by Jenni Lynn Patterson LaCour
I wasn’t expecting to blog about one of my journal entries again, but here I am, Day 200 of not teaching, and THE day before my 40th birthday!
I truly feel like a fish out of water when it comes to not having taught for this long now! I’ve been teaching for the last decade with almost a class or two per day, and I thought I’d feel like I lost a part of me from this much time passing, but I’ve actually gained some insight to myself and what my career means to me.
I can’t say I’ve had a ‘vision’ of my future or what I would be doing at the age of 40, but I can tell you all I’ve ever wanted to do is help people, in some way or another. Now after being in the customer service based industry for 26 years, I feel what I do for a living actually helps people. As well as myself.
I genuinely miss being able to see my students working hard, closing their eyes to push themselves through the last 15 seconds of a sprint or thanking me after class for making them feel better than when they first got to class. These were mutually beneficial situations that pushed me as an instructor and pushed them to become physically and mentally stronger human beings.
Now looking into the next decade and chapter of my life, I am really looking forward to what I would consider a fresh start back to teaching. I am not the same person as I was before COVID and all the self reflecting that turning 40 brings, has brought into light the type of instructor I wish to be going forward after COVID. Even though NOTHING will be the same again, I know I want to become a more present and grateful person. I never want to take any of my classes for granted, not even the ones that have crazy Karen’s in them! Though this surreal time has brought unfortunate circumstances that have put all of us in situations we never thought we’d be in during our lifetime, it has made us stronger in so many ways.
Time can show you both the positive and negative habits we continue to do within our life, especially if we look away from the screens long enough and take each moment in.
To learn, to grow and to discover exactly what it is that we want out of this life. Our perspective affects so much of how we view our daily circumstances, and I’ve had a foggy filter of comparison in my sunglasses for far too long! I constantly felt as though I wasn’t “living up” to some standard, that I had NO idea who or how this ‘standard’ even came to be?! Now that I’ve traded my prescription in for a fancy new pair of readers from Home Depot (no joke), I do see things with a whole new outlook.
Life is what we make it. I can’t believe it’s taken me 40 years to actually realize that statement, but it’s so true. No amount of money, possessions or title is going to make any one more, or less, ‘successful’. To me, success feels like accomplishing all of my daily, weekly and monthly goals, which in turn lead to me achieving much more within my year than I ever thought possible. The little steps each day add up and every effort you give counts for something.
Keep making waves, remember what you’re grateful for, and always stay hydrated!