Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm a High School Teacher?

Last week, I started work as a resource English teacher at a nearby High School. Accepting the job was a roller coaster! This is what I wrote to my family on our family Facebook page:
The tears had to do with the Junior High School that I left. I loved it there. Wonderful people and memories! It was very hard to leave. I felt like it was the right decision to take to High School job though. Also, I am teaching at my alma mater's major rival school, kind of crazy!

So far, it has been going well. After the first day, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. When I got home from working, I allowed myself to sit on the couch, watch TV, and turn my brain off. My mind needed the rest. The next day, I was ready to go again. I am taking things one day at a time, but I really am enjoying it. I work with great students and we are reading some awesome books. I am also working to help them with their writing skills. Resource classes have less students than general education classes, so I get to know my students really well. I felt really cool when I got to enter grades for the first time, I felt a little bit like I was still playing "teacher" as a little girl.

I actually get excited to go to work each day. It is a wonderful new adventure. I think I made the right career decision. I am excited to continue to learn and grow and become a better teacher.
I pray the Lord will continue to bless me as I work to be a productive and influential teacher.
Taken after my first day of teaching
Shout out to my mom and brother came in and helped me set up my classroom, that was so helpful!
PS: Yes, I am working as an English teacher, but that doesn't mean that all of my blog posts will be perfectly written. I'm still learning! :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

New Year!! (27 days in is still new, right?)

Right around January 2nd, I decided to write down some New Year's Resolutions. I wanted to have them posted somewhere where I wouldn't forget about them in 2 weeks time, so I have them hanging up in our room. Here's the run-down:

RESOLUTION: Visit the temple 10x: LDS temples are beautiful places. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are encouraged to attend as often as possible. This could be a different number for every person. I personally have a goal to attend the temple with Jordan 10 times this year. It is a place I feel peace and hope. It is a place my anxiety cannot thrive. It is where I learn to come closer to our Savior.

RESOLUTION: Become more flexible. I've never been particularly flexible. I realize I'm not going to become a tumbling master, but I want to become more comfortable in my movements. It is also good exercise!

RESOLUTION: Decorate Family room to where I LOVE it. This goal started because we recently painted a wall bright blue in our house. Our walls were mainly brown and tan, a pretty brown and tan, but I really wanted to brighten the rooms up (I need happy colors!). After painting the blue wall, it was obvious some other things needed to be painted and changed, hence...the resolution.
RESOLUTION: Pay off student loans. Fairly self explanatory. We want to have as little debt as possible. That is definitely a struggle, but we are working on it! Money is a source of anxiety that is hard to live with sometimes, slowly getting rid of debt is a way to help with that.

RESOLUTION: Have a good attitude about Celiac disease. I worded this resolution carefully. I didn't want it to be, "Never complain about Celiac." Why? Because for me right now, that isn't realistic. I still want to be real about my struggle. I don't want to act like it isn't hard for me to not eat donuts, (it's rough, especially when they have sprinkles!) but on the flip side, I also don't want to be someone that people don't like to be around because I complain all the time. I want to be real, but also positive. To hear about a moment when I realized how grateful I am for my disease, click here.

RESOLUTION: Perform in a public place. So, I'm a little silly. Whenever I watch a play or see people perform, internally I am saying, "I want to do that!" I imagine myself in character, what I would do, the facial expressions I would have...I have a passion for the stage and performing, but I don't have many chances to fulfill that. I made a goal to perform somewhere, whether it's church, somewhere in the community, or somewhere else. Singing is the thing I love the most, but I would love to do any sort of performance, call me silly, but I love performing!

RESOLUTION: Graduate! Do I need to say more? I can't wait for April!
It is my hope that I can write a blog post in a year and say I did all these things. Who knows, but I can dream!

PS, I'm excited to write a post about my new job!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Why I'm (usually) Thankful for my Disease

It was just about a year ago I found out I had Celiac disease. Basically, this means I can't eat anything with wheat flour (gluten) in it. What's left? Not much. Okay, so there really is a lot that I can eat, but it is hard. A lot of foods I grew up with I am no longer able to eat. It is hard to go out to eat and basically makes preparing and eating food much more of a process (and sometimes less delicious) than it used to be.

Yesterday, I was cleaning out our pantry. I saw a box of muffin mix. The raspberry Lehi Roller Mills mix. It made me a little sad. I bought it before I was diagnosed. It was my favorite muffin mix. So very delicious. It is a bit more expensive than a regular mix, so I had bought it as a special treat long ago. Undoubtedly, it contains wheat flour. There are so many wonderful things I can't eat anymore.

As I continued to clean out the pantry, I ran across an old bowl of peppermint candies. A light bulb went on. I used to have peppermint candies everywhere. This bowl used to sit on our kitchen table, I had several in my purse, in the jockey box of my car, etc. When my stomach would hurt, I would suck on the candies. Sometimes the peppermint would help ease my stomach a little bit. I carried them with me everywhere because I never knew when something I ate would make me sick.

Remembering the peppermints and the pain reminded me how not eating gluten is worth it. Being sick is now the exception, and not the rule. I remember I used to eat and then worry that I would be miserable for the next few hours. I remember trying to make good food choices, but still getting sick. I remember waking up in the middle of the night in pain and I didn't know why.

As you can imagine, I had a lot of anxiety worrying about if I was going to get sick. I wouldn't eat in fear of being sick, and then not eating would make me sick. It was a vicious cycle.

Learning about my condition broke that anxious cycle.

This is why I can say I am thankful. I am so grateful I know the diet I need. I'm so grateful that I rarely get sick anymore. It is so very worth it.

So, as I complain about my diet, remember that underneath, I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Facebook and Anxiety

As I have lived with anxiety and depression, there have been times I refuse to log onto Facebook. Why? Because there are some people who portray their lives as being perfect and flawless. At a certain point in my life, I felt like my life was falling apart. Seeing posts and pictures of others that seemed too good to be true, was very hard. I wondered, "What is wrong with me?"

Life is good, and I'm not saying we shouldn't portray that. I'm just saying that we shouldn't use social media as a way to make others jealous of us. I honestly cringe when I read posts when people boast about having things that other people yearn for. What are some of those things? A healthy relationship (#mysignificantotherissoooohot), a skinny body (#ionlyeatvegetablesandwouldntevenlookatatwinkie), a clean house (#ibetyourlivingroomdoesntlookthisgood), good looks (#lovetobebeautiful), etc.

I am not criticizing people for being in love, being healthy, or for being grateful for their blessings. What does bother me is the lack of thinking of who is reading these things. How many single people are there out there who would love to have a significant other? How many people struggle with their weight and are reminded of that through Facebook? How many people think something is wrong with them because their lives aren't as "perfect" as their friends' lives are portrayed.

I also ache because of the lack of privacy. Some of the things people post I feel should be said in private conversations, not put on the internet. Why not enjoy the things in life without feeling we need to post every single one so people know how awesome we are? Facebook is a wonderful way to keep in touch with family and friends, but there are some things that should be saved for the privacy of the home.

Honestly, I enjoy being on Facebook. I love seeing what people are up to and keeping in touch with people I wouldn't see otherwise. I just hope that people will think before they post. We can ask, "Why am I posting this?" Is it to make others jealous? Is it to prove something? If the answer to these or similar question is yes, I hope that we can post something that can uplift others, not make them look at their life and think, "Man, I stink compared to them."

I guess the thought I would like to leave is, "How are the things I am posting on Facebook affecting other people?"

This reminded me about a "Live Without Pretending" challenge read about it here.

(Also, I pray you don't find me rude for posting my thoughts. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and it is okay if you don't agree with me! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. When I thought about not posting this, I remembered Sara Bareilles's song, "Brave" :) )