Goodness. It's been a month or six....
The babe is asleep in my lap and if I move, he wakes up. Battery is low... let's see if we can get this done before "the end."
I don't even know where to start! I guess if you want to know all of the last 6 months, ask me, and I'll tell you. Maybe you'll even get some little sneak peeks here and there around my blog. I've been MIA around here. Writing a blog regularly was starting to become a chore and as part of a minimalist lifestyle, I didn't want to do something that wasn't a need if it didn't bring me joy. And speaking of a minimalist lifestyle, most everything I do these days brings me some amount of joy, so that's pretty swell.
Hm. But there were vacations, sicknesses, new lives and lives lost, hard times and high times, family visiting us and visiting our families ourselves.
It's been busy.
To say the least.
But I thought I'd do an update as of late!
Our baby boy turned one year old. He's not much of a baby. He learned how to walk around the time my blog dropped off the face of the earth. He now runs and plays with his bike and laughs and is a regular toddler. We still like him. We'll keep him.
I got a job! I work for VIPKid now. They're an organization that contracts adults in the US to teach children in China how to speak English. For more info, check out this link! It's my first post-graduation job, and the pay is pretty decent. It's pennies on the dollar in comparison to Joe's full time job, but were I to do this full time, I'd be making near what teachers in Utah make full time.
For a rundown of my day, of late...
4:00am- Wake up
4:10am- No really, wake up
4:12am- Put on a bit of makeup so the webcam doesn't make me look dead or asleep.
4:14am- Put on orange shirt (uniform for VIPKid)
4:15am- Get a granola bar or pretzels
4:20am- Look over lessons for the day
4:30am-6:30am- Teach 4 tutoring sessions.
6:30am - Clean up "office." Some day we'll have space for a real office, and the daily set up and take down won't be needed. But I've got a snazzy system down now.
6:45am - Watch Netflix and attempt to sleep again.
8:00am- The babe wakes up and comes and sits with me while we play with quiet toys or read books as he struggles out of sleep. Somehow an hour goes by in this time. Sometimes I'll get messages from graphic design clients around now, and I'll work in my schedule to get the day set up.
9:00am - 30 minutes of yoga. I'm working through Yoga with Adriene, doing the Yoga Revolution series. I adore it. It's progressive, and it's exactly what my body and mind needs right now.
9:45am- Clean up yoga stuff
10:00am- Clean the house and get breakfast going for the little lion child. His favorite is chocolate... but uh what? No I never give him chocolate for breakfast! What! Crazy... hah...
10:30am- Shower and get ready, as well as shower the little one and get him ready. This is a process. So usually around...
12:00pm- We're finally ready to face the world. Now is when client work gets done, lesson prep for the following day, grocery errands get run, appointments are made, and laundry is done. Sometimes we go to the park! I'm not going to lie. Sometimes we watch a lot of Netflix and take naps.
5:30pm- The dad of the house comes home, and the little lion child promptly releases his hold on me and leaches onto his dad for the rest of the evening. Poor Joseph. Works all day, and works all night.
Now we get to cook dinner together.
Now we get to wrestle food down the lion's throat, and wrestle the food off the floor.
Now we get to wrestle him into the bath.
Now we get to relax for a few fleeting seconds.
Now we get to prepare food for the next day.
Now we get to laugh.
Now we get to engage in deep conversation. Or laugh at the makeup of the weather girl.
Now we get to brush our teeth and hair and rest our bones and sleep before the day wakes us up again.
I've never been so busy. Something about waking up at 4am makes you feel like you can't waste your day, so you do a lot more. I've also never felt so fulfilled and optimistic. I never realized how much I missed teaching until I started this job, and now there's a fire put back into me that was just getting by before. I love that I can still work in graphic design, I can still be there for every moment with the kid, and I still get to be with my Joe. I'm not at a point where I'm ready to return to a traditional classroom, though I miss it too. This has just been everything I've wanted.
This last year was hard. 2016 sucked and all that ya ya ya... but some personal challenges came into my life which I struggled with far more than I ever thought I would. I was feeling the "me" parts of me being taken away, and I didn't have the passion or energy to fight for them anymore. Perhaps I'll talk more about those challenges later, but it was rough. I don't think I ever fully sank into depression, and the lowest points never were as low as my all time lowest points. But it was hard. I set goals, I made promises to myself that I wouldn't let myself go, I would maintain who I was, I would maintain my passions, yet I did not. You know how easy it is to wake up and say "Today we just won't... today is hard. I'm allowed to not do anything, today is hard. I've done enough already, I've given enough, I don't want to do anymore." For a while there, that mindset became daily.
And I don't know what it is about these last two weeks. Maybe I'm still running on a post-vacation high. Maybe it's the new year and feel of a fresh start. Maybe it's the job... I don't know. But now I have that gusto back again.
And it's not without sacrifices.
I would be remiss if I didn't give honorable mention to my wonderful husband, Joseph. Joseph works so hard to provide for our family. He works long hours. My heart shattered this week, on our baby's birthday, while watching videos of him through the year and hearing Joseph say "Some day in Heaven I want to watch him grow up like you did." People give dads a hard time lately. Moms have it hard, moms deserve a break, but going to work for 8+ hrs a day is no break. And still, Joseph comes home and runs to his boy and says in the voice I will always remember "Heyyyyy! Look at you!" He helps me make dinner. He cleans the lion up after dinner. While I set up my "office" at night, he reads the lion stories and puts him in pajamas. Between 4:30-6:30am, he's the one to hold the lion if he cries, despite the fact that there will be no time for him to nap during the day. And if ever I say I'm thirsty, he gets me a glass of water. He's always there to serve me, and he's stood by me in helping me chase my dream of teaching. Yes, I bring home money, but the added things asked of Joseph during this time deserve far more pay than the money coming it. But he does it because he sees the excitement it gives me, and because it is something I love to do. I've been overwhelmed with gratitude towards him in the past few weeks.
That took a direction.
I don't know when I'll blog again. Probably... before May... or around May... maybe. We'll see. Big things are happening in our lives this year, big things! Some known, some unknown. The new year has that buzz about itself saying "This will be eventful. Pay attention or you'll miss it." So far, it is off to a great start!