June 15, 2012

Getting my Priorities Straight

I'm having writers block. I started a few pieces for The Art of Ed online magazine, for my graduate school, for this blog and realize, my hearts not in it. The only cure for a case of writers block this bad is a little sleep, good food, art making and adventures with Stella! 

I also decided that producing weekly post probably wasn't what I should be doing this summer. It wouldn't be fair to you or me. So you won't find me on The Art of Ed anymore. I LOVE Jessica and the magazine, but after really taking a hard look at myself I decided I needed to take some things off my plate. I needed to get honest with my priorities. Numero uno Stella and me. 

I still will be blogging (it's a lot different to me then writing an article.) I love the network of friends (shout out Phyl, Mini Matisse and Sharpie Woman) who I can connect with through our blogs. 

I have been a single mom for a couple months now while my husband opens his restaurant, have been working as hard as I can during school hours to get everything done, taking care of a dog, a one year old AND a house, and dealing with a lot of what I would call "tough breaks" that I'm trying to shake off. All this sounds pretty dismal, but it is ending up to be the BEST thing that ever happened to me (besides Stella.) I can't put my finger on what the changed, but I can tell you I've been waiting my whole life for this. I have always been a nice, respectful, sensitive and kind person. It always bugged me. Lately though, I don't have the time or energy to be the person I was. I have finally gotten to the point in my life where I really and truly don't care about what other people think. I have been shocking myself (and cracking myself up) with some of the blatant things I come out with that I would have never had the guts to say before (but should have!) Lately I can barely even turn it off when I need to. I am actually rooting my new found self on. I am so proud of her for finally standing up for herself and making choices that make her life better (and telling people who step over the line to back off.) 

So in the spirit of being authentic to myself I am not going to be posting until I really feel like it, when I really feel like it. There are some things I can't take off my plate. . . but for now I'm going to ride this wave. 

Love her. 


Angie said...

Good for you. I always think that I am going to blog more, but I don't really want to write every week.

Mrs. C said...

Some people don't realize it's time to slow down until it's too late. Congratulations on being able to see that "less is more". Enjoy your daughter, before you know it she will be grown up! I know! Time flies! Mine are 18 and 13 now! I am now discovering more free time for myself now that my kids are older. I don't regret any of the time that I gave my kids as they were growing up. I was a full-time teacher and mommy! At times that meant I put their needs before mine. I volunteered when I could and chaperoned at least one class party and one class trip each every year they were in elementary school. That was it and that was enough! I made sure that there was always time for laughs and home-made cookies! Enjoy, it's worth it... :)

Jen said...

I haven't got to the point where you are at (being straight foward). I always say I am going to work on it. Being an art teacher, as you know, you get asked to do a lot of things and of course even when I don't have the time I say yes (when I really mean, why can't you do it..why do I have to your work).

Mrs. Art Teacher said...

With my new baby this year I've come to the conclusion that anything "extra" outside of family has to add fun and relaxation to my life...if something goes from enjoyable to feeling like a chore then it is time to back off on it. It's hard choices to make...but you do a great job and we love your blog but understand the juggling act you are facing right now!

Unknown said...

Angie. . . I get that, obviously:) Do what YOU want. Jessica from the Art of Ed said something that resonated with me. . . she said something along the lines that "no one will tell you to do more yoga or take more time for yourself" that was really profound for me. Sometimes it takes someone else telling you it's okay to be you and do you. LOVE JESSICA especially for helping me with that!!!
Mrs. C that is very reassuring I'm glad that you had that time with your kids too:) The cookie part is making me hungry and I've been putting off making some. It's about time!
Jen: Don't worry I think I'm there (being straight forward) but I'm sure I will have a relapse when I get some more sleep:) I will try to hang on to this feeling though because it's changed my life. Try it one day (even if you are acting) because it's fun and I'll be rooting for you!!!

Mrs. Art Teacher: THANK YOU! Your comment means a lot to me. I have regrets about quitting a lot of the stuff I am and doing more stuff for me. I think what I am losing I will be gaining 10 fold. I have always loved the freedom of my own blog. I couldn't give up this community. I like to contribute since I do read all of your blogs and love to share.

Stringbean Art said...

Dittos on the good for you. I have enjoyed following your blog and always was awed by your energy you seemed to do it all! I have 4 kids of my own and a full time job and tried to blog but just haven't been able to keep it up like I would like like. You do have to set priorities! Enjoy your summer!

Jessica said...

Erica, I am proud of you for making the tough choices in your life, and taking what you can handle and leaving what you can't. Just recently I've also given up a few opportunities that a year ago I would have jumped on, and you are right, it feels good. You are a dear friend and an amazing art teacher. We will continue to converse, blog, support and keep in touch with you from over at The Art of Education!

Unknown said...

Halleluja! A vibrant young woman who has become self-aware before the age of 50!The power to say no, sometimes get stuck in a woman's mouth because of some irrational fear that they will be thought less of for saying it. I say booshotsky to that! When you learn and embrace the power of "NO", it's a real rush! Stella and your hubs are your #1 focus and you should squeeze every precious moment out of the time you get to spend with them. Remember, the power of "NO" is powerful-use it!


Unknown said...

Stringbean: Four kids and a full time job. . . I think you deserve woman of the year!!! The blogs are helpful resources as well as a good way to vent (in my case!) But really there is no pressure to produce which is the best feeling for me!!!

Jessica: Sorry not to have realized sooner! But I am grateful that you understand. I think the curriculum courses you are developing will be a huge hit especially if you include common core because then districts might actually fund teachers to do them! Way to go on your magazine, looking forward to seeing it develop!

Pat:Your comments always show your awesome personality. Full of energy, fun and wisdom! Love you. Stella has just mastered the power of NO too which is really funny. . . we both are coming to the same realization at the same time. . . I just hope she doesn't grow out of her power for as long as I did!

Olivia said...

Hi. My name is Olivia. I want to be an art teacher when I grow up , so I want to get some ideas. I would love it if you would follow my blog!!:)

Kristin said...

Erica, I stopped by CT a week ago and saw my friend Deirdre (she subbed for music across from you). We chatted about the state of public education today and she said that YOU and teachers like you are keeping things afloat. She was amazed by your positivity, energy and enthusiasm. Hats off to you, my dear! And nice work prioritizing, too-- enjoy your Stella and the summer. Saying "no" with a sincere smile is something I'm getting really good at...:)

Unknown said...

Olivia, OF COURSE! What kind of art do you like to do best? I think the best thing you can do is make things all the time!

Princess Arty Pants what a compliment thank you! So glad to hear you are out of there and can enjoy some things that you've been missing. . . it's not like you need it but when someone puts restrictions on me that would be all I would want to do! It's amazing how we have to live our job every minute. . . hey we're artists too! We've got to do us!

Deirdre is so fabulous! I haven't seen her since and hope she wasn't scared away. I told Deidre this, but my room is always open for any guest teacher to send kids to. It is difficult being a guest teacher, I don't think I could do it. Actually I know I couldn't. I got fed up after a week of it and found a job basically emptying some film guys trash in the hopes of moving up in the film industry. You can see how that worked out! As for subbing, I know we always try to keep the good ones like Deirdre. Hopefully she found the perfect job and that's why I haven't seen her!