Get in Line!

“Get in line!”

About a decade of teaching elementary school reminds me of the no less than hundreds of times I’ve said this to my students. I expected a quiet line, straight and orderly–I guess because I was supposed to show I had things under control (in education, that’s called effective classroom management). Well, all that changed the year I had #8, who acted as if he thought he was Michael Jackson in more ways than one–dancing. attempting to moonwalk, grabbing…himself. Now that I think of it, he might have even tried the one glove (mitten) look. That year I had the student, who every teacher passed by me with a WHAT is he doing?!?!? look on her face. By the end of the year, I couldn’t care less if #8 was out of line. As long as he wasn’t doing anything horribly inappropriate, all was well in my book.

That year, as much as I yearned for quiet, peace and relaxation, things didn’t seem to work the way I wanted them to. I definitely have the tendency to always want things just right, to have my ducks in a row. It’s great to have a plan, work hard toward goals and to be organized. I like my house to be clean, be happy with my hair/ makeup and feel like I’m put together. In fact, I was the high school kid who had to have her bed made before she could begin typing papers or studying for tests. I also remember my brothers, sister, mom and I running around, cleaning, like crazy fools before someone was coming over to visit. Oh, and I used to put on full makeup before going to the gym. The bottom line is: being OCD about appearing to be put together just to cover up the fact that we are swimming in a sea of all things opposite is just not authentic.

My plans are challenged on a daily basis; it’s just part of life. Whose aren’t? At times, I don’t even feel as if my ducks have their feathers in place, so I fall into a fog of complacency and just quit trying. Don’t get me wrong–I’m all about looking fear in the face and doing what I thought I couldn’t do; however, I can be perplexed about these web-footed creatures when I’m struggling under that heavy fog. If they’re not where I want them, waiting a while for things fall into place might be the answer. Sometimes, though, there is so much waiting (to do things that I am in control of) that waiting = missing out. It’s as if putting things off repeatedly is somehow better than even trying because there’s the possibility of gasp!…failing. I’ve learned something through every failure, so why do I fear it?

Happily, I am becoming more and more comfortable with the dust bunnies mixed with dog hair around my house, essentially, I am becoming calm(er). I feel more at peace with who I am and where I am in life, too, so there is less of a desire to make everything perfect.  I’m planning ahead for when the ducks are scattered and going off in their own directions, to stand back and smile and then take the tiniest of steps forward out of the fog.

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