Thursday, January 14, 2010
Yesterday was the third day at preschool that I worked with my new aide, Mary. She is an incredible teacher and a good person. When it was time for the other class to clear out and for our class to set up I did my usual flitting around and working on getting every area of the room set up at once. While I was working with paperwork and setting out name tags she got the whole rest of the room set up completely! I was so grateful that she had done this, it made it so nice to be able to relax and greet the kids, get the parents set up and actually see opportunities to interact with the children and parents.
Later that evening I went to Young Women's and we worked on time capsules that Kathy Sheffield had put together. We also are having New Beginnings next week and I don't have many assignments to prepare for it. It was actually a good day with lots of fun things to do and great people supporting me all around.
Well...................Later, just before I started to go to sleep I started to have a melt down. "I'm not enough!" "I am the teacher and Mary is the aide so I am the one that should be doing everything. They shouldn't pay me more than her if she is so good. Maybe I should share some of the money that they pay me with her. How can I be honest in my job if she is the organized one and the one who makes the room peaceful?" "Kathy Sheffield does everything! She is so creative and makes everything look nice. She finds great things at garage sales and always finds good deals. I just don't get how she can be so good and not know it." Blah Blah Blah.....I slept on it and I kept dreaming about being perfect and my quest to become perfect and my failure to achieve it.
For a long time I denied that I had any talents at all. Then I finally recognized that I have many, many talents--they may just look a little different than the ones that I have thought important and valuable. The past few days the question that has been on my mind is, "Are my talents valuable and worthwhile?" The experiences of yesterday brought that question to the forefront to explore.
When I woke up this morning I was feeling anxious but went ahead with my morning routine anyway. I was interrupted by a call from my sister Erin. As she pushed me I told her, through tears, everything that I was thinking. I asked her if my talents were valuable in the real world. She went on to point out how easy it is for me to talk to anyone. She called me a "pack animal" (I liked that), and pointed out how no matter who comes into my home, regardless of age, race or religion, they feel welcome and like my personal friend. Then she put her grown son Mikey on the phone and he told me that as he was growing up the highlight of his summer was when the "Wigginses" came or when he came to California. He said that he loved being with my boys, but there was more than that; he loved being around me. I was the fun mom and our home always felt so happy and cheerful. He loved being around our family largely because of me. This shocked me because as I look back at that time in my life I remember having such a hard time getting out of bed, being depressed, and yelling a lot.
Maybe it's time for me to own and take responsibility for my whole life, not just the parts that I didn't do perfectly. There's that word "Perfect." Who says I didn't do it perfectly? Who is the judge of my life? Who is the one hanging on to a view that I should have been different to be a good, fun mother? The only one that I can see who is pointing the finger at me is me! The good news is that the same one who is pointing the finger is the same one who can stop pointing it. I have a choice. I can continue to choose to believe that I am never enough or I can choose to believe that I have a great purpose on this planet and what I have to offer is not only enough and valuable, but much needed.
This morning while I was writing in my journal, I was reminded of a time when I was about 14 or 15 years old and I was involved with a ski school. In this school for ten weeks we went to Snow Basin every Saturday one a bus, had a lesson, and then skied on our own for the rest of the day. I enjoyed it all (even the bus ride), but I especially loved skiing with my friends. I could pretty well keep up with them, but I considered myself less of a skiier than any of them. The last day of the season we had a race. They set up a course and all 200 or so kids skied down it as they timed us. On this particular day conditions were rainy, wet, and difficult to ski. Many of the kids fell and didn't even make it down the course. When it was my turn to ski it I managed the whole thing and I came in first place for all of the girls in every skill level. I got a trophy. However...the win never counted or mattered to me, because I knew if the other girls hadn't fallen then they would have beat me. So in my mind I didn't win the race and I didn't deserve the trophy. I even threw it away. (Back then trophies were hard to come by and you didn't get them for just participating, you really had to earn them.) But the fact is they did fall and I out-skied all of them!
I am done pushing off my wins!!!!!!!!!! I am done thinking that the only parts of my life that are worth remembering are the parts that I didn't do as well as I would like to have done. I am done thinking that in order for my offering to be enough I have to do it all!!! ENOUGH!!!!!
Maybe what is really happening at preschool is I have a partner who will make it possible for me to do my very best. Maybe because of her talents I will be able to use my talents and be with the children more to give them a stronger sense of security in their first school experience. Maybe Kathy Sheffield likes doing what she does and is good at it. Maybe my being paired up with her at this time is giving me the space to pursue getting my master's degree, working, and being home with Sam and Brad. In the past I have been so stressed out when I have something to do, now the things are being taken care of for me and I find myself stressed out. It's time for me to own my win. To give the world the very best that I have to give the very best way that I know how to give it.
Erin told me a story about a man who was caught stealing a ham. As punishment he was required to wear a ham around his neck for a very long time. He had come to identify so much with the ham and with what it represented and how it told the world who he was, that when they took it off he couldn't deal with it and he hung himself. The ham that has been around my neck has been one of "not enough" and "I need help". I know that taking off my "ham" will feel uncomfortable and weird at first, but instead of choosing to hang myself, I am choosing to ski my best, come in first place, and win.