Try Something New Challenge: Week 2

My plan for week 2 changed as the weekend approached and that’s okay!

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I sometimes struggle with the plan not going as planned. I’m for the most part an easy going, go with the flow type of gal, but I tend to get my hopes up, play out what’s going to happen in my head, and then when that doesn’t happen I get disappointed and sometimes a little touchy about the whole thing. It takes me a moment to settle into the new plan. Once I’m in the new plan I’m good and I can objectively talk about how silly my reaction was about something so little, but in the throws of it I don’t understand why Kenny, my husband, doesn’t see it the way I do. To his defense these “changes” that usually happen are often my own fault so he doesn’t even realize the plan has changed (or that there even was a plan), which makes my reaction even more confusing for him.

For example, I have driven to work on a Friday morning and come up with a plan that because it’s Friday I don’t feel like cooking, so we’ll go out to dinner. I think about this plan all day, and how I can’t wait to not have to cook dinner and wash dishes. Kenny of course has no idea about my plan. When I come home and say, “Hey! Do you want to go to dinner?” and he says that he doesn’t feel like going out, well that’s not how my plan went! Here comes the wave of disappointment. Instead of first giving Kenny a heads up about my plan, or after he replies in a way I didn’t plan, I don’t typically say how I’m feeling. Instead I groan about making dinner and am bummed up until dinner is almost ready.

At that point I realize, “hey this isn’t so bad.” My emotions calm down, and I can start to look at the situation in a more whole way. I’m able to explain to Kenny what put me in a mood, and see that my reaction is in my control and can appreciate the new good things that came out of not going with my plan. Maybe it’s that we saved money by eating in, we relaxed together and had good conversations over dinner, got to spend more time with our beloved pup Brody, or decided to challenge each other in a game of Settlers of Catan. The night wasn’t ruined, and often it’s better than had we gone with the plan.

My goal is to be more proactive and in control of my reactions, so that I can prevent this feeling of disappointment and not set myself up for upset.

Whoa! Now that that’s out of the way…I wasn’t expecting this post to be so introspective. I’m realizing however that I let the changes of my Try New Things Challenge roll off my back! Woo hoo! I’ll celebrate the small things.

I have been kind of stressing over what new things to try. I want to try many things, but at the same time it’s overwhelming as to where to start. I want to be authentic to myself, but in some ways I feel like I’ve lost a sense of self. I’ve become sort of a chameleon. Although I already explained that changes in plans can rattle me, for the most part I’m pretty mellow. I will gladly do what Kenny wants to do just because it makes him happy, and it means I get to spend more time with him. He is also more vocal about what sounds appealing and what doesn’t, so we typically talk about an idea I usually go with his opinion. Now let me make clear that Kenny is not controlling or coercive in ANY way! I am just indifferent or usually happy to do what he likes most of the time. It doesn’t help that he comes up with pretty good ideas! What I’m about to say might also just shock you considering I spent the first half of this post explaining how I go off the deep end when plans change, so get ready. Are you ready?

Ok, here it goes.

I don’t like planning. There I said it! I don’t do it very often (maybe because when I do it changes and I can’t handle it!), and for most of my personal life I avoid it like the plague. My mantra is “I’m a teacher. I plan all week for the following week, follow the plan all day, and then struggle to play catch up when the plan get’s messed up. Why would I want to meal plan, plan activities, etc.?” I pride myself with going with the flow (most of the time).

Kenny actually wishes that I would have more of an opinion, challenge him a bit. It stresses him out that he feels like he has to make all of the decisions, because generally I just follow his lead. I feel guilty about this. I also feel slightly child-like in my lack of direction, like he is my parent and I am the obedient child. Of which I might add, I have lot’s of experience! I was not the rebellious teen, shocking I know.

Now seriously back to the challenge…

To find ideas of what to try, I started looking on Groupon.com to see if I could find something really cool that I hadn’t thought of and wasn’t too expensive. Not coming up with much, I decided to look back at my Passion Planner’s GameChanger Passion Plan I filled out for my first goal, try one new thing each week. (See my original post on my Passion Planner and get more info about it here.)

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I have not gone in the order that I…ugh! Don’t even say the word! But I have made steps in the right direction, and no I did not get bent out of shape over not following the “plan.”

  • I have completed a fabric acrobatic class 
  • I started a Make It Sunny Facebook page 
  • I penciled in animal shelter volunteer orientation

I decided the next thing I would like to do is learn how to use our Nikon DSLR camera. We’ve had it for three years, and still only use the general setting out of fear of messing it up.

My first reaction is always to ask someone for help from someone, never to help myself or look up solutions on my own. I started looking into camera classes that I could take locally, but they were fairly expensive. When I asked my husband what he thought about the price, he told me about  skillshare.com. I had never heard of it before, but after investigating I realized it’s really cool. You make a FREE account, and then have access to tons of videos teaching you about a ton of things. I focused my search on photography and using my camera, but they have a lots of topics. I will probably use this as a way to teach myself other new things! For some reason it doesn’t occur to me look something up first on my own. Hello! I’m of the technology generation. Google knows everything and there are so many helpful, FREE videos on YouTube and Skillshare. Why I don’t start there first is beyond me. Here’s a goal I can work on!

Now to what I actually did…

Kenny and I are in the process of minimalizing our possessions. I am on board, happy, and willing to do this. However there is something that I never EVER thought I would be okay with getting rid of…books.

I’m a teacher for crying out loud! Books are like gold, especially when they are bought with your Scholastic book order points and not your actual money! In my four years of teaching I have taught four different grades. (1st/2nd grade blend year 1, 2nd/3rd grade blend year 2, and kindergarten years 3 and 4). So…I have a lot of books, like hundred’s of books, ranging from preschool to about 6th grade for those high flyer readers.

Why am I getting rid of my books?

I’m planning to stop teaching after this year. Maybe indefinitely. Why don’t I save them for when I have my own children? This is actually what I thought I would do, but after thinking about this for awhile and listening to lots of podcasts about happiness, I realized that a common denominator that they all talk about is lessening your dependence on “stuff.”

As a teacher I have collected books and searched yard sales for good deals. I focused more on the quantity of books I had sometimes over the quality of books, especially when I first started teaching and was trying to build my classroom library. With that said, I have some really ratty books, duplicate books, books that never get touched in the classroom, etc. I also have a lot really great books, but so does the public library. By the time we actually have kids, and they are old enough to choose books they want to listen to or read, my books will probably be replaced with newer, cooler books. Don’t get me wrong, classics always stay classic, and I will read those to them, but we will go to the library together and check them out. I also figure that more children will get enjoyment out of the books if I donate them to the library, versus them sitting in boxes in my closet until my kids are ready for them. My fifth and sixth grade level chapter books would really have a long time to wait! To me the benefits out way the negatives of getting rid of my books.

I made good headway today. I filled one tub full to the brim, and have more to go through at home and then oy…my classroom!

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