Feeling Settled

Week 117 – June 12, 2022 – Turned the Corner

Gosh. Look at this gorgeous night. This photo comes from my friend’s property. She’s on my curling team and she invited the team and a couple of her friends over for dinner. My other teammates offered to pick me up to go over to my friend’s house for dinner. We had an amazing meal. Most of it was vegetarian (for me). We had drinks on the deck and played several rounds of lawn darts (my team won). We ended the night with a fire and we had great conversation throughout. I had so much fun and I spent more time that night listening, appreciating, and enjoying. I feel very lucky.

Feeling settled is a big deal. Lots have changed over the last few years (and decade). Welcome to the midlife unravelling. I started when I was 40 and hasn’t stopped. At the time, I left K-12 education and embarked on a pedagogical journey that was atypical and unordinary. I was able to try new things, question self (many times), and challenge myself on what I was able to do (or not able to do). My sense of self efficacy needed a critical self evaluation and reconstruction. It doesn’t matter what people perceived (or what I perceived of others), what I thought I was able to do varied.

No question. I have completed a doctorate and I’m teaching at a university. I have published a few papers and presented at conferences. These are all good things but I never felt like I was enough because it felt like what I did was never enough. Gah. That was tough to say, but true. I look back and realized that I never savoured the moment because I was consumed by doing more so that I could feel like I am enough. If we are focused on Dr. Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability, I was swimming in a sea of shame. I needed to unpack those feelings and understand my worth.

For the the last few years, I have been finding myself and redefining who I am. I spent a good chunk of my life pretending and putting on a show for everyone else to see. On the one hand, I was myself, but on the other hand, I was hiding. I could not do that anymore. I moved myself, my life, and my kid to a new community. I drove a U-Haul truck (still can’t believe that). I sold my half of the house and getting a divorce. I sought help from friends, mentors, and coaches. I love being with my kid and grateful to have a community of people around me who are supportive, loving, and awesome.

I was chatting with a friend today and caught myself having a meta moment. I was sharing a lesson with her that I would normally share with students, and one that I was learning myself. As a high school math teacher, I would tell my students not to worry about the test or their marks, but to focus on the math (the learning). The grades will come. I learned that lesson from curling. Don’t focus on the win or score, but on the little things like your technique or communication. For myself, I need to focus on the joy, the passion, my practice, my purpose. The publications and promotion will come. Focus on the goods internal to the practice (McIntyre, 1984).