Category Archives: depression

Nearing the Breaking Point

Nearing the Breaking Point

It’s been a while since I posted last. And it’s probably for a good reason, too. Mentally, I haven’t been in a good place this year, as hard as I have tried to make it seem differently. Both work and health have been seriously tearing me down (and I think work might be tearing into my health as well!) But mainly, I want this to be a place where I can focus on the more positive things going on in life. Hence, my silence here.

November was definitely a hard month, but I am so grateful for Jared’s support. I often wonder how I was ever so lucky to deserve him as my partner. Despite all the difficult things I have been going through, he’s always wanted me to do whatever would make me happiest. Always building me up, never berating me for the tough things going on. And that support I’ve needed so desperately lately.

Another highlight of November was visiting family in Utah over Thanksgiving. We were surprisingly lucky, as the weather was pretty mild and we didn’t run into any snow (for me, that’s completely a good thing–you can grow up in a place that has lots of snow over winter and see how you feel about it and get back to me later). And despite me not feeling well, it was great to see family and friends and share exciting going-ons in each others’ lives.

Moments like those help pull you back from the breaking points and return you to a more sane place.

And last but not least, this is one of the best places in the world, and I got to see it again when visiting Utah. I love the natural beauty of this mountain. And it was on a back road on this very mountain that Jared proposed to me over five years ago. It holds a special place in my heart.

It’s been a week…

It’s been a week…

You know that there’s something wrong with you when you look at your blog and go, “Wait! Why is that the top post?! Did it not save my latest few posts?!” and then realize: “Nope. I had a lot going on it my head, but was too busy to do anything with it.” Yes, I really did have that train of thought run through my mind.

Anyways, this past week has been insane. It was the end of the first grading period, and it almost did me in. The whole past week, I have had 7th grade papers as my constant companions. When I wasn’t grading, the thoughts of what I needed to grade haunted me. Poems, book reviews, and miscellaneous late work fluttered around me… and it was horrible. Even with these two hanging out with me as I tried to work hard:

Thanks for your patience with papers being all over the house (and pets), Jared. I know that was rough.

On the flip side, to balance out the misery and chaos created in my life by grading, this weekend was General Conference weekend for Church. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I was triple booked this weekend (between grading, my CTWP conference, and an amazing book festival going on within a hour of here) along with General Conference. And they were all important and/or meaningful things for me to be involved with. I had to make a conscious choice to choose Conference.

I always seem to enjoy the Saturday sessions more. And this year I was not disappointed. Within the first two hours of Saturday morning, I had several talks that felt like specific parts were addressed directly to the struggles and discouragement I have been facing. This year has had so many things go wrong, and I have never felt so hopeless or discouraged, even when I have tried so hard to focus on the good around me.

General Conference touched me and reminded me that all these things will pass. These issues and doubts that have plagued me are temporary, and that I can rise above it. I feel so lucky to have such easy access to inspiring and good people sharing simple truths about how to live our lives.

That, and the fact that grades have been officially submitted, make life a much happier place to be.

It’s been a rough one…

It’s been a rough one…

It’s been a pretty rough week. Most of the reasons are probably not completely appropriate to discuss on a blog, so I’ll keep it pretty simple with the public appropriate downers:

1) Teaching twice as many kids in half the time is not conducive to a happy, positive learning environment. Especially when kids aren’t turning things in. Thanks for those budget cuts, Rick Perry. The future of America looks forward to how you can destroy more than just Texas school children’s education.

2) Work drama. I can’t say much more than I got pushed to the wayside for something that I was very qualified for and that could have potentially been a great add to my resume to be more desirable for being a high school teacher. Awesome.

3) The new online gradebook thing that we have to use for grades stinks, and causes lots of issues with parents either completely not being able to figure out what their kids grades are, or freaking out because what they can see isn’t always happy, which increases my email/contact role. And when is it NOT fun to speak with an angry or confused parent?

4) We cut down our VERY dead maple tree. It took a few nights (as I refused to operate a chainsaw without husband supervision, and also, he wanted to play with his new toy) and was rather dirty. As the maple tree was my favorite tree until this summer, that was very sad. Expect an “Ode to the Maple” sometime soon.

5) I found out that my husband’s family’s beagle, Brodey, needed to be put down today. And even though I don’t think he really liked me ever that much (or anyone other than David and Sarah), it makes me really sad because I remember how much it hurt a few years ago when I found out that our family dog, Dixie, had to be put down. And that’s always a heartbreaking feeling. I kind of told Jared to not tell me too much about it because it would reflect badly on me to cry in front of the kids at work.


However, there were a few things that did go well this week, so I will end with those:

1) Jared sent me cookies from Tiff’s Treats on Tuesday because I had a really rough morning. And they delivered it to me in front of my best kiddos, who thought it was the sweetest thing ever. And wherein several kids also offered me $5 a piece if I gave them a cookie, which I sadly turned down because I probably would be in trouble if somebody found out about it. But if I wasn’t morally bound, I could’ve been rich!

2) I got another book donation from a secret sponsor for my class. The Candy Shop War was written by Brandon Mull, same author of the amazing Fablehaven series. And since I haven’t read it yet, I feel somewhat obligated to read it before putting on the bookshelves for the kids at school. Once again, moral obligation, but this time totally in my favor! 😉 So to my secret donator: Again, both I and my students thank you!

3) The dogs are enjoying the large amount of sticks that have come from the death of the maple tree. Each day they try to bring several into the house, but I usually catch it before they start reducing them to slivers on the couch.

They are so cute, no?

3) Jared is going to surprise me with something awesome this weekend. Which I am totally looking forward to. And need, desperately, after this rather painful week.


New things!

New things!

So, you might have noticed that my blog looks different. That was intentional. 🙂 It involved a lot of behind the scenes updating of my blog that my awesome tech guy (AKA: my husband) had to help out with. A lot. Because he’s just awesome like that.

I’m also going to be working on a new tradition for my blog. I’m going to try to have a daily post on something that makes me happy, or that I am grateful for, or that is good in my life. (Once school gets up and running next week, we might want to shoot for 4-5 times a week…) I have been struggling a lot with my happiness level for several reasons, many of which are fairly personal and probably shouldn’t be known to all the world at this point in time. And to help balance that out, I want to focus on the good things, because I know that I have so many wonderful things in my life that I need to focus on and be grateful for.

So, without much more ado, here is my first happy thing post.

(Sorry if it’s a little blurry- it’s hard to take a picture of yourself!)

I finally got my hair done! It’s been well over a year. I wasn’t too adventurous today, but I really like the color. And I am grateful that I can do silly little things like this to help boost my self esteem, especially before a major anxiety (good and bad anxiety) causing event, like starting school again next week.

Here’s to the simple joy of a good haircut and color! 🙂

The Allegory of the AC Circuit Breaker

The Allegory of the AC Circuit Breaker

Two summers ago, when we first bought our house, the weather decided to make a run for making the record of the most days over 100 degrees. As you might imagine, it was hot. Jared and I were still euphoric about moving into our first home, so we didn’t let the heat stop us from starting to move our things from our apartment to the house.

That is, until the AC stopped working.

Even though we had the controls set to mid-seventies inside the house, the temperature rose into the eighties, and eventually, the nineties in the afternoon. And there is not much motivating about moving and cleaning up things in a house that is trying to cook you alive as you do so. As we investigated, we realized the problem wasn’t with the controls, but that the AC unit itself. It wouldn’t turn on.

Jared’s first thought was perhaps that it was a circuit breaker issue, but when we looked at the box in the garage, there was nothing labeled for the AC. So we did the next natural thing when you have a home warranty that is mandatory to get when you are buying your home: we called for an AC guy to come look at our unit.

A few days later, he showed up, and after about 15 minutes, decided that there’s nothing wrong with the unit and it must have been something with the circut breaker. Jared explained the dilemma about nothing being in the garage labeled for AC. The AC guy just stifled a laugh, shook his head with amusement, and walked us around the house, to point us to the circut controls that are on the OUTSIDE of the house.

Until that moment, we did NOT know that box even existed. He opened it, pointed to the somewhat clearly labeled AC part, flipped the switch, and immediately the AC unit turned on. We paid the guy, and thought it was over.

Until a few days later, when the AC stopped working again. We flipped it again. Then the next day. And the next day. And the next day. Then it increasingly got worse and worse, to the point where it would only last a few minutes, if we were lucky. So like the smart people we were, we called the electrician, who when he came, opened up the box, and showed us the circut breaker (or what was left, at least):

AC Circut Breaker 1     AC Circut Breaker 2

The electrician held up this charred piece of plastic and metal next to a new, bigger and better breaker. He then patiently explained to me that the circuit breaker was technically the required # load for the job, but a solid, good breaker that would be capable of standing up to the load that was needed (especially in one of the hottest summers ever) would be nearly twice as thick as this one. This poor guy just couldn’t take the load it was labeled for. He then put in the bigger breaker, same # caliber as the other one but twice the size.

Our AC has been amazing ever since.

I bring this up though, because lately, I feel like I’m the fried circuit breaker. Despite the many things I’ve done to “flip the switch” to get things back on track, it’s not enough. Even the positive experiences I do have only last a short while before it runs out.My metaphorical batteries are run dry (apparently, I didn’t get Energizer brand) and every task I do takes so much more energy than I could have ever predicted. Getting up out of bed in the morning is a chore.

And teaching… All my previous years, I was excited to go back. Even after my month in June, and YWC, and a few weeks rest, I am unsure if I am doing the right thing. If I’m even GOOD enough to do it. I’m plagued with all kinds of doubts. Example: If I was GOOD enough to be a teacher, wouldn’t I be able to teach a grade level I want? If I was GOOD enough, wouldn’t have somebody at a high school taken me on by now?

Generally we want to be the hero (or heroines) of our tale. Somebody brilliant, brave, talented, who can stand up to any challenge thrown at us. The Harry Potter, Bella Swan, Ender Wiggin, Aragorn,  Kendra or Seth Sorenson of our own life.

But right now, all I am is a broken circuit breaker, trying to make it one day at a time.