Tag Archives: life

No regrets!

If you could go back and do your life over, would you?  I am not sure I would.  There are some moments in my past where I wish I had known what I know now, but I realize that if I had made different choices or acted any differently, I would not be where I am today.  I don’t know where I would be (either physically or emotionally), but I do know that who I am and what I have done with my life is a result of the all of moments I have experienced over the last 46 years – every last one of them, good and bad.

I went to the college I thought was perfect for me, and after a year and a half, decided it wasn’t so perfect after all.  I ended up transferring to a school that was much better suited to me and my needs.  Would I have recognized that if I had started there as a Freshman?  I don’t know, but somehow I doubt I would have valued the experience as much if I didn’t have the first school for comparison.

I dated a guy for 2 years in college, and I was convinced we would be together forever, getting married and having a family and living happily ever after.  When he broke up with me, I was devastated.  But after a while, I realized that although I cared for him, I was more in love with being in a relationship than I was with him.  And by losing him, I was able to focus on figuring out what I really wanted from a partner.  I was able to be open to the possibility that a relationship didn’t have to look like what other people had – I didn’t need to have a boyfriend or husband to have love.  I am glad I spent those 2 years with him, even with the pain it caused when the relationship ended.  I learned a lot from the experience – during and after.  And now I am living my “happily ever after” with a woman I might never have met if I had married that college sweetheart – he moved to Maine after med school!

I made the decision to only teach part time while I went back to grad school for my Masters’ degree.  When I was ready to return to full time, the school where I had been working didn’t have a position for me to fill, so I had to look elsewhere to find a job.  I was pretty upset that I would have to leave a school where I had taught for 9 years and where I envisioned myself teaching until retirement.  If I had stayed full time to begin with, I might still be at that first school, or I might not.  The reality is, though, that change is hard for me to initiate, so I probably never would have left. Since I had to find a new job, I widened my horizons and considered the possibility of moving to a new city all together.  That opportunity led me to my current school, where I am much more appreciated, and to my current city, where I have made some friends that feel as close as family, and where I have lived now for 16 years – 7 more than that other school where I thought I would stay “forever”.   So I guess deciding to work part time helped me get to where I am today.

So much of who we become and where we are in life is a result of lots of little decisions made along the way.  The choices we face give us an opportunity to affect our destiny.  Sometimes those choices are made for us, but often they are our own.  Whatever kind of choice it is, no matter the outcome, I try to live my life with no regrets.  Each choice we make affects the course of each day in our life and even when we aren’t happy with what happens to us, we can’t look back and wish we had done things differently.  We can only look forward and dream of what will happen next.  Without regrets.

25 things about me…

I thought I would share some things about myself – some of these are well known, others are not.  Maybe we will have something in common…

1. I grew up about 1 mile east of the Capital in Washington, DC.  I was also about 1 mile west of RFK stadium, so have been a life-long Redskins fan.

2. I was born in Canada, but was adopted at age 3 months

3. I played Little Red Riding Hood in 2nd grade — we performed the whole play in Spanish! The only 2 words I remember are roja and lobo.

4. When we were little, my brother and I, along with 2 friends of ours, would play Batman and Robin. Jay was Batman, Terry was Robin and I was Bat Girl. Sandra (3 years younger than me) was “Bat Baby”. We made that character up.

5. One time, when my parents had bought something that came in a large cardboard box, my friend Alexandra and I made it into a TV, got inside and pretended we were the newscasters.

6. I had an Easy Bake Oven that I loved. What’s not to love about brownies cooked by a lightbulb?

7. I had a large stuffed Panda Bear when I was a kid. It was bigger than I was at the time! I kept it on the floor of my closet.

8. We had a cat that gave birth on the Panda. I got rid of it after that.

9. I once punched a girl in the face. (I was about 12 – I’m not proud of this)

10. The first time I kissed a boy was in 1st grade. I wonder if he remembers it too?

11. I never wore braces.

12. I didn’t wear glasses until I hit 40.

13. My favorite teacher in high school was Mrs. Michener.

14. My 2nd favorite was Mr. Tibbits.

15. I was stage manager for the 7th & 8th grade plays my Junior and Senior years.

16. I taught archery at a summer camp for 6 years.

17. I wrote poetry while in college.

18. Most of the poetry was really bad!

19. I have known I wanted to be a math teacher since I was in 5th grade.

20. I did consider other occupations along the way – nun, taxi driver, nurse – but always came back to teaching.

21. I have been teaching for 25 years.  Well, 23 years.  2 of the ones in the middle, I was the Assistant Dean of Students at a boarding school.  I guess that still counts as teaching – just not math.

22. I have taught in 6 schools (counting my student teaching and one year of summer school).

23. I’ll never teach summer school again.

24.    I should know better than to say “never”.  Jeanne used to say she would never return to Memphis.  Then we moved here.

25. I was really close to my grandmother — I can’t believe it has been over 5 years since she died.

OK – I have way more things to tell you about myself… the next 25 will get posted tomorrow.

Where has the time gone???

My birthday is tomorrow.  I will be turning 46, but most days I don’t feel that old.  46 is verging on late 40’s – people in their late 40’s are experienced, knowledgeable, wise.  I don’t see how I fit into that description.

Yes, I have been teaching for almost 25 years, so I am experienced at my job.  But I have led a fairly sheltered – some might say boring – life.  I feel very inexperienced at dealing with complex life issues because I have not often faced them.  I guess I am grateful for the lack of crises in my life, but when difficult situations do come along, or when a friend or student needs advice, I feel pretty ill-equipped to help.

Yes, I have 2 degrees (a BA and a Masters), but I don’t feel particularly knowledgeable about anything beyond the high school math courses that I teach.  I got by in college, but was not what you might call a scholar.  Even now, I would rather watch a re-run on TV than follow world news or even read the local paper.  I do scan the headlines of Yahoo news, but I’m not sure that would qualify me as knowledgeable!

And don’t even get me started on how wise fails to describe me.  I am the one who turns to everyone else for advice because I usually don’t trust my own judgement.  For me, being wise means knowing how to make decisions on your own, how to cope with problems you have never faced before, and how to handle situations with compassion and fairness.  I try, but I am not always successful at these kinds of things.

I know that some of my friends, if and when they read this post, will try to argue with me about my view of myself.  To them, I say that I put on a good front, but inside, I definitely feel like I haven’t accomplished all that I thought I would have by now.  I certainly don’t feel my age inside my head (although I definitely feel it in my joints).

So, tomorrow, I will wake up, receive birthday wishes from friends and family, and go about my life.  But all day, I will be wondering where the last 20 years went and what was I doing instead of becoming experienced, knowledgeable and wise.  Maybe that will happen in the next 20 years… We’ll see!