Have You Ever Taken A Sabbatical? Part 1.

Good Morning Friends!

I’m back from my sabbatical. I didn’t mean to take a blog break for so long, but I didn’t feel the urge to write for a while. It’s been a good break for me as I’ve taken a little breather from social media to focus on other things. Some HUGE things… more on that in a bit.

MY DAD

I came from a refreshing spring break with my family where we celebrated the life of my Dad in a beautiful military ceremony. Our family is fairly private and I told very few friends that he passed away last July 5th from congestive heart failure. He lived a very full 85 years. Even thinking about him now brings me to tears, but I’m starting to talk about him more with my kids keeping his legacy alive with all the wonderful memories I have with him and the lessons he taught us.

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My Dad suffered from diabetes and severe dementia for a long time… most caregivers thought he had Alzheimer’s at the end, but he still remembered a few of us in his last days. While it frustrated all of us, I can laugh now about how my Dad would get mad so quickly at one of us about something trivial and 20 minutes later… sometimes even mid-conversation completely forget why he was so angry, or that there was even a fight! We couldn’t stay mad at him for very long because we knew how frustrated he was, too.

The one thing that makes me sad, though, is that my Dad never remembered he had grandchildren and so my children never really knew him like I did (though he was always happy to see them when we told him). He looooved food, the outdoors, and working in the yard. His favorite food was ice-cream and he got to share one last bite with my 9-year old who learned about death first-hand last summer as we sat by his bedside for the last few days. Hospice even let my parents’ dog spend the last day right next to him.

I’m not sure why, but since coming back from that trip I haven’t wanted to exercise in over a month! I don’t think I’m depressed, but with my PF slowly getting better, I hesitate to make it worse and am embracing the fat pockets on my derriere. LOL! Do I get any credit for going so far as to put on my workout clothes and then clean our house or take care of other personal business that’s been neglected? (don’t answer that).

Last week, I tortured myself working outside for a couple of days with our blooming spring yard and now am paying the price with a full-blown head & chest cold that started out with sneezing and snotting for 2 days from allergies! Oye.

But my yard looks pretty! #priorities

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So now what?

A CHANGE

I’m figuring out what I want to be when I grow up! (I know, long overdue!).

If you didn’t already know, I’m one of the “Lunch Ladies” supervising lunch and recess at my boys’ elementary school. I started a year and a half ago and WOWZERS… did my eyes get opened to the highs and lows and huge challenges of working in our schools today.

I’m sure I haven’t even come close to the complete range of emotion when working with kids, but let’s just say I’ve sent kids to the principal and I’ve gotten hugs all in the same day. I open juice boxes and fruit snacks, help kids make friends, encourage good manners and kindness, clean up after them and teach them to clean up after themselves. I can honestly say that my initial view of how we teach and discipline our children has changed 180 degrees from when I first started.

The best example of how perspective and expectations can change so dramatically is to share a little story…

I remember going to my friend’s house who had three kids when I just had a baby. I’m not proud, but I admit I judged her. But, I also now LOVE and appreciate her even more for keeping it real and showing me what being a great mom is all about. Her house looked like a tornado had touched down. Not just in one room, but the whole freaking house!!!

“REALLY?”, I thought to myself, “Who lives like this?”.

Fast-forward 12 years… we do. Perspective changes when you cram in 3 very active boys, 2 dogs, and work. I seriously have a huge pile of laundry on my floor next to me as I write. (Where in the he!!fire does all of it come from because I just folded a truck-load yesterday and we did not wear this many clothes in 2 days?!!! #hatesocks)

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And the dish washer got partially emptied in the hurry of getting kids out of the house (they do it, not me… Boys, we need to complete the pass and go for the touchdown on our chores!).
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I have a second office on our formal dining room table because our real office has no room to sit down and spread out. #summerproject Who am I kidding?!

And that’s just part of the reality lurking in our house.

But, my yard is pretty. (Leo, get your paws out of my flowerbeds!!! Sigh)

Long-story short, I now have a completely different perspective of what family-life is all about (messy and happy and not a clean house) and have changed my expectations about what we should be focused on to raise healthy, happy, kind, generous, hard-working, critically-thinking, well-adjusted grown men! I’m sure that perspective might change a few years down the road as we get into full-blown teenager life! OMG, my son will be learning to drive in a little over a year….

So, what does this mean?

(stay tuned for part deux)

Love,

Teri