Saturday, June 2, 2018

let's talk about my tight pants

You guys.
I completed my first year of teaching just two days ago.
I know.
I can't believe it either.

Mostly because of how tight my pants are.
These could be possible titles for my next book.

Crazy Tight: The Story of My Pants
Cheese, Chocolate & Chips: A Recipe for Life's Tightest Pants
A Year in the Life of a Newly Minted Middle School Teacher: How I Ate My Feelings

This has been a year of change.
A year of leaping out of my comfort zone.
Being stretched. Being challenged. Being uncertain.

My pants tell the tale of this past year:
2 different house moves.
A career shift.
Working full time outside the home.
Mom grief
(feeling like I missing out on my own kids lives by working full time outside the home)
Mom guilt
(feeling like I chose to miss out on my kids' lives by working full time outside the home)
Mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. (daily)
Drive-thru dinners. (almost daily)
My inability to leave the couch after 6:30 pm.
My sister, Jenny, leaving the state. (I miss her like crazy)
My friend, Jo, leaving our school to go out and change the world. (I will miss her like crazy)
Crying jags (my people keep leaving)
Waking up at 4:30...most mornings...not on purpose.
A 4-month-long sinus infection. (Ew.)
Grading papers (this is no joke, ya'll)
Mothering teenagers (also...not a joke)

I think I gained about a pound a month.
Hence, the tightest pants. Even tighter than Jimmy Fallon's.
You may be wondering, "Why the tight pants, Sue?"
I will tell you why.
Because if I feel out of control and tired and undone every single day...
I will be eating chocolate every single day during my prep period.
That is a given.

My pants tell the story of how I felt this year:
Uncomfortable in my own skin.

Life has a way of doing this to us.
Have you noticed?
When you think you have something locked in -
like your job or your marriage or your health or your purpose in life?
You don't.
It changes.
It shifts.
So you have to change and shift.

Some of us find that exhilarating.
The rest of us eat entire bags of Baby Belle cheeses from Costco.

Scott has been a rock.
Encouraging me...EVERY DAY. Cheering me on. Loving me in spite of my wildness.

And in the middle of all my crazy I have found an unlikely connection with my students...

I found that when I was looking into the glorious faces of my middleschoolers
with all their joy and angst and Lord of the Flies survival skills at work,
I wanted to say...

"I feel exactly like you feel right now! Weird. Ungainly. Uncertain. Not sure what
is exactly going down with all the hormones. Life feels wild."

But then, because of all my years...
and all the days that Jesus has worked in my life,
all the changes and shifting that He has wrought in me through the years.
I also wanted to encourage them...

"This is a cuckoo crazy season of life. But YOU?
You are going to be okay.
You may not feel great about yourself or how you are doing right now.
You may be struggling and hurting and longing for a different life.
But the good stuff is coming. It really is.
All the joy and hope and peace and lack of acne?
Right around the corner. Just give it a couple years. I have been there. I know."

And I do know.

This is not my first rodeo.
It won't be my last.
(note: I have never been in a real rodeo but the metaphor felt right...or is that a simile? Never mind.)

So I am giving myself the same talk I would give my middleschoolers.
"Sue, your pants may be crazy tight...but you are going to be okay.
The good stuff is coming. It really is.
All the joy and hope and peace and roomier pants?
Right around the corner. Just give it a couple of years.
(My teacher friends tell me that year #3 of teaching is the aligning of the planets.)

If you see me fast walking around my neighborhood, pumping my arms like Rocky Balboa,
know that I am not going down this tight pants road without a fight.

But also know that I have two months off (can I get an amen and a double hallelujah???)
to date Scott,
to connect with my boys,
to visit family and eat bok choy...instead of chips and salsa.
And I have two months for Jesus lift me up, set me to rights and restore my soul.
Another shift. Another change. A new season all together.

Even with tight pants.


lyndabyrd said...

Enjoy that time off and good news is the second year of teaching is easier! I’m sure you did an awesome job your first year!

scott aughtmon said...

She did have a great year! The students loved her, the parents loved her, and so did her co-worker! I knew they would! :)

treebottom said...

Thanks for it all. Is this what it looks like when we are going from glory to glory?! Perhaps this is what Mom was really feeling when she would shout [for no apparent to me reason] GOOD GLORY!!!