Teaching Middle School, Week 4: Exhausted

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I’d hoped that I’d be adjusting to the energy expenditure of teaching middle school by now.

But I haven’t.

I was totally exhausted when I got up Wednesday morning, wondering how I’d manage to get through the day.

Monday and Tuesday I felt like the lion tamer in the old days of the circus, the guy with the chair and the whip. Stop!! Back!! Sit!! Down!!

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But I did make it through Wednesday and went to bed at 7:30. I missed my centering prayer group because I didn’t feel I had the energy to sit up through meditation time.

I managed to get through Thursday even with a Relay for Life meeting at 6. Who’d think a 6 o’clock meeting would keep someone up past her bedtime? Well, this one did. We didn’t finish until after 7, so I didn’t get to bed until 8:30.

Crazy, huh?

When I taught high school, I was typically in bed by 9 o’clock. But now I’m older and have been through cancer treatments, plus I have hypothyroidism. So getting to bed before 8 might be my new normal.

After an early Friday night bedtime, sleeping late, napping, having another early bedtime, I feel almost rested.

And that means it’s time to get up and do it again early tomorrow morning. It’s kind of like when I was going through chemo. When I started to feel better, another chemo treatment was just around the corner.

But this time it means another week as a middle school teacher is tomorrow. I’m hoping for some stamina this week. Hoping hard.

The lesson in this, though, is to take it one day at a time.

Surely I can handle one day. Right?

So Monday, I’ll get to you. But first I have Sunday evening.

I’m going to enjoy these next few hours of no energy expenditure.

Because I know tomorrow comes soon enough!

Stop! Back! Down! Sit! :)

 

 

 

 

Teaching Middle School, Week 3: Not only the weather was unpredictable!

IMG_9735I’m learning that unpredictability is going to be a big part of my life now as a middle school teacher.

It’s kind of like four years ago when I was going through cancer treatments. One of my big struggles was the unpredictability then, too. How would the side effects manifest during chemo treatment? How would the radiation affect me as it progressed? How would surgery go? How much pain would I have? So many unpredictables. I hated that part of the cancer journey.

You’d think I’d have learned then that having expectations was a waste of time.

But no, I keep getting opportunities to learn that lesson . . .  again and again.

This time it’s as a middle school teacher.

This past week of a holiday and weather effects on my schedule and my students gave me another chance to learn that lesson.

This was my last week:

Monday: MLK Holiday. I spend the day with a stomach bug, resting.

Tuesday: Back to school. A bright, sunny, cold day. All goes well.

Wednesday: No school because of sleet and icy conditions. I’ve come down with a different variation of the stomach bug. I’m grateful for a day to rest and recover.

Thursday: Two-hour delay for the start of school because of icy conditions. I go to school at 9:30, rested and refreshed. My students are wild in the afternoon. Extremely talkative. Extremely hyped up. I can’t calm them. I leave school in the afternoon thinking that I’m a very ineffective teacher. Is this really the job for me? I go home and realize that once again, I have to let it go . . . . don’t try to predict my whole teaching future from this one afternoon.

Friday: Early dismissal because of snow predicted for the afternoon. It’s announced the day before, so I expect the students to be wild again . . . but they’re not! They are calm, engaged, fun. I leave in the afternoon thinking I know nothing. I can’t predict behavior. I can only respond to it.

I said earlier that unpredictability was going to be a part of my life as a middle school teacher. Well, that’s only partially right.

Because life itself is inherently unpredictable. As much as I think I’d like some control over it, that’s not how it works – and that’s not how it should work.

There are blessings and curses in everything.

Sometimes problems are opportunities. In fact, they usually are.

Opportunities to change, to approach life in new ways. Ways I’d dare not try if all were going “well.”

So here I am on a Sunday afternoon making the transition from weekend to working week.

What do I expect this week to be like?

I choose to have no expectations!

Yes, I’m learning!

What will be, will be. And in it all, I’ll be looking for the opportunity.

To grow, to learn, to be present with my middle school students . . .  however they are.

To learn with life, however it is.

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Chickamauga Battlefield, setting for my walk this afternoon. A walk with no expectations :)

 

 

Teaching Middle School: Week 2

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The entrance to my school, Rossville Middle School, Rossville, GA, USA

Yes, I managed to complete Week 2 as a middle school teacher. It was a week of swirling emotions.

And not just for the kids!

Monday was a rough day. My students felt compelled to challenge me. Some were downright surly.

And one elicited some fire from me.

I’d hoped to be much calmer than I was during my 23 years as a high school teacher.

After all, I’ve been through a lot since then. A breast cancer journey. Two failed business attempts. A great deal of work on myself, recognizing my habits of resentment and judgment, trying to let go of those parts of my personality.

But on Monday, my fire returned.

A sarcastic, critical, disrespectful comment rankled my ire. But this time, unlike years ago, I didn’t scald the offender – though I did make it clear that I would not tolerate those kinds of comments. And I had a calm talk with the offender at the end of class, explaining my reaction.

And guess what? He was very, very polite the next time he came to class. As was the rest of the class.

So maybe some fire is warranted now and then.

I was especially exhausted after Monday’s classes. I wondered if this was the job for me long term.

And then I did something I’ve struggled for years to learn to do.

I let it go.

I didn’t dwell on the day and its energies and emotions. I relaxed for the evening and went to bed early.

And Tuesday was a new day. A day that went very well. A day in which my students responded beautifully.

I chalked up a good day, enjoyed the evening, and let go of that day, too.

Because I’m realizing that each day has its energies.

I’m allowing each day to have its energies.

This middle school teaching job is a way for me to measure my progress, to see if the work I’ve done on myself is bearing fruit. To see if I can let go of each day when it’s over. And to see if I can greet each new day with a positive attitude.

This past week was one of swirling emotions and energies, of ups and downs, of challenges and rewards.

And yes, by Friday I was especially grateful that this is a three-day holiday weekend. Because I don’t have much stamina yet.

Spending a lot of time on my feet on concrete floors in a building with pale cinderblock walls and harsh fluorescent lighting takes its toll. Maybe I’ll get used to this environment. Maybe I won’t. I’ve found that as I age, I’m more and more sensitive to my surroundings. My guess is that the kids are sensitive to these surroundings, too.

Engaging and directing middle schoolers requires a great deal of energy from me. And I’m not sure if I’ll completely get used to that energy expenditure. Will I have to continue to be as careful as I’ve been the last couple of weeks to honor and protect my down time and sleep schedule?

Time will tell.

I do know that I have to let each day drift downstream into the past as I complete it.

Even these lovely weekend days.

Tuesday I’ll be back to getting up before dawn (perhaps my most hated part of an everyday job) and trying to engage middle schoolers in meaningful ways, to bring a world to them, one they may not even realize exists.

But today, this Sunday, I’ll have a lazy evening when I don’t have to get to bed quite so early. And I’ll have a Monday with no middle schoolers – but instead I’ll have the company of  a couple of hooligan four month old kittens (kittens that act a lot like middle schoolers).

And I’ll have several leisurely cups of coffee as well as time for writing in my journal.

And I’ll be grateful for it all.

Even the early alarm of Tuesday and an unpredictable day back at school.

A day in which I’ll try to be present to it all, swirling energies and emotions, both inside and outside.

And a day that I’ll let go downstream into the past when it’s over.

So yes, I am making progress!

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Some downstream at Little River Canyon, Fort Payne, AL several years ago

 

 

 

My first week as a middle school teacher

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My first middle school pep rally.

I began a second teaching career last week. One that I’m sure I said I’d never try (my mama always warned me, “Never say never”).

That of a middle school teacher.

I taught high school English for 23 years and quit that job seven and a half years ago . . . for 100 reasons, the biggest of which was that I was plain ol’ burned out.

In this seven and-a-half-year interlude, I tried a variety of jobs. I also went through a cancer journey.

And somehow I have ended up teaching again.

But not just teaching.

Teaching middle school!

I used to tell people who taught middle school that they must be saints.

But it turns out that they’re ordinary folks . . .  folks like me.

So what did I experience in Week One?

Here’s a rundown of my rollercoaster of feelings at the end of each day:

In-service day:  Boy, my body really hurts from standing and walking on these concrete floors and up and down these stairs!

Day 1:  Wow, now I remember what I really enjoyed about teaching! What fun!

Day 2:  And now I remember why I quit teaching.

Day 3:  Things are starting to level out a bit. I realize that the kids have to get to know me, and I have to get to know them. My dud group isn’t really a dud at all. My challenging group? Well, that remains to be seen.

Day 4:   Whew! I made it through the week! Thank God for weekends!

* * * * *

Middle schoolers run a big gamut in three years. They apparently change rapidly.

Because 8th graders have very little in common with 6th graders. At least in what I could tell from my first week.

The 6th graders are enthusiastic, full of energy.

The 8th graders are like high schoolers. More laid back . . .  and in some ways, too cool for enthusiasm.

And 7th graders are somewhere in between. Perhaps both simultaneously.

Both the enthusiasm and the laid-backness have advantages and disadvantages. I just have to figure out how to maximize the positives and minimize the negatives.

So far, the enthusiasm appeals to me. A kind 6th grade teacher shared with me on Friday that I had received “the 6th grade stamp of approval.” Her students were wary at first because I’m a new teacher. But they have returned from my class saying they like it.

I’m teaching a careers class, and I hope to make it both engaging and meaningful. I have a lot of leeway because there aren’t that many teaching standards.

Just from the first couple of days (I have each class every other day), I can tell that the kids don’t know a lot about many careers. So I’m hoping to have quite a few speakers come talk with them and maybe have others Skype with us.

I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about careers, too. There are so, so many possibilities! I get excited thinking about the many ways to approach both learning and teaching this new subject for me.

Week Two begins tomorrow. We’ll start our “extra” class this week, and mine is the school newspaper. So I’ll be meeting a new bunch of kids then, too.

I have successfully completed Week One. I already have a pep rally under my belt. I’ve already had a kid storm out of class. I’ve calmed down a class that was super excited to do an activity.

I can confidently predict that Week Two will bring some new experiences, both positive and negative. A new ride, both up and down.

Because that’s how life works.

In middle school and beyond.

I’m ready for this week’s ride . . . . . .

I think!

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View from my classroom. Yes! I have a window! And a view to the west where the top of Lookout Mountain peeks over the ridge.

 

 

 

 

Something more powerful than fear and worry and weapons

Sometimes in the middle of all of this fear and worry and people’s conviction that somehow guns, lots of guns, will make them safe, I think of how Jesus of Nazareth handled the fear and worry of being a Jew in an occupied state, how he handled the fear and worry of confronting established power. 

How he had something more powerful.

I think of how he didn’t travel armed to the hilt. How he could easily have raised an army to defend himself. That he knew he was in a precarious situation, one in which he was a target, one in which powerful people were actively looking to kill him.

I look at how he went peacefully when he was betrayed and the Romans arrested him. How he didn’t fight back. How he didn’t ask his followers to amass weapons and break him out of captivity.

I think of how he willingly went to his crucifixion, to his death.

And I wonder if he is an example for me.

I think he is.

Peter and Paul and the disciples followed his lead. They didn’t travel in armed bands. They didn’t resist arrest. They traveled and spoke in peace.

Instead of weapons they, like Jesus, carried “good news.” News of hope and redemption and forgiveness and love.

That’s what I try to remember when I’m afraid.

That’s what I try to remember when gun debates swirl around me, when people are terrified of mass shootings and terrorist plots.

I remember the good news of hope and redemption and forgiveness and love.

And I try to live those values even in the middle – especially in the middle – of all of this fear and worry and the belief in guns and weapons and their power.

Because I know that’s not where power is at all.

I know that true power is in hope and redemption and forgiveness and love.

And that’s why I can put down my fears and worries and go out each day and see people as my brothers and sisters.

Brothers and sisters who might need some good news of hope and redemption and forgiveness and love.

I see myself in them.

And I have the examples of Jesus and Peter and Paul and all of the others.

Examples that fear does not win.

Examples that the spreading of good news peacefully is the most powerful of all.

And I believe in that good news, that news of hope and redemption and forgiveness and love.

And I feel called to follow. To spread this good news. Even . . .  especially . . .  in the middle of this fear and worry and arming with weapons.

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From the eyes of a substitute teacher

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My original view of substitute teachers was from that of a classroom teacher, one who taught for 23 years in a high school English classroom in a high-poverty school.

Subs were the folks who saved me when I was sick or needed to be out of town, the ones who ran my class on those days when I wasn’t there.

After quitting teaching seven years ago, I’m now giving subbing a try.

I want to see firsthand what teachers are going through, what kids are like, what different grade levels and schools are like – these seven years since I left teaching.

I’m focusing on elementary and middle schools in my home county’s school system, one that has a lot of Appalachian poverty along with the beginnings of urban poverty. I had one day in high school and quickly decided that I didn’t want any further experience with high schoolers. I already know what they’re like. That teenage anger and angst is more than I want to experience right now.

What have I found in the elementary and middle schools I’ve subbed in so far?

I’ve found lots of kids who crave attention. Some get it by tattling, others by being disruptive, others by offering to help out, others by trying to entertain their peers.

Teachers have rooms FULL of kids who need attention. And there’s usually only one teacher in the classroom. How can ONE person fulfill all of these attention needs?

I’ve found schools brimming with teachers and administrators and staffs who can be overworked with too many piddly paperwork tasks . . .  but who still give deeply of themselves in an attempt to meet the varied needs of their students – the educational AND the attention needs. People who want success for their students. Who care about them. Who love them unconditionally.

I’ve found school-wide atmospheres that focus on respect and concern for others, that teach kids how to be caring kids who will grow up to be caring adults, who will be good citizens involved in their communities.

IF they can overcome their struggles, the strikes against them.

I’ve heard stories of hunger at home, of not enough food. I’ve seen kids share their lunches. They know who’s hungry, who needs some extra food. And they help each other out.

I’ve seen kids who don’t have supplies. And I’ve seen other kids share with them. Kids who probably don’t have much extra themselves, but they are happy to help out a classmate.

I’ve seen students who are disengaged, bored, disruptive. It seems that every single class has at least one boy who fits this description. He’s usually smarter than average. He’s a handful for the teacher. He’d be a handful if he were the only student – or one of four or five students. But he’s always in a class of at least 20 other kids, kids who have their own needs.

How can ONE teacher meet all of these needs? How can “differentiation” meet the needs of each one of these students?

Teachers are only human. They have other demands on them, demands at home, usually spouses and children of their own. How can they meet all of these needs?

It’s not humanly possible.

That’s why I believe communities need to step up and help schools.

The problems are ours, too. Not just the schools’ problems.

They are OUR problems.

Schools reflect the societies they are a part of. The products of schools, both good and bad, affect us all.

Even if we don’t have kids in public schools, we need to help schools. These kids who crave attention can get it from community members, too – not just teachers and administrators and school staff members.

And schools need actively to request help from their communities. I know lots of community members who care, who would get involved . . .  if only they knew how. If there were a specific request, they’d love to help.

We ALL need schools and communities to work together.

Because it really DOES take a village!

Schools can’t do it all on their own.

They need US!

* * * * *

And now my “lighter” observations. The things I noticed in middle and elementary schools, things that are different from my high school experiences.

IMG_9332Nosepicking. I didn’t see nosepicking in high school, but it’s VERY common in elementary and even sometimes in middle schools.

Untied shoes. This is more limited to elementary schools. I’ve never seen so many untied shoes in my whole life!

Crying. This is also more in elementary school. Kids cry because their stomachs hurt. Because they miss their mommies. Because . . . well, just because! Sometimes only tears can address what they’re feeling.

Stinkiness. There is apparently a big gas problem among elementary schoolers.

* * * * *

I wasn’t sure what I’d encounter when I started subbing. What I’ve found is that teachers and administrators and staffs are very engaged in making school the best experience possible for their students.

And a bunch of them also find the time and energy to help out a sub who is in a classroom next door or down the hall.

Even if that’s not one of the “standards” they have to meet that particular day.

And this sub, for one, is VERY grateful for the help! A big THANK YOU to those teachers who have helped me out! :)

And I hope anyone who reads this – teacher, administrator, school staff, community member – I hope we can figure out a way to work together.

Because schools have too much on their shoulders today.

They need help.

OUR help.

Be a part of the village that is raising our next generation.

Schools NEED us!

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Computer lab at Rossville Elementary School

This All Saints Day

Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands. 

Linda Hogan

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My mother

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My father

Isn’t it beyond comprehension that each one of us – each one – is the result of the love of thousands, of generations upon generations of ancestors?

I found the Hogan quote posted by a Facebook friend today. It’s exceedingly appropriate for this All Saints Day.

It makes me think of those who came before me, those whose love produced me.

People named Calvin, Janelle, Effie, Dower, Ivens, Irene, Mary, Walter, Jacob, Addie, Lawrence, Bunyan, Sallie, Sarah, Lemuel, Lavinia, Ephraim, Julia, Ellen, John, Margaret, Susan, Ezekiel, Thomas, Salome, Joshua. Lots of sturdy Biblical names, both Old and New Testament ones. And these are just some of the ones from this continent. There are ones from various parts of Europe that precede them. And ones from other parts of the world that precede them.

Ancestors whose DNA is a part of me.

People whose loves and fears and cravings and aversions were passed down to me.

They’re all a part of me.

All of our ancestors are a part of each one of us.

Isn’t that mind blowing??

Today, this All Saints Day, a rainy day, a colorful-autumn-leaves kind of day, makes for a good day of reflection of who I am, who each of us is. And how those who came before us are a part of now, of today, because of their blood that flows in us.

They may not be on this side of the veil, but I feel their presence. They express themselves through me.

And in this way they live on.

I hope I’m doing their lives justice.

And I thank them for this opportunity to live today, this November 1st, this All Saints Day.

Thank you to all who came before me, those who live on in me now.

I remember you with gratitude.

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My grandmother, uncle, and cousin

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A great great-grandfather

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A great great-grandmother

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Another great great-grandfather

A Gentle Autumn Reminder

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There’s something about October that draws me outside to sit in silence in my yard. Especially when the leaves begin in earnest to turn their maroons and golds and reds and oranges and browns.

And there’s something about a Sunday, with its Sabbath quiet, that draws me even deeper.

Maybe it’s because I know that soon it will be too cold to sit in the yard.

Maybe it’s because I know that the colorful leaves only have two more weeks or less before they let go and fall to become compost and soil.

And maybe it’s because I know that, at age 56 (almost 57), that I likely don’t have a that many more falls to embrace.

I know that I’m more than halfway to death.

That there will be a fall in which the trees turn their vivid autumn colors – and I won’t be on this earth to enjoy them.

Autumn is a gentle reminder of death.

It reminds me that my days are numbered, that they aren’t eternal, that one day I’ll be a memory (one, I hope, of color) to those still living.

There’s a poignancy to our limited time on earth. A bittersweetness that wouldn’t exist if we lived forever.

So on this cloudy Sabbath I sit under the turning maple, mug of coffee at my scarred elbow where the skin cancer was cut off two weeks ago, listening to the plaintive call of the autumn leaf excursion train.

And I give thanks.

For what is. Maroon dogwoods, light green and yellowish sassafras, beginning orange maple, and Cohutta Wilderness mountains a dusty blue on the horizon.

So much beauty it makes me ache.

I breathe in the chilling air. And I breathe out gratitude.

Because I have now, this autumn . . .  with all the beauty it brings.

DSCN2726 DSCN2728And that is enough.

Biopsies and Prescience: Cutting Cancer

What is it about September and cancer diagnosis for me?

I got a breast cancer diagnosis in September 2011 – and this September it’s skin cancer.

A couple of weeks ago, my dermatologist and his assistant both said the place above my elbow was a basal cell carcinoma.

The tech scraped it out and sent it off for biopsy.

I didn’t worry too much about having basal cell carcinoma, because cancer ON my body is way better than cancer IN it.

The dermatologist’s message a few days later about the biopsy was a surprise, though.

He said it was a squamous cell carcinoma, and I’ll need to go back so he can cut it off and sew it up.

That was not the message I expected! I thought it was already taken care of. Done.

Instead, though, I have to go back and have more cutting.

But, once again, cancer ON my body is better than cancer IN it. Even if it’s a notch worse skin cancer (squamous rather than basal) than the doc and tech thought.

That’s why we have biopsies and send them off to be checked under a microscope. Because eyeballing isn’t always accurate.

I’m set for the cutting in a couple of weeks.

Cutting out cancer.

Interestingly, back in May I did an exercise from The Artist’s Rule: nurturing your creative soul with monastic wisdom by Christine Valters Painter. An exercise in which I cut out pictures and words from magazines, images and words that either drew me to them or made me feel some fear. I put these images and words on three cards and randomly taped three questions to the scrambled, face-down cards, questions I’d already written out.

This was one of the three cards which randomly matched my question with my images and words. With this question: What is my path?

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The “cutting cancer” caused my chest to tighten with some fear, so I chose it.

And I realized a few days ago, when I was writing an email about the skin cancer diagnosis and the dermatologist’s saying he’d cut it out – I realized I’d chosen words very similar to that a few months ago.

I’d been wondering what that meant, hoping it didn’t mean more cancer.

But it did.

But NOT big cancer like breast cancer.

“Just” cancer on my skin.

I feel a bit of fear, but not a lot. I’m more concerned with the pain that comes with cutting skin and stitching it up. And then healing the wound.

But, hey, I made it through two rounds of chemo, a lumpectomy and node-removal, plus radiation. So a little skin surgery should be a piece of cake in comparison. Right?

I’m grateful that this cancerous place can be cut off. And that biopsies are more accurate than visual diagnoses.

My sister and some friends have had squamous places cut off and have done fine. So my fears are assuaged quite a bit.

But I do wonder at how I sensed my future.

How did I know this cancer cutting was coming? And to choose those words? And actually have a magazine with those words in it?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 
– Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

And I also wonder why the chick wasn’t a kitten or three . . .  because there are three kittens on my porch right now!

Maybe there’s a part of us out ahead, in the future, exploring a path?

I don’t know.

But I’m fascinated when prescience slips in.

And I’m enjoying the kittens in the Now.

Future.

Past.

Do I really ever have either of those?

It’s all about the Now, isn’t it?

The Now. . .  and kittens.

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I’ve Changed! (from a dog person who loved teenagers to a cat person who prefers younger kids)

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Pool of water in Concord, Massachusetts, seven years ago

When I was a kid, I thought that once you got to be an adult you became the person you’d be the rest of your life, no matter how long you lived.

And what I’ve discovered is that I couldn’t have been MORE wrong!

I wrote in this blog back in the spring that I felt I was completing a seven-year cycle, one of failure and fear. I’d experienced two business failures (from a personal perspective) and a cancer journey – situations that tested me and helped (or forced!) me to grow.

And just lately I’ve realized that if you took some ordinary ways of self-identification and applied them to who I was and who I am, you’d see a big change, a transformation.

I was a person who totally identified herself as a high school teacher – because she loved teenagers – and a dog person.

And now I am someone who doesn’t enjoy teenagers in groups (one or two at a time are okay) but who prefers younger, pre-teen kids – and who now is a cat person.

When I look at myself now compared with myself several years ago, I see a new person in many ways.

And that can be disconcerting.

You see, I thought that who I was was pretty stable.

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The former me, dog- and teenager- loving person

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The current me, cat- and young-kid loving person

But what I’ve found is that who I am is fluid. That life events can change me, that aging can change me, that many elements around and within can change me.

I don’t know that I was prepared for this.

Because I wonder . . . who am I if I’m not who I was?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I had to take a break after writing the above.

Because I had no answer.

I mowed the front yard, walking and sometimes pushing uphill behind my self-propelled mower. And I thought about being a dog or cat person, a person who loves teenagers or younger kids.

And I realized that it has to do with caring about what others think, about trying please people.

Dogs love you and want you to like them. Cats don’t care most of the time whether you like them or not.

Teenagers want you to like them. They want to belong. Even if they act in the opposite way – that’s the root: “Love me. Let me be a part of your group.”

Younger kids don’t care about that as much. They have more innocence and wonder. They figure you might like them no matter what. And they like you.

I’m becoming more like a cat.

And more like a kid.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I’ve not written in the past month because I’ve been pondering the Who am I? question.

And I’ve come upon the four-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. And I have a six-month checkup with my surgeon on Tuesday. And tomorrow I see a dermatologist about a possible cancerous spot on my arm.

Thinking about cancer and illness and death provoke anxiety in me. And questions about who I am. And who I am meant to be.

Answers I don’t have right now.

But I do have gratitude for the cool, fallish weather of the past two days. And for the fact that now I have the energy to mow my yard. And that I have so many people who are praying for me and sending good vibes for my doc visits.

I may not know who I am now, but I do know that I love the fallish weather – and my friends and family and cats and young kids.

And for right now, this moment, that is enough.

Because who knows what tomorrow will bring?

But right now, I’m pretty happy, pretty grateful.

And I’m a cat person. Who loves kids, even middle-schoolers!

And who knows that whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll ultimately be okay.

To be continued. . . . .

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My sweet dog Emily, who died in 2009

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The latest stray cat who adopted me and who had LITTER #2 – this one in Emily’s old dog house – a couple of weeks ago!