Yesterday, I went on my first field trip as a teacher. I pushed everything out of my mind that was weighing me down, and was determined to have a good time. So, eight teachers loaded up 115 second graders on three buses and headed to a state park for a day of learning about the park and nature. The bus ride there was hardly de-stressing - but we all made it one piece. The state park was beautiful. It's nestled in the Ozark Mountains. This time of year, with all of the leaf colors made it breath-taking. The weather was a little chilly - but I think I'd rather it be that way than 80 degrees. We got to see a few snakes, go on a 1 mile hike, learn about bears, what lives and grows in the state park, and some of the history of the area. It was just as educational for me as it was for the kiddos.
While we were there, I really felt a load be taken off of my shoulders. Maybe it was the air, maybe it was the surroundings - but while I was there, I was at peace. OK, so handling 20 second graders wasn't all that peaceful - but I felt much better just being out there. I did a couple of things I never thought I would do. I'm terribly arachnophobic. I mean REALLY bad. The sight of a spider - any spider - usually makes my palms sweaty, my heart beat fast, and my body freeze. Yesterday, I felt none of those things as a daddy long-legs approached the class that was sitting on the sidewalk. I just walked over to it, and used my foot to shoo it away. I felt no fear. Then, later in the day, I thought nothing of picking up a walking stick that the kids were trying to catch. Not something I would really ever do - but I didn't want the little thing tortured by curious hands. I picked it up, showed it to the kids, and placed in back in the woods.
The point of this field trip recap is that yesterday, I was happy. I felt free. I had no burdens, no stresses - just me and the outdoors. Being there helped me clear my mind, de-clog the stress and worry, and just be at peace...even for just a couple of hours. On the bus ride home, I realized that something had awoken inside of me. I was ready to battle everything that was going to come my way the minute I left work for the day. I was ready to deal with issues that are weighing me down. I was ready to make some decisions on how I am going to keep not only my head above water - but completely get out of the pool.
I AM a strong person. I AM a rock. I know how to deal with the unknown, the scary, and the bad. It's all in me - the power, the will, the courage. I just had to find it. Do I suddenly have all of the answers I need? Well, of course not. All I can do is take one step at a time, one day at a time, one challenge at a time. I know that there's not much I can do about Butter for the next few weeks - so I need to focus on all of the work that needs to be done. I'm going to get the work done. I will pass this semester knowing that even though I dealt with uncertainty and doubt - I didn't let it overcome me. I didn't let it win.
PNOTD - yes, it's back...
"My life is like a baseball game. Sometimes I will strike out, sometimes I will hit a few foul balls, sometimes I may be pulled out of the game - but I will do everything in my power to to play my best game and hit that home-run that leads me to victory!"
Till next time. ;)