ve been amazed with how much is getting done at home, too. I’ve come home from my classroom and just kept on moving to get this and that done, without one iota of stress or feeling overwhelmed at how much I need to get done.

Clearly, that highway mentioned in Proverbs – for me – is being on a schedule. I have high hopes (though no illusions of perfection!) for this school year, for renewed friendships, for my relationship with my girl, for my relationship with my husband… and I hope to record a lot of that here. On my blog. More regularly. See ya.