Monday, January 2, 2012

New calendar, fewer challenges

Taking the 2011 calendar off the wall, I flipped to January to see what we were doing last year. I was still an intern then, shadowing Laura Fogg as she taught visually-impaired students all over Mendocino County. At the same time, I interned for the Earle Baum Center, working with one elderly lady in town. I flipped through February, March and April, when my days were packed with teaching and also studying for two big exams. Finally came May with the 21st circled in black marker: graduation!

After graduation came the summer when my body crashed from exhaustion and my brain decided to stop absorbing serotonin (gee, I wonder why). In August, I started my new job as an Orientation and Mobility teacher, the position once held by Laura Fogg, my aforementioned master teacher. I sat in the driver's seat of the county car and taught my own caseload of visually impaired students. In a flash came December and the holiday season. Then the year was gone.

I think 2012 is going to be a tad bit calmer.

I am amazed by everything I've accomplished in the last few years. Amazed because I wasn't sure I could do it. I've got a lot more gray hair now than I did when I started grad school, but I guess that's a good trade off for a steady paycheck. My stress level is still way too high; I've been living on deadlines for so long I've forgotten how to live my life without them. Everything has a due date in my mind, including cleaning the fish tank and reading a book. So 2012 will be the year I learn to let go of those self-imposed "due by" actions. By 2013 I will be calm and organized.

Wait a minute, did I just give myself another due date? Stop being a stress monkey before the end of this year. 

Old habits are hard to break, as they say. And really, have I ever not been a stress monkey?

One thing that hasn't survived well is my book publishing company. It's still alive, but has taken a major beating while I've been in school. My last book sold decently well, but not enough to cover the book costs and help the press. And it looks like the domain name expired so the website is gone! I could have sworn we renewed it, but the site is down. I need to figure that problem out immediately (sometimes due dates are a good thing). I signed a new book with a new author I'm excited about, so I really need to get the press back in order. A shot of cash and some new blood is just what the doctor ordered.

There are no new mountains to climb this year, thank goodness; I'm not allowed to hunt for any new challenges either. Instead, I will focus on my daughter and helping her transition into adulthood, my new job as a teacher, my publishing company, and writing plays. As usual, I'm doing too much, but I like it that way. I can juggle this much if I remember to breath now and then, and not worry about how quickly I get it all done.

Happy New Year, everyone. May it be filled with love, creativity, and enough challenge to make you feel alive, but not so much you forget to laugh.


Greywolf said...

Stop being a stress monkey NOW. Or at least embark on that endeavour. By mid year you might have it down. If you set the goal to the END of the year, you won't see it happen.

TherExtras said...

Sweet wish! Backatcha!