Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The New Job

Today, I start day 3 of my new job....and it just dawned on me that I haven't really mentioned the new job - except for when I found out that I got it.

Is that weird?

I mean, I whined and cried for MONTHS about not finding a job I was truly happy about...and then I get one...and then don't even talk that much about it.

Maybe it was because I was so caught up in the excitement and being in a good mood (for a change) that I just rambled on about random things that popped in to my head....and was so caught up in the giddyness that the job slipped my mind.

Maybe it was because I needed a couple of days to really figure out what I was doing - and to soak in the new information and expectations.  Yep...that's it.  I needed time to gather information so that I could tell you all about it.

So, for all of you wanting to know exactly what it is that I'm now doing....

My official title is Title 1 Instructional Assistant.

Yep, it's a teaching assistant job.  I'm OK with that.  If you'd asked me three months ago if I'd be OK with a teaching assistant job, I probably would have said no... but now I'm more than OK with it.  I'm working in the schools, I'm teaching kids.  That's what I asked for, and that's what I've got.  How could I not be happy with that?

The Title 1 part means that my salary is paid by a federal grant.  My job is to help students that are having a few struggles with their school work, or are just a little behind the expectations of the grade level. 

I've been assigned to grades 3-5.  I work with 6 different teachers.  I either work with small groups of kiddos, or I help certain kids one on one.  At this point, I'm mostly helping with reading - but there will be times that I help in other areas.....wherever or however a kid is struggling, I get to help them.  How freakin' cool is that?

My whole motivation for getting in to the field of education was to help students reach goals, find value in their education, and help them succeed.  I want them to have big dreams and hopes for the future and to believe that with some hard work and dedication - anything is possible.

This job has handed me that opportunity.

It may not be on a large scale that comes with having my own classroom, and my own 25 students, but it comes all the same.  Maybe even a little more so for the kids that I'm helping.  Knowing that I'm there to help them individually, to give them some extra support.....they know it, and they appreciate it.

I will openly say that I've won the lottery in terms of the principle, assistant principle and all of the other faculty and staff I'm working with.  They have all been so welcoming and amazing at helping me find my bearings and making sure I'm getting comfortable.

The teachers I work with know that I'm also a certified teacher, and they respect that.  They are excited that I'm getting to work with them and for them.  Even after only two days, they're asking for my opinions and allowing me some "wiggle room" on how I help the kids. 

The first two days flew by so fast, my head was still spinning when I got in my car to drive home.  Not spinning in a "Oh Em Gee, my head is killing me" way.  It's more of a "Oh Em Gee, where the heck did the day go?  I had so much fun, and fill like I was only there an hour". 

Some people may say it's too early for me to make assumptions about the job...but I'm ready to make assumptions.  I think I can openly make the assumption that I'm going to love this job.  I'm going to love working at the school.  I'm going to love the people I'm working with.  I'm also going to go out on a limb and assume that this year is going to fly by - and it's going to be May again before I even know it.

You remember me saying a while back that everything happens for a reason, and then it takes a while to realize how the reasons impact your life?

Well, like I just said - three months ago, I probably wouldn't have been OK accepting an assistant position.  I was still riding the ego trip that told me I should have my own classroom.  The classroom never came.  Then the offer from Head Start came.

None of it made sense to me.  Why didn't I get my classroom?  I knew that deep down, I was not going to be happy at Head Start.  I took the job because it's all that was available - and then worried that I was going to be miserable for the next 9 months.

The truth is, I had to experience all of it.  I had to go through the let down of realizing the classroom wasn't coming this year.  I had to accept the position at Head Start.  I had to worry about my happiness, and be stressed and all that.  I had to so that when this opportunity came - I would snatch it up with open arms and embrace it.

This was the reason I went through so much heartache all summer.  It was so I would be ready to smack my ego to the curb, and get the position that granted all of my wishes - even if the wishes didn't come in the wrapping I expected.  Working with kids?  Check!  Working in an elementary school? Check!! Working with a fantastic group of people?  Double check!  It's an even bigger bonus that my bestie, Hope, is a 4th grade teacher there.  She's mentioned in the sidebar.

Just like everyone assured me it would - everything fell into place.

I now have more hope that my own classroom is in the making.... but this job is going to give me some FANTASTIC experience.  I have a chance to test the waters, work on a smaller scale, take smaller steps to achieving my goals.  Most importantly, I get the chance to help children....boost their confidence, help them succeed, and assure them that their dreams are possible.

I will remember this feeling for the rest of my life.  Every time I doubt, every time I stress.... I will look to my living proof.  If for some reason I forget - you guys point me right back here, m'kay?

Things have a way of working themselves out.  Even though it's uncertain why you're being led down a certain path...keep walking it.  Don't turn back.  The path may be covered in booby traps and crossroads and rickety old bridges - but you have to keep traveling it.  It's the only way you can truly discover the glory that's waiting for you once you reach your destination.

I'm only half way to my final destination point - but I've already cleared through the hard part.  I'm now in a beautiful landscape of opportunity....and will keep traveling with an open mind and boosted spirits.

Yeah - I made that nugget of pure motivational genius up.  I'm pretty sure I might even see that quoted on Facebook or Twitter one day.  It's so true though....and I'm glad that I got the chance to say it.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!!

Till next time. ;)
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

True Confessions Tuesday, True Confessions Tuesday.... YEAH!!



It's Tuesday, so that means only one thing:  Time to confess.  If you've got some things to get off your chest...you could do the same on your blog.  Make sure you come and let me know you did - so that I can read all your dirty secrets.  Well, maybe not dirty... but it's still a lot of fun.

My first confession has to be that I am a big TMZ fan, and if you watch it - you'll get the title of my blog post.  I love the little jingles TMZ makes for some of their pieces.

I confess that for the first time in months, I feel completely calm, collected, and as much as I hate the word.. "normal".  It's kind of scary....it's been so long since I haven't been stressed to the max, that I'm not used to not feeling the stress. 

I confess that I'm starting to believe that my weight loss motivation automatically recharges when my stress level is at the minimum.  I mean, yesterday and the donut incident was a start.  Even after coming home, I didn't stuff my face.  I did snack last night - but it was trail mix...not exactly the worst snack in the world.

I confess that I felt in my comfort zone at my new job yesterday.  All morning, I had that awkward feeling that comes from starting a new job at a place where you don't know anyone... but by the afternoon, I was in my groove and loving every minute of it.

I confess that I'm nervous I'm going to disappoint you all with the rainbows and Care Bear farts (as Draz would describe it) that I'm confessing this morning.  That's stupid, though, right?  You're tired of hearing me complain, right?  It might actually be refreshing to hear nice things for a change, right?

I confess that I got up at my normal time this morning, and thanks to Hubby my coffee was ready and waiting for me.  All will be right with the world today.  Although, I apparently didn't learn my lesson about making the coffee before going to bed....Hubby either came to the rescue, or decided it was in the best interest for his life's safety to do it for me.

I confess that I believe it should be illegal for tractors to drive on the main roads in town.  Yeah, I know I'm shifting gears here a little.  But, seriously.  Why the heck do tractors need to drive down main roads in town?  I can sometimes understand them driving down the back roads...but when I'm trying to get to work, I don't expect to be driving 10mph behind a freakin' tractor.  I'm convinced that there are people out there that own tractors and for whatever reason, feel the need to use the tractor for their main source of transportation.....just to annoy the living crap out of people trying to get to work?

I confess that when I'm stuck behind said tractor drivers or 90 year old drivers that drive 10mph or any driver that drives more than 10mph under the speed limit, I call them nasty names and say nasty words to them.  Not loud enough where they can hear it - that wouldn't be very nice - but loud enough to make me feel better.

While on the subject....

I confess that if I see a driver putting on make-up, texting, or anything else that impairs their driving...and that includes picking their nose....they get some nasty names also.  Now I know that there are some women out there that have mastered the art of applying mascara while driving 60mph on the freeway.  I have no real beef with those women, because I really don't notice them.  But to those that are still newbies and apply the mascara while driving 20mph in a 55mph zone - and swerve all over the place while they do it?  GET OFF THE FREAKIN' ROAD!!!  Seriously, it takes 5 minutes to put on a full face of make-up...get up 5 minutes earlier each morning - and spare risking all of our lives while you're driving to work.

Wow, can you say "road rage" much?  Apparently so....

It's obvious that I've run out of things to confess, so while I'm declaring things that should be illegal I'm going to shift gears here a little and list some other things that I think should totally be against the law....
  • Any foods smaller than the palm of your hand that contains more than 300 calories... would totally help with the obesity epidemic in my opinion
  • To buy a pair of...let's say size 16 pants from one store that fit perfectly, but buying the same size at a different store - and they don't fit.  That should be illegal.  Sizes should be the same everywhere.  Not sure who would be at fault - but there should be a law that regulates sizes.  It would save a lot of confusion and heartache - on my part.
  • Christmas stuff being put up in the stores before October.  I'm all for planning ahead, but when it's still 150 degrees outside - and the summer isn't even over....the last thing I want to see is Christmas decorations.  Just saying.
  • The fact that I can buy Christmas decorations in August, but can't find any more shorts or summer clothes.  There should be some kind of law regulating that.  I need shorts in August, when it's 150 degrees... but nope, no shorts.... but I can take home a Christmas tree if I want.
I guess it's a really good thing I don't sit in a public office position that gets to make up laws....or this country would have even more ridiculous laws than are already in place.  So, maybe my suggestions aren't really serious enough to be "laws" - but I totally believe that this country would be a much happier place if my suggestions were taken in to consideration - what do you think?

So, today you have a couple of choices.... tell me about your confessions, or share with me a law that you think should be in place.  I want to hear either or both.  Don't worry, no one will think you're as crazy as me....well, they might... but is that such a bad thing?  Don't answer that. 

I'm off to another day at my fantastic new job....everyone have a great Tuesday!!

Till next time. ;)
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Give This Girl a Medal....Motivation Medal Winner Right Here!!

So, today was my first day at my new job.  It was fantastic!! Loved every minute of it.

That's not what I'm going to talk about today...not really, anyway.

I woke up late this morning.  Frick.

Yep - my lazy butt didn't get out of bed until 5:45 - because for some reason, when I hit my snooze button I apparently didn't see the 5....and I apparently hit the snooze button for over an hour.  Double Frick!!

When I get up 30 minutes before it's time to leave....something gets thrown out of my normal morning routine....actually two things.  Two very important things.  Writing my blog post and my coffee!!

It's bad enough to spend any amount of time with me when I haven't had coffee - but do it on the first day at a new job with the stress and nerves thrown in?  Oh, now you're just asking for an apocalyptic event in the making.

So, I'm running late with no coffee on my first day.  I get to work and my schedule's not ready yet - so I sit and wait.  The principle comes out and declares "I bought donuts for everyone".  Seriously?  No coffee and now donuts?  Who is conspiring to kill me - or who is conspiring for me to kill someone else?

This is where the good stuff comes. 

I TURNED DOWN THE DONUTS!!

Did you read that?  Were you able to comprehend that?  I don't blame you if you can't... read it again...I know you're not used to seeing a statement like that on my blog.  I deserve a medal, right?  I mean - I can't remember the last time words like that slipped through my mouth...especially on to my blog.

Unfortunately, I can't say that it was just good judgement driving the decision - as great as that would be.  Nope.  It was the fact that I was like a bull in a china shop this morning trying to find some decent work clothes to fit over my ever expanding ass.

I tell ya what....if you really want a handle on the damage that can be done to your waist line after giving up on losing weight for two months....go back to work and try to fit into the clothes you so proudly didn't have to squeeze in to a few months before.

I was sucking and squeezing everything I could just to get on a pair of pants - and then couldn't find a nice shirt because even they were too tight.  Geez, Louise!!

I guess admitting all that now takes away the declaration for a medal.  I just realized I'm now disqualified from earning said medal because I only turned down the donut because I knew that if I ever wanted to wear decent clothes to work...and not have to buy bigger clothes... I am to forever more turn down the freakin' donuts.

When I turn down the donuts once I'm back to comfortably wearing my clothes...I will get that damn medal!!

So, let's recap my morning:  I didn't have any coffee, I didn't have any breakfast because I was already running late - and chose not to eat a donut.  Then when lunch came, I didn't have any.  I was late for work (I've mentioned that, right?), so I didn't take a lunch - and didn't want to eat in the cafeteria...because I promised myself I wouldn't because I'm trying to save as much money as possible.

No food all day.

I know, I know... it's not good to go all day not eating anything.  Now I'm going to be starving and want to devour everything in sight and the whole medal earning will be for nothing.

Except, I'm not really that hungry - and we're going to eat light tonight.

Seriously, I must be sick, right?  Not hungry?  Who the hell am I?

I learned some valuable lessons today:
  • Never hit that stupid snooze button on my alarm clock again
  • Always find something to eat for breakfast
  • Start taking a lunch
Oh - and let's throw in:  Make coffee the night before so no matter how late I wake up, there's a pot waiting for me.

That's it for today.  It was a fantastic day, and I can't wait to do it all over again tomorrow.  Except for getting up late and the not eating parts.

And, again, I will say I know how bad it is not to eat anything all day.  I won't be doing it again.  I have already dug out my lunch box to use tomorrow so that I can pack breakfast and lunch to take with me.

Till next time. ;)
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Life Lessons, Deep Thoughts, and Other Random Crap That Pops into My Brain

Life Lesson #1:
  • I am the world's worst at doing something I said I'll do....as in, "I'm going to take some time this weekend to plan out some blog ideas, get caught up on the blogs I've missed reading, and comment on those blogs".
I read some blogs.  I commented on a couple.  But, to actually read all of the posts I missed - it would have taken an entire day....and as much as I'd love to spend an entire day reading blogs and never having to get off my office chair...that just can't happen.  Apparently I have children that want to go out on the weekends and "do something fun".  They have not yet realized the fun in sitting in front of a computer all day and reading awesome blog posts.

Did I write any new material?  Apparently not, because you're being forced to read about random thoughts that are popping in to my head this very second....and, well,  we all know how dangerous this can become.

Deep Thought #1:
  • A person without stress or heartache can never truly appreciate the good that they have in life.
Yeah, I totally made that sentence of pure genius up (I think)... but it's so true.  I, 100% believe that without stress and worry and bad crap happening, it's impossible to take a step back and look at the good that a person has. 

Take me for example - oh you so knew this was coming.  A year ago, I wrote often how I was a person that "didn't do stress".  That was the biggest load of bologna I've ever written....and there has been pounds of heaping piles of bologna written on this blog.  While I'm on the subject... I think the spelling of "bologna" is completely ridiculous.  It's said Bull-o-ney....yet when I type it out, I want to say "bull-og-na".  Ridiculous!!

This year, my world has been 90% stress, 10% everything else.  The best part about it, though... is that all the stress has given me the opportunity to really take a step back and look at how good things are in life - and how good I have it, despite all of the crap. 

I may have stressed about not finding a job - but I found one.  Then an even better one.  I could say that all the stress was for nothing.... but then I wouldn't appreciate the opportunity as much as I do this very second.  The stress of gaining weight makes losing it much more exciting - I'm down 5lbs by the way.  The stress I'm going through with one of my children is the worst.... but I know, in my heart, that I'm making the best decisions - and as tough as those decisions are, I can appreciate the benefits in the long run.

Random Piece of Crap #1:
  • Why do women spend their teen lives trying to do whatever they can to look like someone else, and their adulthood trying to look like they did as a teenager??
I think this one speaks for it's self.  It's a random thought that popped in to my head.  I remember being a teenager wanting to look like all of the "thin, popular girls".  Now?  I'd give my right boob and butt cheek to look like I did back then.  *SIGH*

Life Lesson #2:
  • If you are a woman that claims to never suffer from PMS (like me), then I'm calling BS!!  It happens - just ask those closest to you who love you enough (or are stupid enough) to tell you the truth. Oh, and make sure you ask two days before Aunt Flo is due for a visit to make it even more interesting!!
Just last night, I was having a conversation with Hubby and Peanut and declaring that I don't suffer from PMS.  I was explaining to Peanut what it was - and that some women have problems with it.  Not me, of course.  The looks from Peanut and Hubby were that of shock.  I was not amused.  I do NOT suffer from PMS!!

Then, I got up this morning and went into complete demonic, foul tongue, crazy woman mode because my family is coming over today - and my house isn't spotless.  Peanut looked at me as if snakes were coming out of my hair, and fire was being spit from my tongue.  Hubby got out of bed and said just two words "Get coffee".  I then took a second to realize....Aunt Flo is due this week.  Holy grape flavored rat balls.  Light bulb went off, nuff said.  Being wrong sucks big green toad tongue.

Deep Thought #2:
  • Life is a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get
Forrest Gump was a freakin' genius.  My life consists of sweet gooey soft centers....that would be my Jelly.  Melt in your mouth truffles?  Hubby.  Chewy caramels - Peanut and Butter.  I'm sure you don't need to guess who the nut clusters are, right?

My family are a big box of my biggest weakness....chocolate.  I can't get enough of them when they're around.... but I'm pretty sure they're going to kill me one day.  I don't mean that literally, like they're going to actually murder me... I mean that I worry about them so much that they're going to give me a heart attack or something along those lines.

Random Crap #2:
  • This is fun!!  Just sitting here writing completely weird, ponderous thoughts.  I've even made myself chuckle a little.....What the hell is happening to me?
I'm not sure what you all think, but the stuff I'm spewing out today isn't that bad.  It's weird and random - but I'm having fun with it.  Maybe I should ditch the plan of writing out post in advance.... I mean, it's not like I'm really going to do it anyway - right?

I've always been told to not try and fix something that's not broken.  I've always written my blog posts on the spur of the moment.  Yeah, I know...there have been days when there has been some funky, gross build up on the creativity wheel... but it's no reason to completely take the wheel apart and start over.  Did that sentence make any sense whatsoever?

Other stuff that falls into one of the categories, but I don't feel like typing out big explanations for them - and I'm sure you don't want to keep reading all day because I'm sure there are much better things you should be doing, or people around you making you do stuff because they haven't discovered the joy of spending all day reading blog posts....as much as I know you'd like to:
  • You don't get credit for considering going for a run, and then running to the car to go out for the day.
  • Spending the day with a close family member can really be a great stress reliever.
  • When you play cards with your Hubby and oldest child, remember they are family - and the competitive edge can be dampened...just a little.
  • Don't act like a spoiled school girl when you don't win a card game that you've played with your Hubby and oldest child....you're an adult, you're supposed to be setting an example
  • If you're having trouble thinking of what to write a blog post about - just start typing all of the random thoughts that pop in to your head.  Can't promise you'll end up with the high quality of pure genius I just created...hold your rude comments....but it at least gets a post out of the way.
Till next time. ;)
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

BYOC....On a Saturday

Just like last week, I'm doing my Bring Your Own Crazy on Saturday - because it's easier for me. 

You know the routine, but just in case.... I get the questions from Draz - the queen of BYOC - and I copy and answer them, and then you do the same thing.  Then we all get to know crazy stuff about each other..... it's fun.  You should do it.  Really, you should.

Here we go....

1. What is your blog theme and how did you pick your blog name?
Like Draz, my blog is supposed to be a weight loss blog.  I started it to share my progress, or lack thereof, of losing weight and getting into shape.  Now?  Well, it's more like a personal diary - sometimes I talk about weight loss, sometimes I talk about work, sometimes its something totally different.  I just like to write, and I write whatever comes to my head. 

The name for my blog is obviously a spin off the movie "Diary of a Mad, Black Woman".  Apparently, I wasn't as creative as I thought I was being - because there are actually a lot of blogs out there with the same name.

I like it, though, because it is a diary.  It's about a sometimes crazy overweight woman - that would be me. 

2. Repeat question: I’m going to name a person not knowing anything about this person in your life or even if they exist and you need to try to describe them in five words/phrases.

Female neighbor two homes/doors down to the left
Holy crap balls, Draz....you do know how to pick some people to talk about.

I can't answer this question because I have absolutely no idea if I even have a female neighbor two homes down on the left.

I live in the country, in the middle of nowhere.  I have a female neighbor to my right - about 1/4 mile down the road - and an older couple in a house in front of mine.  There are houses thrown around here and there surrounding me - but I have never met any of them.  We're not in walking distance, and I've never had a need to just randomly knock on their doors and introduce myself. 

3. Which do you hate more? Spiders or snakes. Elliptical or treadmill. Hannah Montana or Lindsay Lohan.
SPIDERS!!! I am arachnophobic to the core.  Just the thought of spiders makes my palms sweat, and gives me the total heeby geebies.... YUCK!!! 

I actually really like snakes - I own one...well, OK, it's really Hubby's snake.  We have a large ball python who's tank is right next to my side of the bed.  Sorry, Draz - I know you're cussing my name right now, and maybe even considering poking my eyes out with chopsticks.  I was told to use more pictures on my blog - so I think it's only fit to oblige. 

I hate treadmills.  I love ellipticals. 

Since I started running outside, I got rid of my treadmill.  It just didn't do anything for me - and walking/running on a treadmill hurts my legs and shins.  I get all wobbly and off balance, and I just can't do it. 

I don't hate either Hannah Montana or Lindsey Lohan - I just can't stand either.  Being that Hannah Montana isn't real, I guess I can tolerate her more, but I'm so glad her show is over - especially since Peanut was gaga over her a few years back.  I got tired of the sight of her, and the sound of her songs, and seeing her plastered over everything that Peanut wore or used.

The same way I was sick of hearing and seeing Hannah - I feel the same way about Lindsey.  I hate the fact that the things she did got her a smack on the wrist, when if it had been a "normal" person committing the crimes - they would have done hard time.  She's a drama queen, and I can't stand hearing about her drama. 

4. Completely selfish question…I need a dress for Chicago…keep in mind I live in Podunk so the options of physically going into a vast array of stores is VERY limited. (thank God for the Internet) When you need something fancy/a dress – what is your go to store and why?

I can't help with this one.  Fancy dresses don't belong in my vocabulary.  I bought a really nice gown once for a theme party - and I bought it at a second hand boutique.  I'm a tight wad when it comes to clothes I won't wear more than once. 

5. Repeat question: How was your week in blog land and in real life?
Blog land has been....urm...trying?  Is that a good word?  I spent two days writing about how pathetic I am when it comes to blog followers and comments.  I guess I'm that much of an attention whore, that it takes me two days to cover my self-pity.  I am a loser sometimes.  Can't help it.

I did get some AMAZING feedback, though.... and I'm definite that I broke a personal record with the number of comments I received.  The nasty attention seeking part of me is completely satisfied - and should be able to keep quiet for a few months....at least.

Real life?  Well....what a week.  I spent the first half of the week preparing myself for meeting twenty 3 and 4 year olds next Monday morning.  I had gotten over my huff about not getting a job in the public schools.  I had swallowed my pride and really put in everything I had to learning about Head Start.  I even made a great connection with the people I was going to be working with.  I was really enjoying myself.

Then, wouldn't you know it - yesterday, I get the call I've been waiting to receive since April.  The assistant Superintendent of a local school district called to offer me a position.  What the What?? 

Once again, I was smacked in the face by the whole "good things come to those who wait" scenario.  The minute I accept that the dream is over - the dream shows it's head.  I had to make a very hard decision....but in the end, it was an easy decision.  Being in the schools is what I've ALWAYS wanted.  I don't mind that I don't have a classroom - knowing that I have my foot in the door is almost just as good.  It was so hard to say goodbye to Head Start....and the amazing people I would have worked with... but they know as well as I do - it was going to happen eventually.

On top of all this good, it's no surprise that something bad also had to happen.  The something bad is something I choose not to talk about on my blog - because it involves one of my children, and sharing private information about my kids is where I draw the line.

I will say that yesterday I had to make two of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make....and I truly feel like my decisions were for the best.  Only time will tell.  For the latter - I hope it's sooner than later.

Alright, that's it for me today.  Please feel free to answer the questions and then let me know - so I can read the answers....and comment.  ;)

Till next time. ;)
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Big News...No HUGE....NOPE MONSTROUS!!!

Oh, you guys are SOOOO not going to believe this.

I'm so excited, I can barely contain myself.... like I'm on the verge of peeing on myself in excitement... I want to yell from the roof tops....I want to jump up and dance a jig (if I knew how to dance a jig that is).

I GOT A JOB IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!!!

Can you believe it??  After months of crying and whining and stressing and crying...yeah, there was twice as much crying... the call finally came that I've been waiting for.

It's not a teaching position - but it's a foot in the door, it's a chance to be working with kids K-4th grade every day, and it's working in an elementary that I wanted to work in - because I got to meet a lot of the staff and the administration over the summer, and I LOVED THEM!!

I am going to be a Title 1 instructor.

It's a grant funded position in which I will work with teachers to pull kiddos that need a little extra help.  It will be small groups, individual work, and large group instruction.  I couldn't be more happy - well, unless I had my own classroom.... but I'm not even going there.

I met with the head of Human Resources this morning, and he gave me a long talk about how important it is for the school district to place teachers in teaching positions, and even though I wasn't being hired for a classroom teaching position - they would help me as much as possible to make that dream come true.  He openly expressed how I should look at the position as a foot in the door, and not to worry if I want to continue looking for a classroom job - and that I would hopefully find it right there in their school district.

I feel like I have truly been blessed with an amazing opportunity.

But, I bet you're all wondering about Head Start, right?

Well, let me say right now - I'd have rather had someone pull my fingernails off my fingers with a pair of tweezers than have to deliver news like that again.

The drive from the school to the Head Start was both one of my longest and shortest drives of my life.  The tight knot of boiling guilt that was raging inside of me had me on the verge of tears.

Even though Head Start was not my dream job, I can't say that I didn't really enjoy getting to know a great group of people....and I'm really going to miss them.  Even though I only got to work with them for a short time, I felt like the biggest jack ass having to tell them the news.

Especially my assistant.  That broke my heart.  I cried.  Even though it's only been two weeks, I really felt a connection with her - and know that I would have loved working with her.  It made it worse that she was so supportive.... I felt like an even bigger jerk.

At the end of the day, I just have to remember my goals....and even though I feel terrible for letting them down, I had to consider what was best for myself.  Thinking about myself is something I'm not used to - so it's no wonder the whole decision rested heavy on my heart.

So, there you have it... my big, huge, monstrous news!!

Till next time. ;)
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And So Now I Know

Holy Martian Balls.

I'm pretty sure a record was broken yesterday.

I'll admit it.  I actually cried when I opened up my browser last night and saw that 8 people had commented on the slop that was my blog post, yesterday.

I asked for, and I most definitely received.

The out pouring of love and support was overwhelming.....and I truly thank all of you for it.

Looking back now, I feel a little silly.  Also a little guilty.

Here I was feeling all sorry for myself - and asking for support....when I'm the world's worst at giving it out.

So, from the information I got from you all....and it's truly appreciated....was that I just need to keep doing what I'm doing - and quit whining about not getting support.  People are reading....and at the end of the day, I shouldn't be writing for others, I should be writing for myself.

I'm making a few promises to myself and all of you today....

From this day forward, I declare that I will no longer whine about the amount of comments I receive on my blog.  I will write about what I feel, whether it be weight loss, my life, or anything in between... but one topic at a time.  I also promise to spend my Saturday and Sunday mornings catching up on blogs and showing my love to other bloggers.  I won't do it to get return comments, I will do it because I want to - I love all of the blogs I read, and I will no longer lurk on the sidelines.

There you go....

I'm going to write about what ever pops in to my head....can't make any promises that it will be great material or anything - but I'll do what I can.

Alright, that's it for now.

Got a crazy day ahead of me....more on that later.

Till next time. ;)
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where Are Yooooouuuuu??? Echo, Echo, Echo

It seems that for the past several days, when I've logged on to my blog I haven't seen much except a few tumbleweeds blowing in the wind, crickets chirping, and cobwebs appearing out of nowhere.

I know that my posts lately have been dry, maybe a little boring.... but some have been really heart felt.  I hit the PUBLISH POST button, and think to myself "Wow, good job Joanna, that was a really good post".  I come back a few hours later to see if anyone shares my enthusiasm....nothing....and I've even lost a couple of followers.

Now I may not be the brightest crayon in the Crayola box, but I know how to take a hint.

I'm either boring you to tears so much that you're actually weeping after reading a post, and feel the sudden urge to spare yourself from any further torture.

Or, my posts are so dry that you just can't even think of a comment to write because you're nice people and writing "this sucks" in a comment goes against everything you believe in.

Maybe it's the fact that you think to yourself "well, she never comments on my blog so I'm just going to do what she does - read it and move on". 

I know.  I'm sitting here whining about not getting any comments, but I'm the world's worst at commenting..... but it's only because I haven't really had time since going back to work.  I'm still reading as many blogs as I can on the weekends - and I post on them when I read them.

Even though I've been blogging for almost two years, now, I'm still no blogging expert.  I struggle with coming up with stuff to write about that's witty or funny....but I can pull out a downer post with my eyes closed.  There's some serious need for improvement on my part, I know that.

Writing a blog daily is hard.  Trying to not repeat myself over and over is hard.  Thinking of new content that will be uplifting, humorous, and interesting is HARD.  I do my best with what I've got to work with.

I mean, I'm writing a weight loss blog that (lately) has rarely touched on weight loss.  I keep at it, though, because in my warped up sponge of a brain - I somehow believe that if I stop writing, I will cut the final string that's dangling me around the belief that I still plan on losing the weight - and that I won't give up hope that I will make it happen.....regardless of how far off course I've gotten.

Coming here every day to bore the crap share my life with you all gives me hope.  It keeps me connected to the blogging community.  It gives me peace, enjoyment, and a place to vent and yell and throw my little 3 year old tantrums.

Have you picked up on the fact that I'm picking at straws for content to write about? 

Geez, Louise.

Out here in my real life, I'm a pretty funny person.  Hand me a mic, give me a stage, and I'd be able to pull off some stand up comedy.  I'm loud.  Sometimes obnoxious.  But, I find humor in just about everything.  When I sit down to write, I sometimes feel that my fingers are attached to another part of my brain....the part that's absorbed the "boring" that isn't given off in my words.

I don't suffer from writing brain farts, I suffer from full blown writing brain diarrhea.  Eww....that's a mental picture for ya.

Apparently, I'm infected today.  I can't stop spewing out this garbage.  My fingers just keep moving, and as my eyes read the words I want to cringe and hide in a hole and hope that nobody sees me.

Sorry, folks, it's just one of those days. 

SO - here comes the part where I beg and plead ask for help.  I want to write some new material.  I want to really get into writing something decent.  Mostly, I want to write stuff that makes people want to comment, share their ideas, opinions, and all that.

To all of the people that are still reading this....there can't be that many, but hopefully a couple.... What type of topics do you like to read about?  Do you prefer reading blogs that pin point a specific subject, like weight loss?  What types of blog posts do you find that you comment on most often? 

Come on, help a starving blogger out, won't you?

Would you enjoy hearing about the cute, and hilarious things my 3 year old does?
Are you OK with me talking about my daily life - if I make it interesting?
Would you prefer that I try to stay focused on weight loss, because that's why you started reading my blog - and now you have strayed away because I've strayed away from the topic?
Do you prefer funny or serious?

Be honest with me - I'm a tough cookie, I can handle criticism, advice, brutal "no holds barred" honesty.  However, writing "you suck" isn't constructive....so, if you're going to write that please put a "because" after it....so I know why I suck and you have then made your comment into constructive criticism I can work with.

This weekend, I'm going to be hitting pen to paper and coming up with some plans, some big ideas, and rattle this brain around a little.

Bare with me, won't ya?  I promise I'm going to try and introduce the stand up comic in my head to the boring fart that writes these posts.  Come on, start suggesting.....I want you to have a part in this blog - so, what topics would you like to see more of?

Till next time. ;)
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There's Just No Room for Regrets


How many times have you uttered the words "I wish I hadn't....", and then spent minutes, hours, days, or even months regretting whatever it was you put in that blank?

How many times have you thought "I wish I could go back and change...."?

Ever said the words "If I could just go back and do that over again, I'd do [this] differently"?

I think everybody has at some point in their lives. 

When something bad happens, or things just don't go according to plan - the first step for most people (me included) is to want to change the outcome, do things differently, or live with the horrible feeling of regret.

In reality, the chance to do things over rarely comes.  There are no time machines.  There are no "do-over" cards.  There are just actions and consequences.....sometimes things go the way you plan, sometimes they don't.

Have you ever really taken a second to think about what would happen if you found a genie or a time machine that would grant you the opportunity to do things over?  What would happen if you could go back and change everything that didn't work out right for you?

I have...and here's what would happen...

If I could go back and not be the naughty adolescent who thought I knew everything, and thought I was in love, who broke all of my parent's rules and had sex when I was a teenager.....I wouldn't have my daughter.

If I could go back and never meet the man that would mentally and physically abuse me, tear down my self-esteem, and put me in to a world of depression..... I would not have my son.

If I could go back and never leave the great job I had 5 years ago that supported my family and never left me worrying about how bills were going to be paid.....I wouldn't have my college degree or have met my two closest friends.

If I had just applied at the public schools, and never even considered applying anywhere else - because the public schools is where I wanted to be.....I would be unemployed right now and worrying how I was going to pay bills and help support my family.

If I had just stayed at 297lbs and never considered losing weight because all it's done is stress me out over and over again.....I would never have had the opportunity to say that I've completed four 5K races that helped charities, or completed a Boot Camp that made me test every being of my endurance and strength.

If I had stayed on plan and never strayed away from exercising and eating healthy and ending up gaining 20lbs in two months..... I wouldn't have spent as much time with my kids as I did this summer, and may have found a much more devastating way to cope with the stress that I went through finding a job. - OK, maybe this one is over reaching a little.... but it's still something to think about.

Look at what would have happened if I had the power to change the events that I have somehow regretted in my life.  I know that if those things had been changed, then other events would never have happened.  I would have never met Hubby.  I wouldn't have Jelly.  Heck, I could even go back to my first ever BIG regret - the time I wish my parents had never brought me to this country.

What would my life look like if that hadn't of happened?  If I was able to persuade them back in 7th grade how miserable I was and how much I hated living in America and how much I missed my life and friends back in England, and they had decided to go back. 

OK, so I have had a far from perfect life.  I have made bad decisions.  I have done things I am not proud of.  I have had my share of regrets.  But the truth is if I changed just one of those things, or if just one of those things wouldn't have happened - would I have the life I have today?

Would I have the man that is always by my side, that loves me for everything I am, that provides for his family, that is an amazing father to three children - even if two of them don't share the same blood?

Would I have my three incredible children that continue to amaze me each day with how smart and caring and loving they are?

Would I have followed my career dreams and succeeded in getting a college degree and a job working with children?

NO.  NO. And probably not.

The smallest of changes or the slightest difference to an outcome can have devastating effects.

So, this post is mostly for me - to remind me every time I doubt or regret or wish things were different - but it's also for you.  Take a second every time things don't go the way you want, or you think you're plagued with bad luck to think about what would happen if things were different.  Take a second to make a list, as I did (and my list is much longer than what I posted here) and think about the things you took away from bad situations.  Think about what would be different if you could really take back all of those bad times or bad decisions.  You may be very surprised at how different your life would be - and what you'd be missing out on - if you got your wish.

There really just isn't any room for regrets.  The good comes with bad.  Sometimes the bad is needed for the good.  Everything happens for a reason.

Till next time. ;)
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

True Confessions Tuesday


I know it's only been a few days since I did my last installment of True Confessions - but, I don't want to get out of schedule....so, I'm going to see if I can find a few sins to confess.

I confess that I was shocked, angry, sad, and frustrated all at the same time when I stood on the scale this morning.  I was so much of all of those emotions that I'm now embarrassed to admit what it said... but I will, because that's a part of this whole process.  It said 231.8lbs!!!  I can't believe it.  That means I've gained 20lbs in two and a half months.  Not only that, but I'm now almost 5lbs heavier than I was at the beginning of the year.

I confess that I'm truly tired of using stress as an excuse for gaining weight.  I haven't seen this type of rapid weight gain in 8 years - and it scares the bejeezus out of me.

I confess that I'm now terrified that I'm slipping away, and in no time I'll be back to the 297lbs version of myself I was just over 2 years ago. 

I confess that I wish I could declare that it's all going to change and that I'm going to turn in around - but the fear and anger and frustration is haunting me..... it's going to take a lot to really pull myself out of this.

Shifting gears....

I confess that I was really sad when I came home from work yesterday, and found my pet guinea pig on the verge of death.  What made it even sadder was the fact that nobody had noticed until I got home.  She was just lying there on the bottom of the cage - and looked like she had some kind of seizure or something.  We've had her for a year, and she's always been healthy and active.  To see her just lying there like that was heartbreaking - but I couldn't say anything, because I didn't want Jelly to notice.  She passed a few hours later, and today Hubby will be taking care of discreetly disposing of her.

I confess that before all of the previous events took place, I was actually in a really good mood yesterday.  I spent the day in professional development, and actually enjoyed myself.  I laughed, I got to make stuff, and I even volunteered to sing a children's song in front of the whole group....about 80 people!!  I really felt like a member of the team, yesterday - and it helped, a lot!!

I confess that for a few seconds yesterday, after I remembered that it was the University's first day of classes, it felt super weird not to be worrying about books or going to class....and then the weirdness turned to happiness and I actually took a second to giggle out loud about it.  Cause, you know - I giggle....occasionally.

Lastly, I confess that despite the anger and frustration of my weight gain, the sadness of losing a pet, and all the other negativity that flew out from the first half of this post....I'm actually feeling pretty darned good.  I woke up yesterday feeling different - like I was ready to get rid of the worry and stress that's been living on my shoulder.  I was - am - ready to really take on this new position with dedication to making it work, and doing the best that I can. 

I'm not sure if I received some form of slap across the face while I was sleeping - but I do know that I'm tired of finding the negative in everything.  As I sat in the conference room yesterday and watched my team members and other Head Start employees enjoy themselves, I realized that I was doing the same.  I was enjoying myself.  The day flew by, and I left with a smile on my face.  When I woke up this morning, I didn't have to drag myself out of bed - I got up ready for the day....even if today does consist of 4 hours of CPR training.

I know I've probably said this countless times before - but I have to realize that life is what I make it.  If I wallow in self pity - it's going to be a pitiful life.  If I live in the moment, enjoy it, and make the most out of any situation - life will be good, happy....the way it should be. 

OK, I've gained 20lbs in a couple of months.  I have only one person to blame for it.  I can either sit here and whine about it - or I can do something about it.  So, I didn't get the job I dreamed about.  I can either sit here and complain and make this school year miserable, or I can jump in and make the most from it, learn from it, and heck...I don't know... maybe even find out that I really enjoy it.

Today is a new day, full of new opportunities.  I'm going to take one day at a time, live in the moments, and just start living.

Till next time. ;)
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Where Did You Go Weekend?

OK, I could have sworn it was Friday like 20 minutes ago.

I haven't had a weekend go by so fast in...well...months.  I guess that's what happens after going back to work....the time off seems to fly by.

I had a pretty good weekend.  Friday night, I just collapsed on to the couch and stayed there until bed time.  We watched the new Red Riding Hood movie, and while I won't give anything away - it's pretty weird. 

Saturday, I went and picked up a couple of new additions to the family....rabbits.  Yep, my assistant and I decided on having a bunny in the classroom.

I found an ad on Craigslist (gotta love that site, right?) and found a woman giving away two rabbits with a cage and all that jazz for a really good price.  There was one problem.  It was a male and female rabbit.  At first, I thought - no big deal.  They're babies - only 5 months old - I'll be able to separate them and keep one in the classroom and find a home for the other one.  Well, as soon as my kiddos saw them, I new right away where the other home would be - my house.

Now, I'm not a rabbit expert - but I do know one thing about rabbits.  They like to...urm...well...make babies.  But, again, I thought I should be fine for a couple of days...they're only babies themselves.  Boy, was I wrong.  Those two rabbits - well, the male rabbit anyway - has been trying to get him some since the minute we brought them home.  UGH!! 

It may be too late, but I'm going to go after work to get another cage so I can separate them PRONTO!  I have a suspicion that the female is already pregnant, so it appears the male rabbit will become the class pet - cause I don't need the kids in my class watching the "miracle of life" take place with a rabbit.

OK - got really side tracked there.....Back to my weekend.

After picking up the rabbits, Hubby took them home, and I went on to my parent's house with the kiddos.  We spent the night at my parent's house.  I went over to babysit my niece so that my parents could take my little brother and sister to the movies.  They took Peanut with them, too, and the rest of us just hung out while they were gone. 

Came home yesterday afternoon, and then the rest of the afternoon Hubby, Peanut and I played Spades.  It was a lot of fun - something I know will probably become a regular treat in my house.  I'd never played before - and so it was new to me, but I really enjoyed it.

So that was my weekend.  It lasted about as long as it took for me to type it.  Here one minute, gone the next.

Now, I have another long week at work ahead.  There's three days of training and then two days of finishing up the classroom - that's actually taking a lot longer than I thought it would.  Like I said the other day, a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing - and my poor assistant is picking up the bulk of the work.  I would do more, but I still feel so lost.

I'm really hoping that I can spend some time with the other teacher this week and learn the ropes of planning the lessons, doing the paperwork, and stuff like that.  I know I'll feel a lot better when I can start planning for next week - when the kiddos arrive. 

OK, well it's time for me to get to getting....I hope everyone has a great Monday!!

Till next time. ;)
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

BYOC Saturday

I know, I know, Bring Your Own Crazy is supposed to be on Friday.... but I'm pretty sure I'm not breaking any blogging laws by posting it a day late.  In fact, you better get used to it.  I'm not about to ask Draz to post the questions at 4am on Friday mornings just so I have the chance to write the post Friday mornings before having to go to work.  So, from now on... it will be BYOC Saturday!!

1. How much makeup do you wear daily, how long does it take you and are you loyal to certain brands?
I'm not really much of a make-up wearer.  I wear make-up when I have to in regards to work (which I don't have to at my new job, so I'm not wearing it).  I like to wear make-up when I go out with my friends or out to dinner... because then I feel like I'm "dressing up". 

When I do wear make-up, I wear foundation, powder, blush, eye shadow, mascara, and sometimes lipstick.  I don't have loyal brands, I shop more with colors and price than anything else.  It takes me about 5 minutes to put my whole face on.

2. Repeat question: I’m going to pick a person not knowing your relationship with them (or even if there is one) and you try to describe this person in 5 words/short sentences.

Your oldest paternal aunt

Wow, this is hard for me, cause my dad has a bazillion brothers and sisters so I'm not sure which one is the oldest.  I'll go with the one I think is the oldest.

Strong willed
Loud
Aggressive personality
Tom Boy
Friendly

I know those words don't sound too appealing, they're not intended to sound bad.  I haven't seen my aunt in over 14 years.  She's in England, I'm here.  She's a great woman, though, and I always liked her a lot. 

3. Tell me about your first real kiss and how old you were.

Oh my.  Is it bad to say that I really don't remember?  I don't remember the first real kiss, but I do remember the first time I was kissed by a boy on the cheek....is that weird?  I was REALLY young, I'd say like 1st grade.  My "boyfriend's" name was Terry.  We were playing on the playground and the bell rang to indicate recess being over.  As we were walking over to line up, Terry came running by me and planted a kiss on my cheek and took off running. 

For some reason, I've never forgotten that moment.  I have no recollection of what happened after that, but the running kiss to my cheek still sits in my memory bank - and probably always will.  Cute, huh?

4. If I gave you $1000.00 and told you that you had to give it to a charity – which charity would you choose and why?

This one is easy for me to answer.  Without hesitation I'd hand that money over to St. Jude's.  The why is a little harder to explain.  I'm so fortunate to have never needed any services from St. Jude's or even know anyone that has (knock on wood) - but there's something about that charity that touches my heart.  I know that's it probably the fact that they help kids....but whenever I've seen anything involving the kids from St. Jude's, their spirit and strength has me crying every time.

I've donated to them before, and would love to visit the hospital one day to help out and visit with the kids. 

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.

Blog land has been mostly devoted to my new job.  That is, except for yesterday.  Yesterday I got a little deep about my love of food, and using food as my medicine for unhappiness.  I really let stuff go with that post, but got only one comment (thanks, Nanci).  If I use my current posts as a survey of my followers, it appears that writing about topics not related to weight loss gets more feedback.

I also got a Versatile Blogger award from Just Weighing in and Moving On.  Thank you for that!! I'll probably blog about that tomorrow. 

Real life - well, not too much going on.  I'm pretty overwhelmed, nervous, and lost about my new job.  It's not what I expected, in both good and bad terms.  It's hard to explain, but I'm still really not sure if I'm going to like my job or not.  I like the people I'm working with, but have on more than one occasion felt like a non swimmer thrown in to the deep end of a pool.  I walk around my room aimlessly, not knowing what to do, where to put things, where to even start.  I feel like my assistant is doing most of the work, because she knows what to do - and it makes me feel bad.

I'm hoping that once I get through this week, I'll learn more.  Then, once the kids start, I'll be able to get into more of a routine with doing things and my situation will start to look up. I'm trying very hard to just stay positive.

Today, I'm taking my kiddos to my mom's for the night.  It will be nice to get away for a little while, and let some stress go.

OK, so that's it for me...if you want to join in, copy the questions on your own blog, answer them, and then let me know you did it - so I can read your answers.

Till next time. ;)
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Friday, August 19, 2011

I've Got To Find A Different Medicine

Friday is BYOC day, but being that I get out of bed at the butt crack of dawn, it's too early for Draz to have posted the questions.  So, instead, I'm going to write about something else today...

Draz still has the influence on this post....just in a different way.

This morning, I started my day as usual...reading some blogs I'm behind on.  Draz's posts are usually the first I read.  Reading them usually wakes me up, gives me a good laugh, and prepares me to write my own.  This morning was a little different.....this was the post I read:  What Are You Going to Do When the Fat is Gone?

After I read it, I had to sit here for a second and compose myself.  This post really touched me pretty deeply....and got my mind racing in a thousand different directions.

One thing I know about myself is that I've never used my fat as a reason for being unhappy.  I've never responded to a concerned "what's wrong?" and responded "I'm fat! That's what's wrong".  I've never had a good cry just because I'm fat.  I've never been able to blame all the ails of my world on the fact that I'm overweight.  Am I happy about being overweight?  Of course not.  I'm just not unhappy because I'm overweight.

I know that didn't make much sense, but stay with me here.

What I'm saying is, rather than blaming my unhappiness on my fat, I use food as the medicine for my unhappiness.  It's not a reason, it's my cure for being unhappy.

When I look back to my childhood, I was never what I would consider "skinny".  I had a happy childhood, but I lived in a world where healthy eating wasn't a subject of concern.  I ate the food that was prepared for me.  I didn't question the calorie content, I didn't look at the protein and carb servings I was eating.  Eating was a happy time - a time shared with family, a social time.  It wasn't about the food, it was the feeling that came with the eating.  I liked to eat.

So, it's obvious, I gained a love of food from an early age.  Eating out at a restaurant was a rare luxury, and when the occasion arose something special was taking place.  I connected those times with celebrations or life going well - my parents were able to afford to take us out for a treat.

Now, I'm not about to blame my parents for what happened later in my life.  They were and still are great parents.  It's sometimes hard for people to remember that when we were younger, childhood obesity wasn't all over the news.  It wasn't a major health factor.  The spotlight wasn't shining on every child that carried a few extra pounds....plumper kids were just kids that were happy, maybe a little less physical than their skinnier counterparts, but there certainly wasn't anything "wrong" with a child that was a little heavier.

When I first got out of high school, I was a lot more conscience about my body.  I was NOT fat.  I was NOT skinny.  I wore a 2 piece bathing suit, and even though my bones didn't stick out, I wasn't worried about people looking at me and saying "why on earth would she wear something like that?".

It wasn't until a couple of years out of high school that things started to change.  By the time I was 19, I had two children, and a very mentally and sometimes physically abusive man in my life.  It was the first time I had ever dealt with unhappiness this dark or damaging.  In order to cope, I went to the one thing that had always made me feel better....that took me back to happier times.... Food.

Yes.  It was then that I took a deep, dark turn to binge eating.

As time went on, more and more unhappiness was added to my plate.  Being alone and trying to raise two children.  Living in a woman's shelter.  Missing my family.  Worrying about working and paying for daycare and being the sole supporter of my children.  It was an endless cycle of stress and unhappiness and more stress.

It went on for so long that even when life did get better, it was hard to decipher the difference between emotional, unhappy binge eating and celebratory, happy, normal eating.

Now taking a little sideways detour here for a second.... I want to point something out.  I am a person that does NOT take medicine for sickness.  When I'm sick, I allow my body to fight off what ever is wrong with me.  If I've got a cold, I drink hot tea with lemon, soak in a hot bath, and sleep.  If I'm throwing up (or worse) I drink lots of water, rest, and eat dry toast or crackers.  I've found that because I don't take "man-made" medicines, I rarely get sick...and if I do, it rarely lasts more than 24 hours.  My body has worked up a strong immune system because I allow my body to fight off infections and sickness without the need of medicines.

Now, I look at my eating.  When I really think about it - I use food as medicine for unhappiness.  Rather than finding a natural way to deal with my unhappiness... like, I don't know, talking about it, dealing with the cause of the unhappiness dead on, or something along those lines, I just dive in to food.

If I look back on last year - when I really buckled down and lost a lot of weight - I have to look at my life events.  I was so happy.  I was only a year away from graduating from school.  I had high hopes about finding a great job.  I started my internship, and was actually in a classroom and teaching.  Sure, there were plenty of stressful times.... but the overall year was a really good one.  My mind was free to dedicate myself to getting healthy and losing weight.

Then again, when I look back towards the end of the year....when my senior project was due, when I was trying to juggle work and school and it was really becoming a little too much.... I started to fall off the wagon.  As soon as that stressed past?  I was right back on that horse again exercising and losing weight.

When I look at this year, the series of events are different.  I started the year out full of the same pizazz as last year.  Graduation was only 5 months away, I was still hopeful I was going to get my dream job.  More weight was disappearing.  The closer I got to graduation day, however, and it became more apparent that finding that job was getting less and less of a possibility, my dedication backed off and the weight started increasing.

I've gained a lot of weight this year.... I've been unhappy a lot this year.  1+1=Food is my medicine.

Even now, I'm still using food as my medicine.  I still haven't gotten over the slap in the face of not being able to get the job I wanted.  I just can't bury it.  Yes, I am happy I found a job... but it's still so new and scary to me that I can't just banish all of my unhappiness away.  The food is still there to compensate.  It's still there helping me put on a happy face and tell everyone that everything is OK with me.  It's my front.  It's the way I can disappear from my feelings rather than face them.

I don't have the answer on how I can fix this problem.  I don't have a magic cure that will help me replace my continued use of food as my medicine for mental pain.  All I can hope for is that my mind will start to work differently, and soon.  I have to find a replacement....I will never achieve my hopes of losing the weight as long as I run to food when something in my life doesn't go the way I want or something happens to me that causes mental pain.

It's a battle I'm far from winning - but I'm never going to give up hope that one day I will find armor and weapons strong enough to defeat it.

Till next time. ;)
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

True Confessions Tuesday... on Thursday



Yeah - I realize that yesterday I said I wasn't going to do True Confessions this week.... but after thinking about it for a while, I'm ready to do it today.  So, here we go....

I confess that I'm so tired and sore this morning, I feel like I've been hit by a mach truck.  Part of it is from spending Tuesday painting my classroom, and part of it is from my bed.  For some reason I'm waking up with pinched nerves and soreness.  I need a new bed....or I'm being beaten up in the middle of the night by a ghost.  I wonder if I've ticked off a spirit somehow?  Always possible, I suppose.

I confess that I'm so ready for the next week and a half to be over with.  Yeah, I'm enjoying getting to know my job and the people I'll be working with - but I'm ready to be working with kids!!  Remind me I said this the week of August 29th when I'm on here whining about how crazy the kids are or how tired I am or how nervous I am by trying to teach 3 and 4 years olds.. m'kay?

I confess that going to workshops and being in professional development wipes me out.  I was on the verge of falling asleep yesterday, and after it was over I was so tired I felt like I'd been working out for 8 hours.  The information was good - but geez, it's so hard for me to sit in one spot for that long.  I swear, I fidgeted more in my seat yesterday than a little kid at church.

On the subject of working out.... I confess I haven't made any attempt to go running after work.  That has to do with the fact that I've been so sore from either working or sleeping.  Although my legs feel like I've ran a marathon.....again, it was the painting... you all know there's been no running.  Although, all this has made me realize how much of a good work-out I can get from painting... who'd of thunk'd it.

I confess that even though I've been trying harder to eat better since going back to work - I've somehow gained 3lbs. 

I confess that because I've gained 3lbs, I'm ticked off!!  I really haven't been over eating, so I'm not sure why I've gained the weight.... but I know that I'm not happy about it.

I confess that I'm still having some inner turmoil about my job.  I'm not waking up every morning as excited as I thought I'd be.  I know that probably has a lot to do with what I'm actually doing - or not doing - at this point.... but the more I hear about the strict limitations in regards to what I can and can't do with the kids....it makes me very nervous about how I'm going to feel once the kids start.

I confess that I can't believe nobody picked up on me posting yesterday as if it were Tuesday.  The first line of yesterday's post says "I know that Tuesday is usually when I do True Confessions Tuesday, but I can't pass up talking about my first day of being at my new job."  I must have been so out of it when I posted, I didn't even realize it.  I really need to get my days straight....and come on, guys, I need your help!!  Who else is going to proof read this stuff for me?

I confess that I'm not happy that my director doesn't want me to have a snake in the classroom.  After a discussion with her yesterday, I could tell that she's very against the idea.  I totally understand the common fear of snakes - but kids love them, and they are so educational.  It looks as though I'll end up having something furry.  I'm thinking maybe a rabbit.  I can think of a few educational situations for rabbits.... NOT THAT!! Get your minds out of the gutter, pervs!!

I confess that I am excited about going to work today to arrange my classroom.  This is the day I've really been waiting for, so maybe once today is over I'll feel a lot better about everything.

OK, I'm done with confessing today.... I really need to get my butt in gear and get ready for work.

Just one more day until the weekend!!!

Till next time . ;)
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Starting With a Clean Slate

I know that Tuesday is usually when I do True Confessions Tuesday, but I can't pass up talking about my first day of being at my new job.  Besides, I don't have that much to confess this week.  Maybe I'll do it this weekend - might have more to share by then. 

The first day in my new center is over....and what a day it was.

It was a great day, really.  Long.  Tiring.  But a very good day.

I arrived at the center, and was met by my new director.  She was super nice.  She treated me like she'd known me for years - and immediately gave me a tour of the facility.  We started in the main classroom...and then she told me she had a little surprise for me.  I was a little nervous by the way she said it - we were on to see my classroom, but that wasn't the surprise....

This was.....


I was getting a completely blank slate in which to arrange my room.  All of my stuff was piled up on one wall...


My director apologized for the state of the room....and I couldn't believe my eyes.  I wasn't upset, I wasn't disappointed.... I was ECSTATIC!!  This was exactly what I wanted, the opportunity to completely set up my first classroom. 

There was no setting up to be done, however, because the first order of business....


Fresh Paint!!

That wall was originally a very dull, sage green.  My assistant...yeah, assistant, get to that in a second... had picked out the color and spent the day before working on this wall.  She asked me if the color was OK and told me that she thought I'd be OK with a "primary color" theme.  I was totally fine with it - especially since she'd bought the paint with her own money. 

So, for the rest of the day, I painted and painted and painted.  That wall is blue, and there are poles around the outside of the room painted blue.  The area outside the door where the kids will hang their coats are, now, blue as well.  The other walls are white (fresh coat on those, too).  The curtains will be yellow, and the chairs are red and blue.

OK, so I spent the day painting, but also getting to know the people I was going to be working with.  The director is super nice.  The teacher and assistant from the other room are super nice.  I was so nervous about meeting my assistant, and will admit, I was a little uncomfortable with her at first.

She's worked for the center for five years.  I kept telling myself that the last thing she wants is a new teacher coming in and changing everything.  The most part of the morning was spent with small talk - where I'm from, my family, her time at Head Start, etc.  She made several references to how the old teacher did things, and that got me a little nervous.

By the afternoon, and four hours of painting, I started to feel a little more at ease.  We started talking about how the classroom was going to be arranged.  I started sharing some of my ideas, and asking for her feedback - and in no time, we were working together, laughing, and she was open to everything I suggested.

I'm very excited that I get an assistant all to myself.  I hope that doesn't sound bad.  What I mean by that is a partner in the classroom.  Someone to work along side me, help me out.  I made sure she knew that I'd be counting on her to really help show me the ropes, and I wasn't there to start barking orders.  I know that there is going to be times when I will do things differently to what she's used to - but I feel confident knowing she'll be able to talk to me, and we can bounce ideas off of each other.

Towards the end of the day, I told her that I needed to start thinking about classroom jobs for the kiddos.  She asked me if she could make the chart for it...she'd done it the year before, and really enjoyed it.  I thought it'd be a great help.  We sat and discussed the different jobs the kids would do, and how I'd assign jobs.  During that conversation it was revealed to me that I was responsible for getting a classroom pet.

This was another big deal to me.  I remember during my science class in college, the professor discussed the importance of picking a pet that would have some educational value.  While rodents (hamsters, guinea pigs, etc) are cute, and the kids like to pet them - there's not really any educational value.  Sure, the kids can feed them... but that's about the extent.  She told us that if we really wanted some bang for our buck - we should consider reptiles or amphibians so that the kiddos could observe them, discuss habitats, and cold blooded vs. warm blooded.  I knew immediately what pet I wanted:  A snake!!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but I own a ball python.  OK, I don't own him, Hubby does - but I claim the snake.  It's in my bedroom, next to my side of the bed.

Here he is...



I think snakes are perfect for a classroom not only due to habitats, and all that jazz... but they shed!! Kids LOVE messing around with snake skin.  Not only that, but snakes are so misunderstood.  I guarantee most kids will be terrified at first - because their parents are terrified.  They would be accustomed to being scared of snakes.  Also, there's a big misconception with the way they feel.  Snakes are not slimy - they are smooth.  A lot of kids don't know that. 

Now, I have to find a good classroom snake.  I want a small one, but they're not cheap....so I'll have to do some looking around.  Another big benefit with a snake as a classroom pet is the fact that they are so easy to take care of.  They only eat about once every couple of weeks, same with pooping.... can you imagine only pooping once every couple of weeks??  There just isn't an easier pet to have.

OK, I did not intend for this much of my post being devoted to talking about snakes... I'm terrible about staying on subject.

Today, I have a day long professional development workshop. Tomorrow, I get to arrange my room.. YAY!!

That's it for me today.....sorry this week has all been about work - but this is an exciting time for me. Will get back on track soon.

Till next time. ;)
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Only I Can Be in Pain After a Day of Sitting and Doing Nada....

Not very happy this morning.  I woke up with a nasty pain under my right shoulder blade that's killing me anytime I move.

I need a new bed.  That's all there is to it.  Oh, and someone to massage the kink out of my back...it hurts, and I don't like it.

Pain like this usually comes from pulling a muscle - you know, like after you do something strenuous.  Not me...nope.  I hurt my back by sleeping.  That will teach me.  Sleeping is dangerous...or maybe it's my bed....whatever it is.. it hurts!!

So, yesterday was my first day at work.  I'm going to be honest.  It was boring.  VERY boring.  I sat in a room with about 15 other people from the various Head Start sites, and from various positions...all new hires.  We filled out tons and tons of paperwork.  We watched videos.  We listened while we were read snippets from the employee handbook.  Sounds like a fun day, right?

I'm a lot more excited about today.  Today, I go to my center for the first time.  I meet my director and co-workers for the first time.  I get to see my classroom for the first time.  I'm sure there will be a lot more training and watching videos today - but at least I'll actually get a feel of where I'll be and what I'll be doing. 

I'll admit.  Yesterday was bittersweet.  While I sat in that room signing yet another form, I couldn't help let my mind wander to my friends who were starting their first day in the public schools.  Getting to meet their kiddos in that setting for the first time.  Going over new procedures and classroom rules.  I still have two weeks before I meet my kiddos.

Despite that, I'm keeping a positive outlook. 

Being told about the amounts of assessments and parent-teacher conferences and anecdotal records I'll be doing really perked my interest.  I mean, that's teacher experience GOLD right there.  Any teacher, regardless of grade or school, spends a LOT of time doing assessments and keeping records and making portfolios.... I'll be doing the same.  So, at the end of the year, if I choose to pursue finding a position in the public schools - I'll have that to boast on my resume.

I'm still very nervous.  That's only to be expected.  I'm meeting the people I will be spending the next school year with today.  They didn't have a say in hiring me - they've never even met me.  I'm worried they may not like me....I mean, I seem to sometimes have that affect on people, apparently.

It's so weird to me not even meeting my boss before starting work.  I'm used to interviewing with a person, making a connection, and then being offered a position to work with that person because of that connection.  I'm not sure there were any connections when I interviewed with the Human Resources director.  I was turned down for the job, at first.  I wonder how many other people were offered my position before they finally offered it to me?

That's scary.

On top of that.  The person I will be working for wasn't in that interview.  She didn't get to talk to me or ask me questions or get a feel for who I am and what I'm like.  I'm sure she got to read the responses to my interview questions - but who can really get a feel for a person based on that? 

Maybe this situation works in my favor.

Seriously.  It can't hurt - right?  Things didn't exactly go well with interviewing for other positions.  It's so hard to show someone what you're really like when you're not being grilled in an interview.  I get nervous.  I turn in to a rigid puppet - trying to answer the questions the best that I know how... but in a way that sounds professional.  I want to give a good impression, but I often wonder if I didn't come off as a tape recorded version of a text book.

Today, my boss gets to meet me outside of that environment.  She'll get the "real me".  Maybe that's good.  Maybe that's bad. The jury is still out on that one.  I am who I am.  I know people that love that about me - and then there are those that smile to my face, but I can tell from that smile that are imagining flaming pokers sticking out of my eyeballs and savage beasts clawing the flesh from my skin.  Yeah, I can tell.

I consider myself a very friendly person... I feel that I can get along with just about everyone. 

Even though I think that about myself, I know there are others that would use different words to describe me.  I mean, when push comes to shove, I only have two very close friends.  I have other people that I consider friends - but I know that they never think of me when going out, or they would never pick up the phone and call me just to see how I'm doing.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times I send a text or a Facebook message to someone just to say hi and see how they're doing - and never get a response.

OK - I'm totally going off on a direction I never intended to here.  This was supposed to be a post about me being excited to meet the people I'm working with.  I'm getting myself all worked up over nothing. 

Rewind.

Do-Over.

Play.

So, it's time for me to get ready for my first real day at work.  I am excited.  I know that I will be fine.  I will be myself.... I will take in everything I can.  I will look to the future with hope and excitement.  One day at a time.  That's all I can do.

Here I go..... Have a great Tuesday, everyone!!

Till next time. ;)
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