Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008: A year of changes (?)

2008 is gonna be a year of changes. I can FEEL it.

<--But lets first get the gratuitious boob shot out of the way. (I think there's one there. )
No need to thank me guys.

Well, 2008 is the year no meds. I've been on meds for treating anxiety and adult AD/HD for the past 6 or 7 years, and I've tapered off them (under my doc's directions, of course) and now I'm done. I feel good. I feel calm. A little disorganized, but calm.

Second, it's the year that I accept that I'm going to be a bit softer, and rounder than what one imagines an endurance athlete to be. I entered all this hoping I'd come out of it with a hard body but what I have instead is a stronger, fitter body, and that's fine. I'm happy with that, and will focus on getting stronger and fitter and loving myself.

Lastly, at some point during 2008 I'm going to make a dramatic change in my career. I chose teaching because it provided the best intersection of my talents, abilities, and interests along with the (at the time) role of a single mother. I was available for my children when I needed to be. However, as my youngest approaches his senior year of high school he (thankfully) no longer needs me as much as he did.

Oh, he thinks needs me for ride after practice but we built our home 2 miles from the high school for a reason. Plus it's hard to whine to your mom that you need a ride when you've done an Olympic distance triathlon, a half marathon, AND you're in cross country but especially when your mom's 10 mile run goes past your school. Go on and hoof it, triathlon boy.
But anyway.

I'm good at what I do, and take it very seriously. I have lots of skills in reality but not on paper. Here's some of them that I'm trying to fit into a resume:
  • I can make about 30 kids gasp with horror (by writing something on the board, tonight's homework assignment or the quadratic equation)
  • I can bend and twist any government regulaton or new rule and make it conform to what I'm already doing.
  • I can scan a room of people and, in about 10 seconds to determine whose cheating, who's sleeping, whose texting on their cell phone, whose watching a video on their ipod, who's doodling instead of working and--HEY, WHERE ARE YOUR HANDS? NO, YOU CANNOT SHARE A SEAT. BECAUSE I SAID SO, THAT'S WHY.

  • I can stand outside and watch kids get on the buses. And off the buses. And kiss each--HEY, LET'S MAKE A CLEAN BREAK, GUYS. THIS IS A FAMILY PLACE.
    I'm required to do this, twice a week.

  • I can test the hell of kids (thanks, NCLB).

  • I can use a computer fairly well, and I know the proper bribes for getting first on the list of the tech people when I need it fixed.
  • I can write a lesson plan and then change it at the last moment because of an unnanounced picture make-up day, "off sight evaculation drill," or other contingency.
  • I can, by creative use of language, make a parent enthusiastic about the idea that we should, "maybe think of other options besides college for Natalie."
Now, this spring I'll have about 10 years experience teaching and 2 master's degrees, one in Educational Psychology and one in Counseling.

Unfortunately counseling turns out to be a fairly useless degree, which nobody told me. Anybody can call themselves a "psychotherapist" without any training whatsoever in nearly every state, and few people know the difference between a "psychotherapist" and a "licensed professional mental health counselor."

What I do will need to cover incidentals such as running shoes, student loans, the ever-increasing cell phone bill, as well as allow me the time to get in all the training that has helped me become calm and thoughtful and happy. Because, without those, I'm no good to anyone, the people I try to help, my family, or myself.

More on this story as it develops.


  1. Love the list of talents. Good luck in reaching your 2008 goals.

    Stay tuned...

  2. Happy New Year.

    Good luck to you in 2008.

  3. I'm afraid of ADHD medications. I like bright shiny objects...

    Glad to hear that there are some educators that realize that not every child is destined for a college degree. And thanks to NCLB, fewer and fewer are prepared for the rigors of college.

  4. Good luck in your search - it sounds like you are well prepared for whatever direction you may choose to go.

    And many of us remain a bit softer than we would like. I am glad to hear that you are not losing any sleep over that minor issue.

  5. I am interested in how methodical and careful you are being as you contemplate such a huge change. As one feeling a bit unhappy at work right now I need to figure out how to go about evaluating my options!

  6. Jenny, I would suggest finding a professional who can administer a COPS assessment. it evaluates your interests, values, and abilities. They might do it at the state employment office.

  7. Best wishes for a wonderful 2008. I hope you find what you're looking for. And yeay for us softer, rounder triathletes!

  8. I like the other Boob picture better. But, I'll take what I can get :)

    Do they teach the horror gasping skill in the education curriculum? It seems to be a skill most teacher have.

    Good luck with your adventure! Funny, I just changed jobs so I can spend more time with the kids!

  9. I'm looking forward to following your acheivements in '08!!!

  10. Thanks for the boob shot and I think I’ll be taking more meds to get through the rigors of training of 2008.

  11. Congrats on deciding to make a change. Alot of people will just stay where they are unhappy.

    I can't wait to see where this takes you.

  12. make me want to get up and turn my computer on every day! Too funny!! I can totally relate!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I just came across your blog, and will definitely check back again. I am thinking I've got to leave teaching this year, too - because well, I don't like it. I also vowed to start running again this year. I ran my one and only marathon 5 years ago (before I had kids) and came in dead last. Seriously, my Dad was there begging them not to pack up, but to wait for the last runner - me :) I really loved the experience and the training, tho. I miss it.


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 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...