Archive for the ‘decisions’ Category

Ignoring or Avoiding?

I can’t decide if I’ve been ignoring or avoiding this blog. I miss it, and I am constantly coming up with thing to write about, but never end up doing it. I think this is for 2 reasons: 1) I know it takes time, and there are so many things going on that it drops down the priority list, and 2) I know my readership has dropped off because of lack of posts and writing just reminds me of that.

Anyway, I’m going to keep writing when I can because I enjoy it ūüôā

First, an update on things!

I finished at the private high school before the Christmas break, and now I’m teaching at the local university (astronomy) and college (math). I’m quite enjoying these courses, and would like to keep teaching at this level.

This brings me to the most frustrating thing of all: jobs. I am still not in with the local school board (I ignorantly thought my 10+ years work experience in education and my own PhD+BEd education would get me in the door, but I was wrong). The university/college teaching jobs are term-to-term. so no stability there either. It can be super frustrating finally KNOWING what I want to do with my life and not have the options to actually DO it on a regular basis. But, I’ll keep plugging along and hope things continue to crop up, and eventually get a long-term post.

Family-wise, we’re deep into the terrible 2’s with C. And we thought E was bad when he was 2? Oh no…C is showing just what 2 can be to the extreme. His TTs are epic and nothing like I’ve ever seen. Thankfully, he can be really funny, happy, and just plain silly. He’s a huge risk taker too, which is much different than E.

E is amazing us with his intelligence lately. It’s awesome to witness his learning and how he LOVES to learn! He’s going through his own behaviour issues: he’s starting to talk back to us when we need to discipline him. This is very new to us, so we’re trying to get a handle on how to deal with it (most things seem to just make it worse).

Home-wise, we’re still flip-flopping on whether to do renovations or move. We agree our first step should be to get some designs and quotes on renovations to see if we can get what we need for a reasonable price. DH is going to a home show this weekend to connect with some contractors who can come and do this soon.

That’s our life right now – I hope that my posts will become more conversational rather than lists! How are you doing?

Guilt Reigns

I had been struggling with the decision of whether or not to leave my current job for the past month or so. There are many reasons why I have been considering this. Some are personal, others are job-related, but mostly because other opportunities have presented themselves.

I have signed on to teach at both the university (first-year astronomy course) and the college (first-year math), and both start in January. I will also be volunteering¬†with a high-school physics teacher. These are great opportunities to investigate more options in the field of education, and I just couldn’t pass them up.

So, even though I have many, MANY, good (even excellent!) reasons to leave my current job, I still feel THE GUILT!

“But I’m leaving right in the MIDDLE of the term!”

“Are they going to be able to find a replacement for me?”

“Is the student going to be negatively impacted because of me?”

and don’t forget the favourite:

“Everyone is going to think I’m AWFUL!”

I spoke to numerous people about this decision, both inside and outside education, at different points in their careers, and asked their advice. One central theme was that the only person who will look out for me is myself. ¬†And if there’s one thing in the time since my stroke is I need to look out for myself.

So, yes, the guilt is there, but it will lesson with time (isn’t time amazing for things like that?). And, come January with all of its new starts, the excitement will overtake those feelings. I’m already getting excited!

Hair Poll!

Well, it’s been over 1.5 years since my stroke (and therefore since my head was shaved down to the scalp). I’ve seen my hair at all kinds of lengths, and am now ready to settle on my next style. I’m torn between two choices, so I’d love the opinion of my readers (if you’re still out there!).

So, here’s what I’m trying to choose between:

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Choice #1: Pixie Cut

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Choice #2: Sleek Bob

Vote here!

Home Wants/Needs

My theme for my goals this year is re-evaluation, and one thing that led to my choosing this theme was a constant battle in our minds: whether to stay in this house or move.

Our house is old, like 1910’s old. That means we a) have a tiny kitchen, b) very little storage, c) a creepy basement we’ll never use for more than laundry/workshop/dumping grounds, and d) have tiny bathrooms (we’re lucky we had space to put a 1/2-bath ¬†on the main floor – a hot commodity around this neighbourhood).

When I get in one of those “GOD, I HATE THIS HOUSE!!!” moods, the things I dream about are:

  • a more open floor plan on the first floor
  • a kitchen with more cupboard space and an island between it and the dining room
  • a large mudroom/laundry combo off the front (MORE SPACE for all our clothes/bags/gear/etc)
  • a MUCH bigger upstairs bathroom
  • a finished attic, so we can have a second living area (and a place to move all the kids toys so they’re not the first thing we see coming in) — which could house a THIRD bathroom!
  • being on a much quieter street (I know I can’t change this, but I’m DREAMING here!)

During and after these moments, we often start perusing through the MLS listings, searching for houses. We talk for hours ¬†about whether it’s worth it to stay here and do the renovations, or would it be better to try and find a house that hits all our “must-have’s”. It’s our own personal “Love It or List It”, without any help from professionals.

Sure, we can easily find homes that have everything we want…for a much heftier price tag than what we paid for this house.

And, just like Cloud wrote about recently, these things are much more WANTS than NEEDS. When I really thing about it, we’re pretty darn lucky with our life (and house) as it is now. Why do we feel like we NEED more room, or NEED a bigger bathroom, or NEED to have main floor laundry?

We look at bigger, newer, more “fancy” houses – with their huge kitchens, giant walls of windows, massive master suites, and living room/family room/game rooms – as though that is what we NEED.

Yes, we could afford to go with either of these options, but then it hits us: what are our priorities in life? Do we want to spend money for years on making or getting a bigger/”better” house, or could we spend that in a way that could really make a difference in our lives in other ways. Like, ¬†being able to do more of the things we enjoy like golfing, going to baseball games, going on family vacations, or taking art or music classes.

We get so tied up in what we WANT in a house, as though having an island in our kitchen or a walk-in closet would make us happy.

So, we are trying to keep these things in mind and we move forward with these types of decisions. We will constantly be re-evaluating our goals and aligning them with what our priorities really are.

How do you reconcile between what you WANT and what you NEED.

Evolving PG Feelings

I was thinking the other day about how my feelings about pregnancy – or, more specifically, getting pregnant – have evolved over time.

Of course those feelings started out as they do in most women – Oh, please God, NO! Not Now! Anything but this! Not now!! …PHEW!

Then, things changed after I got married and we decided to start “trying”. The first few times I POAS*, it was actually kind of weird – like I was being bad or something! I spent so long trying to prevent two lines, and now I was hoping, excited, and almost craving them to appear.

When I got my first positive, I was over the moon excited! We were starting our family! Wow! How amazing is my body to be able to do this!? I wonder if it’ll be a boy or girl? What names will will we choose? How will we decorate the nursery?

Then, it happened. I had a miscarriage. Dreams crash and shatter.

We picked up the pieces and started “trying” again. This time, waiting to see those lines appear isn’t exciting. Instead it’s nerve wracking. What will happen this time? Will it happen again? That ignorant bliss of getting pregnant the first time after deciding to try is washed away forever.

That story ends happily with the birth of Evan, but with some unexpected hardships shortly after.

Then a few years later we decide to “try” for #2. This time waiting for the lines isn’t exciting either. It’s more filled with thoughts like “are we sure?” or “what are we doing?” or “is this a mistake?” or , but also — “woah..family of four!?” and “we’ll be complete!”.

Then, it happened again. I had another miscarriage. Sadness takes over and and hopes dashed.

So, back to “trying” again and waiting for those lines is nerve wracking again, but for so many more reasons. Will I have another miscarriage? Are we doing the right thing by adding another child to our family? Can we handle it?

Then, Carter arrives, safe and sound in a perfect-for-me birth. And then, my brain bleeds. Stroke, caused by pregnancy.

We were never planning on having a 3rd anyway, but now that choice has been taken away because I would be at risk of having another stroke. Even without Evan and Carter depending on having a mother, that’s not a chance I’d be willing to take.

So, now at 35, my feelings about getting pregnant are back at square-one again: scared shitless. But for much different and “weightier” reasons. Not because it would put a hamper on my life, or put things on hold for a bit, but because it would literally mean a choice between life and death — either mine or the baby’s. That’s not a decision I want to make.

*Peed on a stick – sounds so much nicer as an acronym, don’t you think?

Answered My Own Question

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post about second guessing my decision to go to teacher’s college! In responding to the comments, I think I answered my own question about whether it’ll be worth it.

In summary:
– I often second guess myself for any big decision, so this is a normal reaction for me.
– I know all the stats about how hard it is to become/be a teacher in Ontario
– I’m familiar with how Ontario classrooms work, and know it’s not an easy job at all.
– …that being said, I’m prepared to “do my time” in order to succeed as a teacher
– …and also, my additional qualifications, experience, and connections in the school board(s), will help me a lot.
– I’m excited to actually LIKE and ENJOY my course work and projects (maybe even for the first time in my post-secondary schooling career)
– Though I enjoyed doing outreach over the past few years, I found it was never “enough”. I crave the continuity with a class that teaching gives (not just dropping in and walking out).
– When I think about applying to other jobs, I find myself thinking “but it’s not teaching, and not what I want to spend my time doing”
– I know I can’t be a stay-at-home-mom to be happy and to therefore be the best mom for my kids (I’ve known this since Evan was a baby, so I don’t even know why I put it in the post as an option — it’s not)
– Regardless of if I go back to work or go to school, the kids will be okay…and THRIVE really, and they can see me thrive too (very important!)
– The timing is right in terms of the program (last year it’ll be offered as a 1-year program)
– …and I don’t have the obligation of a job to go back to after maternity leave.
– …and Evan will be starting school and Carter can be in daycare (yay for only 1 kid in daycare at a time!).
– ..and we have the financial ability for me to do this now.
– Yes, it’s a good amount of $$ upfront, but losing savings is much better than going in debt (which we were prepared to do for me to do this).
– It’ll be so worth it if teaching works out, and I finally get to achieve that dream/goal – ¬†how awesome would that be??
– The worst that can happen if I go is we fork out the $$ ¬†and I end up finding work doing something else. That’s a pretty good “bad” side.

So, to summarize the summary: I need to stop second guessing myself and finally go with my gut on this decision. I know it won’t be all puppy dogs and roses, but I also know it will be the start of a new and exciting chapter in my career (regardless of where it takes me). Everything seems to be telling me to GO FOR IT…so I’d be pretty stupid to not¬†grab this opportunity while I can!

Lacking Focus

Note: not looking for advice or anything, just need to get this out!

Last time, I touched on that I’m feeling that my life is lacking focus, and it’s so true. There are just so many things on my mind and things going on that I sometimes just feel lost trying to keep up with it all.

Her’s a snapshot of what’s going around in my head:

Careers stuff
– Will I get into teacher’s college? If so, can we really afford it? Will I be able to be a student again? What about finding a job afterwards?
– What if I don’t get in, what will I do then? What kinds of jobs can I apply for with my background? Should I look into other certificate programs? If so, what and where, and how much will that cost? Would it be worth it?

Hobbies
(these things don’t actually stress me out – or else they wouldn’t be “hobbies” – ¬†but just other things in my head while I’m making a list)
– Knitting: I really want to get this damn afghan done, and I want to work on Carter’s sweater. I’d also like to try a pair of socks. Oh, and I’m a bit bummed that the knitting group I started has been a bit slow.
– Reading: There are just so many books I want to read. Can I read them all at the same time? Plus $$ for books.
– Blogging: talked about this last time.
– Oh yeah, and I want to learn how to play the piano!

House stuff
– This house is not meeting our needs, and definitely won’t in a short time when Carter’s up and about.
– Do we want to stay in our house and renovate or move to another house that would meet our needs better?
– If we stay, what projects do we want to do? What’s a priority? What exactly do we want to do? How much will it cost? When can we do them?
– This house needs to be more organized! How much is that going to cost? When am I going to have the time to do that? What should I tackle first? What should I try to sell, or what should I donate or just trash?

Kid/Family Stuff
– Things to do while at home with Carter during the day
– What to do on the weekends to keep everyone happy and entertained
– When to put Evan back into part-time daycare
– When to start Carter in daycare
– Why is Carter waking up multiple times in the middle of the night, or waking up at 5am, and can we do anything about it? I’m guessing it’s just a phase…
– When should we start Carter on solids and I completely forgot how we did that with Evan, so I should figure that out soon…
– When will DH and I be able to spend any tine together just the 2 of us?

Oh, and don’t forget the random thoughts/flashbacks about the stroke (these are always fun). I sometimes wonder if I think about all these things, or want to do a million things, because my mind (and body!) was idle for a while?

Maybe there are just too many things going on right now, or maybe we’re just busy and getting used to being a family of four. Maybe I’ll feel better once I start school (if I get in) or get a job and have something that’s only for ME.

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