Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Forget Regret

I had an epiphany moment today that I have to get out here...

Last week was bad. I was thinking about mistakes I've made and the resulting consequences, and the more I thought, the worse I felt. The worse I felt, the more likely I was to fall apart emotionally, yelling at family and friends, and then turning into a crying, mushy, mess because I was embarrassed for how I reacted and was convinced that I needed to be admitted to a mental institution or something. It was in this state that I hammered out my "retirement" blog post, because some of the mistakes were mentioned and continued here, and I felt like my blog was hazardous to my health and friendships.

Saturday night at our party, I seemed to be feeling a bit better, but it has all been up and down, so I am always afraid that one of my explosions is just around the corner.

With Sunday came further improvement. Sunday School was about adversity, and although I don't remember any specifics (I didn't take notes because I wasn't going to blog any more, right?), I think it was a good lesson. I was actually thumbing through the July Ensign (to seek inspiration for MoHo FHE on Saturday) and I read a sweet article about the atonement while I was listening to the lesson going on in the background. I had the impression that I needed to re-read a couple of books about the atonement, like The Peacegiver by James Ferrell and Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson.

Relief Society then confirmed that impression as the lesson was on Faith and the Atonement. I phased in and out actually listening to the lesson, but toward the end, the teacher began to get emotional and shared about being depressed during the past week, thinking about mistakes she has made in her life, and letting them make her feel worse and worse about herself. Wow, she could have been speaking for me at that moment. She mentioned how she felt that it was the work of the Adversary to make her focus on her mistakes, forgetting about the atonement and the importance of forgiving herself.

This week, both my mood and my productivity have continued to improve. Today I attended a seminar at Salt Lake Community College in preparation for the coming school year. During the "math" related part of the seminar, I thought a lot about things I do wrong as a teacher, and things I can do better. But I am tired, and it takes time and energy to change the way I teach, to try new things in an effort to improve students' learning, educational experience, and preparation for college. Yet, I was intrigued that maybe there are some things I could also change in the way I grade that could make work easier for me while also improving student motivation and responsibility. (It was like I had a "shoulder devil" vs. "angel" conversation going on in my head.)

At the end of the general session today, we had a guest speaker that focused on how important humor, laughter, and happiness are in the classroom. He read a quote that said we each have a moral obligation to those around us to be happy--and yet happiness is something I have always struggled with. As he cracked jokes, shared experiences, and talked about the importance and impact of teachers on the lives of many, many students, I had my epiphony:

"Forget regret, or life is yours to miss...No day but today."

Yes, it is a great line from a great song from Rent (which I have not seen). It invigorated me, make me feel empowered to leave my mistakes behind me as a teacher and try some new things, even if those things take energy and might even lead to more mistakes, but at least I would be trying to do better.

Thank you to this blog community, for your comments, your prayers, your emails, your chats, your phone calls, your hugs. For some reason, the adversary and his followers are working really hard on me. But you "angels" as well as unseen spirits that are looking out for me are many, and together we can win the battle.

The heart may freeze or it can burn
The pain will ease if I can learn
There is no future
There is no past
I live this moment as my last
There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today

There's only yes
Only tonight
We must let go
To know what's right
No other course
No other way
No day but today

I can't control
My destiny
I trust my soul
My only goal is just
To be
There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way
No day but today...

(Excerpts sung by Mimi in "Another Day" from Rent.)


Anonymous said...

I would love to hear about the changes you are going to make in your grading at school. I can ALWAYS use good ideas and do not mind if I have to change things I have been doing for awhile. I, too, would love to see the students motivated and I would love to help in the ways that I can. Please post what you are going to do differently, or respond in this comment section- it would be VERY helpful. Thank you! C (I also teach math)

P.S. I am glad you are feeling better about the situation with your friend, Dallin. And, I am glad you are continuing to post. I would have missed you! :)

Pieces of Me said...

What a beautiful post, I loved it and I enjoyed our conversation on Sunday night. I am so glad to hear you letting go of things you can't change and enbracing those things you can.

Bravone said...

Sarah, I know how hard it is to lose a friend. I think we go through a very similar grieving process as we do when someone close to us dies. Now being able to look back and see the goodness that came from that friendship and feel gratitude for it indicates that you are well on your way to healing. I am happy for you.

MoHoHawaii said...

I'm glad you're still blogging. I, for one, like reading what you have to say. :-)