i'm not that busy.

I mean I am.

But I'm not. I have a lot going on. It's stressful for me some days. But I want you to know that I live like this and work like this because I do my best work like this. 

Being too busy, is way different. I'm not too busy. I'm just busy. 

And everyone comments on it to me. "I know you're so busy..." And I love that element of empathy from people and I do appreciate it. But I can't let you think that I'm too busy for you. Whoever you are. I'm not too busy for you.

I'm not too busy for my friends, or my family, or my kids or my clients. 

I work really hard to balance it all well. And lots of days it's just a strong-armed attempt to hold it together. But at the end of each day, it seems that nothing has completely unraveled or come apart, so I feel pretty good about it. I handle it. I like it.

I don't like that people see it as a bad thing. I just function differently. I'm learning and living and making changes as I go because evolving and growing are huge parts of growing older and building a business and keeping a strong family and doing all of that. If you know me and love me, I promise you want me to be busy. This is where the best things happen. Don't be apologetic because of the way that I do things. Don't apologize because you need to ask me a question or need a favor or want to hang out with me. DO NOT DO THAT. PLEASE. 

Lately, it's like there is a barrier between the world and myself because I am doing a lot. I know I contribute to that. But just please see it as a barrier or a limitation. 

 

Still text me, I'll text you back sometime. And if I don't, then text me again.

Or...

call me. I always answer. And if I don't, I'll call you back.

 

(You might have to call again, but keep calling.)

Love and Crazy Making. 

in your bones

as i sit here and take one of several breaks of the end of the fall semester (which you may as well call doomsday times ten), i feel myself at the brink of relief.

no, i’m not done yet. yes, i wrote like 18plus pages yesterday, and yes, i have a smallish, yet sizable amount of work to do today.

if you are like me, you don’t feel any stress, and then all of a sudden you feel stress in the pit of your stomach because you realize that some days simply don’t have enough hours. and even when you plan(ish) you are still a human, a mom, a wife, a sister, a friend, a daughter, a person… and life has a funny way of just happening all on its own some days.

_________________

so that stress in the pit of your stomach that won’t disappear until the stressor disappears, is clearly still there. it’s like i’m staring at a mountain and can’t see the other side.

so i take a step back and see that it’s actually just a mole hill.

climb steadily, climb quickly, and then slide down the other side.

but there is this feeling when you’re about 3/4 down when you see the end and envision the termination. no more stress, no more pit-of-the-stomach-scary-feels. it’s a brief renewal because what’s done is almost done… followed by a hollow vacancy.

so you take a moment to breathe it in, to feel the power in making your mountain a mole hill. to enjoy it’s slide. to take pride in your almost completion and enjoy something for the sake of the challenge, in that moment where you can’t quite celebrate, but you can most certainly take pride.

that slide is your vacation, the once mountain, now mole hill, your pride.

you remember your late great uncle telling the adolescent version of you “you have the world at your feet!”

and when most people will say “you’re almost done!” you quietly smile because you know you’re not.

because more mountains ought to be mole hills.

more downhill slides and coloring outside the lines.

more rules to choose to not follow.

more beauty to create and more life to discover.

because its in your bones, honey.

because it's not about me

I catch intentional grief, occasionally, about how much I do when I have kids who are so little. Or maybe just the often commented “I don’t know how you do it all!”

As they continue to grow (they are almost 4 1/2 and almost 2), their needs will begin to change. If you haven’t noticed, it is a continuum that human beings are on as they grow and develop, and the needs they have for you to fill are ever-changing. They begin as primarily physical needs. Moms of babies change diapers, give baths, feed, dress, rock to sleep, etc. They can’t really communicate beyond their conveying of these basic needs that an infant has. As they grow, your verbal interaction with them increases, through toddlerhood, into little kid zone, into pre-teen zone and into adolescence. The necessity for us, as moms, to meet their physical needs almost tapers off, as it should. But the emotional, cognitive development, etc. type of needs increase.

That is, to say, that your teenage daughter actually needs more from you than the infant version of her did. Granted, I do not have teenagers. But I was one, and I work with them. Trust me, even the best parents miss a lot of stuff because they assume their interference should also taper off with the disappearance of the physical needs.

I see a lot of people following the trends of wanting to stay home with their babies when they are little. God Bless the stay at home moms, by the way. That is something I could never do, and your kiddos are lucky to have you there! I wonder how much of this is because mom is sad to leave them? I also wonder how much of this is because mom believes its the best for them at their young age to be home with a parent? Personally, I never had the option to stay home full time, so take note that my versions might be skewed.

For me, now realize that I never miss anything that my kids are involved in and I take them to school/daycare and am a carpooling mom so don’t think that I am just working all of the time and not tending to my children who need me, it makes more sense to get all the busy stuff done while they are little.

My almost two year old plays nicely with her blocks and colors while I work on homework this morning (Master’s is done in May!) and I take a look at her and realize that I am so happy I am doing this right now when she won’t have any memory of me doing anything else than breathing down her neck at every turn of her adolescent journey. I’m joking!

Not. ;)

Because one day I’m going to be talking about periods, pimples, and boys… and then credit cards, credit hours and co-eds. And unfortunately building blocks and coloring books aren’t going to fill the time it takes for me to finish my degree.

It’s hard to be a mom. It’s not just cute kids clothes and dance recitals and carpooling… We are also raising human beings. They aren’t just here to make us happy and feel complete, they are their own beings, with their own identities, and will eventually have to make their own way in this world without us.

Sometimes when I make parenting choices I have to explain it to myself because it seems like it’s so different than what I see in other parent-child interactions… “Why am I doing this?! Because it’s not about me.”

charlie-horse

You know when you are sitting in a certain position for a long time and then finally move? It hurts, feels weird, and sometimes you even get a charlie horse in one of your muscles. Even when that spasm is through, it’s still sore. As if it’s on the brink of charlie horse-ing again at any moment. So you’re tense. You wiggle it around thinking that might help. Maybe it does; I mean, half of this is perception.

The TV is on right now, simply to fill the empty spaces. Before this past week, I was never the person to turn it on for that purpose. I was never the person to turn it on at all, for that matter.

To be truthful, not much as changed around here. Our house is cleaner and more organized. Something one might equate with better-ness. Other than that, it’s business as usual.

A charlie-horse is excruciating. It’s like stubbing your toe, but you just have to sit there and wait for it to be over. I believe it is one of the few things in life that we actually do not have much control over when that moment arrives. Although it could be argued that being properly hydrated would resolve it. But that is preparation. That is something you would do when you expect it. Expecting it would give you more control. Or, you could work to avoid it, by never settling into your seat for too long.

So I should ask, where does our control start and stop? Where and what is my jurisdiction? In what realms can I function wholly? How do I seek to maintain control over myself in order to protect my life?

Before this week, I would have told you with a grand sense of surety that I controlled my life, that I controlled what happened to me from the decisions that I have made. Today, I sit here, and I can’t tell you that anymore. That realization uncovers parts of me that I thought had fled.

I was sent this quote “may all that has been reduced to noise in you, become music again,” from my mother.

and like they say, “it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock & roll.”

until next time,

love and crazy making.

I'M BAAACCCKKKKK... (don't forget that my words flow in a stream of consciousness!)

this post is, in true teacher mama fashion, geared towards whoever needs a boost.

it started because i needed a boost. not to get all godly on you, but i can tell when i haven’t been in constant contact with the man upstairs; life gets ugly down here.

for some reason, i felt that scheduling myself to work 10-14 hours a day, four days in a row, was a fantastic idea when my husband works out of town during harvest. it’s fine, it’s all temporary.

i was feeling like the bottom of a septic tank in terms of goodness as a human being and being someone who is giving positive things to the world. i took a step back and it all looked pretty selfish. which is totally not awesome in any sense of the word. i think that in this moment i am actually putting together all that was feeling so wrong the last few weeks.

you can’t live just for you. not if you want a life that flourishes. or a life that gleams positivity. or a life that is worth living. (and yes, that does mean that if you are being a selfish jerk 100% of the time that i don’t want anything to do with you.)

i finally sat down with my joel osteen read called “i declare,” and opened it up. the scripture for that day of worksheets went as follows “Woe to him to strives with his Maker! … Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, What do you think you are making? or, Your work has no handles?” ISAIAH 45:9 (note i am not a church-goer, but more of a spiritual christian… i’ll get to a church sometime, but building my relationship is what is working in this moment) this means to quit questioning the guy with the map and the guy with the plan. it’s about as annoying as driving somewhere when your husband is like “are you sure this is the right way?” obviously.

quit questioning what you are doing and where you “should” be. you’re there. on purpose. you don’t have to dig any deeper into it than that. you have been planted in faith for some reason. and if you are feeling like you’re being selfish, you probably are. i say that because i felt that and i totally was.

let me tell you what i have gained from a selfish couple of weeks. guilt. and that’s about it. nothing matters when you are in it alone and have no one to share it with. you have no one to share it with because you did it only for yourself. boring, sidney.

you don’t have to be a perfect person to give of yourself. you don’t have all the money in the world to give of yourself. i’m certain that god’s gonna have your back if you decide to give something of your own to another human being. i mean, that was kind of the point of jesus. to show us how to do that. and show us how to be helpful.

ALSO- if you are in a rough life spot, pay it forward. pretend that you aren’t so not-stoked about life right now and you will start exhaling and outputting some great things.. even if they are small things. tuesday of this week was purely rotten. wednesday was better.

wednesday of this week, the morning was my chance to make it different. personally, i don’t want to live a life of rotten days. i really don’t. and i am very adamant about how much your attitude can change your life circumstances. all it takes is making a choice to be positive and to be someone who makes the world better instead of worse. its like that teeth commercial “if you aren’t whitening, you’re yellowing.”

who wants to look at a world full of yellow teeth? not me.

it's so simple.

to preface this, i need to share that this is not exactly a new development in my life or something that i have never realized or thought about before. i also need to say that the source of this is something who i don’t really know that well. but well enough to appreciate it and take all things to heart.

when we get into a groove of life with the same friends and being surrounded by the same people, we have a tendency to think and do the same things. not that this is in anyway a negative thing. but we have a structured set of actions that can be hard to break free from… including our thought processes.

when meeting someone new or striking up conversation with someone that we don’t normally interact with, an entire hallway of doors open. this clean slate really allows us to create something new, not only within ourselves if we choose, but also something new between two people. not necessarily in our out of the friend zone specifically, but in any relationship. (when i say relationship, i am referring to interactions between two people, romantic or otherwise)

human connection is engrained in us as parts of the human race.

and somebody somewhere has overcomplicated the entire process of being in any relationship. i know this because i am so guilty of building things up with a slew of expectations or ideas or pre-meditated outcomes. the newness of a new person or a new situation allows us to break free from all of this. it lets us make it what we want it to be. it almost lets us chase dreams in a sense. it’s an opportunity to start fresh and in some cases, be the person we just can’t be in the current life situation in which we find ourselves.

enter my brutal honesty as a character trait. in my crop of great relationships, something i bring to the table is honesty. bluntness may also be a way to describe it. either way, i feel absolutely hindered when i have to strategically plan my actions in such a way that it mutates the person i am. i do not mean that you should throw all of your opinions out at people, couple them with your frankness, and expect to keep friends and healthy relationships. kindness should lace every move you make. (i’m only saying that because i need to hear it) BUT, you should also not make things into other things they are not. you should not have to stop yourself from being who you are. this goes for every relationship.

the relationships you have chosen for yourself should work in and around the type of person both people are. you should be able to do what you feel to be right, necessary, helpful, and deemed beneficial.

“if it makes you happy, then do it. no one is going to judge you.” is what a great person told me recently.

i have a hard time because i worry a lot about what people think about certain aspects of my life. as a general statement, i don’t care. i wear weird stuff, listen to weird music, say brutally honest things, am very sarcastic, but also very compassionate and it makes it hard for people to know which is which. but some things, to be honest, i worry about what people are going to say. i worry about what god thinks of me.

so i remember to find my confidence. because that’s where it’s at, man. confidence and faith will get me where i need to go. when we worry, we need to give it to god and keep it simple. god wants us to trust him, trust ourselves and be confident in our journey. so remember that.

do what you need to do for yourself. for your family.

do what makes you happy.

it’s so simple.

superwoman

yesterday, i spent 15 hours in the town that i teach in. i had this crazy idea to plan a day of doing hair and makeup for my students for prom.

being a young teacher, i get compliments and “señora, oh my gosh your makeup!” and “señora you look so pretty.” (yes from high schoolers!) (don’t worry, i also catch plenty of flack with this open and honest relationship building that i do, haha!)

it all started with a student saying “you should do my hair for prom!” ya know, like several months ago when i was still new and they didn’t really know me- but could tell i knew my way around a curling iron. at first i thought to myself that it would really push the boundaries of professionalism and that there is a clear line in the sand between students and teachers and what is appropriate and what is not.

i will not debate with anyone on why i choose to conduct myself in the way that i do, and i will not debate with anyone on what is appropriate for my career or what works or doesn’t work in my daily life as a teacher and role model for my students. i follow my heart and gut and make mature choices that are also beneficial to my students.

did you know? being a “non-biased third party” in the lives of my students means that i can tell them things that their parents would tell them and they would hate their parents for, but since i am young and funny they listen to me.

they listen to me.

that being said, i thought to myself for a very long time about making this idea a reality. then i realized that there is nothing wrong with doing things differently than other people do them. there is nothing wrong with me doing a few faces of makeup and a few hair styles if that means that our relationship becomes stronger and they continue to see me as a strong woman who cares for them, helps them, and finds time to give their community simply because i want to.

i’m not writing this to defend myself at all, because i haven’t received any negative feedback from anyone on what i did. i actually received a lot of praise.

i don’t receive that well. not because i’m like “poor me,” or because i love martyrdom. it’s because in the deepest part of my soul, i feel that my actions should not seem so rare.

society puts all of these restrictions on what people can do. there is so much judgement from the masses on the actions of others. and in those places where you have to act in a certain way, i just can’t function. i can’t do all of this good work that i am working so hard to do. so that’s why i push myself to quit worrying about all of that.

i didn’t ask anyone if it would be okay for me to host my Beauty Brunch. i just did it.

my friend jamie called me superwoman. i do a lot, but on most days, i am far from super! i love those endearing comments and i appreciate the nice words i have received.

i just want to share that in my life, i want to make giant footprints and leave huge marks on this world, wherever i go. i hear my students criticize themselves so much. so i need to make sure that whenever they are around me, they know that everything i do is because i care for them and want the best for them.

i pray that if they find themselves feeling like they don’t matter or that no one cares for them, in the way hormonal teenagers can sometimes feel, i hope they think of me. i care in different ways than their parents or family or friends. i see them every day, and every day, i get a chance to leave a hopeful deposit with them. i deposit encouragement, bliss, humor, joy, motivation, and work-ethic in their brains. i always ask God for the tools to help me show them in meaningful ways the kinds of skills and traits that will help them in their life.

i’m not superwoman, i just pray a lot.

and never ask for permission.

a cuppa coffee + negative space

my favorite places to function are two.

one- the rush of life where you are just going and going and going and going. i get so much done and i love feeling like i am making progress.

two- the negative space

in the way standardized tests, in no way, show a student’s work ethic, creativity, or personality- society functions to measure us as human beings.

society functions on a two dimensional plane. sometimes it’s “right” or “wrong” or “black” or “white.” but in all ways, it’s a certain way or the highway. you’re either this thing or that thing. you have this opinion or that opinion.

i simply do not function there. (right now, i will equate it to my dark room with a blast of bright light, laptop screen. my eyes go to the light). i also do not believe the most interesting, intelligent, or history-making people function there, either.

negative space is the name i have given to the place i let my brain go now.

i used to lack the confidence to let my mind go where it wanted. i no longer contain a filter that will allow me to stop myself from growing and continuing to work towards peace and greatness.

sometimes, in life, we must move to tiny towns with no friends close to us, start two new jobs, study at both an academic level and that of a novice artist, and have enough drive time to think about things that the 5 minute commute of a prior life did now allow.

that is where i am.

Mr. Blue’s Menu in an early song from my best band, Blue October. Musically, it starts out pretty hard, then enters a soft violin. They’re talking about a moment in their day, with two imperfect people, where he sees her and is so nervous. It’s a love song. For the not so popular kids. I love it because, for me, it closes in on that imperfection and those intricate life details that are put together to create the most wonderful moments of life. Every day life is a joyous occasion.

That joy is not measurable. Those quirky details can’t be measured, and sometimes they may not even be visible to someone other than you.

Not everyone should be able to measure you. It’s okay to function in that negative space that makes up your own life, your quirks, your value, your joy.

If you stay with the crowd, you may end up with them. For many people the crowd is a nice place to be. As for me, you can find me in the negative space.

“and who’d a though a cuppa coffee would make my legs unstable, shakin’, under the table, must be stage fright.”

may your coffee and confidence be abundant, your worries be few, and your crazy making be worthwhile.

<3

Movin' on up!

The other night I was throwing myself a rager. I mean it was quite the party. Unfortunately it was a pity party. Embarrassing.

Sometimes I get in this mindset and I start to feel reallllyyyyy sorry for myself. Embarrassing.

I was making a list in my mind of all of the reasons I have failed my oldest daughter, Shea. I gave her a broken home. I make her go back and forth with no real idea of stability. She is not as well-behaved as she should be for her age, blah, blah, blah. And every single reason is tied back to her failure of a mother. Which is me.

Point one- She is 3 1/2 and say WHATEVER YOU WANT, but there is no angel child 3 1/2 year old. I mean that is not real. The other night she told me to “chill down,” and I was so mad and so entertained all at once.

Point two- Her life is wonderful.

Even when we had no money, she had everything. When you’re in that situation, you find a way to get what your want or need. That’s human nature.

If you know me, you’re probably like well it’s not like her family was poor, her parents helped her. And yes, thanks to my parents for giving me a place to live for really cheap, but mostly for giving me enough sense to figure my life out.

We always had everything we needed, and it was enough. Lots of times it was because of government help. I will be the first to say that I paid for maybe one can of formula a month. That’s because she needed a little more than we got for free. It was very helpful and very much appreciated.

But it was a trip of shame every month when I had to take my WIC checks to the store. I went to a separate grocery store than I worked at (I worked at one at the time), and I was like a ninja in there. In and out. I never took her with me.

The WIC program is actually awesome. In theory and in parts of actuality. But I had to request to be taken off. And ditch out on an appointment so they would take me off. I had too much pride to take the free milk and cheese and produce.

The day after my giant pity party, I was at the store. The family behind me consisted of a mom, a baby and an older brother, maybe around 11 years old. He ran up to the conveyor belt and slapped down their WIC check. Mom looked up at me with these eyes that were begging me not to judge her.

I didn’t. Because that is a shameful but necessary move to make.

I paid for my stuff in cash and left.

Pity party over. Time to go home.

Even when we feel like we aren’t progressing. We are. Even if it’s a tiny step. As long as you’re trying.

<3

Power of words.

I was going along my day and evening normally, I mean as normal as it gets in this household, feeling confident, secure, proud of myself as I looked back on the day.

I made my new website officially available to the public, which is something I am very proud of. I have gotten quite far in my “adult” life by selling myself. I capitalize on my strengths, I do things with humor, and try to be a well-rounded and a good human being. So that is why, instead of making a jillianschernikauphotography.com, I made a http://www.jillianschernikau.com.  It’s about me. My life. My pictures. My thoughts. I have a lot to share, which is why I finally decided to start sharing it.

Anyway. Likes are cool. Comments are coolER. You know what one said? “You are a huge success.” She looked at my website and that is one of the things she said. She could have said nothing. She could have just said “Looks good!” which would have been appreciated so much.

But she said, “You are a huge success.”

I mean, dang. Those words made my day.

That was an intentional act of lifting someone up. An intentional act. She did it on purpose. Because she wanted sing a little praise. What an awesome human being.

That’s exactly what I want for myself in my life. To sing praises. People deserve that.

An example of how people really need people. And even if you feel like you aren’t doing anything in your life that really makes a difference, think about the words that go through your mind. Are they words of praise for a job well done? Are they words of love? If it’s something that would lift someone up, I really feel like you should say them.

Words are like dominoes, man. You push one and the rest fall. Push a good one.

Contrary to popular belief, we are not here to simply fulfill our self-focused desires. A society functions as a group. The point is to give positively to those you encounter. Even if you don’t even like them. Too bad. Be nice anyway.

Words are an easy tool. They have nothing to do with money or time. They come from you. You can cater them to the receiver. They can be short and sweet, or deep, or serious, or funny.

Most importantly, they are so powerful.

Pour them out. Or sprinkle.

-I have a whiteboard on my office door, and I change the quote every day. I’m in a high traffic hall way, and I can hear the kids read them as they walk by. How cool is that?

The Past

I think that in most every way, we need to keep moving forward. The human, as an entity which consists of brain, heart, soul, is not always one of sound reasoning and judgement. I think if we all realized this whenever we start feeling something that sucks come back up at us from the black hole some of us refer to as, “the past,” we would make vastly different decisions. I don’t mean huge life decisions, I mean decisions on what part of us to feed. Like that old native american story about two wolves fighting inside of you. It is asked, which one grows? It is answered, “the one I feed the most.” This could really be a separate post, but I believe it translates into everything. We create our own realities for the most part. Whatever you are focusing on, or “feeding,” is the thing that takes you over.

A lot of people traipse around, feeding the wolf of the past. Thinking about it, dissecting it, giving it way too much attention. The more attention it gets, the more it bloats. The bigger we make it, the easier it is to see it. all. the time.

What is it that we’re after? My high school psychology teacher taught us that in memory, as a function in the brain, it has some sort of selective retention quality and only remembers good things about our past. That is, it forgets the bad things, so when we look back, we don’t have an accurate account of what actuallyhappened. How it actually was. So when we feed that wolf of the past, we are feeding an animal that isn’t even accurate. We feed a fake wolf. In turn, giving us a false perception of our life. (Okay, maybe this post is turning out to be way more for me than anyone reading, ha!)

I also believe that we translate feelings into tangible things. I miss that place, that person, when life was so simple. News flash, those are all circumstances and things that you can’t really even influence on your own. And especially not right now. How could one re-create a scene from 10 years ago when so many factors have changed? It’s like a science project with way too many variables. You can’t compare apples to apples when you used to have one apple and now you have 3 apples, 2 pears and a dragon fruit. For real. What you remember is how you felt.

I was cruising down I-80 and memory lane all at once last week. I found myself at Wesleyan University. Which is about 7 years ago. No kids, no husband, no real job. No real sense of “self,” as I have it now. But I felt so alive, then. I was missing those people and those circumstances. How could I end that phrase of thought on a positive note? Those circumstances don’t even exist anymore. So to wish myself back there is not even a tangible idea. Not that I would, but I always think, and I do it too much, so I’m not surprised that the mind wandered… But what I really was asking myself was about the kind of resolve would be possible when missing things and people that aren’t really attainable? There isn’t one.

So what is the purpose? I don’t know how I got to the answer, but all of a sudden I saw some sweet music on my SiriusXM. (Lithium, if you’re wondering the channel) And I felt it. I felt like I was right back there. No real care in the world as compared to my life now. But I felt the same in my soul. It was song after song, of all the right things to calm the stirring of my soul.

The nostalgia had nothing to do with that place or even those people necessarily. And everything to do with me.

I spent a year doing the things I thought I should do. Best and worst year of my life. You finally start to get things “right,” but then you’re wondering who you’re really working for in that scenario. At the end of the day, you have to be okay with you.

We have a tendency to want to find a measurable, tangible reason or evidence. Something we can point to to explain ourselves away. To explain our situations away. It has always come down to confidence for me.

If you spend time feeding the thought of your miserable circumstances, they will grow. If you spend time feeding the thoughts of what your life used to be like, those thoughts will grow. If you focus on your short-comings and your lack-there-of’s in any aspect of your life, they will become the only known aspect of the meaning of your life.

Focus on you, and the things you have to have for happiness. (A tip: you never actually need as much as you think you do; again, feeding the wolf)

Get to the bottom of yourself. Your actions, your thought processes, your habits. What is the real thing going on? Simplify. Feed your happy wolf. Feed your confident wolf. Feed your funny wolf.

I’m feeding my crazy-making wolf right now. Then my coffee-making one.

Lots of love.

Mother Teresa

When I think about 2014, I think of a great year for me, and a great year for my family. Sweet Reese Isabelle was born. I started a new job, which is the BEST job ever. (being a teacher) And I think I sort of started my own business- taking pictures.

While going through the motions of life, I always found myself upset or disappointed by the way things went. I think we’re all that way to an extent. We so easily forget that the life we are planning for ourselves could very well be light years from the one we are supposed to be living or the one that is in store for us in the future. Not to get all GOD on you, but my belief is that we truly do the best we can in our situations. We follow our hearts, dreams, minds, whatever it is, and we go where we think we should. We sometimes develop grandiose plans, consisting of conquering the world! Or even just an intricate agenda for the week ahead. We get cranky when it doesn’t work out how we envisioned. Or the overly-detail-oriented part of us gets suuuuuuper stressed out. It took me a long time to knock that crap off. Because it doesn’t help. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be organized and prepared, because you ought to be. It’s just saying that flexibility is key.

Even having to do with family. We have these great ideas of what things should look like. That family should be, do or act in a certain way, and if they don’t we are “done” with them. Makes sense. I get it. People are annoying. Even when we are related to them or share a house with them, and in those situations, they might be so severely past the line of annoying that you cannot. even. stand. it.

Guess what?

You have to love them anyway.

Two things from above.

ONE- I’m so thankful that I live in a time period that, regardless the flawed aspects of society and all of the negative and annoying junk that goes on, allows me to follow my heart and my dreams and challenge myself to work towards and better life for my family and a more content soul for myself… Mother Teresa was born in 1910. Died in 1997. She was not of a time period that completely supported women who lived outside the lines. Granted she was a nun, and had some religious-related independence and was not AS assumed to be less-than great because she was doing things on her own. But still, think of being 30 years old in 1940, and a female… there is no way that my way of living out loud would be as accepted as it is today. For that, I am lucky.

TWO- your job is to love people, bless them, and be kind. Mother Teresa has some of the best words out there to read. We sometimes get in the state of mind that is similar to “an eye for an eye.” Stop it. That is rude and selfish. All you’re doing is reiterating negative and crappy behavior. Instead of throwing some nasty words back at someone when they upset you, why don’t you go for a gentle approach. Contrary to popular belief, you are not, in fact, here for your own worldly pleasures. Putting yourself before anyone or anything else will lead to a very unfulfilled life. (at least in my opinion)

Look at this gem of a quote from Mother Teresa, and just let it sink into your brain. This is my absolute favorite quote in the entire world. Aside from a plethora of Blue October lyrics.

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

<3

One Proud Teacher Mama

I’ll preface this with the fact that my middle and high school students are, in fact, allowed to follow me on Instagram. I remember the day the requests came flooding in like it was yesterday. Unlike what I assume are the actions (or non-actions) of other “educators” or people in my position, I do interact with my students on Instagram. They are human beings, and contrary to the popular belief of any given high school student body, so am I.

I was about 3 weeks into my first year of teaching when I saw a picture of the varsity volleyball team posted on Instagram. My heart flooded. I get tears starting to well up when I think about it. So I let them know.

I wrote “One Proud Teacher Mama <3”

The next day one of my students told me they saw it. Her heart was full too.

So that’s why I decided to start this.