Life -- from birth to death -- is a learning experience, as well as a growing experience. If we ever stop growing, stop trying to improve ourselves, at least in little ways, then what's the point?
One of biggest faults has always been my inability to say "no" -- to pretty much anything -- either due to obligation, guilt, or just plain feeling like a bad/disappointing/fill-in-your-own-negative-adjective person. It never hurts to think about others, but it does hurt to only think about others and forget that sometimes you really do have to put yourself first, for the betterment of everyone.
One way in which I've been trying to grow as a person, therefore, is to say "no" when I know that "no" is what needs to be said. I've been working on this for a long time, and I feel like I am finally making some progress. I say this because today I had a meeting with one of our school administrators and I said actually said "no" to something that I would have typically said "yes" to, not because it was the right decision for me but because I would usually feel bad about saying "no." And I did, of course, feel bad. But I did say "no" and that in itself is progress.
I was offered the position of director for our school's summer camp program. Director. As in, totally in charge. I was floored and honored to have been thought of for this position, especially since I have only been at the school for such a short amount of time, but after a week of rolling the idea around in my brain and my heart, I knew this was not the time in my life to accept it, for a variety of reasons. We compromised and I agreed to take on the role of lead teacher or an asst./co-directorship type position, which I am ecstatic about. I get to spend the entire summer with my 3, 4, and 5 year olds (whom you all know I love) teaching lessons, doing fun camp activities, taking field trips, playing outside, going swimming, etc., without the challenges brought on by being the Head Fred, the one in charge of all of the staff and responsible for payroll, scheduling, training, etc. Put me in front of any classroom and I am comfortable, ready to go, eager; put me in the principal's chair, and I start getting cold sweats. That's kind of the difference here. I know I can do a great job in this role and I am so happy to have the opportunity to spend the summer with my kiddos, before hopefully returning to the school again in the fall with a full-time position. Fingers crossed!
I like growing.
I also have a meeting later this afternoon with a teacher for whom I am doing a paternity leave for, starting either this week or next (depending on when the baby decides to come, of course!). The leave is only two weeks -- 5th and 6th grade -- and based on the plans he has created for me should hopefully go smoothly. Looking back to August, when I was trying to decide whether or not to take the after school program and substitute position, it's almost laughable that one of my concerns was that I wouldn't be able to say busy enough. Ha! They are keeping me very busy, and I love it.
Gearry returned from Atlanta yesterday, where he was attending the American Culinary Federation regional conference and student culinary competition. His kids (well, some of them are older than me, so I guess I can't call them kids... students) did a great job, coming in second place overall. Of course, this was a big bummer because that means that they cannot advance to the national competition in Dallas in July. Finishing second in the region (the entire southeastern United States) is nothing to cry about, but I can understand their disappointment. However, the knowledge bowl team did take the gold medal and will be advancing to nationals, so it will be nice to have some representation in Dallas, where they will hopefully walk away with another gold.
It was so great to have Gearry back. As he was only gone for 4 days and I missed him terribly, it made me wonder how I made it through the 30 days without him this summer! When your husband is also your best friend, it's like a double whammy. Yesterday was National Margarita Day (don't ask me why I know this), so we celebrated the occassion and his return with dinner and margaritas at Jalapenos.
In other blog-worthy news, Gearry and I registered last night for the Tybee Beach Run 5K, to be held on Saturday, March 26th. Mom has been doing a lot of running and has been hinting at wanting to do a 5K race for some time now. Because that was the weekend she and Dad will be in town visiting, we invited her to join us and she said yes!! So, Gearry, Mom, and I will all be running the 5K together, and words can't describe how awesome I feel about that. It's kind of a neat run because it's actually held on the beach, on the hard-packed sand at low-tide. I do a little barefoot running from time to time on the beach and I think I may give this race a go barefoot. I haven't done any 5K races in several years since I've been focusing on triathlons and half-marathons, so it will be kind of fun to do a race that is so short and can really just be hit hard start to finish.