going rogue

So far, it has been about laughter. I wanted this blog to help support and encourage teachers, to heal and prevent burnout in the teaching profession with laughter and a sense of solidarity. I have brought my positive attitude and funny stories to keep us all going every day, in this age of Covid protocols and grinding long and stressful school days. I have been trying to write about the pressure that teachers are under to Close The Gap! Learning Loss! Ack Ack Ack!

And I think I have hit the sweet spot sometimes. But then something weird happened.

I have been a part of a smaller Hope*Circle that grew out of a guided Hope*Circle from the summer on “finding your reader and clarifying your message”. One of the women (hey, Jenny) decided to create a spin off group for writers that wanted to continue the conversation and support one another as we navigated the process of narrowing down our reader and our message. This group met once a week to check in with each other on our writing progress, and then workshop one another’s work in a Zoom meeting setting. It has been bliss. These are my people, for sure. We are all in different stages of life, but share the passion for where writing will take us. It is kind of like being on a theme cruise….only there’s no boat.

Then like a sea monster rising out of the deep where that theme cruise is peacefully floating. An Idea.

 It seems to be a new idea that wants to be a book. Definitely a sea monster.

I have always considered writing a book as a very distant and unachievable dreamy sort of thing, not something that I would actually do. This idea has been percolating in different forms for literally years. As I moved out of diet culture, I chronicled some of those ideas, but purely for my own remembrance, not with a view toward sharing it with anyone else. And then I just couldn’t stop thinking about it and one day, I blurted the idea out to my daughter on the phone. 

And then I immediately wanted to take it all back. I think I might have even said to her:

“Never mind. I don’t really want to write a book. Just kidding. What a dumb idea. Ha ha.”

Fortunately, some part of my parenting has made this kid ask hard questions and she asked me more about my ideas, and wouldn’t let it go. I told her a few things and then we said good night.

WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK. (edited for sensitive readers.) Now I was screwed, because it was out in the universe and now what? Can I shove it back into my psyche and never speak of it again? Or is it gonna make a big stink?

Cue big stink.

So I am going rogue here, teacher friends. I am going to start writing stories that are not about teaching, but about other things. Growing up fat in the 1970’s. Attending Weight Watchers as a ten year old with a bunch of middle aged women. Going to fat camp in the summer of my seventeenth year. (Yep, that happened.) The bondage of diet culture and the many diet roller coasters I rode throughout my twenties and thirties ( and let’s face it, my forties too.) The evangelical peer pressure that ran my eating world for years and years. (Your body is a temple, so…) This is the core idea for the book, the kernel of popcorn sizzling in the oil, waiting to pop.

 I also want to write about the process of the deconstruction  and now, the rebuilding of my faith. Not really in a new God or anything, but distancing myself from a Christianity that I barely recognize and can no longer relate to in any way. The way I have been meeting God in unexpected places, in my children, my students,  in seeking a new way of doing church.

Parenting adult children. And navigating how hard it is to make friends when you don’t go to church. And long marriages and empty nest adventures. And midlife and menopause. And of course, teaching special education. That topic still makes me wild with ideas. 

So, out of necessity, my XYZ or purpose statement will need to change. I am not sure how, but it will definitely need some kind of overhaul. Right now it reads:

 I call upon my 35 years as a teacher to write refreshing stories about the profession, finding the funny in every corner, to encourage and enlighten both experienced and rookie teachers and  to heal and prevent burnout. 

With this book hanging around waiting to be written, it begs the question of what I need to be writing about on my blog. I need to be piloting some of this stuff to the literal few that are reading.

So if you have enjoyed coming with me while I find the funny in teaching, please stay on the bus. You may not identify with all of my stories, but please know that I am still going to be chasing the funny everywhere I go, because laughter is the great equalizer and the fuel that keeps me going every day.

Here’s to laughter, wherever it lurks.


P.S. I am new at giving credit to the artists that decorate my blog. Hopefully this link gets you to see additional work by this amazing artist.

4 thoughts on “going rogue”

  1. Rock On, babe! So glad you are flexing your creative muscles! I can hardly wait to see when & how that kernel Pops. 😉

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