Monday, March 11, 2013

Introspective


I like this picture of Gunny Man because it shows his serious, introspective side. He's not a many layered individual, and pretty much what you see is what you get, but in this picture he looks like he has deep thoughts.

In a black hole, vacuous sort of way.

Seriously though, I'm posting this picture because it represents where my head has been lately. I haven't posted because I've been deep inside my own head, creating a feeling of hopelessness and despair within my psyche. It's all related to the state of education in Idaho and the climate of blame. Needless to say, I've been asking myself if I want to continue teaching. The bottom line for me is that I just want to be happy, and right now my job consumes me and leaves no time for a life.

I'm not making any decisions right now, except to decide that I want out of this hopeless feeling I've been swimming in. For me, that means I need to tackle something that will make me feel better and inspire me to go on putting one foot in front of the other until things get better.


Enter my living room. For a long time I've wanted and needed to go over the entire room, decluttering and cleaning as I go. I picked this room because it's the least cluttered room in my house and, therefore, the easiest to tackle when I need some project tackling relief.

I want you to know that I didn't pick anything up before I took these pictures. What you see here is real life, and this isn't even as bad as it gets. Come into my house on say a Thursday evening, and these pictures look downright tidy.


Already I'm feeling better, just talking about my plans for decrapifying and cleaning this room. 


The first thing I'm going to tackle is the books. I have a lot of books on three bookcases in this room that I never look at, and books are meant to be enjoyed, so I'm going to offload some of them at the used book store and the library.


This is our entryway and it is in need of some updating. The memo board with the magnetic schedule for the girls has been an awesome tool for us over the past several years, but we haven't used it much this year, and I think that's just because we've outgrown it. The girls are old enough to keep their own ducks in a row, and they no longer need me to remind them when they have to wear sneakers for P.E. or when to take their library books back to school.

What we really need now are more hooks to hang our coats on. That, and the lower hooks aren't really working for us anymore because the girls' coats are too long now to be hanging that low. That means we're going to have to extend the hooks behind the door, where the memo board is now.

I have a vision for this area that is still evolving.  Peanut Head is usually pretty good at figuring out how to interpret my vision and more importantly, make it into something that can actually work. I'm the part of the team that says "I want the blah blah blah and it has to blah blah blah." Peanut Head is the voice of reason and cost projection spreadsheets.

At first I told Peanut Head that I wanted a big thick gnarly looking board that I was going to beat the crap out of with a hammer to get a really cool distressed look. I don't think that has anything to do with the aforementioned feelings of despair and hopelessness I spoke of.

Anyway, after beating the crap out of the gnarly board for the coat hooks, I was thinking I would cover it in layer upon layer of verithane to pretty it up. 

And then, out of nowhere came this new vision that I had to get out of my brain and onto a piece of paper. Unfortunately we were in Lowe's at the time so I had to scrounge around in my purse to find something to purge my vision onto. Besides Peanut Head, that is.


This is it in a nutshell. I know it's super clear and all that, but I'll explain it anyway. The not square rectangle on the right is the door to our coat closet. It actually does have a knob.

To the left of the closet, I'm thinking we need some type of bench storage for sitting and taking shoes off. The vertical lines represent bead board and it will go up almost as high as the door. And before I go any further, and because I am a math teacher, I feel the need to interject right here, NOT TO SCALE! NOT TO SCALE! so that no one is tempted to sue me for false visions. Anyway, right above the NOT TO SCALE! beadboard, and flush with the top of the door, although my picture doesn't show it because it's NOT TO SCALE! will be a lovely little crown moulding type shelf that Peanut Head may or may not have to create himself because I did not see the crown moulding of my vision at either Lowe's or Home Depot. It's a good thing he has magical powers, isn't it?

Going all the way across the top of the bead board and to the front door will be a row of lovely hooks for which to hang our coats upon. And perhaps the occasional errant child. Note to self: make sure at least half of the hooks go into studs and that those hooks are clearly marked as load bearing. Just in case.

I think this calls for a trip to the nearest city containing a Restoration Hardware store. 


In the meantime, let the decrapification begin.

Next weekend though. Not today.

I'm tired and my whole family is sick with the creeping crud. I'm terrified that I'm going to get it. Crossing fingers that I won't and that they will get well soon.


Since everyone is sick, Gunny Man has no one to play with. He doesn't count me because my idea of playing is wrapping his head in a dish towel and calling him Red Riding Hood.

And sometimes chasing him with the heater vent. Not very often though, because he has trust issues.


The only reason he's not fighting me here is because I'm waving a hamburger around behind the camera. It makes for very alert poses.


Which I love because he's Mr. Shifty with the eyes when I want him to look at me. He's not really looking at me here, it's the hamburger. If you look closely you can see it reflected in his retinas.

Burned into his retinas with desire.

Smouldering like Twilight vampire love.

Mr. Doggy-Dita looks like a roach here, doesn't he? Little roach antennae eyebrow hairs and all that.

Poor guy. I think I'll go play fetch with him. I'm feeling kinda bad about the heater vent right now.

Grunts in Love #683

At least Gunny can nap with his man when Peanut Head is sick.

29 comments:

  1. It seems like the education system has been in flux since the 1960's and when whomever finally figures out we need to get back to the Three R's and quit trying to "create" a new learning system; well then I think everyone will be much happier.


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    1. At our teacher inservice before school started, we were shown a video about all the things that have been added to the curriculum in our schools and it was overwhelming. Drug education, bully education, personal hygiene, and the list goes on and on. It's no wonder we don't have enough time to teach everything.

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  2. I hate hate hate what is happening to our profession...to combat it I started working out and leaving work at work! I work my butt off at work...leave it there and go home to my body! lol Hopefully you will be able to decrapify and feel better!

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    1. Beth, you are so smart. I know this is what I need to do too. The work will always be there tomorrow. I'm not a fly by the seat of the pants kind of person, so I overcompensate in my quest to be prepared. I'm my own worst enemy.

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  3. I completely agree with you about the state of education and climate of blame in our country's education system. Teaching is a very difficult job and those who aren't in a classroom everyday have no idea! You are so right that teaching consumes you and leaves no time for a life! I know how you feel and I'm sending good thoughts your way! Hang in there!

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    1. Thank you. I'm trying to think positive myself. Fake it until you make it . . .

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  4. Same problems here in Texas. I'm so sad with what's happening and the new amount of work has consumed me,too. Many GREAT teachers are leaving the system, others are trying to find a way to survive. Good luck, I'm in for the long haul but making some changes to hopefully help me find my happiness again. Let's face it we don't teach for the money we teach for the love of teaching.

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    1. You're right, it's not the money, but at what cost? That's what I'm asking myself now. Is it worth what I'm doing to myself? I've got to find a way to make it work or get out.

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  5. Same here inNew Jersey. By Friday night I'm so wiped out, and so just plain sad, I have no energy for the weekend. It's taking a toll. As you're pulling yourself along, remember all over we're pulling with you and for you too!

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    1. My feelings exactly. Wiped out by the end of the week and SAD. I keep telling myself "this is only temporary." I'm not a person who gets depressed, so this is super weird for me.

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  6. What once was a profession of passion and compassion, has now become the source of angst for many. What I know having worked as a teacher in 2 states, is that teachers are amazing people. We take a lot and we give so much more. At some point though, we need to replenish our spirit as well as our physical bodies. I hope your quest for tranquility is found and I can't wait to see the new pictures for my own inspiration :)

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    1. That's exactly what I need to focus on, Nicole. Replenishing my spirit and not what I cannot change.

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  7. I completely hear you in the intro - the negative climate of education is dragging on many of us. My "outlet" - for better or worse - has become scrapbooking. At least your is much more functional! Good luck.

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    1. I think scrapbooking is a great outlet, and it's functional as well. Think about how many years of enjoyment you'll get out of all your hard work.

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  8. So sorry. I hope you find what makes you happy soon! Your house is lovely!

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    1. Thank you, I will, I'm sure. Spring Break is right around the corner and that will do wonders to rejuvenate myself.

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  9. Oh Jill, I can totally relate! If I could, I would be done tomorrow. I am burned out too and there are still 64 days of school left (yes, my friend has a count down on her board).

    We had a 1/2 day on Thursday & part of our Professional Development time was spent on Wellness. We had a speaker come in & talk about using essential oils. I've used them for years, but she gave a few different ideas for personal use & classroom use. Hopefully trying some of those will help me manage until June.

    I'm sending you hugs that you don't get the 'creepin crud', you get your 'creative on' and your school 'mojo' back.

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    1. I only have 45 days left, so I'll just suck it up and get through it with a smile on my face. I'm always telling my students that it takes more energy to be grumpy than it does to wear a smile, so I'm taking my own advice right now. So far I've escaped the creeping crud, and for that I am VERY grateful.

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  10. I'm in the same funk you are in. Mine just has nothing to do with the state of education. What's in the water lately? It seems like everyone is down.

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    1. Maybe it's the time of year. Here's hoping that spring perks us all up. I feel it starting to work its magic on me already.

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  11. So sorry to hear you're having doubts about your profession...I guess we all do at times, but teachers are so vital to the world. I just wished everyone understood that and you were more appreciated. I have MANY teacher friends, and we chat daily (online, of course-lol!) and I end just about every post regarding their day with "You teachers are frickin SAINTS!!!! I recognize my limitations and praise you guys for your efforts. Im a nurse and its wonderful and sucks often at the same time. *sigh* .....oh, to be independently wealthy, huh? I am the control freak at my house and I recently made a huge change to my main bathroom, and WOW has it helped my spirits! And my favorite saying here is decrap and declutter......I am the "Neicey" when my family (major packrats...) need a "Clean House"! Best of luck to you in getting back on track with your job or maybe a new one will blow your way! (Just found you thru "The Idea Room" someone mentioned you, enjoy your blog very much! I have a poor neglected blog that hasnt been written on since November....*hangs head in shame*)

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  12. Thank you, Teresa. You are so kind. :)

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  13. Jill - I teach in CA and can totally relate. There's no way to ever keep up with all that's expected of us and that can sure be tiring. My current plan is to win the Publisher's Clearing House Million-Dollars-a-Year-for-Life sweepstakes. "Plan" may be too strong a word to use there, but it sure is fun to daydream about what I would do with all that freedom! Wouldn't it be fun to go back and volunteer to teach intervention/extension classes at your school with no meetings, trainings, reports, grades, conferences, behavior issues, difficult parents, evaluations, standardized tests, open house . . .? OK - and a new car to drive there wouldn't hurt. If you win instead, I won't have any hard feelings. Hang in there!

    Laura

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    1. Laura, Yes it would be nice. Thankfully I'm on spring break right now and in the process of reenergizing myself. I feel a lot better than I did when I wrote this post, but I still don't see myself teaching until I retire. It's just too taxing. I really need to work hard to find balance in my life. Right now I just suck at it. Thank you for the encouragement. :)

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  14. Getting you here in GA on the education situation as well; had we not had two in-service days last week, I think I might have put my head through a wall. Most days I don't know whether to laugh or cry. That being said, February and March are the hardest months to me; I'm overwhelmed by how much I have to get done. By April, I'm mentally moving on to next year--where hope springs eternal.

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    1. I have three inservice days next week. Sometimes it's a great opportunity to spend time on Pinterest. I'm sure our inservice will be valuable and applicable though. Wink wink.

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  15. Sounds like everyone is experiencing the same thing we are here in PA. Governor that is so anti-education, cutting education funding year after year, more on our to-do list: websites, emailing parents, 40 IEP students (some with 4 pages of modifications), cyber school monitoring, new curriculum and textbooks. I have been feeling very overwhelmed and disheartened this year but I have comfort in the fact that I know I am a good teacher and my students need me. I hope that you don't decide to give up on teaching. I also hope that your break is relaxing and rejuvenating enough to get you through the next 40 some days (we have 47). The kids need you! Happy Easter!

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    1. I'm still hanging in there. Summer has done me a world of good. Look at me, just now getting to March comments. I feel so lame.

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