Saturday, June 1, 2013

fame, wealth, honor and success

      Today is one of those days that I'm really grateful, surprised and delighted in the choices that I've made in my life so far. Over the past 20 plus years, I've dreamed, hoped and envisioned my life as a successful adult. The word "success" has a different meaning to almost everyone on the planet. The dictionary has four versions of the definition:

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.

2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.

3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors

4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.

To some people reading this, they view success as having money, house, cars, high paying job, family and many other "things." The attainment of "things" has never really been a big motivator for me. In high school, the only reason I would clean my room was when my friends wanted to go out on the weekend. I've never really considered a birthday a success because of the gifts that I was given but the people that I spent it with. Although having things is certainly a nice addition to daily life, it has never been the main drive of my life.

     I have dreamed of being a great many things as an adult. I remember the day that I became an Education major. The conversation, with myself, went something like this:

"You're never going to be able to be something like really great, you know."

"Yeah, but it could be fun trying."

"No, why don't you just go with what you know."

"Well what's that?"

"The only thing that you've thought about doing longer than five seconds."

"Oh...a teacher....ugh"

"Well, is there REALLY anything else you're capable of doing?"

"Alright, I guess it'll do..."

Not really a super motivating and exhilarating speech is it? I'm not super proud of my reluctance to become a teacher, but I'm super proud that it happened. When I FIRST thought about being a teacher, I was going to teach second grade. After my first "Early childhood Class," I knew that 2nd grade may not be a great idea. I wanted to focus on my strengths, so I picked Middle School Math & Science. My favorite group to work with at Girl Scout Camp was the 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Throughout my work, many people tried to convince me to become a high school teacher. I ignored them. High school?!? I HATED high school, mostly because of high school students! They were mean, especially to uncool people, like me. When I moved back to Amarillo, the job search was unsuccessful and super sad. I expected a job the first week of June and it was July and I had no offers!! Reluctantly I applied for a job at the Catholic Secondary School. For some reason, I had this vision of work being boring and the students lamer than me. After the interview, I was in LOVE with the school! I WANTED this job and not just because I NEEDED this job. I've just finished year four at one of the BEST JOBS I will EVER HAVE!

This year has been especially rough. I can't really tell you reasons why. There have been a lot more days that I have not wanted to go to school than I should really admit. I have spent much of the year questioning if I REALLY wanted to be a teacher. Tonight I got my answer! Yes. If you were able to know the students in the class of 2013 as I have had the privilege of doing, you would not ever question sending your kids to Catholic School, especially Holy Cross. Now, this class is not perfect. They're not all devoting their life to a religious order, but I think a few have the potential to do that. The Class of 2013 is a hodge-podge group of 17 students of varying desires, abilities, interests and personalities, who somehow manage to call each other friends, each and every one of them. I am invested in this class. I can't wait to see what kind of people they grow up to be, the kind of things they grow up to do, the kind of change they inspire in the world. I've taken a large part of this class across the world, literally.

Writing this blog, I've decided that I've been wrong about my life quite a few times, but somehow I've ended up exactly where I am supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


So I started a blog like a week ago, but all I got was one sentence and I never actually saved it. Oops. I'm having one of those weeks, where I've made decisions in the not so distant past not really knowing the reason, but now I do know the reason. That probably won't actually make sense to any of you, except maybe 2 people, only one of whom is actually reading this.
So this week, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer is two words, 12 letters, that I've said my whole life. "My grandmother had breast cancer." "My friend has breast cancer." "I'm doing a walk for Breast Cancer." But for some reason adding the words, "My mom has" in front of those 12 letters gives it a WHOLE NEW MEANING. I think even though before it meant something to me, this took away any separation I thought I had from it. There are probably a few of you who know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, I'm still not processing things very well. Those of you who know me, know this is not an unusual phenomenon in my life. It is still early, so my mom's treatment plan is still not definite. I will do my best to update everyone. I know a few of you got texts or messages from me. I'm sorry to those of you that didn't. I felt odd sending out a text to so many of you, especially if we don't talk often. I also feel that I don't want this to draw more attention to me and my family. Of course, prayers are appreciated, but I just don't feel like some of the posts people put asking for prayers are sincere in nature. I think one of the hardest things is people's reaction to me after the news. I'm not much of a "touchy-feely" kind of person, and for some reason this news makes everyone want to give me a hug or pat me on the back or shoulder. I'm not saying, not to. I'm also not saying that it's not welcome, just new for me. I've also been asked some variation of "How are you doing?" too many times to even count. I just keep saying ok, not too sure if I'm supposed to say something else at this point. People have been offering to do things for me. The ornery Pace side of me would like to start making ridiculous diva demands, but fortunately I haven't done that yet. I'll let you know if I change my mind on that one.
Ok enough about that for a bit. I have some good news to finish this. This weekend will be my 9th State Tournament trip for Holy Cross! We are taking 7 middle school students, the most since I've been there, to the PSIA State tournament at TCU. About 3 weeks ago, we took 13 high school students to the Academic/Speech State tournament. I had a good feeling and had challenged my kids to let me bring home a plaque, which would be a top 6 place. Just as a background, two years ago, when I first started the program back up, we took five boys to State and came in 17th place. Last year we brought 10 kids and placed 9th. So with many of our kids entered in several events, I had good vibes. My kids BLEW me away by placing THIRD OVERALL!! We had three seniors bring home four medals! I can't wait to continue to facilitate their success!!
Well I think that just about wraps it up for me this time. Thanks for reading!
Until next time!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Party On, Garth

This evening on my trip home from my weekly Family Dinners, I was thinking, as I have been much of this weekend. Actually, much of the past 28 years, I'm an over-thinker! I guess in some ways that's better than being an "under-thinker" but at least they are doers! Anyway, the song that popped into my head as relevant was "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks. If you're unfamiliar with the song, Garth sings about running into his high school sweetheart while he's with his current wife. While he was with his sweetheart, he prayed that they would end up together, obviously they didn't and now he's thankful for that because he is with his wife. I'm feeling that way right now. Being a single 28 year old of sound mind, I've obviously thought that a few of the males that I've met would be a good match. I'm thankful that God knew better for me now, but for a different reason than Garth. I'm glad that my life is open to pretty much any option that comes my way. Some people reading this and a few not reading this, think I'm crazy for not wanting to "settle down." Many of my friends have recently taken  big steps, buying a house, getting married, having babies, etc. Meanwhile, I'm living in my 5th residence in 6 years, I'm one month from having my MAJOR debts paid and a year or so from having all of my debts paid off. I do however, have many wonderful friends and colleagues. I've been to Canada, France, Italy and Greece. What's interesting about this past year is that I've had many options that have seemed like excellent options. Many have not turned out quite like I thought they would. I think of it this way, you know the saying "When God closes a door, he opens a window." I however have a variation of that. I think that these options I've looked into are actually just really fancy windows. I think I'm getting distracted by the windows and haven't even made it to the open door yet. I'm also not sure that I'm ready for the door yet. I'm working on getting there. I just want to experience so many things right now still. Now, to clarify, I'm not talking about spending the next 5 years backpacking across Europe or gambling away my money in Vegas. In fact, now more than ever before, I'm certain that I can't just choose a job because they are paying me lots of money. I want to do something meaningful with my talents and skills. Money is an unfortunate necessity, but one that thankfully I've learned to manage on a limited income. Also, because of my overthinking tendencies, I'm not just going to take every opportunity that's given to me. You have to make sure the choices you make are the right ones. I'm so glad that my regular adoration hour has coincided with the events over the last 4 months. Being able to sit and talk/think it over with the Holy Spirit, the best life coach EVER, is just an amazing experience. Of course, I've also been blessed with a few awesome friends that have listened to me think, over analyze and stress about many decisions. I know it has to be frustrating to listen to me go on and on about all the possibilities, but as I told one of you just yesterday, "You should be inside my head!!" She wisely said, "No thank you!" Hahaha. Anyway. Just wanted to share those little thoughts with you, plus it's been awhile since I've written a blog. So hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Clay, silk, stone or paper

So it's "New Year's Resolution" Time again. I just realized that I didn't really make any resolutions in 2012, so I guess that means for 4 straight years, I have not broken my resolutions! counts! However, I've decided to do something different this year. At first, I felt like my resolutions are more selfish than past years'. However, after some googling and thesaurus work, I've come up with a few ways to summarize. In 2013, my goals will be more directed with self-regard. I also thought about using "self-interest", but I liked self-regard the best. So again, this year these will be goals for the year. I may add some throughout the year depending on the progress of these.

1. Finish 2013 DEBT FREE. I'm so close to achieving this goal it just makes me giddy. Two or three years ago was the time that I really started to realize that I had a problem. I think, for learning's sake, I will share this information. I think it would be safe to say that I moved back from Midland in 2009 with over $23,000 in debt. I bought a car, I had my student loans and then I didn't follow a budget and stupidly decided to use my credit card like it was no big deal. Now, I'm close to $6,000 in debt. My car and credit card debt will be paid off in a matter of months, seriously, so then only my student loans will remain and if I get serious about it, it should be gone by October! I have to give my dad a big shout out for help with this one! Thanks for letting me move back home, rent free, and for helping me pay off my credit card without interest!

2. Run a Half-Marathon. Yeah, I've never really been a runner. But I did used to like working out. Unfortunately, my money wasn't the only thing that disappeared in Midland. In college, we went dancing at least once a week, plus, we would play basketball in the rec or intramural softball. I've blogged before about how much progress I've already made in the weight loss department since moving back home. However, in two years, not much more progress has been made. I've been stuck. I've worked out here and there, I've ate better here and there, but haven't really gotten anywhere, not long term anyways. So, with a little push from a few friends, I'm training for a half-marathon. We are looking for a date still, along with a place, so if anyone else would like to run a half-marathon with us, let me know. I did my first "real workout" yesterday. Thankfully, I now live 5 minutes from a park, so on weekends that it's not too cold I plan on walking to the park for my workout. Otherwise, I can go to the gym. Also, any runners out there with any advice, please give it to me. SERIOUSLY- ANY ADVICE IS WELCOME! From shoe brands to clothes brands, to diets, stretches to anything else that I just don't know about. Also, if any one ever wants to run with me, right now, it's a walk-jog,'ll get there. I'm also looking for other forms of "cross-training" so any sort of fun, athletic activity you have in your back pockets, feel free to share!

3. Go Back to School. As of today, I'm still very much undecided about what I want to get my Master's Degree in, I just know that I want to get it. I was discussing it this weekend and here's my options, basically, after passing the GRE:
  • Math Degree: I have to go back and fill in some pre-reqs that I didn't get while getting my bachelor's first. Once finished, I could either continue teaching High School, with a small raise, or I could teach math at the college level. Either of those options is okay with me. I really, really, enjoy learning and teaching math.
  • Education Degree: There aren't any other pre-reqs that I would have to get. Basically getting this degree would ensure that I move up the "food chain" of education. I could be an administrator or something like it, which of course, would mean more money. After moving up the "chain" at Girl Scout Camp, I'm not so sure that I'm ready to start doing that in teaching. I really enjoy teaching and I'm just afraid I would miss it!
So, my first step this spring is to study for and pass the GRE, then once my undergrad is paid for (see goal #1), I can go get something. This gives me some time to decide what I want to do, or what is right for me.

4. Re-flourish my spiritual life. Nothing stays the same forever, but things need to grow and change as we grow and change. Starting at Holy Cross really revitalized my spiritual life after a two year drought with prayer multiple times a day, weekly school mass, religious and spiritual discussions with my students and more. But now, I need to do something else, something more. For the past month or so, I've been participating in Eucharistic Adoration at St. Thomas every week. That really has been a good start, but it's just that: a start. There's got to be more out there for me and I'm determined to find it!

So those are my "self-oreinted" goals for 2013. As I said, I may add to these throughout the year, especially as these are completed. The main difference between these and my old resolutions is that these have nothing to do with anyone but me, really. That's unusual for me, and I'm really looking forward to it. Lately, I've been quoting Seinfeld, not really sure what that's about, but I have a clip that fits this situation. Happy New Year!

Oh and just for fun I'll add one more...
5. Use "Maybe the Dingo Ate Your Baby" in casual conversation.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another Chance

Happy New Year! So usually I write a list of things I've done through out the year and a bunch of things I look forward to doing the next year about this time. I've had a few friends write a list of reflections on this last year, like general statements that summarize the year. I don't think I've ever done that before, so I'm going to give it a try....

1. You can say "No" to your boss and still have a job.

2. There's an unspeakable satisfaction in pouring your heart and soul into your job and being rewarded with a "Heart & Soul" award.

3. There's a not so fine line between selfish and living your own life.

4. Moving back home for the right reasons is nothing to be ashamed of, especially if it pays off.

5. High School Reunions are exactly like High School, but I'm also glad I went to mine.

6. There's an awesome feeling when you're less than four months away from paying off your car and your credit card debt.

7. Having the right friends in your life make all the difference in how you view life.

8. It's important to have friends that a) make you laugh b) inspire you to be a better version of yourself c) enjoy doing the same things as you and d) can talk with you about practically almost everything. (And I'm blessed to have MANY of you!!)

9. No matter how hard you try, loving someone will not instantly mean they'll accept your help.

10. Letting go of things that only cause you stress is SUCH A relief!!

11. Accepting and embracing your quirks and nerdiness make life so much more enjoyable!

12. Creating nicknames for people is still fun after junior high.

13. You can plan all you want, but sometimes life just happens.

14. Visiting another country with teenagers is SO MUCH FUN!

15. Traveling is super addicting, I want to visit EVERY country on the planet, or most of them at least.

16. Acceptance really is the first step in recovery, even when the problem is only disorganization.

17. I still have no idea where I'm going with my life...

18. ...but I'm having lots of fun getting there.

19. Making life decisions is hard, especially REAL ones, where making a list is almost impossible.

20. Doing something every day for a month is a lot harder than it seems.

21. If you can do something every day for a month, than you can do anything every day for a month.

22. Winning isn't everything, but it sure makes life better!

23. Working somewhere that you love for not much pay is a lot easier than getting paid more to do something that makes you miserable.

24. I'm not 22 years old anymore, working with people who are 22 is the best way to figure that out.

25. Age has no place in determining friendships.

26. It's okay to be tired of things, but necessities will still be necessities.

27. It is possible to be a "professional" wedding guest, especially when you know lots of people.

28. Accepting help is something I still need help on.

I decided to make 28, since I am 28. I'm not making "resolutions" this year as much as I'm going to make plans/goals to accomplish actual things through out the year. That will have to wait for another day though. Happy New Year! Thanks for being a part of my story for 2012. I look forward to seeing what everyone has in store for 2013!

Friday, November 30, 2012

One last...something

So I just got home from another home basketball game where I got to witness my brothers first win! It was exciting. Neat. Cool. It's different for me this year. If you're a reader, you know that last year I pretty much devoted myself to school. That has not been the case this year and my shoulders feel much lighter than they did last year. I also haven't been as concerned with my brother. He is who he is and at this point all I can do is be his big sister, by being who I am. At some point, hopefully, he will figure things out. Until then, I'll be there for jam sessions and movie nights but that's it. It's interesting how having a different perspective can change so many things. I can't believe that I blogged (almost) every day this month. I can't wait to see next month. I've decided next month will be prayer, seeing as how advent starts tomorrow and I have a prayer book with prayers from each day. It's something I can do whenever, wherever. There's no reason that my book can't follow me every where like my phone does. So farewell November! Maybe I'll do this again another

Thursday, November 29, 2012

No surprise!

So, if you have been reading my blog this month, or longer, you probably have picked up the fact that I'm a bit of a procrastinator. It's probably one of the things I wish I could change about me the most. If you were to look, I'm sure that 96% of this months posts were written after 10:30 PM. That's not a coincidence. It's not like I'm one of those moms that has to wait until their kids go to sleep. Of course, if you know me, you also know that I'm not just sitting at home twiddling my thumbs each night. I do have a lot to do. Tonight, I'm procrastinating at my finest. I'm sitting at school waiting for a parents night to start, getting caught up on grades. This one is new for me. I'm usually quite good at staying up with grades. However, as you can tell, I'm not just doing school work. I did get some work done, my motivation was through the roof there for a while. But then it just plummeted. I unfortunately get more work done when people aren't in the building. Saturdays and Sundays at work are very productive! Of course, that's also cause I want to get in and out, and because there isn't anyone else up here to distract me. That's not saying much though, I'm very easily distracted! Like just now, I took a two minute break to do something completely unrelated to this blog! Oh it bothers me that I'm not more motivated! Well, here's hoping I get something done! Only one more day of November!!