A challenge for every day of the week

I have to say… I quite content right now as a stay-at-home wife/nanny/tutor/seamstress/entrepreneur????/short-term missionary/volunteer “Sunday school” teacher/dog trainer… I think some of the best jobs are ones whose titles you really can’t pinpoint to a couple words.

Even with Husband Man being gone for almost three weeks (he comes home in two days, wheeeee!!) I’ve managed to keep myself quite busy. I’ve been working out 4+ days a week, hanging out with friends, sewing like a mofo, grocery shopping, cleaning….

The other day in my whirlwind of such exciting domestic activities, I got a call from a private school organization here in El Paso asking if I were interested in a part-time Spanish teaching position through the end of the school year, with a  possibility of full-time employment next year. Ehhhh. For once, I didn’t feel pressure to jump on a teaching opportunity. Besides, I’m already committed to the family I’m nannying for, committed to the trip to Honduras, and I love spending so much time with Aaron when he’s home.

Truth is, I am content. I’m truly excited for the next few months, as they’ll be super busy and challenging! I think for me, being challenged is a requirement for contentment. I feel challenged in my workouts, in training my dog (I got a Gentle Leader and it’s working well so far!), in creating something for someone when they send me a picture and say, Hey! Can you make something like this?

Just yesterday I made a messenger bag, and while I didn’t have a pattern for a smallish messenger bag, I had one for a purse with a long strap. So, with my super-awesome mathematical skills, I used proportions to make the pattern bigger and guess what? It totally worked! I may make one like this for myself….

I also finished my first legit quilt this week, with squares cut with my fancy-schmancy rotary cutter, batting, and actual quilting stitching on top! That took patience… and then I had to miter corners. Phew. However, I believe this is just one of many quilts I will make in my life.

Anyway. Today I had this idea of a shop I’d like to open someday before I die. Call it a bullet on my “Bucket List”, whatever… but a shop like the pottery shops where you can take your mom, grandma, BFF, whoever, and paint pottery. Except mine would be a sewing shop, where you can make a project in one sitting, or have your daughter’s ninth birthday party, or take a class, or buy a coffee (an in-house cafe would be essential!), or purchase supplies for a project… wouldn’t that be fun?? Maybe someday, after we are done traveling and serving around the world, and our children are grown and have given us beautiful grandbabies, and we’ve purchased that $590,000 property in the New Mexican valley, and opened our animal rescue….. and my husband would work next door in his used bookstore…. someday. 🙂

Fear of failure

I’ve had a major breakthrough recently that explains, well, a lot. I have a crazy fear of failure and a major lack of commitment… I know it’s only human, but it fuels a lot of my decision making.

I went to Bradley because I was afraid I couldn’t afford or be successful in med school. I mean, I was at the top of my class, but could I really be an expert in science and medicine??

I majored in Spanish instead of music (piano) or math because I was afraid I’d have to actually work at something. My piano teacher,  a professor at Bradley, wanted me to practice at least four hours a day. Um, what?! And as far as math goes, Calc 2 was hard. Like, crying my eyes out and panic attack before finals hard. (P.S. I got an A. Yeah.)

I’m good at Spanish. I’m good at teaching. In fact, I think I’m a pretty great teacher. I’m glad I went to school for something that I could do and use in the real world. I really believe that I’m called to be a teacher.

Honestly, the reason I haven’t pursued a teaching position here in El Paso is not explained by the following statements excuses:

  • I’m happy with being a part-time SAHW (stay-at-home wife).
  • I’m okay with working part-time.
  • I’m relieved to not have to do the lesson planning, grading, and dealing with parents. (Oh wait, I deal with parents in my job more now than I ever did teaching.)
  • I’m a military wife; who will want to hire me?
  • At least I have a job in my field.
  • It’s expensive to recertify in another state.
  • I’ll look for something when we “settle”.
  • I’ll just spend the time getting my Master’s. Might as well.

The excuses make me sick. What happened to the go-getter who actually worked for what she wanted?? I’m afraid that girl’s been hiding for a long, long time. I’m not sure when the transition was, but somewhere along the way, I must have failed at something and then became afraid.

That’s it, folks. I’m afraid. I’m scared that my Spanish will just suck. I’m scared I won’t pass my certification tests the first time. I’m scared of not getting an interview. I’m scared of getting an interview and totally botching it. I’m scared of actually getting a job and having to perform at a certain level. I’m scared of not getting my contract renewed.

I’m a walking self-fulfilling prophecy. This is not how a follower of Christ walks in faith!

I could go on about the other things in life I decide I will, you know, certainly fail in before I even try, but I’ll stick with this topic since it’s the most pertinent in my life right now. I think about it, a lot.

So. This is what I want to do. I want to eventually secure a full-time teaching position. If that happens next fall, fine, if not, fine. Chances are we’re going to be here for quite a while, if not the next four years until Aaron’s done. And we might even settle in Texas somewhere depending on job opportunities. Thing is, I’m gonna take steps towards my career goal(s). I want to teach. I want to someday be a professor.

I’m still planning on starting my Master’s (and yes, I’m even scared of that!).

Now that I’ve realized my biggest weakness, I can begin transforming it into my biggest strength. I’ve decided to have a better attitude at my current job and see it as a stepping stone to the next big thing in my life.

>What a Groundhog Day! and other things

>Snowpocalypse, Snowprah.. whatever you call it, it was a storm. Yesterday we had a snow day for the anticipated havoc. It started in the late morning and continued throughout the night. We even had thunder and lightning. It was bizarre. Luthor and I chilled all day. I was on the computer and sitting on my butt most of the day. I read some, knitted, even made dinner. I also got a sourdough starter going for bread. I got the idea from Katie.. who can pass up fresh, warm homemade bread?

This is what we woke up to this morning, and according to the weather service Peoria got 15 inches of snow.

I was absolutely dreading having to dig out my car as we don’t own a shovel. I got out there with my bucket and dustpan, no joke, and then was able to borrow a shovel from a woman who had borrowed it from maintenance. Two guys came around and helped me with the rest of it, and made sure I could back out. I don’t think I’ll go anywhere today because 1) I don’t feel like it or need to, and the gym is closed anyway and 2) I don’t want to risk losing my spot.

I’m excited about my Kindle cozy. This entrelac knitting has thrown me for a loop (no pun intended). I started it when we were in Wisconsin, and Katie was able to help me with it. She’s really good at reading the instructions and knowing what to do. I am the exact opposite and need someone to show me. Anyway. I got a good portion of it started, and yesterday I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how to continue. I combed YouTube and Google for videos and finally figured it out.

I think I will put in a zipper and line it when it’s all done, and maybe get some really cute buttons. It really shouldn’t take too long. Then I’ll tackle the socks again. I tried one and messed up within the first couple rows. Let’s just say I lose my patience pretty quickly with newer activities.

Back to school, back to school
On a different note, I’m considering going back to school soon to get my Master’s. But honestly, with moving around in the next five years, I don’t want to risk starting a program on campus somewhere and having to stay behind to finish it. Not happening. And a Master’s in Spanish online would really not improve my spoken skills all that much. That’s where I’m lacking.

With my current job as an aide to a boy with special needs (but he’s above average with most academic skills), I’ve found a niche I didn’t expect. In my two months in this job, I’ve realized that I can be absolutely content teaching any level, any subject. I subbed for almost a whole day a couple weeks ago and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

This leads me to considering my Master’s in Special Education. I thought about getting a certificate, but if I’m going to put in the time and money, I want to have something more to show for it. The other thing is that we would not take out loans and instead pay cash. This is quite a new concept to me as far as education is concerned. But it certainly is making me rethink a lot of things.

I found a program through a university that offers an online program, but also boasts a brick-and-mortar campus too. They are accredited and offer military spouses an awesome discount. They would also let me take up to five years to complete the degree, which is ideal. Financially, I’d be able to take only one class per term. This would allow us to still put money on debt, not let me be stressed out with school work, and I would have time to work full-time if the opportunity arose.

I’m still thinking about it, because it’s a big financial commitment, as it would be about $12k for the program. Part of me just wants to trust that work will be provided. In this time of uncertainty, I haven’t been jobless. The other part of me wants to be more cautious and wait it out. Education will always be there, even after Aaron’s out of the Army (2016). I could still work on an advanced degree when we start a family, so why rush it now?

However, if I pursue it now, it would let me recertify at some point, and land a more lucrative job. I’d also have more job opportunities and some schools might still offer tuition assistance. Hmm. MyCAA, the military tuition assistance for spouses, does not pay for graduate tuition. I think I will start saving money and see how I feel in a few weeks.

Remember when I was working at the fabric store and said I’d be open to managing something like that someday? Yeah, let’s pretend I never said that. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I want to stay in education for a very very long time. Like I said, it doesn’t matter to me if I’m teaching high school, or an aide in grade school, or even subbing for a little while (gasp!). There’s just something that excites me still about influencing and educating young minds. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been teaching/mentoring/tutoring in some fashion for ten years (I started teaching piano in 2000 at age 14).

Back to fitness
I am going to start tracking my workouts and nutrition again on sparkpeople.com. I gained 3-5 pounds since Aaron was home and got off track with eating. Yesterday I ate a lot.. so many different things that I can’t even remember what all I ate. According to SP, I burned about 300 calories shoveling snow this morning. Since the gym isn’t open and I was supposed to do a six-miler, I’m going to do some yoga and strength training today at home. Back on the healthy wagon I go!

Stay safe, everyone.