Wednesday, March 20, 2013

365 Days of Gratitude: Days 68 - 78

So I have dropped the ball a little....Last, last weekend was a bit eventful. I was released from my calling as a Primary Teacher, well that actually happened this Sunday because of last Sunday.

The last few weeks of Sunday teaching for me had been getting harder and harder. I was completely bogged down by feelings of obligation in almost every area of my life. I would be preparing my lesson on Sunday morning and thinking "I don't want to be doing this...", "how I can I testify and teach about this principle if I am just not feeling it?" Church for me is different from other aspects of my life, the rest just grind on no matter how I am feeling, but my religious experience is so completely dependant on my spiritual health. This means that in order for me to fully serve my Primary class and I need to be nourished. And yes, I know we are all up and down sometimes with our commitment and attention to spiritual things but I didn't feel like I was getting any better. I started not wanting to go to church at all.

This all came to a head on that Sunday. I had 12 children to teach because one of the other teachers wasn't there. It happens, teaching is a voluntary role. Which was fine, really, because it was my old class so I knew them well. The problem started when I realised that I had prepared the wrong lesson, because I have been away for 2 weeks (one for a dancing commitment and the other, because I just couldn't drag myself there) and I misjudged where we were up to. The children had already had the lesson that I was about to teach. So instead of rehashing it I decided to have a quiz.

I am not a person that functions well thinking on my feet, so it was a little messy from the beginning. What made it worse was that two brothers that I normally have my individual classes who are fine by themselves, together were a nightmare! They were hiding under chairs and and being totally distracting. We are not a school, not qualified teachers so we do not discipline - if we encounter bad behaviour (this was a first time for me) we are required to take the child to their parents. Problem is these two boys would not listen, the wouldn't come out of class at all. Eventually the Primary President came in took control - and I was happy to give it, but them I was barely holding it together.

After class I was a wreck. I sat it the toilet, crying and praying. I couldn't do it any more.

I didn't want to ask for a release, because that just isn't done, well it is, but I guess it shouldn't be. At least that it how I felt. You accept you calling to serve until it is over. The flip side was that if I couldn't stop teaching I was going to stop going to church. I was hiding from all of the Primary ladies but one found me and took me to the mother's room and I cried again as I shared with her how I was feeling. Like a complete failure, that's what! She told me that it was far better for me to stop teaching than to stop going to church over it. She also expressed her gratitude to me for being such a reliable teacher over the past year - and told me not to feel like a failure. (Trying to!) It was important for me to take care of myself  first.

So I walked out of church that Sunday relieved and completely grateful.

Then I took a break. Blogging had started to feel like an obligation too. Instead stopping however I have decided to modify - I think I need reduce my posts to every second day, or every week. I will see how it goes.

These past 11 days I have been grateful for....

My blow up that Sunday. For without it being so difficult nothing would have come of it and I would still be trying to grind on, feeling worse every week. I am grateful for the opportunity to get back to me and to focus on my spiritual experience every Sunday.

Surviving another week of school. It always feels like that, I just manage to get my homework or my readings done the morning - or half hour - before my classes. I wish I could get on top of it more, although it feels like this is just the nature of full time study with a family. I acknowledge there is space for me to try harder though, so I am not so frazzled all the time. Working on it!

My thrifty husband. I love that he is so responsible and cautious with our financial circumstances. Sometimes his thrift is quite hilarious though.....I like to buy the children dressing gowns or winter PJs for Easter and this year mum bought them PJs and I was buying the dressing gowns. I was talking about it with Michael and of course he said we can't afford it, which was followed by the response 'I will make them myself'. It is the usual response and has been quite a running joke with me, because often it is in response to things he most definitely cannot make! when I wanted to buy a wall clock! (Recently instead of getting a new power cord for the laptop, he spent a whole weekend messing around with his power tester, soldering, cutting wires...etc - but by the end of it the cord works brilliantly and you wouldn't even know that he cut an inch if it. He saved some money and was very pleased with himself.)

So dressing gowns. He is most definitely making them. Instead of buying material he has purchased coral fleece blankets from KMart which are far cheaper - queen size for $19. The challenge has grown to making some for his grandchildren as well....7 in total. Currently his 4 down with 3 to go and getting better and better with each one.

Love my super talented husband!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 67

Yesterday I was thankful for....

Early morning study time, and the chance to sleep when I am tired. Jack wet the bed, it happens twice a week lately, he is still in training but getting a lot better. Unfortunately afterwards I couldn't get back to sleep - this was at 2am. It was not very useful laying in bed so I got up and did a couple of hours of study. I don't know why I am so productive at that time of morning, I hate that I am, but it works.

The flip side to a super productive morning is that I was exhausted by 11am. Very thankful that all the kids are at school and I get to catch up when I don't get enough sleep. I remember those days too well when they were little and I was constantly exhausted and sleep was awful.

Family time and Psych Pizza Night. Woot!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 66

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Time with friends. More specifically my best friend, the only person I have even been able to swap shoes with (size 10 too!), my bridesmaid....who helped make my wedding one of the best days of my life....Evette.

I have known Evette for almost 5 years, I cannot believe it has been that long! Our sons were both in Prep together. I had just left my first husband and I was a mess. Withdrawn, ridiculously insecure, anxiety girl. She noticed that my son was wearing a "Huonville Primary School" school jumper and started a conversation with me. She had grown up in Huonville. Of course she was from Tassie, she was the funkiest mum there.

We became instant friends, with the help of our boys being best mates. She watched me heal, listened to me wax long about myself, my future, the men that I dabbled with, drank with me, shared her wisdom, her insecurities, laughed with me....and confirmed my feelings that Michael was most definitely a keeper.

I don't get to see her much. I moved further away and we are both so busy with work/uni/family etc that it is hard to catch up. But when we do, it is awesome and I cherish it, and wish those times were far more frequent.

Yesterday we went op shop, piles of clothes - over three hours of girlie awesomeness. We talked and tried on clothes, swapping them above the change room stalls. It was so fun...we must do it again...soon.

We lunched and talked more. I wish we didn't have to pick up the kids, because we probably could have talked all day. Sometimes I wonder if we had unlimited time, how long could we actually talk for? hmmm.....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 65

Yesterday I was thankful for....

The coffee shop right outside my lecture theatre. I was exhausted all day, not really sure why. As I was falling asleep doing the readings for my lecture in morning I knew it was going to be bad....Argh! Lectures are bad at the best of times! It is just not my method of learning - I cannot be spoken at for 2 hours and not feel drowsy. How is that going to stimulate my mind!?

Anyway, I was clock watching, pinching myself and trying not to close my eyes for too long, counting the minutes until the halfway break. I was thankfully saved by a decaf skinny mocha, or maybe it was just the act of getting up and walking around.

That was the day I wish I drank coffee....though from experience I am pretty sure caffeine doesn't do anything for me.

Trying not to fall asleep at inappropriate moments is torture! 
(One of my most embarrassing falling asleep moments was an out of office training on a new accounting system 12 years ago. There was only three of us, and this chick was talking on and on....and I was falling asleep, my head lolling everywhere. It was so humiliating!!)

Do you think that means I would be really easy to hypnotise? hmmm

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 64

Yesterday I was thankful for.....

Just getting through the day. Seriously, 8am lectures....really? I am done just getting the kids off to school....*sigh* hopefully I can get it together by the end of semester.

Being a half decent cook. It stresses me out a bit, trying to think of something - but I am thankful I can bust out a healthy meal with time pressure. Last night it was Spanakopita, out of the oven as I was heading out the door again for a night lecture.

An awesome husband that picks up the slack. When I am busy Michael gets a chance to show his true colours, he is amazing. He hangs out the washing, washes up, sweeps the floor...etc etc awesome, awesome, awesome. I wouldn't be able to study full time without his help.

15min kettlebell workout a friend shared with me. It's fabulous. Weight and cardio at the same - I prefer hard and fast than long workouts. I managed to squeeze it in after uni just before I picked up the kids from the school. Win!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 63

Yesterday I was thankful for....

My neck being almost healed.

The motivation to do my Accounting Theory homework. A serious achievement. This subject is brutal.

Another successful tentative attempt at Family Home Evening. During dinner we talked about Easter and I made chocolate chip hot cross buns for dessert - they weren't great....but hey, they were made with love, or haste. Whatever. A bit of both. We followed it all with an episode of "Once Upon a Time". Oh, the moral dilemmas of fairytale characters. Love it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 62

Yesterday I was thankful for....

My husband taking the children to church even though I wasn't going. The stiffness and pain in my neck was worse, I slept terribly during the night. In all honesty though, I was feeling extremely down in spirit as well.

As I was preparing my lesson, everything I read rang true, yet it didn't pierce my heart. I just couldn't feel it. How could I possibly testify of the restoration of the priesthood to my primary class if I didn't feel it? I knew that it was my fault that I wasn't feeling the spirit, and that really depressed me. I couldn't even bring myself to pick up my scriptures.

Michael willing took the children to church without me, which is a blessing in itself. I am grateful for my husband's constancy and that our whole family's spiritual learning doesn't stop because I am having an off day.

Tomorrow being a new day. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 61

Yesterday I was grateful for....

Honestly, I can't really think what happened yesterday - let alone specific things I was grateful for.

I was tired after the night's midnight ice cream indulgence and couldn't get back to sleep. I got up and did a bit of study .Ash was up with me, not being able to get back to sleep after Michael came home either.

Combat. It was hard and my face was red afterward - fabulous!

Arriving home to clean bedrooms and no dishes in the sink. Thanks to Michael for cracking the whip over the kids to get their Saturday chores done.

I fluffed around on and fantasised about what art I wanted in my home.

I do not like many of Gustav Klimt's pieces - but this one is gorgeous!

I had a 20 min nap and woke up with a stiff next.

An opportunity to step outside my comfort zone. I nervously said the opening prayer at a friend's daughters baptism.

It rained constantly.

A home that keeps us safe, dry and warm.

I didn't do any study.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 60

Yesterday I was grateful for....

A movie date with my husband. He had an RDO,  and I inadvertently wagged my first Public Law lecture....honestly, read my timetable wrong - thought my tute was my lecture.

We lunched on Subway and watched 'I Give It A Year'....*sigh* it was crap. I was so disappointed because I did want something light and funny, and I love British movies - but this one, don't bother. I am usually so particular with the movies I watch - storyline, content etc. I was waaay wrong with this one.

Still, it was awesome just having a day with Super Stud.

Psych Night!!! Oh yeah! We have been waiting for a year and half for the return of our favourite show.

We all were so excited. I made pizzas and we ate in front of the was such a good episode! Now that it is back on, we get to have Psych Night every Friday night. Yay!!

Midnight ice cream treat. Before Michael left for dancing I asked him to bring me an ice cream home with him. I didn't have high expectations, and plus I am always asleep anyway at 1.30-2am! 

But he did.

I had a midnight Maxibon snack....awesome. 

He also relayed a back and forth he had with the 7-11 guy: 

Super Stud: I have to bring my wife home an ice cream or I am in trouble...but in the morning she will be disappointed and complaining about her butt.

7-11 Guy: Yeah, my wife would complain about her butt too. 

Super Stud: But I like her butt the way it is. 

7-11 Guy: Well, if she lost her butt she wouldn't have any boobs, and I like her with boobs.

Super Stud: Yeah, I like my wife with boobs too.

Good to know.

Friday, March 1, 2013

365 Days Of Gratitude: Day 59

Yesterday I was grateful for.....

A crazy awesome workout. I am totally thankful to my girl, Faith, and her crushing weekly workouts. 25mins hard out has me sore in all the right places for a couple of days.

 "You can go hard, or you can go home...."

Beef Stroganoff. It's been awhile since I have made it.

Don't know why though, because it is so so good! 

I like to make mine simply with beef (blade steak bashed with a rolling pin), onion and mushrooms, stock, plain flour, s&p and plain yoghurt - but I discovered yesterday that adding worcestershire sauce adds a super tasty dimension and great colour. Oh yeah - and served with  large shell pasta.

Am I the only that growls at anyone that would dare tip the left over gravy down the sink? Baby, I am having that ish for lunch over pasta!......mmmm