Monday, May 26, 2008

Mental Health

I met with Human Resources last week. I don't think I convinced them two schools is too much for one person. On the other hand, they did agree to give me medical leave through the end of the school year. My buddy, Bob, has been telling me since January that I went back to work too fast after the open heart surgery. I believe him. As I see it, I had no time to ease back into routine and get used to working again--I jumped back in with both feet at a dead run. The bottom line is that I am not keeping up, I am aware of making mistakes, forgetting things, and feeling so much anxiety.

I even had a coworker tell me it was "time to step up" by which she meant, I assume, that in her opinion I was cured and needed to get with it. Not true. The fact that I am walking upright, doesn't mean everything is back to normal. At no point did any administrator suggest we might ease the workload slightly. When my two principals worked out my alternating day schedule, my workload actually increased. While I was able to keep up with it, I enjoyed feeling so productive. I was visiting five or six classrooms a week, and running four or five groups per week. I also mad an attempt at keeping a daily log of all that I was doing--that ended up feeling like even more work...extra and unnecessary paperwork to prove to someone unknown that I am actually working.

One principal is never around to notice when I stay until 5:30 finishing things, but she sure did nail me for taking an extra 10 minutes at lunch the other day. Maybe I should have interrupted the teacher's math lesson to talk to her about a student, but instead I took time and caught her at lunch. Of course, lunch is supposed to be duty free, according to WA state law.

I do wish I could just work with the kids. I don't know how to set that up. I know the person to ask for help, if ever we had an opportunity to talk and share ideas.

So...I am job hunting.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Working my way back to good health

Today my dear Son in law went with me to pick up a treadmill. Someone on one of my daughter's groups, was giving it away to anyone who would take it out of their house. It is a mid-range treadmill, electric, and folds for storage. I do work out 3 days a week, and I want to walk. I enjoy walking. BUT my back starts to ache so soon, that I can't walk very far. On the treadmill, I have something to hold onto to help support my back. This beautiful machine even has a place to put a book. Forget tv, I want to read whenever I can, and I am so delighted that I will be able to do that and walk. Going to Curves every other day is great and has me feeling so good, that I want to do something physical on the in-between days. I have been told that muscles need 24 hours to heal between workouts. This seems like the perfect solution!

I had my Jacky over here yesterday. First we went to Walmart and he picked out a small backyard pool, and then we looked at 2-wheel bikes with training wheels and he found a spiderman bike that was just his cup of tea. So, new pool, new bike, new helmet and elbow & knee pads, new Lightning McQueen shirt and a pair of shorts he can wear when he is 20, and a tanktop for me, and some Tums. My insurance company doesn't like me to take Aciphex for reflux, so they won't let me get a reflill. I feel like I need to throw up and I can't eat (that could be due to an event at work the other day, too). And after I use the hair color, my roots will be natural blonde again.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, Jack told me "Dat was some awesome shopping yaya. Good job!" He had every reason to be happy. This little boy says the most encouraging things. When I put on a new nightgown one night, one he hadn't seen before, he exclaimed, "Wow, Yaya, I weawwy weawwy wike dat one@" "Dat is so pwetty@"

One day I had strung a string between to cupboard door knobs, and clothespinned some roses to dry. He was so excited when he walked in the kitchen and saw that, he could hardly contain himself. He jumped up and down and told me how pwetty it was and how much he wiked it. It has been there about six weeks now.

Before I picked him up yesterday, he and mom and dad had gone to a company barbecue where he played hard in a mini-waterpark out in the sun. Then we spent the afternoon blowing up the pool and playing in it out back. Of course he had to ride his new bike, while I walked along trying to keep up. As many times as he circkled back to check on me, he probably rode five miles. Last night we went over to his house and had pizza. He climbed up on my lap and put his head down on my breast and went soundly asleep. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day. Our temps were in the 80s yesterday. We had snow at the end of April. As Popeye would have said, "Large weather we're having."

The babies are on the move. Megan has begun low crawling (my Army pal told me that is what it is called). She also was holding her bottle last night. Erika, a whole minute older and at birth the slightly larger of the two, is fairly content to lie back and wait for people to wait on her. Last night Mama reached to pick her up and she became so Excited. Her little arms and legs were waving as hard as they could. These little dumplings weighed barely 8 pounds altogether at birth and now are over 15 lbs apiece. They are absolutely mahvelous, dahling; just mahvelous.

"And that's the way it is, on May 18, 2008, in Lakewood, WA."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wonderful Women

Pat: met in 7th grade, and stayed friends for...40 years. Pat and I shared an interest in art; we had a lot of classes together in junior high, and went to the same church. From Pat I learned there was Sunday School for kids my age. We joined MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) and shared weekend retreats, many secrets about the boys we liked, and sometimes feeling unpopular. Pat was well-liked by everyone. AND her dad was principal of our high school.

Kathy: Also met Kathy in seventh grade; probably 1962. After all these many years, we reconnected this past year because of our 40th high school reunion. No, that doesn't work out mathematically. If I met Kathy in 1962, and it is now 2007, but we graduated in 1967...THAT is 40 years, and Ihave known both Kathy and Pat for closer to 45 years, I think. My strong areas were art and literature. Not math.
I always liked Kathy. Unfortunately, Bob made Kathy's life a living hell in school. It was terribly unfair, and I am ashamed that I never spoke out against what Bob was doing to her. He bullied her and browbeat her, plain and simple. I was so afraid of being 'tarred with the same brush' that I never spoke up. I wish I could change that now. I am deeply grateful that Kathy is part of my life now.

Anita: I met Anita when she was a PTA mom at the school where I worked. When she showed up at my church one Sunday, I invited her to teach Vacation Bible School with me. We became close, and she is my sister in so many ways. Neither of us has extended family here in the area, and have adopted each other. Anita put her arms around me the day I learned my mother had died. Many times she has allowed me to shed my tears on her shoulder. And although he is not a woman, her husband Greg has always made me feel like I had someone looking after me.

Gisela: A beautiful German woman, the mother of the man I loved more passionately than any other (except Elvis). Gisela accepted me so that I felt almost part of her family. She was a wonderful, giving woman with a tremendous heart. She gave up her life and home in Germany to marry a soldier and raise his children here in the US. It was such a sacrifice; I can only imagine what it might have been like for her. I know that to her stepson, she was completely his mother. He doted on her and almost worshipped her. She deserved it.

Liz: a work friend who greets me each day with a beautiful smile, and always treats me as if it is a treat to have me working with her. Liz, you are amazing.

Kirsten: a Daughter In Law who is a gift from God. She brings joy to me when I see her with my son, and I see the love between them. She is so tolerant and patient with him, just as she is with those amazing children she has borne. Not much of a talker, but warm and loving in everything she does.

Cassie: my daughter, and my dear friend. I hate how much I have come to depend on my daughter. I want to still be the mom, the strong one who can fix anything, but more and more I lean on Cassie to do the fixing for me. She is so smart and level-headed; she never dithers, but gets straight to the heart of things.

Kathy: the therapist who allows me to cry and be as imperfect as I am. Never judging, but always reminding me to be kind to myself.

Chris: a warm, huggy friend who takes care of me. When I feel afraid, I know I can go to Chris and she will tease gently, offer me a tidbit of wisdom, and remind me that I matter.

Charlotte: as a boss, as a principal, Charlotte is strong but not overpowering. She has a gentle way of telling me when I need to step up.

Tina: another principal, another boss. Tina has had a lot of adversity to overcome, I think, to be in the position of principal. The school she is in charge of is a hard one. I find I may not always agree with the things she does or the decisions she makes, but I respect her position, and do my best to do a good job for her.

All of these women have touch my life over the years. There are many more I have failed to mention. On this Mother's Day, I would like to mention my mom, Gladys, who said to me once, "Sherry, if you love me, please never name a child after me." Mom always hated her name. I don't believe she had a happy childhood. At this point, I should mention her sister, Aunt Helen, who was the Best of the Best. To this day, I completely believe that Aunt Helen prayed for me and is the reason I have made it this far in life. She was my Other Mother; I often wished I could live with her. I always felt unconditional positive love from Aunt Helen. I am so sorry that mom and Aunt Helen are gone. They have left a hole in the world, and in my heart.

Your True Love Is a Cancer

Why you'll love a Cancer:

Cancer's loyal and sincere heart makes your own sensitive heart melt.

Caring and devoted, a Cancer will take the lead in pursuing you - and not give up!

Why a Cancer will love you:

You're laid back enough to deal with Cancer's little mood swings and freak-outs.

A fellow homebody, you know how make Cancer comfortable and at home with you.