I Feel Stretched Too Thin

I know, I am being horribly neglectful to the blog. But apparently, according to my therapist, I am being horribly neglectful to myself. I just don’t have enough time for everything everybody expects me to do.

Typical to-do list, going directly from one thing to the next:

  • Wake up and feed the toddler
  • Teach a couple of classes via the satellite program I work for
  • Commute to work
  • Teach classes at school
  • Work on tech during my lunch and conference
  • Commute home
  • Make dinner
  • Feed toddler
  • Clean kitchen/play with toddler
  • Get her ready for bed

When I get up at 5 and she isn’t asleep until 8, I often don’t get 30 minutes to sit down and do nothing until 8:30.

And she wants to know why I don’t go out and do something for myself.

When? In that magical two hour break that only exists in my imagination? I didn’t realize I could transfer that to real time.

In the evening when the baby is asleep? Most places are closed then. Plus, I get up at 5 so I want to sleep. Or maybe take a quick shower if I am feeling fancy.

Trust me, I would love to just sit and do nothing. Take a bath. Zone out and watch a movie. Get a pedicure.

But this work schedule sucks. It is a vampire stealing everything.

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Break is Over Tomorrow

Do you remember when you were a kid and your holiday break was ending and you realized that it meant going back to school? And it was so sad?

Well, teachers still feel that.

It was a good break.

Not especially productive, but good.

I read four books (but none of the plays I had meant to read). I got super into a whole bunch of different web comic series and binged them like crazy (but forgot to run some basic errands). My cold finally went away (but I forgot to lesson plan). I mailed out my grad school application (but ended up having to beg someone else to write a letter of recommendation last minute since somebody ghosted me). I cleaned up all of the Thanksgiving decor (but haven’t taken out the Christmas stuff yet). I played with my toddler a bunch (but forgot to go to the Renaissance festival which we had purchased tickets for).

Oh!

And I really like my new therapist.

That is definitely good.

But tomorrow looms and who knows what that will bring?

I Don’t Know Where to Start

As mentioned in my last post, I have been having a terrible time lately.

My work is really triggering me in so many ways. It is clear that I need to get out of that toxic environment.

But I have no clue where to look.

I have been checking other district sites on the off chance that they need a teacher with my certification, but I am not putting much stock into that:

  • It is still so early into the school year. The only people who would have left by now, quit… and why would they quit if the school was great?
  • Jumping into a new district without the inservice days that let me at least learn a few people’s names would just increase my feelings of isolation.
  • I am not sure I want to stay in education.

Ever since the Santa Fe shooting, I have been growing more and more aware of this dark cloud in me saying “Get out. Now.”

Maybe this is my chance?

But I don’t know how to look elsewhere. My degree, certifications, and work experience limit my choices. A few friends suggested non-profits and inter-corporate training positions. I have no clue how to get into those fields. Would I have the skills needed?

The biggest question, though, is would I be able to afford starting all over.

When we had been looking at houses, we looked at our financials seriously to see what we could feasibly afford. While this didn’t end in a house, it did end with me knowing a very accurate amount that I need to earn per month for us to still be OK.

(Side note: I felt bad when friends would suggest I just quit and focus on my mental health and finding a job while away from my current toxic workplace, because despite me feeling that it is what would truly be best for me, it is completely impossible.)

Jumping into an entirely new industry where I have no experience would put me at entry-level, low paying positions. Not that teachers make a ton (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) or anything like that, but if I had to take a second job doing remote tutoring with the pay cut I took for this job, can you imagine what would happen with the pay cut that would come with me being entry level in a new field?

I don’t want that to be the reason I am trapped, but it looks like it might be.

It was suggested that I contact a recruiter. I am going to look into that. They would be able to tell me if I am wasting my time by searching for this magical position.

We Lost Another House

They countered our offer. We accepted. Last minute cancel.

Meanwhile, our landlord finally came with someone to look at the falling apart wall. Told us “not to touch it, because it is unstable.”

Uh. Duh. Anybody looking at the wall can see that. It is LITERALLY cracking and crumbling from the inside out.

It actually struck me that it is a pretty good metaphor for my life currently.

  • Giving the facade of being useful/doing my job
  • Weakened from the inside
  • Cracking at the seams
  • Falling apart

I actually took a picture of it the other morning, because the pure irony made me laugh. I am going to make a meme for myself.

Definitely not feeling this new job. The school board changed the school’s hours in August and I am seeing less of my family than when I supposedly had a more demanding job. Getting out of this house and into a new one was something I was pinning everything on. It would make it worth it.

Welp. That has clearly backfired.

More cracks in my foundation as everything just seems to wear down on me heavier than normal.

Without anything to really look forward to, I am not sure how much my facade can keep up before I do actually just fall apart.

I Turned My Hair Orange

I dyed my hair purple and pink at the start of the summer… to cheer me up after a pretty crap couple of months, you know.

Most of the color has washed out, but there is still quite a bit of pink.

Well, I am in a play that takes place in the 1940s. It opens in 3 weeks. My character wold definitely NOT have pink hair.

So I did what one normally does. I bought one of those boxed dyes in my natural color. Boxes that I have used plenty of times before with the usual results.

Except.

My hair is now a brassy orange, bleachy color.

Honestly, I was legitimately crying last night. I was so upset. I did not have it in me to deal with this too. I tried calling around to salons to go pay a ton to get it professionally done. But because it is Sunday, everybody closes at 6.

Which is stupid. Why? Augh.

Thank goodness I don’t have students until next week. But I do have professional development today. I have it up with a ton of mousse and hairspray, to try to mask how awful it is.

I am hoping to get out early so that I can rush to a salon and pay a bunch for them to fix it.

Why it happened this time, I’ll never know. But it really makes me sad.

 

 

It looks so bad.

A Lot Has Been Going On

And I mean A LOT.

I wasn’t trying to be neglectful towards writing. But a bunch of stuff all happened at once.

  • I acted in a 24-hour play festival that is 100% for charity. I have been part of this group for years and love getting to participate in these. My group had a play that was a “period piece musical”. Our playwright wrote a parody of Grease called “Greek is the Word” that was all in ancient Greece. I played Sandromeda and was in love with Danny Zeus-O. It was hysterical. The audience votes on awards and we won two: Cast That Looked Like They Had the Most Fun and the coveted Best in Show! And we raised over $2000 for the food bank! All in all, amazing.
  • I had a dermatology appointment. I am very pale and burn like nobody’s business. I have had two moles removed in the past. I had noticed a new mole and went in. I had to have it sampled because it looked suspicious. Thankfully, no melanoma. But I have developed melasma (a skin discoloration issue that puts me more at risk) and not have to put some expensive serum on my face every morning as part of my skin care regimen. And I need to step up my skin care to Level: Negative Sun So Use Even More Sunscreen Then I Already Do.
  • We went on vacation. This was our first vacation since our honeymoon and definitely the first one with a tiny person as part of our family. Our toddler loves Sesame Street and animals. She is fascinated with aquariums. So, we went to Sea World. They do a cool thing where teachers can get a free pass if they sign up at a specific time? We always sign up and hope we will use them, but normally don’t. This time we used them!
    The drive there was about 4 hours. She napped for the first half and woke up for the last chunk, so I sat in the back with her and we did art on her Kids’ Fire tablet.
    She surprisingly slept amazing in the hotel. On the last night, she didn’t fall asleep until 9, but if that was our only sleep issue? Haha, fine!
    She loved the dolphins so much. She was clapping and cheering during the show, which was really cute. She somehow knew when to applaud. And the way her eyes would light up at them. It was so sweet.
    She was really stunned to see all of her Sesame friends. Especially since Cookie Monster came up to her and danced with her. Afterwards, we did pictures with them and she insisted on showing Cookie her little Cookie Monster car.
    We were going to try to go back to the hotel for naptime, but she typically dozed off in her stroller while we were walking to a show and woke up right before the show. So she was getting small 30 minute cat naps. But no meltdowns! She did great!
    All in all, this was an amazing first family vacation! There were definitely things I’d like to try differently next time. I’d really love to look into a cruise, but apparently they charge full price for a toddler? So, that will be happening never.
    One of the big things I wish I had been better about was sunscreen. I applied it to me and my mini religiously. She stayed nice and pale. I apparently wasn’t doing a great coverage job on myself, though, and sunburned my shoulders/cleavage/neck. And right after that doctor’s appointment when I was even more hyper-aware of my skin. Tsk Tsk, me.
  • We returned home and I began rehearsals for the show that I am in. For the most part, it is going alright. One day, I was trying on costumes so the costumer and director could adjust them and some of the cast made me feel incredibly self-conscious. They decided it was “helpful” to talk about how “frumpy” and “big” I looked, knowing that I had a baby last year. Yes. I am aware that I haven’t lost the baby weight. Yes. I am not tiny. Yes. I know all of this and feel awful about it. So thank you for pointing it out for your own entertainment with me standing right there. Thank you for talking about me like an object and not considering how much you hurt my feelings.
    Obviously that was a great day.
  • I started my new job! There was a week of “New Teacher Orientation” meetings for teachers who were new to this school district to learn how this district does things. Everything has been pretty great so far, until I got to see my classroom.
    It has the potential  to be amazing. Too bad the teacher before me left SO MUCH JUNK. It is overwhelming. Every file cabinet and shelf is jammed full of papers that are of no use to me. I have boxes of stuff that I cannot unpack yet because I simply do not have anywhere to put them. I was given about 30 keys and so far have only found two that actually unlock anything. Meanwhile, I have found quite a few locks that I do not have keys for but need keys for.
    I keep trying to remind myself that this will (hopefully) be dealt with before students arrive.
  • I got a call the other night from my dad. My grandma passed away. She had been battling brain cancer, so it was not entirely unexpected. Thankfully, she had recently decided that the risk with her treatments were outweighing the slim chance of success, so she had recently been transferred to “comfort care”. She was not in any pain and went quickly. I hate saying “thankfully” for this, but I am grateful that she did not suffer in pain. That the transition from “comfort care” to her passing was actually relatively quick so her family was actually with her while she was still lucid. I don’t really know how else to explain it. I don’t mean it in a callous way at all. When my grandpa (her husband) died of lung cancer when I was much younger, it was a very long, arduous fight. He was in so much pain and it was a very lengthy battle.
    I spoke to her awhile back, when the brain cancer was first found and she just wanted to talk about my daughter. I am really sad that she never got to meet her.
  • Speaking of my dad, I am trying again to extend an olive branch. I mentioned to him in joking way “When are you going to come see your granddaughter?” and he told me I had never invited him! I reminded him of the two times I have definitely extended specific invitations (the summer after she was first born and her first Christmas). He swears up and down I never did. He says he is looking into it, but if he forgot about the other times, I am worried he will forget about this time too. I can’t keep getting my hopes up on this. I keep trying, but there have been no results so far. So while I am hopeful (I would love for him to be part of her life), I am trying to keep my expectations realistic.
  • We put an offer in on a house! And the offer was accepted! The timing is not ideal, due to school starting back up, but we are just so sick of renting. We want our own place. We love the house we are renting, but our landlords have made it very clear that they aren’t interested in ever selling, or even letting us lease to buy. We had started looking with a realtor, just for her to get some feel of our styles. Our hope was too maybe move during the winter? Our lease ends mid-January. We ended up really loving one house, so we decided to jump on it.
  • Which leads to today. We had the house inspection this morning. It did not go well. There are many problems that were masked really well. We are very discouraged. Our realtor is going to look into making an addendum to suggest to us regarding “fix it or charge less” for the sellers. But those don’t always work, so we may be back to square one. We shall see.

This is my attempt at a severely abridged version of the past month. Plenty of smaller things have happened too (my cousin got engaged, my friend had her baby, I had to help the new teachers for the old school that wanted me gone, etc.), but these were the major bullet points.

Hopefully things get a bit calmer, but who knows?

Another Work Conference

But not me. My husband.

He left this morning. He will be gone throughout the week.

We FaceTimed him just before bedtime and I could see that he was getting some idea of what I went through a few weeks back.

You don’t think it will be hard. It’s only a few days, after all. But she is growing up SO FAST. She is a full-fledged toddler now. She is just obsessed with running all over the house and trying to climb everything, all while chattering away.

Meanwhile, I will see pictures of her on “this day last year” and she was SOOOOO TINY.

So yes, it sucks to be away from her for even a handful of days since you don’t know how much she will have changed.

We are starting to teach her to swim, too. She loves being in the pool. I also am looking into some form of gymnastics class for her for fall.

I just want to make sure she has everything she needs. To be able to grow up knowing that she is capable of anything.

Uh oh. She just started crying. So for now I will make sure she knows that she can always snuggle with me when she has a bad dream.