Fall Break is a beautiful thing. This break came at such a good time for me. Last week, I finished the first quarter of this first year of teaching. I made it!! More than that, I loved it. Sure, I had a few stressful days here and there, and I am already learning from mistakes I have made, but I am still as happy to be doing this job as I was in August. Score!
As a reward for all of our hard work, teachers and students all got this past week off. This was my first experience having an actual fall break, and I took advantage of every minute of it :).
- watched a friend's band play. I'm the newest Torn fan!
- spent two days doing whatever I wanted (which turned out to be a little bit of something and a whole lot of nothing)
- had a little CGR time with Tom (you know-- church, Gingham's, relaxation).
- slept in-- until 8 sometimes :)
- cleaned my house... including a deep cleaning of all the bathrooms.
- caught up on laundry. And my DVR. These were both quite exciting.
- cooked lots of delicious food.
- played hostess to some of my favorite new friends and had a successful game night (although there may have been more eating, drinking, and chatting than actual game playing).
- got in a ton of quality time with my two favorite boys :)
- saw my parents, grandparents, and a few aunts and uncles. More quality time!
- thoroughly enjoyed the company of my parents, sampled their home cooking, and slept in my childhood room.
- went to an apple orchard with my grandma and came away with all kinds of goodies for both of us.
- had dinner at Daryl's. I've never had a bad meal there!
- reunited with some of my favorite people in the world... family, old friends, new friends... Mom! Dad! Grandmas! Peach and Tom! Frank! Carolyn and Anne! Abiman and Joanna! The Sausage Kings of Ann Arbor! I could go on...
- tailgated on Hoover and watched a game at the Big House (we won't talk about how that turned out).
- danced the night away at Rick's.
- made it home safe, sound, refreshed, and ready to take on Quarter 2.
Sometimes I let myself feel guilty for everything I have. How much can one person actually deserve? I was raised by an incredible set of parents and surrounded by the most amazing family and friends I could imagine. They may not have always had a lot, but they have always given me everything they had. They have all loved me, supported me, and done everything in their power to make me the happy girl that I am. I have had more love, joy, laughter, and opportunities in my life than I can even really wrap my mind around.
I think about this even more now that I am a teacher. I see the difference that is made in the lives of those who have families and support and meals at home (if they are lucky enough to have homes) and basic material things, and my heart breaks for all those who don't. However, I have come to learn that I can't feel guilty or apologetic for what I have or what I have been given. That's simply not productive and will not change anything for anyone. Instead, I recognize how incredibly blessed I am and my responsibility to pay this forward. If it's joy or love or a sense of community that my students are lacking, I have more than enough to try to spread around. If it's shoes or a lunch or a book that they need, I can probably dig those things up too or find a way to get them. All of the advantages and opportunities and blessings that I have received have led me to this place in my life and to this profession and to this position. My success in this career depends on me coming from this place of hope and peace and kindness.
Bring it on, Quarter 2!
Thank you, Fall Break, you made my day.