One of the things that I love about having a WordPress blog is that I can look at all these numbers. I can see views and likes and comments and all sorts of data that really has nothing to do with my job. What day of the week is my blog most viewed? Wednesdays, which doesn’t surprise me because I am part of the Slice of Life Challenge, a group of teacher writers who come together on Tuesdays to write and comment. My blog is usually done fairly late at night, so that makes sense. What time is it most viewed? 11:00 PM. Again, it makes sense as I’m getting my blogs up a little later than I’d want. One blog had over 800 views in a day (writing about Iowa politics), and some have had only 1 view (but it did get viewed!).
The point is, I’ve had this blog up for nine years. Nine years!! So many things have changed in 9 years. I recently took a mindfulness class called Elevate which has helped to focus me and allow me to start seeing the possibilities out there. How I got here: the Washed Up Walkons and Frank Garza. Frank, father of current Iowa basketball star Luka Garza, has been on the Walkons podcast (3 former Iowa football players talking about football, not always work safe, but a great listen!) a couple of times and just dropped some healthy knowledge about our minds and how we can take control back from the loop of life we are in. Frank offered a special for Walkon listeners, and suddenly, I’m in a class with other teachers, business people, and am learning a TON about my own mind. One of the activities we did was to ask some tough questions of our loved ones, one them being “what would my best life look like”.
My brother and co-worker both said something to the fact that I seem joyful and at ease when I’m coaching (which is true), so both said that was part of my best life. That got me thinking, if I could go back and do it over, would I be a teacher? The answer, probably, with changes. I love teaching and cannot imagine not doing this job. But I love coaching as well. Way back in the day, when I did my coaching practicum at Winona State University (Go Warriors), I was put in a football program because back then, I really wanted to be a high school social studies teacher and coach football. I loved the practicum, but it never felt quite like me. My teaching goals had all ready changed because I was placed in an elementary classroom and fell in love with the energy of the students, but the coaching was still here. Then, my first teaching job in Alaska was a varsity girls coaching position and I was hooked on hoops.
What would I change, I would continue with the varsity positions, looking for a way into the college ranks. I know why I kept myself in the middle school: family. Being a coach’s wife, even in middle school, was not easy for my honorary assistant coach. Early morning practices, late nights with school basketball, and a bunch of Saturdays for club ball tend to wear on a person. I was offered the varsity position at our school many moons again, but I knew that it just wasn’t the right fit for the dad and husband I wanted to be.
If I wasn’t a teacher, my other dream job, radio. I’d love to be on the radio as a broadcaster, calling games, talking all kinds of of sports or news. Why didn’t I? During high school speech, I loved the radio broadcasting competition, figuring out a news program, then reading it. That was great. I’m not sure why it never clicked as a career other than I just wanted to be a teacher more.
Either way, the answers to that “best life” question was a great exercise in placing some “what ifs” into perspective. However, sometimes, the best life is the one you have in front of you, so I’ll coach 8th graders, love my family, and practice calling basketball games in my head.
My face for radio will just have to wait! 🙂
A special thank you to the Washed Up Walkons Podcast and Frank Garza for the putting out the awesome content that lead to my taking part in the Elevate class, giving me more insight into my life and the power of my mind! 🙂
February 23, 2021 at 10:23 pm
Wait…ALASKA?! How did I not know this? I could see you as a sportscaster. Something tells me you would be quite animated and make it very interesting to listen to. Your love of sports reminds me of a friend who went into sports broadcasting for college games.
February 24, 2021 at 12:11 pm
Yup, Alaska! We went there right out of college and taught for a year in a village on the Bering Sea called Unalakleet. It’s the last major stop on the Iditarod, which was pretty cool to see! So many different things verse how we live here in the lower 48 states!
February 23, 2021 at 11:10 pm
Great post! There are so many things I would do differently in my life … and at the same time, I’m sure I’d still be a writer and an educator. Both are so entirely who I am and both make me happy. I also thought about radio, which would have meant following in my dad’s footsteps … and singing, which would have meant following in my mom’s. So many roads not taken. Looking forward to reading your slices in March! ~Stacie
February 24, 2021 at 12:05 pm
You are a singer? Another fact I’ve learned today! 🙂 We are a family of singers, not that it would amount to anything, but it’s something we all love doing. My wife and youngest are both very talented while myself and my oldest are those blending voices that help everyone.
Either way, like you said, so many roads not taken! 🙂
February 24, 2021 at 12:15 pm
My family is also full of people who love to sing! (I’m betting neighbors on my floor wish I would love I a little less! 😏)
February 24, 2021 at 1:29 am
Interesting to reflect with a bit of a ‘if I knew then’ perspective and realize that you are happy right where you are.
February 24, 2021 at 12:01 pm
You are spot on. I’ve been feeling a bit trapped, so it was a good exercise to help me see that my best life is right there in front of me! 🙂
February 24, 2021 at 3:29 am
Your thought trail is interesting to follow. I like your thought that the best life we have is the one in front of us. I’ve known since third grade that I would become a teacher. It’s only recently that I have thought what I could be if I wasn’t a teacher. No answer to this, yet.
February 24, 2021 at 12:01 pm
I love that answer of “no answer” because in the end, what we see as our best life can differ from person to person, and from year to year. Right now, I’m feeling a bit trapped, so it was a good reflection piece to help me see that maybe I’m not as trapped as I think. 🙂
February 24, 2021 at 4:43 am
As I near the end of a long career as an educator, I consider my best life as well. The truth is that sometimes like this week with the kinders, this position seems like the best use of my one life. Other times like endless meetings, red tape, and difficult situations make me long to be a librarian or work at a museum. I guess any choice would have its ups and its downs. As Clark said to Lewis, we proceed on.
February 24, 2021 at 11:59 am
>As Clark said to Lewis, we proceed on.<
This is so true! It's been interesting to reflect on where I've been and what I've done, but it always comes back to I'm here for a reason. 🙂
February 24, 2021 at 6:08 am
I worked in radio for 15 years before teaching. I can say that teaching makes you feel way more alive. This is a calling. Although as my dad says, you are never too old to follow your dreams! I read your post and as a radio alum I felt I should respond.
February 24, 2021 at 11:47 am
Thank you for the perspective! I’ve only been a teacher, thus, your comment is welcomed! I would agree, teaching is a calling, so if called you, I’m glad you are here! 🙂
February 24, 2021 at 8:49 am
Wow! You’ve prompted me to really think about this. I don’t know that I’ve ever really sat down and thought about this. You’ve got me thinking!
February 24, 2021 at 11:43 am
🙂 If I’ve got you thinking, then my work here is done!