2012, I'm going to be blunt: you sucked. I thought 2010 was tricky, and then 2011 showed up. 2011 was awfully challenging, but then you showed up. 2012, you made those past two years look like a walk in the park with everything you threw our way.
Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out, 2012.
I decided to deal with all of 2012's challenges by throwing myself into all of my work: at school, online, in helping Jerry. It was go, go, go, go, go, until I just couldn't go any more. And then I kind of just gave up. I did what I absolutely needed to, and that's about how I've gotten through this past month or so - doing just what I absolutely had to so that I could get by. Hence my long absence from this little blog. And my absences from lots of other things, too, even if I actually was present in those places.
It's time for a fresh start. So let's look back, shall we? I promise to look through the forest of negatives and find the positives of this year. My one little word for 2012 was grow. I picked that word because I thought my husband and I were going to be growing up, taking over the business, and growing everything that he had worked so hard for. Instead, I grew in lots of other ways:
- My teammates and I grew when we decided that the teaming structure at our school was not in the best interests of our kids. While teaching two subjects made less work for the teachers, the constant switching was making it really difficult for students who needed consistency and structure. We researched, we presented, we talked, we shared, and we stuck to our guns even when we were bullied and treated like the bad guys. Thanks to our perseverance our students are growing in more ways than we saw last year, as are our relationships with them and their families.
- More opportunities for online coaching allowed me to grow by helping me connect to new people and learn new ideas. This growth has come with a challenge. The more I learn, the more I feel like we are doing a disservice to our students with our regimented, meaningless curricula and overwhelming, unnecessary assessments. But how to change? I do what I can in my classroom, but I need to do more. This is the challenge! I need to continue to grow to figure out what else I can push my district to offer to our students.
- People lying and being deceitful has made me grow personally. There have been so many times where I wanted to stoop to their level. I can't tell you how badly I wanted it. But I didn't, and the reason I didn't was my husband. Despite everything that was said and done, he handled himself in such an amazing way. He was the calm lake to my crackling flame, and his calm, cool demeanor most days is what kept me in line. This continues to be an area of growth for me; there are still days where I would love to just go in there and tell them all exactly what I think of them. Something tells me it's going to be an area of growth for a long time.
- I grew as an author. I have had several posts on Voices, started a series at Middleweb (which I do promise to finish) and was honored to be selected as part of PLPress's first book.
- While I expected Jerry and I to have to grow up as we took over one business, we ended up growing up in many other ways. We've had to deal with the change to a one income household, to work through the emotions of the loss, disappointment and anger, to continue to deal with the disappointment of losing his legacy and connection to his dad (they worked together at the old business for several years), to talk through the uncertainties of starting a brand new business, and to get through a huge amount of "together time" as we've come to call it. We're still growing, and again - I think we'll be at it for a long time.
- I'm a helper. You need anything I'm there, and I've got your back. Funny thing is that as good as I am at helping others, I really stink at asking for or accepting help myself. Since September I've needed to grow and get used to accepting others' help whether I like it or not. I had two huge health situations (bacterial pneumonia and a severe bacterial infection in my large intestines) that rendered me pretty much incapacitated. My friends, you just can't do sub plans from the emergency room - that's a fact. I depended upon my teammates to help me out, and while I don't like causing other people extra work and am still looking for ways to repay the two of them, I realize that I can't do it alone. I think we all need help every now and then, and it's okay to ask for it when you need it.
- Sadly, I feel like I've also grown a little sadder and a little harder. I'm a hugger - always have been. But lately, I haven't felt so much like handing out hugs (well, except to my kiddos of course - they'll always get hugs freely!) or spreading much cheer. Normally a positive person, I find that I've grown to expect the negatives from people instead of the positives; I've grown into myself instead of reaching out to others. As GI Joe used to say at the end of his cartoons, "And knowing is half the battle." I know I've changed. I know I've grown in ways that I don't really like. I suppose now it's time to do something about that.
And that is 2012 in a nutshell. There truly were a lot of positives, but every positive seemed to have a hint of negative splashed over it. So that why I'm ready for 2012, and all of the negativity, to just be gone.
Grow could easily be my word for 2013, but in keeping with the whole idea of a fresh start I definitely need to pick a new word. I have a few that I'm batting around, but I haven't made the official decision yet. I'm sure it will come to me sometime in the next three days.