It’s been a long time since we’ve chatted. I’ve missed this more than you know. My life, like yours I’m sure, has been a wild rollercoaster ride of change, uncertainty, fear, and also happiness. Our world is ever-changing.
It’s hard to believe I haven’t posted in almost a year! Life has taken hold of me and I, unfortunately, allowed the day-to-day stressors to overcome me. I’ve written quite a bit in the past about how to handle stress and get out of a funk. And yet I have failed to take my own advice.
I’ll fill you in on what’s new with me and share my personal struggles knowing you will be able to relate.
I’ll start off by saying, even in these crazy times we now live in, I have much to be thankful for. I have been blessed with an amazing family! Wonderful children that love me and make me feel immeasurable pride and joy. I have a loving husband that works hard and supports all my personal and career endeavors. We recently purchased a new house so that I could be closer to my family and the school where I now teach first grade. I’m so grateful for our beautiful home nestled among farm fields and vineyards. We are blessed to now enjoy peace, quiet and beautiful panoramic views. I thank God every day.
And yet, I struggle.
I have gained a TON of weight during the pandemic! Not only do I feel terrible physically, but it has a direct effect on my self-esteem, confidence, and therefore my mood. I can imagine many of you nodding right now in agreement. My entire adult life I have been a teacher. I have been a health and pe teacher, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and classroom teacher. I have always, at some level, taught other people how to take care of themselves and stay healthy. I have always been a healthy person, and for the most part, at a healthy weight. I, of all people, KNOW what to do and How to do it! So WHY am I NOT just doing it???
That alone is enough to leave anyone feeling lousy.
Okay, now add teaching a new grade level, which means learning a whole new curriculum, and the fact that I temporarily lost my mind and accepted curriculum work over this past summer. My original thought was, what better way to learn my new curriculum than to develop and write it myself?! So, although I am proud of the work I’ve done and yes, I do know my curriculum which I believe has made me a better teacher, the well-known non-teacher comments about “teachers don’t work in the summer” went straight out the window. I worked every… single… day.
Oh and did I mention, my husband and I started a new business during the pandemic for which I do all the bookkeeping, emails, and insurance. All while taking care of my teenage daughter with Down Syndrome and making time to do fun activities with her as much as possible.
To further prove my recent temporary insanity, but also celebrate a true personal win, I have completed the manuscript for my second book, Raising Faith: The Ups and Downs of Raising a Child With DownSyndrome, and have submitted it to the publisher. (YAY ME!!!)
So, to say I’ve been “a little busy” is an understatement. And now you have some insight as to why my ups and downs the past year have me now scurrying to rediscover myself.
We all have a pity party on occasion. For some people, it only lasts a couple hours and for others, it goes on for weeks or months. Let’s face it, life doesn’t always go as planned. It can be very easy to feel sorry for yourself and fall into the ‘Why me!?’ mentality. This pandemic has had a very depressing effect on me, like many of you, I would guess. Staying indoors for the better part of a year missing all the family and friends I used to gather with so freely takes its toll, especially on a people-person like myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I will forever be grateful that I married the man of my dreams, my soul mate, lover, and best friend. I will always thank God for my amazing children and loving family and friends. However, I am not just a mom, a wife, and a teacher. I am Gina, a woman that must discover and thrive on what drives my internal happiness and sets my soul on fire.
One of my favorite songs has the best line ever. “Lord help me, help my stupid self.” I’m sure many of you can relate to that. God helps those who help themselves. Sometimes we need to get out of our own way. The thing is, my friends, it’s not just us. It’s everyone. Sure some people have life-altering situations and suffer a terrible loss that can hold them down longer than others. But we all have stress and we all have to find ways to deal with the overwhelm of our own day-to-day.
I am a firm believer in allowing yourself to feel your emotions. Don’t put it on the back burner or sweep it under the rug. Feel your feelings. Acknowledge the emotion. If you are sad, cry. If you’re happy, laugh out loud. If you’re confused, question. That’s how we live in the moments of life. Whatever you do, do not unpack in ‘sad town’! You are not meant to move in. Visit to discover, but remember, you are just passing through. What happened? How does it make you feel? Why do you feel that way? What, if anything, can you do about it? And then, for God’s sake, MOVE ON.
Life is hard and doesn’t always go as planned. But, there is always a silver lining! Count your blessings. Do the work necessary to rediscover yourself! Get back in touch with what makes your heart smile and your soul soar and do that! Make yourself a priority. Take care of YOU! You are worth it!