When I was younger, I wanted to be two things. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to teach choir and theatre. I wanted to have my own classroom and come up with cool and quirky stuff to hang up, and thoughtful, fun assignments. I wanted to direct plays and touch lives and on and on.
I also wanted to write books. I wanted to give physical form to the stories that ran through my mind. I wanted to write a series (several, actually), and have cool cover art and see my name there.
Fast forward. I'm sitting in my classroom after a long rehearsal. I just finished tidying the room up for Parent/Teacher conferences tomorrow. I'm grading papers and entering them in my grade book. I have a headache and my feet hurt. I'm tired and a bit grumpy. I need to spend some serious time doing revisions on the third book in my series tonight.
I have what I wanted when I was younger. Everything I hoped and dreamed has come true--in a spectacular way! I spend my days teaching 130 choir students. I have my own classroom--after years and years and years and more years of using borrowed spaces and wandering from room to room. I direct two plays a year with enthusiastic kids and supportive parents. The third book in my series will be published in March.
I could go on and on, but the point is this: I have everything that I wanted when I was young. I have been blessed beyond what I could have hoped 20 or 30 years ago.
But instead of turning cartwheels and counting my blessings, the first reaction is to think how tired I am, and how much work I have to do, and how much grading there is, and on and on and on.
I don't think I'm the only one who does this. In fact, I'm sure I'm not. I think it's human nature to work and hope and pray for something--and then focus on the small aspects that are difficult, or the things we want more of, etc.
Essentially, we move the goalposts. We get what we want and then we change what we want. I suppose some of that is healthy to a degree because we keep striving and don't get in ruts. Still, I realize I need to live joyfully in the moment--focusing on all the really wonderful things and events and people that fill my life. No more moving the goalposts for me!
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Thoughts about raising and teaching adolescents. You can read the complete series here. (What in the world are Middle School Mondays?) Click here.
Genre: YA Paranormal
Genre: YA Speculative
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Please don't steal my words! Whatever I lack as a writer, it's still one of the few skills I have.
If you foolishly disregard this warning, I will send this guy after you. He's 6' 6".