365 Days of Me, Part 1

This year has been INCREDIBLE!!!  My school went back to in person instruction after 18 months online. I took over an Upper Elementary mixed-age class of drama-starved preteens from a retired teacher.  There was a lot that went into preparing for this. Last summer, I served as a Training Assistant for a local Montessori elementary teacher training course during the day and spent the evening preparing my class. I also took Gifted Education courses (I will soon have my Provisional Gifted Certification) to support the Gifted students that I did not know I would have. I took advantage of a rare opportunity for another Montessori certification (Primary) which was helpful to support my 4th graders that had gaps pre-Covid. Lastly, I started and finished my NBCT Maintenance of Care (MOC) application a year early (Thanks to Marissa for pushing me!).  The kids had a phenomenal year of growth and advancement but it was a challenge. I can truly say if it had not been for God guiding, keeping and sustaining me, I am sure the year would have been a catastrophe.

We made it to the end of the year! YEAH! Yet, I am the type that does well while I am moving and when I stop, I crash. Things have been winding down and I am crashing.  Not burnt out crashing. It’s the “I need to reconnect” crashing. Ironically, I also felt myself saying “What will I do next?”  Before I even had a chance to think of another student need, I decided to throw myself in there. My next project is to reconnect with myself in every way possible and I already put my plan in motion.

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The plan is called “365 Days of Me”.  It started on 05/13/2022. To begin with, I started working out again. I love working out and thought I was doing great. Then, I started feeling “large” which lead me to reflect.  I realized I had not really been working out since around October and I had put on a few pounds. In fact, I officially qualified as “obese”. Well, OK. It doesn’t have to stay that way. I found a really nice wellness log/journal type of thing and went to our local Recreation Center. I started working out with circuits and treadmill. I love those two things. I am also more mindful about what I am eating and drinking. I am not a weight watcher, but yesterday I was curious and I have already lost 2 pounds! My goal is to lose 1 pound a week which would equal a 52 pound weight loss by the end of my “Me” year. Considering that there will be highs and lows, I am taking anything above 1 pound in stride and mentally storing that success for the hard weeks.

I also decided to secure a counselor. My family insurance provides free counseling services, so I figured “Why not?”. I will be 50 in two years and honestly, people are already getting on my nerves in a different way. I want someone to help me reflect and reconnect with myself so that when I turn 50, it will be a full embrace. I am really excited about it!  Plus, my husband and I are almost full empty nesters. I like it way more than he does so maybe a therapist can help me be a better support to him while honoring myself. Lastly, the most recent racially motivated shootings in Buffalo, NY affected me more than I would expect. I think that’s a good thing because it means I am not desensitized, but that means I have to deal with that pain and acknowledge (again) that reality.  I have already set up my first session.

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Readers, this post is longer than I thought so…

Check back for Part 2 and see what else I have planned!

 

Yolanda Wheelington

Yolanda Wheelington

Phoenix, Arizona


Yolanda has taught for the past 7 years in the Phoenix Elementary School District. Her passion for developing and supporting the human potential is evident in the cross-curricular work done her classroom. She is a member of the Association Montessori International and is a RODEL Scholar. Yolanda earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.), a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Education (Special Education) from Arizona State University, and a diploma in Lower Elementary Education for ages 6-12 from the Montessori Institute of North Texas.

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