Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIFW: What I Fasted Wednesday

L'Shanah Tovah, everyone!

Today was Yom Kippur, the biggest and most important holiday on the Jewish calendar. I took a personal day, and made the journey home to celebrate with my family at my home synagogue. 

The purpose of the holiday is to reflect on the past year, repent for sins, and to ask for forgiveness and for a good new year. In addition, we are expected to fast from sundown to sundown, and concept that still makes me a bit too anxious and nervous. But, more on that later.

Today, I spent about 8 hours in services, praying and reflecting. I thought a lot about this past year and all the changes it has brought.

I made lots of mistakes.

I made lots of self-discoveries.

I had lots of sins to repent for.

And, repent I did.

The thing that I love most about Yom Kippur is ending it with a feeling of a new fresh start. An opportunity to start again, free of guilt from the mistakes of last year. A chance to do things anew. Not necessarily to do things over again, but to re-try doing things right.

As I sat there reflecting, I decided that my goal and focus for the year is going to be love. In my life, I have felt the most presence of God (or whatever you want to call a higher spiritual power) in the strong, unconditional relationships that I have experienced, witnessed, and encountered in my life.

My intent for the upcoming year is to treat every person in my life with upmost love and respect, including my family, students, and people I may meet throughout the year.

The first step, though, is starting with myself. I have felt lately like I am out of touch with myself, both physically and emotionally. When it comes down to food and exercise, everything feels out of balance. I'm either famished or bloated. No in between. I almost feel like I have forgotten how to feed myself. I have this idea in my head about what my body needs, but the way my body feels tells me it's not right anymore. I have put on some puffy weight that I am not liking. As a result, I am emotionally suffering too. I know that I am transitioning. Figuring out my new work schedule and all that. But I hate the way I feel. I hate the way my clothes are fitting. I hate the way I look right now. 

It's wearing on me.

So, starting fresh with this New Year, I am going to make a real effort to listen to what my body is telling me I need. And figure out what works for me again.

That started today. Yes, we are supposed to fast for 24 hours. But, I woke up this morning already hungry. So I ate breakfast. Then, I ate lunch. Yes, I did not keep the fast. Call me a "bad Jew" but I don't feel bad about it.

I didn't snap any pictures, but I'm sure you know what oatmeal and a salad looks like. The most important "Good Habit" that I am falling into? Listening to what my body needs and answering it.
Thanks Jenn!
So, L'Shanah Tovah! Happy New Year, and here's to a fresh, loving start!
~ Rach

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Where it belongs

This past week, I felt great.

I felt like I had been eating right and fueling my body. Staying active and enjoying some good after-school runs. Kicking some a$$ in my second week in the classroom.

I was feeling good. And, I was looking good. Not only did I love my cute teacher-clothes, my body was looking great in the mirror. A far too unfamiliar feeling for me.

But, on Thursday night, I met my mom for some dinner and shopping at the outlet malls that are almost directly between my new place and my hometown. That situation couldn't be more perfect, right? Definitely one of the perks.

I found 5 new pairs of teacher pants. Five. With a total under $100. Unheard of.

Much to my surprise though, they were a size up from last pants I bought. My heart sank a little. For someone with my history, that is a hard realization to come to.

So I had gained a little weight. Ok...

For curiosity's sake, when I got home that night, I weighed myself on my bathroom scale that had been sitting unused next to my toilet since I moved.

I could not believe my eyes.

According to that scale, I had gained 6 pounds since graduation in June.

What. The. @^(%$*# !?!?!?!

Yea, way more than I expected. Yes, to some, 6 pounds doesn't seem that bad. But to me, it's failure.

Needless to say I was upset, and I went to bed that night feeling just plain awful.

But, when I woke up in the morning, I caught my near-naked reflection in the mirror, and stopped. I looked damn good. My stomach is showing some muscle definition. I have a little booty back again (something I lost at my lower weight). I hadn't had a head rush in months. I can easily make it through 10 hour days in a swealtering classroom followed by a 3 mile run without being exhausted.

I looked healthy. I felt healthy. And, even though I know I still have a ways to go, I can say that I am healthy. Leaps and bounds from my lowest points.

So, I put my scale where it belongs. Under the sink, behind the trashcan, under the extra toilet paper.

Sure, there may be times when I need it, but I do NOT need its ugly little face taunting and tempting me every morning.

Going of the way I have been feeling... I'm look hot! No shame. I'm proud of this body, and I'm sticking with that momentum.

Here's to freedom from that number and to feeling/looking good, despite whatever the number on that stupid scale!
~ Rach

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fall Goals

In college, I made goals for every quarter. I continued this in the summer. Probably, because it didn't really feel like college was over.

Now, though, that I haven't moved back to Athens, and have a week and a half of my big-girl job, it has sunk in. This is it. Life. For the next 35 or so years.

It's cool. I totally love this life.

So, I think I am going to keep writing out goals seasonally. It works for me. A month doesn't give me enough time to feel like I am achieving what I set my mind to, but isn't so long that I forget about them.

Might as well keep the ball rolling. So, without further ado...

Fall Quarter Goals

1. Keep on top of my lesson planning.
I am definitely an over-planner. I try to have all my materials and plans figured out for next week by Thursday of this week. This helps me to keep the curriculum in sight, have more time when I'm at home at night, and make sure the print shop at my school (who does all the copying, we don't have a central copier) has time to et all the copies run off way ahead of time. I know that keeping up with this is going to be the key to my sanity as the year progresses.

2. Work out 4 times a week.
Again, a way to preserve my sanity. Running has really been a head-clearing activity for me, and I don't want to lose it. I have been missing a good gym work out, though, so when the $$ finally starts rolling in, I think I am going to suck it up and by a gym membership. I usually take 2 rest days, but I know that as things pick up, unexpected rest days might pop up. So, I'm being forgiving and allowing myself that.  

3. Make 3 new friends in my new city.
Now that I have finally started working, I have been introduced to a huge family of amazing people. And, finally, I have a bit of a social life again. Albeit, it's all entirely work-related. I can see a couple that will definitely become friends, but I won't really count that until we hang out outside of school stuff. Maybe I can even mooch off their friends and make even more!

I've got a ton on my plate with right now as I cannonball into my first year of teaching. So, I won't bog myself down with too many goals. I think if I get these under my belt, I'll be on my way to a great year!

Here's to making it happen!


Monday, September 3, 2012

First Week in the Books!

Week 1. Done and done.

I can't even describe to you how much I am loving my school, my students (well, most of them), and my job.

Just like the first day, this week went so smoothly! I don't want to jinx myself, and I hope this positive momentum keeps going.

While I wanted to take more pics this week, the only thing I managed to capture was my daily outfit. So, here's a play-by-play illustrated by mostly outfits.

Tuesday- first day of school- hand out syllabus, introduce myself, take care of school-related housekeeping stuff.
Yea, you've seen this. I still really like this outfit.

Wednesday- 5th period and 7th period showed their true colors. Looks like these are my problem classes. Also my biggest. Should be fun. The desks went from groups of 3 back into rows, which has helped cut down on chatty-ness and attitude problems.

Managed to cut my head off. But, the sleeveless top was a good call with the heat. And, the crocs totally beat Tuesday's heels.
Someone told me once that accessorizing would make me look older. This is what I managed.
 Thursday- less talking problems, and some good work got done. Starting to feel the rhythm of the day.
Loved this outfit. Made me feel mature, and it was pretty cool and comfy all day.
 Friday- a fun day at school, compete with a last period pep rally. And temperatures that had me literally sweating all day.
We're allowed to dress down a little on Fridays, but with the temperatures, I opted for a light dress to help keep me cool. 
We've got another 4-day week ahead of us. So nice! And it's time to get into some real instruction and new material. Ready to take it head on!

Here's to keeping up the positive momentum!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day of School

I have officially made it through my first day of school as a high school teacher!

After talking, walking, smiling, and sweating all day long, I am exhausted.

Exhausted, but so happy.

I could not have asked for a better first day. (well, some milder temperatures would have been nice)

Everything went according to plan, and I had no problems with students. I didn't mess up too badly. I didn't trip. And, I don't think I messed up any of the administrative, first-day duties.

I did have some unexpected time with first period, but I just filled it with a pronunciation song that I used all day in my Spanish 2 classes.

I am letting myself take it easy for tonight with a scheduled rest day and not putting too much pressure on myself to plan for next week. I have an idea where we are going, and I will really sit down and do it tomorrow/Thursday.

I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself the first week. I tend to hold myself to these impossibly high expectations, and I am always overly critical with myself. I don't want to burn myself out. I love this job, and I want to be happy in it for a long time.

I guess this first day in my career really means that I am a full blown adult and I can no longer consider myself a child at all. Weird. Sad. Terrifying. But, Exciting!

Like I said, I'm exhausted, but I'll do a more extensive recap over the weekend.

I'll leave you with my first day of school outfit! Professional, young, cool-ish. Loved it. But the shoes... my feet hated my by 5th period. Not happening again any time soon.

Here's to a great rest of the week!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer's Over

Well, tomorrow is the first day of school. My first, first day in the teacher's seat. How quickly this crept up on me!

I successfully completed

  • 4 years of college 
  • A crazy quarter of student teaching
  • 5 days of straight staff meetings 
  • New teacher orientation
And, tomorrow, the kiddies are going to invade, and I will be charged with their safety, security, and, oh yea, their minds. 

Holy crap!

Actually, this week, I have felt oddly calm and prepared. Mostly, I'm excited to get started!

The countdown is starting...

The beginning of the school year also signals the end of the summer. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to check in with my Summer goals.

      Check! Didn't really have a choice on that one. SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW      
2. Run 2 miles without stopping.
      Done and done.

3. Be ready for the school year to start.
      Feeling good

4. Make 3 new local friends.
     Did it! Thanks to some introductions from some college friends.

5. Get Zumba certified.
    Did it! 

6. Fill my apartment's blank walls.

That's a big 100% for me! Solid A+! I hope I can keep this ball rolling as the year starts! Update soon!

Here's to hitting the ground running!
~ Rach

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Getting Rolling

It's been a week since I last post. Granted, I am not the most regular blogger. But, still, a week is a long time.

I have a good excuse, though. I have not stopped moving. In a week.

It's been exhausting, exciting, and emotional. Full of fun stuff, work stuff, and school stuff. Wow, things are really starting to get rolling for the school year!

Here are some highlights. Sorry for the photo dump. Yea, not really:

Val came to visit!!! My biffle from college. 

We went to dinner where I did something I never do. Ordered pasta. Major fear food there, but it was delicious! Then, I got made fun of for being vegan. Enter butter face with sausage eyes. Thanks, friends.

I ran 7 miles!!! I know, right!? Incredible. I totally surprised myself, but I had 7 in my head, and I did it. felt awesome.

Val and I hit up some of our fave food spots. Starbucks for breakfast after my run (brought my own protein oats), Panera for lunch, and, of course, Mexican for dinner.

Then, a little too much fun with some black light putt-putt.

Saturday, I took a quick trip to Athens for one last hoorah before the school year begins. It was a crazy night, but totally worth the pain the next day. Good times with good food and meeting up with some old friends. Couldn't ask for a better night.

I made some "I'm Too Poor to go Grocery Shopping, Clean Out the Fridge" vegetable soup. I'll put up a lesson plan for that one in a few days. It was a life save this week!

After all of that, most excitingly, staff meetings and professional development has started for the year!
Starting on Monday with meetings, then a staff retreat at the beautiful park below, and culminating in new teacher orientation on Thursday and Friday.
So far, I have to say I am completely in love with my school district. The people are one big amazing family who are all so happy to be working there. I am so excited and feel so blessed to be part of this team, and I can't wait for school to actually start!

Here's to the beginning of something great!
~ Rach