True Biz Conversations #2

Apparently it is Mental health awareness this month. I don’t know if my own issues with teacher burnout and a severe Seasonal Affective Disorder this winter makes me notice everything (like in social media and on news) related to mental health much like when you’re looking to buy a certain car and then suddenly that make/model is pretty much all you see on the roads, OR if it’s actually “trending” these days like it seems to be, for a lack of better way to put it.

I do not recall where I saw this post a little while ago, but basically from what I remember, someone said a lot of the “self-care” people are doing nowadays are actually “post-care” and done after they get burnout or are just about there. It resonated with me a lot! We live in a world where busyness = productive and “work 50-70 hours a week” = impressive and honorable. Like WTF? Do we really want to live in such a hurried state all of our lives and miss the true purpose of living? No wonder many people are struggling now. That way of life is not sustainable.

To be able to bloom, I have vowed to ‘design my life’ (through Designing Your Life: How to Build A Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans) and be more intentional with my time and things (Joy at Work by Marie Kondo & Scott Sonenshein; Make Time: How to Focus On What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky). As an Enneagram 9, I struggle with procrastination and random, short spurts of energy. Being aware of these shortcomings has been really eye opening and allows me to give myself grace as I go about with establishing both internal and external accountabilities.

How is it really going with you? What are some things you can do when doing self-care (in a preventive/timely manner, not as a post care)? Are you going to stress or growth (enneagram system)?

I’m Actually An Unpublished Writer Too

So, I have a children’s book I made years ago… I don’t recall what year since I didn’t include that in the book, oops. However it was at some point before June 2008 since it had my maiden name!

Someone was asking me recently if I’d be interested in being featured in her blog which focuses on books, writers, and storytellers. I just remembered about my “book” I’ve kept in my keepsake all these years and now I’m wondering if I should look into editing and getting it published. 🤔🫣

Anyone ever think about writing a book or feel like it’s something only “authors” do? I always felt like I am not ever going to be an author by any means but now I’m thinking ‘well, why not?’ I can continue to consider myself not an author but still write a book or two. Am I alone in thinking that?

Quick”mud”…

Finals and grading has overtaken my days these days, so my plan to blog a snippet about my Deaf childhood experiences was put on hold. Once grades are submitted hopefully before all the graduation happenings this weekend, I’ll work on those type of posts!

This past weekend was amazing! The weather was like summer on Saturday so we got to do yard work (plant Christmas tree seedlings in our garden to hardy them before transplanting them to the actual field next year), clean out the pig pen/barn hall, and just generally be outside all day! I finally learned how to use the tractor too and hope to be more prevalent in keeping the barn decent instead of only “deep” cleaning it out once or twice a year. Sunday was not as hot but still nice out until it rained that evening.

Crazy story time… our cattle/goat feeding grounds has basically turned to pure mud this past winter (it’s way worse this year, and that seems to a common issue in the area too), so we had to move the feeding spot a while ago to try and get this area to dry out without as much “hoof” traffic. Anyway, we still have ground troughs in the original spot that was either filling up from recent rains or was being slowly swallowed up by the mud. There was also some random stuff like tree branches that I needed to move over to better places. So, I gingerly made my way around the fence to take care of these things. The mud was not too bad, a little soft but walkable… until it wasn’t. At maybe one, or two foot, from the second trough that I tried to tend to, I was literally sucked into the mud all the way up to my calves! I seriously could not move my feet and low key started to freak out. Luckily my boots are loose so I was able to eventually slip my way out of the boots which has met its demise about a foot under ground in the quick”mud”. I tried digging them out but they just sunk even more and I didn’t want to get stuck again. Sigh, goodbye to my favorite boots! I will NOT be returning to that spot again and will leave it up to my husband to handle the half buried food trough.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know I will be back next week. Have a fabulous week!

True Biz Conversations #1

Last week I played catch up at work from having been gone the week prior for my kids’ spring break. Looking ahead I am so dumbfounded there’s only one more week of classes where I work. As in, after this week and getting grades in within two weeks, I’m officially done with my teaching career. It doesn’t feel real to me yet and honestly, I’m not sure yet how I feel about that. The last few years have been incredibly hard and I’m completely burnt out.

On top of that, my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was the most severe this year to the point I had to switch classes to online for the majority of this spring semester just so I could even function from day to day. I forced myself to attend appointments and I headed south to visit my family for about a week and half for much needed daylight/warmth exposure. That was the turning point for me and I was eager to keep moving so I joined a gym as soon as I got back home. I generally feel back to normal, although I still have some days where I just don’t have the energy or desire to do anything. The whole switching classes to online due to so much sickness and being burnt out contributed to my decision to step down from teaching.

I still have no clue what’s next, but all I can do is to take it one day a time right now. This upcoming week I plan to finally return to a more consistent gym schedule, wrap up classes with a final exam, and my kids have baseball practices as long as weather cooperates.

This past weekend was Easter. I attended church Sunday morning (yesterday) anticipating a sermon about the resurrection of Jesus. Surprisingly, the pastor chose to go another route but it really touched my heart. He started off by talking about how when someone wants to take their relationship to the next level (like marriage for instance), they have to have that DTR conversation. DTR means to Define The Relationship. Sometimes people are too afraid of the unknown or uncertainty of a relationship (or lack thereof) and choose to stay in the messiness of unlabeled relationship(s). Jesus died on the cross for us and wants a relationship with us, but it is up to us to respond and define our relationship with Him. Do we know about Him like a superfan does about a boy band or a superstar, but have no real relationship with Him? Or, do we know Him? When we approach the Heavenly Gates, will He say “Who are you?” Whoa, do I just know about Him or do I really know Him? It was a really profound message and I wanted to share it with you.

Later this week I will post a snippet about my childhood as a Deaf person growing up in a hearing family. Stay tuned!

Hi there! I guess since this is my very first blog post, I should do the obligatory introduction?

I’m Amanda.

Yep, that’s who I am… hmm, what’s that you said? You want to know more specific stuff than just my name?

Well, that’s pretty much why I’m blogging now. I’m in my mid 30s and clueless who I really am. Midlife crisis, huh? Somewhere in life, I lost a sense of my identity and aim to rediscover myself in the process of sharing my story with you.

In the meantime, some tidbits about me you might be interested knowing about are:

•I’m Deaf and communicate through American Sign Language.
•I’m the only Deaf person in my whole family including my husband and three kids.
•I’m currently a professor teaching ASL to students in college who aspire to become an ASL interpreter or otherwise work within the Deaf community. But, I recently stepped down from full-time, and will only teach part-time next year. No clue yet what my next career move will be.
•I’m an extroverted introvert.
•I’m an enneagram 9 with a wing of 1.
•I love animals! Especially goats, dogs, and cats.
•I live on a farm that has been in my husband’s family since the early 1800s! We currently have 5 cows (pretty sure two of them are pregnant too), 5 goats (4 as pets and 1 as a 4H show for my eldest), 1 swine (again, for 4H for my eldest), 1 dog, 1 cat, and 3 turtles (owned by my middle child). Did I mention I love animals? Haha.
•My husband and I own and run a small scale real Christmas trees farm.
•I love being crafty and making graphics. I also often design (sort of build) websites as a volunteer.

I don’t know why I struggle with knowing who I am when I was able to list all those descriptions so easily!?

Impostor Syndrome is ugly and (un)real. We are worthy and it’s time for us to bloom unapologetically!

A blooming nine…?