The Hard Stuff, the Good Stuff, and Being True to Who I Want to Be

Well y’all, blogging is hard these days. If I’m on a computer, I’m planning or prepping for school. By the time I’m finished with that, I don’t want to be on a computer anymore!

I have a little bit this morning to get some thoughts out, so I thought I would give it a go. I hope I don’t get too distracted.

Today is Halloween, which means our yearly camp tradition of a chili cook off and telling of the story of how camp started (and God’s amazing provision and redemption). It almost didn’t happen this year (long story), but I’m so thankful that it is going to happen after all.

Then, as per Crosland family tradition, we are setting up Christmas tomorrow (I don’t want to hear your opinion haha). This time of year is amazing and hard all rolled into one. We are moving into the part of year that is traditionally hard for me mentally and emotionally because of SAD and my brother’s death and my grandpa’s death), but I am hoping that since I am busy working (and enjoying my job), it will be a bit better.

The Hard Stuff

Working has been really hard. I’m pretty exhausted most days. My anxiety can be super high because of not being used to working with people and sometimes buckling under expectations. Parents can be tough. And to top it all off, we were just required to stay home for a bit because of Covid hitting our little school. Virtual school was pretty tough (now I understand, y’all). The students didn’t really learn a whole lot and working with the students one-on-one or in small groups was nearly impossible. I have been trying to figure out how to manage meshing the several different curriculums together to do what the administration is saying I should be doing. There have been some heavy issues going on, and Robert has had to constantly remind me to just let it go because fighting sometimes isn’t worth it.

I have struggled with eating well and regular movement. Well, I guess I do move regularly… when I was home, I sat a lot. As a teacher, I am moving all day. But you know what I mean. And I have developed some bad habits food-wise. It is just too easy to walk across the road and get junk food at the gas station. It’s too easy to walk next door and get a $6 teacher special for lunch. This usually consists of a burger, tacos, etc. I have always preached balance so these things aren’t “bad,” they just don’t meet my goals. I’m hoping that this will level out eventually.

Oh, and then there’s the chronic cough. I think we may be getting a few things figured out, but I think it’ll always be there to some extent.

The Good Stuff

Now that I got all of the hard stuff out of the way, let me share the good.

I have never had such love for students before. I feel a deep connection to them and we are a true family. I preach love and kindness regularly, and I even make sure that they KNOW that when there is discipline, it’s because I love them. They deserve to be taught how to manage behavior, emotions, etc to live a full life. It takes more work and effort, but it’s worth it. Some of them have some tough home lives, but there are also many of my students who have really great home situation and super supportive parents. I’m having to learn that not everyone will like me, and that’s okay. All I can do is love, support, and teach my students to the best of my ability and everything else will fall into place.

I have some really amazing and supportive friends at the school. They have helped me, taught me, encouraged me, and treated me as an equal. They have helped me work through how to handle some difficult situations. God is teaching me to be humble, kind, supportive, and encouraging because all I can do is control my attitude and actions.

Teaching again is the stuff of my dreams. I really thought that I had to give in to my mental health struggles and my physical health struggles and never work again. God gives good gifts and He has given me what I need to be able to manage the hard things. But, life has hard things. I had severe anxiety when I was home and when I was homeschooling. About many different things. Anxiety will be there, unfortunately. It’s all about how I manage it! And spending time with Jesus makes a huge difference in how I manage it.

I LOVE teaching third grade. It is such a fun grade. I know the standards pretty well, and third graders like seasonal, holiday, and silly stuff. They love to sing and dance. They adore Poetry Teatime. I love teaching them how to dig deeper, problem solve, and think critically. This isn’t an easy thing, but it will be worth it. I love making anchor charts, coming up with creative lessons, and doing things in a way that they have never seen before. I constantly hear, “we’ve never done it this way before.” I just have so much fun. Except for the really early wake ups, I love being at school. In the past when I taught, I dreaded Mondays. Now I look forward to them.

Being True to Who I Want to Be

One of the things that was hard for me when I taught before is that I thought I had to give up who I am to be a teacher. Living the “crunchy” lifestyle is definitely more challenging than before, but I’m realizing that I don’t have to completely ignore that desire. I just can’t make all the homemade things; now I have to pick and choose. And that’s okay. Balance is important.

We plan to start adding in some more adventuring again. We have a trip planned for the week of Thanksgiving: to the Gila National Forest. We’re taking the kids this time. We also plan to just do more trips to the back country here at camp also.

These things don’t have to disappear because life is getting busier, they will just look differently. And that’s okay! Life is always changing and evolving. It just is. So we just have to go with the flow!

I have been doing more scratch cooking/baking lately and I’m loving it. And I’m going to tackle making kombucha again– can’t wait! We still have chickens and now we also have a rabbit (for FFA) and two amazing pups!

That little photo grid has pics from a year or two ago at the top and the last few weeks at the bottom. I LOVE my long hair and I just see the increased confidence in the bottom pics.

Routine

After lacking much routine for a while, I realized that something that would make me feel less out of control is to force some routine again. It’s a work in progress, but the biggest thing for me is to have a cleaner house on a regular basis. Since I started working, the house has been a disaster regularly. It affects my anxiety SO much. A messy house is a huge anxiety trigger for me. I have been told so many times that a clean house isn’t important, but for someone with pretty severe anxiety, it IS SO important for me. Also, isn’t my home pretty?

Okay… I DID get distracted between company and phone calls and just my own distracted mind. Now I gotta go get ready for our chili cook-off!

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