I Finally Picked “ME”

I’m proud of myself! I sent an email last night before bed that…a few years ago…shoot even last year, I never would’ve sent. Many won’t understand why an email can be such a big deal to a person, but to me…this decision was colossal!

Let me explain…

I’m a “yes” girl. I’m an agreeable employee who does pretty much anything requested or needed.

“Grade levels should come up with ‘something’ to do on the red carpet for our opening assembly video.” Hmm, here’s a song with dance moves, let’s try this one!
“Teachers are encouraged to give up their Friday night for Pumpkin Palooza.” Hey! Let’s dress as pirates! “Arrgh, matey. Have you seen our treasure?”
“We need volunteers to take admission fees at baseball games as a fundraiser.” Yep! I can do that. Wednesdays are my best day, but…if I work it correctly…I can finish my Thursday workout by 4:30 and make it back out to Hanover to do a Thursday as well.
“We need volunteers who would be willing to teach summer school for two weeks in July prior to the start of school.” Well, I’ll do it as long as I’m either working with incoming 4th graders or outgoing 4th graders.

That’s me. I’m “that” person. Yet, back at the beginning of the summer of 2020…in the midst of the pandemic stay-at-home order, my mid-life crisis hit. First, I finally requested the opportunity to move to fourth grade like I had contemplated for many years. Then, with encouragement from my nephew and my sister, I made a personal goal to “get healthy”. I started working out at Planet Fitness consistently and trying to eat more wisely.

As the school year started, an offer went out for professional development. I volunteered. I figured you’re never too old to learn something new. I began reading books connected to the future training and thought that I’d really be able to apply the mindset to my classroom and instruction. With Covid still running rampant, the training was moved to May…the week prior to the last week of school. With my vaccination completed, I told myself I’d be fine.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, April 15th, my sister & I met with a trainer at Planet Fitness who designed a 4-day workout plan for us. Sherry & I agreed to meet on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday to complete our 4-day plan. I mentioned that our staff meetings were on Wednesdays, so those weeks…we’ll give up Friday in place of Wednesday. However, Sunday would stay set-apart for her to be with her family. Tuesdays, the two of us travel to Seymour to visit our oldest sister in a nursing/rehab facility where she is recovering from a battle with Covid which started back on December 4th. All was well….life was good. Then, a book club forced the issue….

Now, I’m a BIG reader! I’m usually always reading a book or two. I mean, I love to write, so therefore…I love to read. When the admin team walked into my classroom, I was actually reading with another teacher during a “Google Meet” for Rock N Read. [Name started back when we were allowed to sit in rocking chairs with our students on the floor TOGETHER while we read.] I heard book club mentioned. I heard “maybe mornings” mentioned. However, my focus was on “Fish in a Tree”, so the rest…didn’t register with my brain.

Then, last night I started reading the book. I checked the paper accompanying it to see how far to read. That’s when I realized the conflict. I put the book up and started pondering. Do I choose a book club over my “getting healthy” workout? Do I pick a book club/committee over a commitment I made with my sister? Do I pick a volunteer assignment over ME?

Guess what? I picked ME! I was so proud of myself, but I was also a bit anxious. I am not one who does well disappointing others. Yet, I needed to be true to the “Jodi” I’ve become in my “finding Jodi” journey. I emailed asking if attending the book club on Thursdays at 3:15 was required to participate in the training. If so, I requested that my spot be given to someone else. I was reminded of the list of participation and the requirements of the committee which included after school meetings. The meetings could take place any day of the week after school, and they were mandatory.

Reading over the list…at first I felt a punch in the gut, as I hated losing the training. Yet, at the same time, I felt anxiety leaving my shoulders. See, I’m not a fan of missing multiple days in my classroom and the training would require me to be gone for 3 days. I sent me apologies and requested that my spot officially go to someone else. Tomorrow, I’ll be returning the book (though I’ll be reading it as I put it on HOLD through our county library) as well as the golden ticket they gave me back at the start of the year for “winning” a spot for the training.

So, today…I chose me, and I was quite proud. In 25 years of teaching, this may be the first time I took myself off of a committee by saying “no” to a request and saying “yes” to me. I’m still a joiner and a volunteer, but this one time…I’m honoring my commitment to myself rather than to a committee. That makes me…smile…and sweat. Ha. I mean, I’ll be sweating at the gym as I continue my journey to “finding Jodi” and “getting healthy.”

Try it! Say YES to you even if it means saying no to someone or something else.


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