Friday, November 21, 2008

Two Steps Forward...One Back...And One Forward Again

I'm learning as I go here, and one thing that's becoming abundantly clear is that, as a working mother who is trying to also train for races, I feel as if there is just not enough of me to go around sometimes.

I realize that part of this is that I am very passionate about what I do. I don't just consider teaching a 7:55 to 3:08 job. In fact, most teachers don't.

So now I'm starting to think about how on earth I'm going to fit in training this winter as my other duties pile up--namely, being the Model U.N. Advisor for our February trip to Chicago, the AP US History teacher as we approach the national test in May, as well as teaching my inclusion class for World History?

It's a little overwhelming.

I've claimed the morning just for me, and it's worked well, aside from leaving me exhausted at the end of the day. This week I was 4 for 4 on morning workouts. But right now they are relatively short workouts--nothing more than an hour--and I can't help but worry a bit of what's to come. How will I fit that in, and still make it in for a Model U.N. meeting? A parent meeting? Oh, and when on earth am I going to grade DBQs?

Sigh. I'm going to give myself permission NOT to think about that right now.

What I will celebrate is the little victories. After a particularly rough day, I sat down in my journal that I write in almost every day. Sometimes the entries are just a few sentences. Other, I really, really need to let it all out. This day, the entry was just a list. I listed the things that I've done pretty darn good since school began in August. Just the good stuff. I can't remember all of it, but here's a few:

--took 46 kids to a Model UN conference and they had a blast--prepared them, trained them, and 2 of them took home awards
--took 19 kids to meet Paul Rusesabagina...and they will remember that forever
--helped to start a Save Darfur club at our school, and have some amazing kids in the group who really believe they can change the world, which is just awesome

Those are probably my favorites. And when you look at it that way, it makes the little annoyances and frustrations not as bad.

Oh yeah, and somehow through all that, I PR'd a marathon by 20 minutes.

So when I look at it that way, I see that I must just be pulling this off somehow. Even though the weeks leave me dizzy they are so nuts, somehow I'm pulling this off.

I did a grand experiment this week, too. I went to the pool in the morning.

Now, that might sound pretty uneventful, since I did that before, but I switched gyms last year so I could be close to work and "just go straight to work" after my swim. Ha! Silly me. See, that makes perfect sense, until I realized that I literally can't stand the thought of NOT seeing the Bug in the morning before I leave for school. Can't. Do. It. I need to hear him giggle. I just do.

So I wasn't able to swim in the AM, but then had to drag Bug with me after school which in turn made me feel guilty, too.

The mornings are mine. No one needs me, and it's my own little quiet time and calm before the fun and often crazy storms which are my days.

So, I decided I'd go to the gym THAT IS DOWN THE STREET FROM MY SCHOOL, swim, and then COME HOME. And then drive BACK to school. Because it's only a few miles from my house, right?

I know. A waste of gas. Pretty silly. But I needed to make this work.

So I set the alarm, got up, and hauled it to the pool. Grinded out 2500 yards with more focus than usual. Got out, took a quick shower, bundled up in my orange coat, and headed home. I walked in just in time to see Bug in his high chair. He saw me walk in and gave me a sly little grin around the corner.

It worked. And I even got to school with 5 minutes to spare.

I think that's how this year is going to be. Just when I feel like I'm no good at something--whether it's teaching, or being Bug's mommy, or being Matt's wife or a friend to my amazing friends--I'll run in, breathless, with wet hair and slightly sore arms, just in time for a smile and a kiss and a giggle. And I need to remember that I am there, that my heart and soul are thrown into everything I do, and if the makeup's not perfect, the dust bunnies are multiplying, the papers pile up and the only thing in my fridge is milk and salsa, I am going to pull this off somehow.


Wil said...

And now... you're officially a member of the Domestic Goddess of the Universe Club. Come on in, grab your welcome basket, and find your name tag, sis.

Know that yet again we arrive on the planes of weirdness - my new crazy ass kettlebell circuit training class starts Monday. Want to know why I chose it? Starts at 5:30 am and ends at 6:15 am... just enough time to get back home and see everyone off to school.

Que hilo raro entre tu y yo, chavilla ;)

Mae said...

I COMPLETELY understand!!! I'm not quite so great at taking the mornings for myself, tho it's the most sensible, non guilt enducing thing to do. I've thought about showering at the Rec and heading straight to work as well, but starting a day without two sleepy eyed smiles, baby's breath kisses and warm from the bed hugs is NO way to start! When you figure it all out write a book and let the rest of us know. :)

Jen said...

It's an insane balancing act and you seem to do an absolutely amazing job at fitting it all in. I've tried the morning thing and can usually only survive a couple weeks before I start to look like an extra in 'Night of the Living Dead'! Recently I found a gym that has a playroom my girls love so much that they ASK to go! It's fantastic, a workout with minimal mommy guilt. Granted I'm far less motivated than you and only looking to log a measly 60 minute workout with nowhere near the intensity of what you aim to do;-)

I want to start some swimming workouts too, so look for a where do I start email from me real soon!

Carolina John said...

That's quite a balancing act you've got going there. I also feel like i'm letting something suffer when i take time for my training. It's good to stay in balance.

Mrs. Daugherty said...

I have to say that you ARE inspiring. I have been telling myself that I can't possibly work out during the school year--and I'm not even a mommy or a Model UN advisor!! I'm going to try, Miss Sara--pushing for an Olympic tri next year--and it's not going to happen if I sit on my ars and whine about how being a teacher and an athlete is just too hard.

J. Daugherty