Wow! I am getting ready for another start to another school year and I can’t help but smile because it feels really good to be in this place. (As a teacher, my life is lived in school years so starting a new year feels like starting over.) Last year, I had no idea the craziness that my life would take. Looking back, I can just stare in awe, but in the moment, I was just hanging on. I was overwhelmed and over my head….literally! This post is my feeble attempt to look back before moving on.
Last August, I began my tenth year of teaching, but teaching all subjects in fifth grade for the first time. I was taking Clomid to help with infertility and feeling all the side effects (every single one of them) while trying to deal with the emotions and stress of feeling lost in my job. In addition, I was crazy hopeful that we would get pregnant soon and that it would finally be my year to be on maternity leave. I began last year with anticipation and uncertainty. New drug, new roles in my job, new test with new TEKS and WAY more work with no idea the year that would lie ahead of me.
By November, I was in a doctor’s office complaining of fevers, joint pain, weight loss, nausea, headaches which would lead to vials and vials of blood being taken to identify a cause. (I can be a bit dramatic so it could have been nothing.) By December, I was trying to wrap my head around the diagnosis of SLE (aka Lupus) and Rayneud’s syndrome; what started as the year to get pregnant turned into the year to survive. I learned the importance of taking care of myself while my job (for the first time) had to put on the back burner. We would begin to question not when I would get pregnant, but IF I could get pregnant. Time became a factor and everything changed. Side note: even with Lupus, my life was never in danger (praise God) but I had to think about my health for the first time ever and make necessary changes to not let this disease get worse…end side note.
Flash forward to March and April and I had visited four different specialists to get answers to infertility, anemia, autoimmune diseases and more. I was taking off or leaving early left and right to meet with doctors on their schedules. I was learning more about how the body works as a system than I ever thought I should know. By April, we were crying tears of sorrow as we learned our journey for biological children was closed (God had different plans) and that He had answered my prayers of no miscarriages and a healthy baby by saying no to pregnancy. By June, I was finally on medication for my autoimmune disease since we were no longer trying to conceive and by August my homestudy to adopt was complete.
As I sit here and look back I want to say 1. Thank you to my husband for putting up with me…my crazy year was our crazy year. 2. Thank you to my God for carrying me; you never left me alone. 3. Thank you to my friends and family for praying for me-always. At the time, I had no idea how bad it was, but I feel the impact today. What a difference a year makes!! I have seen the power of God at work in my life during that most chaotic year. I am thankful that my students had no idea what was going on privately and that my team helped me to get through it and be successful. I am blessed.
The good news is: it is a fresh year with a fresh start and I am super excited. I feel a renewed energy because if I can survive last year and still love my job then I will always love it. Summers are needed for a teacher to recuperate and refocus and I took all summer to do just that. I feel this year will bring some exciting changes. Thank God for new years!