Last Day: Looking Back

I think it’s only normal for people to look back before starting something new, and New Year’s Eve is a logical opportunity to do so.  It’s also important.  One of the things teachers benefit most from but rarely have time to do is reflect on their daily teaching to analyze what worked and what needs to be tweaked.  True in non-teacher lives, as well, I know.  At the end of the day, thinking back on what was positive, and what we could have handled better helps us learn from our mistakes, and decreases the likelihood that we will repeat them.

This year, I moved house in a major way, got married, left my career, battled for better schooling for my son, wrote a novel, and got a new job which I love.  I’ve left old friends behind (but never forgotten), and made new friends.  My life has improved, sometimes by sheer will.  I compromise more (a new husband and a blended family make this absolutely necessary), I don’t get nearly as many headaches, I relax (fully) more.

At the beginning of this year, I couldn’t see past June.  It was a complete unknown – What would I be doing?  What would my son be doing?  How would our lives change?  Now that I am six months past that point of all that was unknown, I am proud of us for taking this leap, trusting ourselves to get re-married, trusting that we could find a good school situation for The Boy, and trusting that I would land on my feet with a job I didn’t hate, making enough to pay the bills.  I am very proud of us.  It was a big leap of faith, and it has turned out beautifully.

2013 has been a year of great change, of great opportunity, of great hope, and of great reward for me (and us).  I hope it treated you just as well.  I look forward to 2014 with great anticipation for continued growth for all of us.

Happy Old Year, Friends.  And Happy New Year.

English: This came from New Years Eve 2004 int...


Get Used to Disappointment

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies (the Princess Bride, which I have seen probably a kajillion times).  Not one of my favorite things my son has to go through.

Broken Reflection

Broken Reflection, Valerie Reneé

Because the ex couldn’t manage to see his son for Thanksgiving, I offered (at Grammy’s urging) to give him the week between Christmas and New Years for visitation.  I suggested he or they come down to the beach for a few days, even rent a house real cheap to see The Boy.

I hadn’t heard anything more about it (although Grammy had overheard the phrase “meet you somewhere” in a phone call between The Boy and the ex), so I texted him last night to see what was up.

I expected him to hem and haw a bit more, but he said straight out he couldn’t get any time off, and couldn’t do it.  Sorry.

I expect this every time, and yet every time I cannot fathom why.  I don’t know anyone (besides the ex) who is or would be completely comfortable not seeing his or her own child for eight months or longer, nor speak to him for a month or more at a time.  I cannot understand his excuses, knowing how much I would do to ensure I would see my child.

But he is not me.

The Boy seemed a bit upset and irritated when I broke the news this evening.  “Why?” he asked.

“Because he can’t get time off from work,” I said.

Why can’t he get time off from work?”

I paused.  Good question, kiddo.  “You can ask him,” I suggested.  “Want me to text him and have him call you?”

“I’ll think about it,” he said.

He’s getting as tired of this game as I am.


Never really make ’em.  Mostly because by their very definition they are doomed to fail, right?  I mean it has been pretty rare for me to make a change mid-school year and have it stick.

However, it is a good time to remind oneself of the things one had hoped to do the previous year.  The things one hoped to do and didn’t quite.  Not failures, per se, but the oh-yeah-i-ran-out-of-time-to-do-that kind of things.  The challenge is to re-evaluate, decide on priority, and either make the time, or let them go.

Yes.  Some of them need to be let go.  Ladies, Fellow Teachers, Perfectionists, some goals need to fall by the wayside.  We are constantly changing people – I know I am not the same person I was last January.  Priorities change, needs change, and even wants change.  Our goals need to change with them.

Among those things on which I will continue to work? Spending less time being sedentary, more time being active.  Engaging with my son more.  Eating homemade food more.  Keeping better track of my nutrition.


New goals? Try not to spend too much time getting sucked into wedding ideas and propaganda.  (Think small, and then divide that by 10 – that’ll be us.  Very little to plan means very little to get worked up about, which also means very little stress.  That’s my ideal!) Try not to procrastinate about important move details, and get ducks in a row as early as possible.  Try not to be too sad while The Man and I are apart – the end of the LD in our LDR is near!

What are you thinking about for 2013?


Goodbye, 2012

I suppose everyone has their own year-end list, but mine might be a bit different.

This year, I am thankful for

  • The Boy adapting so well to 5th grade, and making such big strides in terms of independence
  • My deepening relationship with The Man, now taking that next step
  • Finding balance between work and home, most days
  • The love and support of my friends and family, who remain incredibly supportive of our upcoming major life changes
  • You people!  Yes, you all, who are so supportive of my blog.  I LOVE doing this, and while I would still do it if no one was reading, it makes it that much more fun and satisfying that people are enjoying it.

I hope you, too, have much to be thankful for about 2012, and even more to be thankful for in the coming year.

Happy New Year!!

Ohio River