Wish I Would Have Read Nancie’s Advice Before I Peed My Pants

I really wish I had read Nancie Atwell’s advice to people considering the teaching profession before I peed in my pants.

I have an amazing bladder.

It’s a teacher’s bladder.

On most days I can wait to pee until early evening.  (I know my teacher friends will understand this.)

It wasn’t always this way, though.

I sat with some friends in a book club tonight and one of them remarked, “Did you see what Nancie Atwell said about how she wouldn’t advise others considering teaching to go into the profession?”

At first I couldn’t believe that she came out and said this, but before you know it, my friends and I started laughing about how crazy this profession can be as we shared teaching stories that only other teachers can relate to.

My friend explained she had spent the day learning how to use her power and computer cords as a weapon, if needed, against potential intruders.  The other friend explained how she watched as her boss and co-workers tried to get a kid refusing to do his work to return to his classroom.  Our stories seemed to crazy to be real.  We laughed imagining inviting others from outside professions to lunch while we simultaneously ate and had cafeteria duty.  We pictured interrupted conversations while we reminded our students of the expectations in the 8th month of the school year.  The laughter erupted as we mentioned the meals we had to scarf down in front of our students because we didn’t get our lunch break. And we all agreed that we had developed superhuman bladders.

That’s when I remembered when I peed in my pants.  In my classroom!

It was my first year of teaching. I worked even more than I do know (if that’s possible), and I often stayed after school until the wee hours prepping for the next day.  Most days I brought a change of clothes so I could get more comfortable while I worked late in my room.

That particular day I put off using the restroom after school for even longer than normal.  I was in the zone with my work, and I kept dismissing my urge to pee (and change into comfy clothes).  I sort of did a toddler dance around my room so I could get just one more stack of papers organized before succumbing to my bladder.  Finally, I decided I would have to cave.  I couldn’t hold it anymore; it was probably after 6:30 after all.

Although I made the decision to go and started toward the bathroom, I think my brain had already told my body that it was time to go.

Keep in mind that the bathroom was only a stone’s throw away from my classroom.  Unfortunately, that was just too far on that early fall day, when my bladder was not what it is now.  I rushed quicker across the hall to the little girls’ room as I could feel the sensation of my pee already trickling out.  At that point, it was a lost cause; I peed in my pants somewhere between my classroom and the restroom.  I couldn’t believe this just happened.  I looked around and thankfully no one else was in sight.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I changed my clothes and continued working.

My friends always tell me about their young children and how they have to be potty trained and cannot have more than a certain number of accidents in order to make it into and stay in the older room.  I’m proud to say that I haven’t had any accidents since my first year!

I know Nancie’s comments were more geared toward problems with over-testing our students (not teachers peeing in their pants), but I can’t help but laugh at the little quirks of my job that most other professions won’t understand.  Despite the challenges our profession is facing, I can’t imagine doing anything else, even if I have to do my little toddler dance as I dash to the restroom each day.

Fellow teachers, we need to make a reality show to help others see a glimpse into our crazy days.

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Eggs and Steak

I’ve decided to start focusing on myself more.  Making myself the best version of me.  I talk about this A LOT, but it seems as though I don’t do much to get there.  I know many things I should be doing: yoga, meditating, going to church, etc.  I’ve read tons of books on the key to happiness and finding yourself, but I continue to stay stuck, expecting a change without changing anything.  I’m pretty sure they say this is the definition of insanity.

The problem is, though, that I’m scared to work on myself.  Scared of what I might find out or that something I’m doing won’t match what I decide I want.  I avoid writing, because I’m scared of what I might “say.”  (This is obviously strange, unhealthy, and not normal, but I think the first step is noticing this.)

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Starting my Search

So, I’m starting small.  I’m trying to think about what I want, and I’ve decided that I want to be the type of person who makes an amazing breakfast (eggs specifically) and a really good steak. (I realize I’m not getting too deep here, but I’m just getting my feet wet with the whole figuring myself out thing.)

I want people to wake up at my house and pray I’m cooking in the morning.  Sure, I’ve made eggs before, but they aren’t overly exceptional.  As far as the steak goes, I just think it would be cool to be able to cook an amazing steak.

In my quest to find myself, I’m declaring tomorrow my first egg cooking day.  I even have a whole carton in case I mess up.  Today I’m devoting to my online search for the perfect way to cook scrambled eggs (clearly I’m on spring break, or I wouldn’t have time to think about this).

I’m declaring it now – by 2016, I will make an amazing breakfast and steak dinner!  If you are hungry, please don’t come by for food before then. 🙂

There is obviously more to face than just my cooking, but I have to start somewhere.

Saturday Celebrations

Discover. Play. Build.

I haven’t celebrated or written in a long time.  It seems like I end up in a funk, and I’m scared my words will show the state I’m in.  I like how Ruth says to celebrate in the “muddle.” Maybe I should have been doing that these past few months.

Either way, I’m here to celebrate now:

1 There’s been a breakthrough at my house that can’t be undone.  I’m moving forward.  It’s been a long, painful journey, so I’m excited to start fresh.

2. I ran into Leigh Anne last week at the Write to Learn Conference, unexpectedly.  It was so nice to see her and catch up.  I was reminded of the kind community I love and want to be a part of.  I loved when she said she was looking on my blog and almost commented on an old thread to check on me and get me writing again.  I’m grateful for my All Write friends.

3. A woman I taught with in China was also at the conference.  I almost screamed when I saw her name tweeting about the session she was in.  We were able to find each other and chat and decided to plan a future date to swap stories about our adventures last summer.

4. I began a new book that I got at the conference that I love.  I’m so excited to implement what  I’m learning.

5. My school has been very receptive of the ideas my coworkers and I have about things we want to do next year.  “Next year” has become my new favorite saying.  I am ready to have some downtime to reflect on this year and make next year even better.

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Shalan and me outside our classrooms

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A night on the Chinese town

6. A different friend from China that taught with me last summer is coming in town next weekend.  She’s hysterical, and I can’t wait to spend time with her again.

Gentle Reminders from a Fridge Magnet

Yesterday I received an invitation in the mail from my step-dad’s new wife.  Yes, I said that correctly.  I have one of those families.  We aren’t quite Jerry Springer worthy, but there have definitely been some interesting turns.  I couldn’t help but laugh when I read the inside:

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Your New Brother is Getting Married!

Until I got this save the date, I had forgotten about my new brother.  If you would have asked me, I would have probably not even remembered his name.  I think I might have remembered it started with a “C” sound.  Chris, Conner, Charlie?

His name is Cody. (I now know this thanks to his save the date fridge magnet.)

My “brother’s” wedding invite was a nice reminder, and I couldn’t help but smile as I stuck the wedding save the date magnet to my fridge.  God has a plan.  It is not always what we pictured or thought we wanted.  It’s almost always better.

As my own future seems uncertain, it was nice being reminded that it all works out.  Sometimes the journey is painful and confusing, but I have to believe that He has my back.

I wish the magnet included the other brother (there’s a 2nd one);  I really have no clue what his name is.