Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place to share our Slice of Life. Read more slices or add you own here.
This week I discovered a new website from Jen Vincent from Teach Mentor Texts, called Story Exploratory. This website is a place to "find out how to discover the story inside of you!"
In one of the posts Jen reflects on her ideal life and finished this statement: My life is ideal when... She states, "I found that my life is most ideal when I'm spending time with my family, when I'm reading, when I'm writing, and when I'm taking care of myself by exercising, eating healthy, and spending time with my friends."
She concluded that taking care of herself and her family was the most important part of her ideal life, but realized that she was spending a lot of time working. I know she has small children, and I am sure at many times, she feels that "mother guilt" that we feel when we do not always put our families first. She knew she had to make some changes to live that ideal life.
As I was reading this, I realized how my "ideal life" has changed. I didn't have to make changes; the changes were made for me.
I gave up my first career to stay at home with my two children. At that time, my ideal life was when I let the dirty dishes sit because I was playing outside or watching Barnie, when I read bedtime stories, when I got goodnight kisses, when I made homemade chocolate chip cookies and when we played in the wading pool in the backyard.
That was my ideal life, and I do not regret one single day of staying home with them.
Now, my two children are almost adults, and I find that I have more time to put into my career. I will admit that when I first read Jen's post, I felt that guilt resurface. I asked myself, Am I putting too much time into my career? Am I wrong for doing this? Am I neglecting myself and my family?
But now I realize the dynamics of my ideal life has changed. My family has different needs. I have time to do some things just for me.
Now it is my TURN...which happens to be my one little word for 2015. I have several professional goals that I want to achieve, and at my age, I know I do not have as many years as most teachers in which to accomplish those goals.
I think our ideal life changes as our life takes TURNS. Guilt should not be a product of those changes.
Right now, on this very day, my ideal life is when I'm cooking meals and cherishing the time to eat together, when I am handing out a couple of dollars here and there, when I'm doing laundry, when I am listening to their problems, and when I am going to bed knowing they are both safe at home.
But it is also when I'm sharing my reading life with my students, when I'm writing my story, when I'm attending PD to become a better teacher, and when I'm setting and trying to achieve my own professional goals.
My ideal life may be different tomorrow or next year, but for right now, guilt is not a part of my today.