Sunday, August 11, 2013

Birthday Reflections & A New Love

**Disclaimer: This post is pretty much not about teaching so feel free to skip it if you want to!**

So yesterday was my 35th birthday. Again, maybe if I keep saying that, I'll believe I'm that old :) I do not at all feel like I thought I would at age 35 when I was a young whipper snapper. Maybe its because I'm a teacher and the kiddos keep me young. I don't know.

I spent much of my birthday by myself actually. My girls were at my mother's house and the hubby had to work. LAME! I didn't really mind because I got to do whatever I wanted on my birthday.

First, I walked 1.75 miles over to the nail salon. Whew! I told myself if I walked, I could get the fill I so desperately needed. :) I got sky blue polish. (Does that sound like something a 35 year old would do? No? Just checking.) Then I walked the 1.75 miles home. Whew again! I definitely got my workout in, that's for sure. I felt fabulous when I got home and spent some time doing nothing but being me and it was great. No kiddos to mind or husband's to babysit. Just me and myself. Awesome-sauce.

My mom dropped my girls off and I convinced her to buy something for herself from my Thirty One party. (You can too by clicking on that little link. Yes, I am relentless.) Off she went and we still sat around doing pretty much nothing. And sometimes, that just feels fabulous.

After The Husband got home, we did presents. And I got kinda, sorta spoiled because I got nearly everything on my wish list, even though I wasn't expecting much. Hubby didn't let me buy him a lot for his birthday this year and I figured the same would go for me...but nope.

My super most favoritest gift? Rise. The Oldest introduced me to Skillet in 2012 when life sucked and I was dealing with the aftermath of finally spilling the beans about my past. I think that John Cooper, Skillet's lead singer/songwriter, must invade my brain because these songs SO represent my life. Where I was, where I am and where I want to go. Salvation has to be the best song I have ever heard. And SO true to my life. I am in love with it. I could listen to it all day and probably not ever get tired of it.

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that 2012 pretty much sucked. Not professionally--that year I had my little 2nd grade friends and I loved those kids. A few were kids I could have done without but in the end, I found something to love about them all and even the ones that drove me crazy in the moment taught me something. They were my saving grace that year, for sure. My personal life, on the other hand, was terrible. When you hide something as long as I did and then finally tell the truth about it....especially in the bombshell fashion that I did....well, it's not going to be pretty. I had major freak outs. I had days when I literally wanted to climb out of my skin and just not be me anymore. Probably the hardest part of dealing with all of that was having to stand in front of 27 2nd graders and be "on" all the time...and not show my weakness, my sadness and how I was crumbling like a house of cards inside. It was really, really hard.

I wrote a book, got all of my dirty laundry out there and finally, praise the Lord, am in a place today that I didn't think I would ever find while I was dealing with that garbage. It took me a LONG time to get here. My students, bless them, for all of their issues/troubles and intentions to drive me insane (*wink*) provided me with the means to lose myself in the passion of my career. To live for something other than myself. My own children do this too, of course, but its different when you want to run away from your life because its just to hard to live anymore. My students had no personal connections with me and I made it  my mission to be a rock star for them that year.

The day after my birthday, I sit and reflect upon where I was, where I am and how much farther I want to take myself. I want to show my girls that no matter what, you can do it. You can overcome. You can survive. You can kick some major ass while you're doing it too.

I think this is why, ultimately, that I am not freaking out about teaching 1st grade. A grade I always said I would avoid. I have a job. A job that absolutely love. I didn't get laid off like so many people in my district. It's not a grade I would have ever chosen on purpose....but God has a plan and I'm just going to smile and hang on for the ride. Someone needs me in their life this year, for some reason, and I just pray I'm open-minded enough to figure out who it is so I can try to do the job God wants me to do with/for this person/people.

That's the outlook I am taking for this 35th year. No matter what, smile, persevere and just get the job done. Period.
The Caffeinated Teacher


  1. Sounds like a great birthday--you have such an awesome perspective on LIFE! Happy birthday!

    1. It has taken me a long, long time to get to this perspective. I'm very grateful that I have been able to accomplish this sense of peace. I am trying my best to pass this newfound knowledge perspective on The Oldest. She's had some struggles in her young life and I'm trying to teach her that in the end, her love of Jesus is what is going to pull her through.

  2. Happy Birthday! Sounds like it was a good day!

  3. Happy Birthday, Raye!
    I am wishing you a wonderful year ahead. You have worked hard to get to this point in your life and you deserve plenty of happiness!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Thanks Kim! I'm trying to hard to help The Oldest develop this sense of perspective. She just turned 18 and has had some struggles recently due to my secret (because, of course, it directly relates to her). I want her to understand, in a way I never did until recently, that everything will be okay if you just keep pushing.