Sunday, March 25, 2012

not mutally exclusive

Today is a wonderful Sunday - it's quiet in the house, but raining and windy and generally really nasty outside.  I'm baking cookies and muffins, and feeling like a stay-at-home baking mom.  I do miss the days where I would be the only one in the house, cleaning and planning dinner and feeling a little bored, a little restless.  I love teaching and I'm so thankful for my job, but sometimes I feel like being a good teacher and being a good mother are mutually exclusive.  Like last week, when Sally got sick and I needed to call for a sub - two days in a row.  I felt guilty for the last minute call, then guilty that I was not putting my family first.  A double-serving of guilt, which was all my own fault.  The people I work with understand that family needs to come first, and using my sick days certainly doesn't negate my hard work with my students. 

I know I'm not alone in doing this - feeling like I need to be everything to everyone and grading myself way too harshly because I don't measure up.

So today, as I bake oatmeal cookies and pumpkin muffins, I'm going to be thankful.  I'm thankful that Sally is feeling better.  I'm thankful that today is Sunday and we are all home.  I'm thankful for my comfy, slightly messy, perfect-for-our-family house.  I'm thankful for the pool and it's beautiful blue promise of summertime and slow hot days and long nights laughing with friends.  I'm thankful that, in the wide lens of life, a handful of sick days is really no big deal.  I'm thankful for my job, and my students.  I'm thankful I got the chance to meet them, to teach them math and science and maybe a little bit about life.  I'm thankful for my husband, for my daughter, for my son.  I'm even feeling thankful for my old arthritic dog.

Here's the lesson:  the next time you are being too hard on yourself, stop and start listing all the things you are thankful for in your life.  Start seeing the glass half full.  Life is hard and beautiful for everyone.  Hard and beautiful at the same time.  For every one.  Sure, some people seem like their life is all beautiful, and some people seem like their life is all hard.  But it's all hard and all beautiful for everyone every day.  The hard parts build your character so that you can appreciate the beautiful parts even more.

Love living your life!