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posted by [personal profile] miep at 09:03pm on 01/11/2013 under


Because I blog there. And here.

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posted by [personal profile] miep at 11:46am on 10/10/2013 under

About to go in and sub at a fancy school for the first time. I miss my school, and my class, and being a teacher. I don't miss the fear or the exhaustion or the constant scrambling to prepare. But I miss feeling like I mattered.

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posted by [personal profile] miep at 10:08pm on 26/09/2013 under

Happy birthday to the lovely [livejournal.com profile] annablume!!!

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posted by [personal profile] miep at 10:41am on 05/09/2013
Hello, blank screen. Hello, first day of Waldorf Kindergarten*. Hello, all by myself in the morning, at home, with the few hours until pick-up time spreading out. Hello, anticipation. Hello, nervousness and new ideas.

This summer was so different for me, from anything that came before. This is the first summer since I was three-years-old, save one, where September didn't see me heading off to school as either a student or a teacher. Our little boy, now 4 1/2, went back to school this morning. I dropped him off, and I came home. Now what?
I do have a new part-time position at the sweet little shop where I did some storytelling events last winter and spring. I'm excited about the possibilities in this. Mostly, I'll be helping customers select and purchase crafting supplies, toys, and home goods, and teaching children and adults to make beautiful hand-crafted toys and decorations. There will also be some story-telling, because there must be storytelling.

Over the summer, I have become more tentative and cautious about presenting myself as a storyteller. Partly, this has been because I have not had a lot of opportunities to tell stories, aside from a few little ones for my son. Lately, he has wanted to read a storybook at bedtime, rather than hear me tell Boy and Cat stories, and I'm not fighting it. I think we were both feeling a little tired of our dear, familiar story-friends, and while they are resting in storyland, perhaps some new adventures can arise. Partly, too, I have felt humbled by the real storytellers I know of, people who are stretching the story mantle to cover more and more topics and to reach more and more people. My own impulse has been one of retreat, of nesting and settling in, rather than outreach. It has been a time of contraction, rather than expansion.

So here I am, on September 5, writing for you, and I feel a little lost, a little adrift on a very smooth, quiet sea. Where shall I sail? Each island in the distance is lovely; each has its own dangers and its own treasures buried in the sand.

What am I going to do here, in my little boat? I'm going to study my map. I'm going to trust the sea and the winds. I'm going to let my boat bump onto the shores of those islands, wander around a bit, nibble sweet fruits and splash in the sea. And I am going to work.

Some of the work is going to look like work: tutoring, shop-keeping, home-making, writing. Some of the work will look a little more like play, and like puttering. And some of the work needs must be the search for work itself-- networking (ugh, that word), applications, study... That is what is allowing me the time to let my boat go where the wind takes it: this ongoing search for work. Because, you see, if I don't look for work, I don't get unemployment, and if I don't get unemployment, then the search for work gets more desperate and less focused on finding right work and more focused on getting any work.

I am toying with the idea of coaching. When I mentioned it to someone dear, she laughed a little, saying, "I don't think either of us is in a position to coach anyone," but perhaps that is a good place to start. Honesty. Authenticity. But what would I coach anyone in? Even coaching in parenting and Waldorf sometimes feels a little hubristic. But I do it. I do it, because the kind, kind women I meet with have told me that it is helpful. And I want to offer that container to others, that space of storytelling and sharing and striving.

*Kindergarten, in the Waldorf schools, is used in more than one way. As the word is used by some, my son has already been in Kindergarten for two years, as he has been in a Waldorf early childhood program, separate from his parents. He will be 5 in December, and this is his first year in the "Kindergarten" at his school; before this, he was in preschool. He'll stay in this class for two years, entering first grade in 2015.
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posted by [personal profile] miep at 05:36am on 12/07/2013 under

I don't even know where to start. I have fallen out of writing. I am lost a little in these woods. It's hot here, steamy, and humid, with stinging mosquitos. And yet, such lush beauty...

Summer came, and all my dreams of being a real writer, of being a work-at-home, or -from-home, or -and-sometimes-at-home mom seemed to fall apart like a dress sewn of paper and worn in a rainstorm. Little bits of it clung to me, but I couldn't quite reassemble it. My son doesn't have preschool in the summer. I got a part time job teaching at an amazing summer camp. I'm still tutoring.

While shopping with me last weekend for khaki shorts or skirts (camp uniform), my son became teary. "I don't want the clothes to fit!" he said as I flung aside another dud; "I want you to stay home! I want you to just be a storyteller!" Oh, little one, I know.

I mentioned to my partner that I wanted to find the magic key, the one that would fill our pockets and bank account with enough cash to live on, and would allow me to be at home. "That's everyone's dream," she said, or something like it. It's my dream, too.

There is another possibility on the horizon, still very, very hazy, and I am afraid to want it too much. But oh, how perfect it would be, if it would just pay enough...

In the meantime, the camp is great fun, and I am enjoying the process of learning on the fly. It's pretty magical at the awesome place where the camp is, and there are opportunities for soul-deep wonder every other minute.

So, despite all the cheering voices, all the helpful advice, and even the beautiful opportunity to write for Kind Over Matter (look for a link late next week!), I am full of self-doubt, and I feel those flakes of my paper dress drying a fluttering away. I feel so vulnerable in this desperate need for work, for the right work, for the ability to make it through everything. Kelly Diels sent out a post this week in which she talked about the slippery links between misogyny and perfectionism, and I wanted to jump around shouting and curl up and cry at the same time. Didn't help that I sneaked reading the email while sitting in church. Church is a pretty vulnerable place for me. I was afraid that someone would see me LOOKING AT MY PHONE. IN CHURCH. What is she doing??

It's been there all the time, the voice, the one that whispers, "If you do it right, they'll love you." Don't blame my parents; they let me know over and over how loved I was, and am, how special, how brilliant, how pretty... But see, somehow, I got the idea that all that love was based on the other stuff, the brilliance and prettiness and well-mannered politeness, and I was so afraid to let the plates I was spinning fall and shatter. I was afraid to step out of the role I had in my smallish town; if I tried to be anything else, I would lose my place, and then I'd likely have NOTHING, because I was sure I'd fail at being whatever-it-was. Better to be who I was known to be.

I'm living right now, feeling like a failure. I have a Master's degree in Waldorf education, and I failed to be The Best Waldorf Teacher Ever. There'a fair amount of arrogance in that statement. I honestly thought I was really, really good at teaching, and that that fact -- coupled with my sincere love for the students and my colleagues -- would be enough. And it wasn't. And while not all of it is my fault, I feel that I have failed everyone. My students, my colleagues, my family, my parents, my teachers, even my dog. Big, big load of failure right on my head.

A coach, who was leading a lovely program I was doing this spring, pointed out that I seem to beat myself up a lot. actually, I think I don't beat myself up enough, because if I did, I would be doing a lot better in the world than I am.

Part of the problem is, that I am kind of lazy. I get easily overwrought and overwhelmed, and I retreat to doing what feels easy, like refreshing FaceBook over and over and over, like reading YA fantasy (not going to stop that one), like eating junk all the time rather than actually allowing myself to eat nice meals with my family... And I stop doing anything that I know will move me forward. I stop writing, I stop making any effort to connect with friends, I stop trying to move myself at all. I just sit there. And then I wonder why I'm not making progress. Why my book isn't getting written, why Magical Bedtime fell apart, why my son is so whiny and tantrum-y. He's that way, because I am that way.

Also, there are a lot of goodbyes around here these days. My 18-year-old cat passed away at home last week. My friend Kornel, whom I was really meaning to visit, passed away in hospice Monday night. My best friend from high school is moving away on Friday. Let go, let go, let go, everything is saying, and I just want to hang on tighter.

So, here you go, reader. A post. Disclosure -- perhaps not full, but at least a glimpse of why what I said would happen didn't happen, and why I'm so lost. I'm still getting up, and loving my family, and working hard at work-type-places. It's just trying to move my own dreams forward that is getting stuck in the perfectionism-fear trap. Carry on.

There's a lot of haze in the air, from the fires out west, they say. There's still a lot of haze in here, in me.

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posted by [personal profile] miep at 10:07pm on 05/06/2013 under

Posted today. perfectionism sucks. Just be.

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posted by [personal profile] miep at 01:42pm on 01/05/2013 under

It is snowing. Here. Cheer me up, Internetz!!!

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posted by [personal profile] miep at 08:57pm on 08/03/2013 under

So I have this other blog, where I write stuff that is more stuff-like. It's my professional face, I guess, but a new pro-face that I am trying to develop, Sara the storyteller, parent coach, writer. No longer Sara the class teacher, and I think that can be okay.

So, have at it, folks. Today's post is about being 12.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

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posted by [personal profile] miep at 02:29pm on 31/01/2013
and I'm sure no one is reading it, because no one comments or anything, but you should go there and tell me you love me. Or at least engage me in witty repartee or scholarly discussion of fairy tales.

in other news, I have removed a big bin of toys from A's room, along with all the Xmas-themed books, and am hoping this will cause him to actually play with the stuff that's there.

we'll see.
Mood:: 'grateful' grateful
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posted by [personal profile] miep at 10:23pm on 09/01/2013 under

Hi lj. What's new?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.