Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
It's bed time and I'm exhausted, but I feel compelled to write an entry for all of you who have expressed gratitude in recent weeks to Sarah, me, or both of us, for our little blog which we've done a terrible job of keeping up lately.
If I were to be honest, and I'm going to be, I'd have to write about challenges, so here I go: despite the fact that Sarah and I feel incredibly blessed due to the birth of our third healthy baby, my new position at the district and the myriad other blessings we enjoy such as having our wonderful, still married parents near us and so forth, lately I think both of us feel incredibly challenged, but that's not all bad.
One of the primary challenges from my perspective (Sarah has no idea I'm writing this by the way) is that Sarah is sleep deprived, plain and simple. Tonight I expressed my sadness at arriving home to find what I consider a somewhat listless, sad wife. Since this not the normal character of Sarah, it makes it difficult for me. I don't mean to paint the picture of her slumped over on the couch, indeed I found her with a smile and doing laundry, but it's more of the spirit I detect in her eyes, some of you will know what I mean. I didn't express my concern to her in anger or with disdain, but with genuine sadness and with a great desire to do something to help. Sarah reminded me that she's been like this for weeks and that we've been here before with the other two kids' births and that we eventually get through it, which I know is true.
It's not that I expect her to bubble over with excitement at my arrival home from work, I just miss her big, energy filled smile and the excitement in her voice as she rattles of the goings on from the day and the plans for the future. I know that "this too shall pass" and that William will begin sleeping more and she will not have to get up to breast feed him every two hours. Indeed, this has always been tough on Sarah due to the fact that she physiologically and psychologically requires more sleep than many, including me.
Another challenge is my new job. Being a middle school teacher in Fontana is a great gig since years and years ago, the collective bargaining unit worked out shorter day than many other district enjoy for middle school teachers. At Fontana Middle, teachers start at 7AM and are off at 2PM. The problem is that I am not a middle school teacher anymore. Although I rarely left right at 2PM, I was generally home no later than 3:30PM or so. Even when I needed to stay till 4PM which occurred roughly once per week due to planning, meetings, etc., at least that was once a week. Now, in my new position I am home around 5:00PM and I often have work on my mind due to the much more complicated nature of the work I am now doing which includes change theory, adult learning, budgets and so forth. Now getting home late and working to leave work where it belongs isn't so bad (I could be unemployed), but compared to my old schedule and the fact that we had just two kids before, work now seems like much more of a challenge. Combine that with the fact that I like to be home with the family and, believe it or not, they like to have me home, work now feels like a bigger sacrifice. Now there's simply less time to spend together working, exercising, relaxing and cooking. It also extends the amount of time Sarah is alone with three little children and that can often be difficult as many of you know very well.
There are other challenges as well which I won't bore you with, especially since most of what we face is universal (bills, cleaning, dealing with difficult people, etc.) but what I guess I'm getting at, or what I realize I'm getting at now that I've been writing this, is that every challenge in our life, yes EVERY challenge and that includes sickness, etc., is related to a blessing. Other than the bad choices we make, big or small, which bring additional difficulty and sorrow, the other, natural challenges of life, whether we call them trials, stumbling blocks and so on, are all things that are associated with blessings. It goes back to the adage no pain, no gain.
I am so happy that Sarah and I have three children, I feel incredibly blessed to work with amazing people in the endeavor of helping young people learn and prepare for their lives, I am happy to serve people in my position in the ward and I am grateful for every other challenge life brings in that they all educate and add character and can open up the mysteries of heaven if you have the right perspective and attitude.
I am suddenly reminded of the following verse from the Doctrine in Covenants:
"All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good" (122:7)
More than anything I hope that I can keep this vision and also work harder in my life-long mission of alleviating others' burdens, especially Sarah's, and to keep in mind the reality of our lot in life which is, in my estimation, to see all things as blessings and not as burdens until that perfect day.
Updated pics of Will (from about two weeks ago):