Hats and Such

Friday, October 24, 2014


Still here.

I guess, as evidence shows, I've been a little busy. Remember that post a few months ago about me starting a new job? Let me be the first to tell you that I absolutely love it! I feel like it was tailor-made for me, and every single day I feel very lucky about what I get to do day in and day out.

I have learned that my new job requires wearing a few different hats. By the end of the year, I think I'll have an invisible hat collection.

I love all of it, and it is keeping me busy.

And tired.

Today I got home at 5:30, poured a glass of wine, ate a leftover chicken strip, a slice of salami, and a pickle; then I proceeded to wash it down with said wine. On Tuesday, I forgot to eat until 5:30 pm. On Wednesday, I only had lunch. That's kinda how the last couple of months have been. Meals are hit or miss. As you can imagine, these wonderful habits are working miracles on my physique (insert sarcasm font).

What I really mean is that my body has managed to completely rebel on me and morph itself into something that I guess would technically be called an apple shape in polite, PC terminology, but instead causes people to think I'm pregnant (which is laughable in itself, considering that I'm single and almost 40). I have found myself constantly and more forcefully reinforcing to the girls the importance of not asking if someone is pregnant until all involved parties are 100% sure.

Here are just a few of the ways it has been posed to me in the last couple of months. "Oh, let me get that for you, you shouldn't be lifting that much right now!" and "All those diet cokes - shouldn't you be watching your caffeine?" and the one that tops them all, "When is your baby due?" because it's the most explicit. I'm rolling with the punches, but it still stinks and stings and hurts.

What can I say? I'm a work in progress. Nobody wants to look like this, nobody wants to be called out for looking like this. I'm trying with a reasonable amount of effort to not look like this anymore.

But it's a process...

Which brings me to one of the hats I'm wearing with my new job: The "Character Building" Hat. This is a big one for me because by nature, I'm a fixer and a pleaser. People don't always want a fix (although occasionally they do) - sometimes they just need to vent (like me, right now). Sometimes the venting can feel personal, but when you step back and listen to the bigger message, you realize it isn't. Sometimes there are people who just need to get something off their chest so they can feel better. I get that.

I'm learning that it isn't possible to make everybody happy 100% of the time, and I'm learning that I can't fix everything or please everyone. This is, honestly, a really good life lesson for me.

Another hat I get to wear is the "Helping-People-I-Haven't-Been Able-to-Help-Before" hat. I like this one. It suits my nature, and it soothes me. I've been able to see so much more of the system called school in the last two months than I've seen in the last 9 years. It's eye-opening. 95% of it is amazing. 1% of it is shocking; 4% of it is heart-breaking. No matter what, I thoroughly enjoy every single bit of it.

Regardless of everything that goes on in the course of a day or an hour or a week, my favorite hat will always be the Mom one. Cee is showing middle school who's boss, and I couldn't be more proud of the young lady she's becoming. Jay is so into her STEM magnet program that I can't even explain it, but trust me: it's a thing of beauty to see her blossoming in the smack-dab-middle of her element. Cee is doing soccer. And band. And soccer. And FCA. And more soccer. Jay is saying, "We always do stuff for Cee," and "Do I have to go to her practice?" and "I guess it's pretty cool that I'm the only one who gets to go to a-l-l the things because I really am her #1 fan."

One thing I'm really working on is keeping the Mom hat separate from the body image struggles. I definitely don't want to project any of it on them - they deserve so much better!!

So the bottom line is that I absolutely love learning. I'm a nerd, and I honestly can't help it. It's how I'm wired. This year has provided me with the opportunity to learn more about myself; more about my children; more about education; more about people; more about life; more about how much I love my job and the people I work with.

And it's only October 24th.

I can't wait to see what other lessons this year holds for me. Seriously, can't wait.

I'm very lucky and extremely blessed.

And I need another glass of wine, so that's all for now.


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