Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mid Life Crisis?

Image result for mid life crisis meme 

As you may know, I have been volunteering teaching ESL to adults for six years.  This past year I have had the opportunity to sub for a teacher a few times, as no sub was available through the school district.  I found that I really enjoyed this.  I love volunteering here.  I love the students, and the staff are great to work with.  And they love me, and always tell me how much they appreciate what I do.


I have been trying to figure out what to do with my life.  I'm not ready to adopt another pet, and I actually miss having a career.  I miss that feeling of accomplishment.  I miss feeling good about myself.  And of course, the money doesn't hurt either!  I asked the teacher I work with if there is a program where I could learn how to do this without having to get another college degree.  I already have a Masters teaching degree in early childhood and early childhood special education.  She suggested Hamline University.


So I did some research, talked to some people, and here are the results: I can get a certificate in Adult Basic Education/ESL from Hamline, which is 12 credits and all online.  Then since I let my license lapse five years ago, I can use these credits to renew it.  I know that some school districts require an Adult Basic Education (ABE) license to do this, of which is only offered at the U at this time and is 24 credits and not online.  Hamline is looking into offering the license for the future.  So I figure after my 12 credits, I can renew my license and sub, getting some experience.  So if I have to get an ABE license, I can do that later, my credits will transfer.


I hope this works out.  I am excited about it and surprised I didn't think of it sooner.  But I think I was so consumed with Chocolate, his problems, and then his death, I couldn't think of anything else.  And I was writing.  I hope to finish editing this summer and then self-publish through Amazon as a kindle book.  This is free, they just take part of the proceeds, if any.  I can always republish later if anyone ever actually picks it up.


I have been writing for 10 years, and need a break. I want a "normal" career.  I miss teaching, and I love it, and I am good at it.  But I can't physically handle little ones, nor ones with disabilities, and I am tired of trying to stop behavior issues.  That was the worst!


So we shall see.  I could sure use your continuing prayers.  I know I can't do this on my own.  I have a tendency to make bad decisions, on impulse.  I liked this meme as I could relate.  I have many jobs and none I want back!  Except for teaching.  You ever have a feeling when you are doing something and it is not you, you somehow manage to rise above yourself and surprise yourself?  That is how I feel when I am teaching.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month Facebook Cover

NAMI hopes to bring awareness of mental illness and stop the stigma against it.  Having attended a few support groups through NAMI this year it has been an eye-opening experience. Some of the other members have been institutionalized, numerous times.  I have never been and hope to never be.  I hate hospitals.  They are a lonely and depressing place.

I think my meds are what keeps me from them.  There is something amiss in my brain that causes me to experience such anxiety that I can't think of anything else, only the thing I am obsessing about.  There is the depression that is so deep that I feel like I am a zombie, a dead person trying to function in life, but failing miserably.  

I will probably have to be on meds for the rest of my life.  And that is OK.  I know what I am supposed to do, to think, to believe, to pray.  Yet when I am in the throes of anxiety or depression, all that becomes impossible.  No matter how much I want sanity, it eludes me, and I flail about helplessly like a fish in the boat.  

This is not the the life I chose.  No one chooses mental illness.  No one chooses to be plopped down on a planet that makes no sense, and I am constantly the object of scrutiny.  No one wants to live this hell on earth.  

But we are here.  We aren't going anywhere.  I think we scare people, because we demonstrate that humanity is not in control.  Things happen that is out of our control, and that is scary for us.  We don't want to know that we might never get out of bed, or we might never get to sleep.  We just want to live our lives the way we want.  This is a delusion.

We don't always get what we want.  But we can want what we have.  Last week, after seeing a friend in the hospital so sick and helpless, I was reminded of what I do have.  Family, friends, purpose, faith.  I have more than most of the world.  I have what many want: a roof over my head, clothes to keep me warm, food to fill my belly.  

I am blessed.

Before I go, I just want to say that if you don't agree with me about mental illness, that's fine.  That's your prerogative.  But please don't judge those who do have mental illness.   You don't know what it is like to live with it.  More than anything, we just want support.  We just want to be loved.  Isn't that what anyone wants?  Support?  Love?  We get enough judgement in our lives.  It just worsens our burden. Life is hard enough. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mother's Day

Image result for mom memes

When I was in trouble not only did my mom say my full name but she also inserted my dad's middle name: Francis.  So it was, "AMY JEAN FRANCIS HETLAND!" 

But in all seriousness, I have the greatest mom in the world.  I visited a friend in the hospital today and it took me back to my own hospital stays as a child, and how my mom was always there during visiting hours.  Except for the time she was sick so my dad came.  

She went with me to all my doctor appointments.  She stayed through all my dance classes and recitals.  

When I came home from school she made me Spaghettios and grilled cheese, knowing full well I didn't each lunch at school, for I was too fussy.  

She played games with me and took me shopping.  She always tried top keep me out and about, knowing that in my depression I just wanted to hole up in my room and wait for life to somehow miraculously change.

Even now she knows when there is something wrong.  She worries about me.  She tolerates my craziness, but still tells me to drive safely.  

Her motherness never ends.  But I guess that's what a good mother is.  She never stops being a mom.