Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Tug of War

A Quote from the Sisters of the Quilt Series
So my sister, Nikki, left three books for me at my mom's house to take home and read. One glance at the covers (picture of an Amish girl) and I thought, "Hmmm. Probably boring, but we'll see."
Turns out they were great!
I have weird taste in books. I usually like mysteries, but will read just about anything that doesn't have graphic sex and loads of cussing in it. It HAS to have an interesting story. So my favorite authors range from Jane Austen to Clive Cussler to Beth Revis to Janet Evanovich. It depends on my mood.
I started the first book in by Cindy Woodsmall's series and couldn't put it down. I finished all three in a week. Woodsmall weaves a story of love, loss, family dynamics, religion, the Amish culture, and does an amazing job!
One quote from the second book, "When Morning Comes," caught my eye. The main character, Hannah, has endured some pretty heavy stuff. Her parents have abandoned her, her community thinks the worst of her, and the man she loves wants nothing to do with her, so she left her familiar life for life out in the Englischers. (Yes, that is the correct spelling.) She slowly finds her way outside of the life she's known, but she feels torn.
Here's the quote:
"The world she now lived in and the one she'd been raised in seemed to battle within her constantly. Each pulled her in an opposite direction, as if she were the rope in a tug of war." (p. 268)
I read that and it hit a nerve with me. I've felt that way since I started teaching seven years ago. The home I was raised in (and the lifestyle I had grown accustomed to) is not the one I have today. I admit I was pretty spoiled growing up. I thought things were going to turn out differently.
I have felt a change happening within myself.

Part of it is getting older and my body changing, as well as my kids getting older, but the rest of it is having a career that is tugging me to become someone different than I was. It's not a bad thing, but it's uncomfortable. Who likes that much change?
I planned on being a stay-at-home-mom like my mom was and having a passel of kids. I planned on staying out of the world and living in my bubble of life with my kids and hubby. That didn't happen.
I planned on being a totally different person. Nicer. Saner. No luck.
My dad bugged me for YEARS to become a teacher. I tried the major at BYU and nothing really clicked for me, so I earned an English degree instead. Little did I know, twelve and a half years later, I'd use that degree to become a teacher!
Being a teacher is part nature, part battle for me. I'm the oldest of five kids and naturally bossy, so that part comes easy. The secretarial stuff (taking roll, grading, creating lessons, attending meetings, etc.) is a breeze. The actual teaching is like breathing. I love it. It flows out of me. But teaching itself is just a small part of what I do each day.
Part of the battle is the disciplining part.
Not my favorite part.
Avoiding confrontation used to be something I was good at.
Not any longer. I have confrontations with students (and sometimes parents and teachers) daily. This has helped me with my own children though. It's been a blessing really.
Am I better off than I thought I'd be? Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually--- yes. I feel like I'm doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do. I'm in the right place at the right time. I read today that opposition is something we encounter daily to help us grow. We have to have it to grow.
Teaching has REALLY helped me grow.
Life has REALLY helped me grow.
I had no idea.
I hope I'm still nice enough when it's all over.
Copyright 2013 Corrina L. Terry

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Time for . . . Me???

I've noticed my boys need my time less and less. Turning twelve and thirteen last year changed their lives and mine. They're suddenly busy with Young Men's (church group) or Mutual (combined Young Men-Young Women church group), sports, music, and their friends more and their dad and me less. They can cook/prepare their own snacks and most meals, even if they don't want to. They're pretty much self-sustaining, except for the daily reminder to shower and used deodorant. ;o)

Their idea of a fun Friday night isn't watching a family movie with us anymore, but playing Xbox, watching a movie they like, hanging out with guys their own age, or listening to their IPods. Childhood things are tucked away, and teenage activities have taken their place. I have to wince a little over this.

My life prior to this period revolved around what my boys wanted or needed to do each day. I'm a "hands on" mom---I took them to the library, enjoyed the kid programs there and helped them pick out books. I drove them to the park, pushed them on swings or played referee between them and their cousins. They enjoyed going grocery shopping with me and fought over who would push the cart. I came up with fun activities for Saturdays and days off from school. We explored museums, bird sanctuaries, and skate parks. I had grown used to being there for them all of the time and thinking things wouldn't change.

Now they don't need me to watch them every second of the day or even want to hang out with me 24/7 anymore. Seems like a good thing to most parents, right?

Still . . .

Having no younger children has left me at a precipice. What to do with this free time? I have felt a real loss. Actual tears have been shed. Finding a way to channel my helpful "mom" energy has been a challenge.

I miss being needed by little people. I guess it's a good thing I'm a teacher. I channel some of it into helping my students. Some of it has gone into cleaning my house better. (Ugh.) Some has gone into my lessons with the Young Women at church. Steve and I go on more dates and spend more time together at home than we used to. I've read gobs more books and watched even more movies and "Poirot" episodes.

Steve's been really supportive through this crisis of mine and has encouraged me in writing. I think he's got the right idea. I would love to finish the two stories I've started. I think writing about funny things that happen in life would be a kick. So, who knows? I've always believed that when one door closes, God opens another one. It's just not usually the door I would've picked. In this case, I don't have much of a say in keeping my kids little.

Copyright 2013 Corrina L. Terry
Photos: Me Clock:
Circle pic: The Henderson Ladies Me Time Group, Henderson, NV