Learning Curve

My life has undergone a change in the last two months as I have gone back to work part time. Two mornings a week, I teach college writing. Here are a few things I’ve discovered:

1. I’m busier now, but happier. The same problems still exist at home and likely always will, but now I sometimes get to close the door on developmental disabilities (temporarily) and open a different door with another view. It’s lovely.

2. My blog is suffering. I have less time to write, less of an absolute urgent need to write, and most of my creativity is being channeled into lesson plans. I’m fairly certain that I’ll get back to my old writing ways after this semester, when I have a reservoir of lesson plans to draw from. Bear with me. Life sometimes gallops faster than my ability to blog about it.

3. A lot of teaching (and writing, and playing sports, and doing any number of things) is feeling that you ought to be there, that you have something to offer—that you’re not just an imposter, pulling one over on everyone everywhere. It’s psychologically understanding that you can do this thing. It’s been an instructive experience for me to see that a purposeful life involves honoring your gifts, recognizing them, and sharing them, instead of downplaying or ignoring them. 

4. It seems counterintuitive, but I feel like a better mom now that I leave for a few hours a week and also have grading and prep work to do at home. I feel less heartbroken by every aggressive behavior or anxiety-riddled behavior. It seems I’m calmer because I do something now in addition to the poop cleanup and the meds and the behavior management. I have an outlet and it leaves me more centered to handle the same old predictable issues that will always be part of life with disabilities.

5. I get to interact with my students, who are wonderful. I feel enriched for knowing them.

6. Teaching is a privilege.

7. When there aren’t enough hours in the day anymore, nonessential things slough away. I am okay with this. Currently, I don’t have the time or the desire to decorate my house for fall and Halloween. This is something I used to love, and now I give exactly zero flips about it. Charlie still cares, though. I may need to turn him loose with the Halloween decor and let him do it.

  4 comments for “Learning Curve

  1. Archie
    October 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    “… a purposeful life involves honoring your gifts, recognizing them, and sharing them, instead of downplaying or ignoring them.”

    Awesome.

  2. Ann Cannon
    October 4, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    I’m so happy you’re doing this, Megan. I taught off and on while my kids were growing up, and I think we all benefited from it. Meanwhile, I had a chance to form lifetime friendships. Well done, you.

  3. Jennifer
    October 4, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    I’m so excited that you get to teach! I think when we live with disabilities we become so consumed in managing the lives of the little people who live at our houses that we forget we are someone outside the house and the disabilities. You are great mom–don’t let guilt or fatigue convince you that you shouldn’t be doing something for yourself. Because you should!

  4. Louise Plummer
    October 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I’m just catching up on your life, and I have to agree that leaving home to do something you care about for yourself is life changing. I was home ten years and then returned to work. I was a much happier person and a better mother for doing it. And I liked making money. I’ve always liked making money.

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