Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Look Back: 2015

How did 2015 end already? I knew 2015 was going to be a good year. I have a thing for odd numbers, especially ones that involve fives. You know, midpoint, middle, highs. But it came and went and now we're all a year older, we've all completed another year's worth of traditions, and we will raises our glasses to the new year. But I'm not quite ready yet.

I've written very little this year. Part of me is sad about it, and another part of me has reconciled with the fact that priorities have been rearranged and it is what it is. But today, maybe because I have had many extra hours of sleep over winter break, or that I've checked off many to-dos on my list, or maybe because I just realized that it's the last day of 2015, inspiration came knocking on my fingertips and I thought I'd bid farewell to 2015 with a blog post. Here's a look back at 2015 with a #TopTen post.

10. Fast, faster, fastest. We've gotten into a great routine when it comes to holiday decorating. This is our eighth year at it in this home, and we've become pros. We pick out a tree, DH lugs it home and puts it up. I string the lights and the kiddos put up the ornaments. We play Christmas music while this happens. This year was our fastest completion from beginning to end. Not one tangled string of lights or broken ornament. No tree trunk too large to fit into the tree holder so we'd have to saw it off by hand and spend half an hour taking turns doing so. No waiting for snow to thaw from the tree because there was a blizzard on the day of purchase. It was perfect. #WillThisGoDownInHistory?

9. Pain, pain, and more pain. This is the year where Aging regularly showed her ugly face. Not remembering your own age is one thing (that started the year I turned 40), but when one's body is afflicted with constant pain, one knows one's getting old. This year I was "forced" to stop running--something I had begun to enjoy because it helped me relieve stress and get fit--because of knee pain. Not only was I diagnosed with osteoarthritis, I also had a fall late in the summer that made my lower back go into everlasting spasm. #IFeelLikeAnOldLady

8. Brain, brain, and less brain. This one is serious. Things are coming out of my mouth without my brain's proper evaluation. I can read the Smartboard out loud and substitute words like no other. Students take pride in correcting my mistakes. I often have to give them the "Mrs. Brain's Chang is Full" speech by Fridays. In fact, I ran into a parent over the holidays and she told me that her son wasn't sure about something I said, because "that Mrs. Chang can be a little overwhelmed by Fridays; she says things that don't make any sense..." Yeah. That Mrs. Chang just really needed some sleep. #FacePalm

7. Reclusive, reclusive, and more reclusive. I've been feeling like a recluse this entire year. Little time for social media, writing/blogging, or seeing friends. I skipped the work holiday party this year (too tired and [insert jazz hands] reclusive). I've even contemplated quitting Facebook altogether. It's a good thing I have peeps at home who listen to me rant about my day and keep me sane with conversations. #ThankGoodnessForFamily

6. Time, time, and less time. All those things I used to be able to do, like write? No time for it. I haven't touched yarn and needles for years. That closet that still needs to be cleaned out? Still needs to be. When I do have time these days, I choose sleep. #TeachingIsATimeVacuum

5. Work, work, and more work. Many people ask me if my second year returning to teaching has gotten better. Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, because the first year is always the hardest, and this year I can tweak what I learned last year to make things better. No, because twenty.nine.students. That's a lot of bodies just to fit inside a classroom, to fit on the floor for read alouds, to fit in a line to get ready to leave the classroom. It's a lot of papers to grade, report cards to write, and conferences to prepare. Just, a lot. #TheNeverEndingClassList

4. Wine, wine, and more wine. I probably have recycled more wine bottles this year than any other years in my life. Which means I consumed them all. Because I love me some Pinot Noir. So this year I found my favorite wine made by my favorite singer: The Dreaming Tree Pinot Noir. The corners of my lips are turned up just typing this. And also, they say it's okay to drink more wine. #Cheers

3. Cook, bake, and more eats. Binging is the name of this game. I've been on a cooking/baking/eating binge because of one comment from DD: "It used to be a treat to go out to eat; now it's a treat to eat dishes you make." How did she ever get so smart? One tiny comment made this mama go into a frenzy of cooking/baking/eating her favorites. A list was made, and items were checked off. Lots of happy faces and tummies all around. Like I always say, "Enjoy it now, and until the next break!" #MakingAListAndCheckingItTwice

2. Books, books, and more books. I hadn't realized how much I read until Goodreads sent me "My Year in Books 2015." Not bad at all. At least if needed, I can inspire my students to love to read by example. #7,300PagesAndCounting

1. Shoes, shoes, and more comfortable shoes. I've acquired a few pairs of Birkenstocks this year, cuz they say they're good for your feet and I've decided to be good to mine. They really work wonders. I've got a summer Gizeh pair, a winter shearling pair, and a year-round clog pair. I love them. But I really didn't choose shoes as my number one for 2015. Rather, it's that I am feeling more and more comfortable in my shoes as a teacher. I'm molding my own soles, like they say in Birkenstockinese. I've found my style, my walk, and my gait for my Teaching Shoes. It's a wonderful feeling. It doesn't mean that my feet don't ever get tired or don't need to be just "bare" every now and then, but they seem to have found a comfy home while they are "working." #LifelongLearnerAndBirkenstocker

So that's my 2015. You're thinking next year might not be so good for me since it's an even numbered year. Well, I've got it covered. I'm turning an odd number of age in years. And three is my favorite number. So it's all good.

And I guess now I'm ready.

Welcome, 2016!


  1. Happy New Year, Sandra! From one Recluse to another.

    1. Hi, Shannon! Happy New Year! Thanks for stopping by. Recluses Unite! But I love hearing from you. All the best to you and your family in 2016!

  2. Happy New Year to you and yours. I can so relate to this post. I may not be a teacher but working as the science lab coordinator at a school I pretty much have the same schedule and dealing with parents etc. I get it. It's all consuming but oh so rewarding. My life has changed so very much since I started working again and I'm finally getting to the point where things are finding a rhythm - sort of. :)

    1. Hi, Susi! You totally get it! I'd walk by a cafe on a weekend with my family and think, wow, I used to be able to have coffee with a fellow mom on a weekday right here! Life has changed so much in just a few years. But I know this is my calling and I do enjoy being with children and seeing them grow. And I still hope that it will get easier! Happy New Year to you! I love seeing your children--they are getting so big! Love to you, Susi!