A life well lived

Sometimes I feel like I’ve missed the boat.

It’s as if, at some point, an opportunity arose to become part of a particular group or to have arrived at a specific stage in life and I unknowingly just…let it pass me by.  Instead, I blindly plunged forth in my quest for achievement.  A job here, a class there.  A volunteer position.  A new skill acquired.  One more notch in my belt.  One more chance to show I’d taken on more responsibilities than most and juggled them successfully.  One more chance to gain recognition for my life “well lived”.

…well lived?

When did I become a stereotype?  When did I become that character in the novel that you all but scream at to quit pursuing accomplishments and start pursuing relationships before you throw the book at the wall?  When did I become a workaholic?

…a workaholic?  Is that really what I am???  But I hate work!

work·a·hol·ic

/ˌwɜrkəˈhɔlɪk, -ˈhɒlɪk/ [wurk-uh-haw-lik, -hol-ik]

–noun
a person who works compulsively at the expense of other pursuits.

 

Given the fact that I’m currently wishing I hadn’t gone the responsible route and had just gone ahead and gotten pregnant early on, yeah…maybe I am.
When did that happen?
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Full

Ohmygoodness.

That’s all I can come up with.  My life is so full right now I don’t even know where to start!  Full is a good word.  Full of what?  I’m so glad you asked  🙂

My mornings start early (5 am early) and are full of yawns, plans, and prayers.  I plan my best lessons in the shower.  Something about the white noise, the relaxing warm water, and the solitude I guess.  If I’m having an issue with a student, I replay our latest altercation until I’ve analyzed it into oblivion.  I think through my next move.  I imagine all the possible results of that move.  I pray for guidance and wisdom.  I pray for the stinking kid that made me do all this thinking in the first place.  Then I drive an hour to work and laugh out loud at my favorite morning show the whole way.  I love arriving at work joyful.

My afternoons are full of teenagers!  Let me just offer a word of advice to all you introverts out there in cyberspace- if you need alone time to function, DO NOT become a teacher!  Luckily, I am not one of those people 🙂  As a high school teacher, the constant interaction (Mrs. Vaught, what are we doing today?  Free day?  Why do we have to work????  Can I plug in my phone?  Can I call my mom?  Can go to the computer lab and print something?  Why do I have a zero for this assignment?  Mrs. V, does this two page paper have to be a FULL two pages?  Did you grade my test yet?  Mrs. Vaught Mrs. Vaught Mrs. Vaught) brings its share of drama, but it also gives me the opportunity to invest in these kids’ lives.  I’d like to think I can relate to these kids, after all, it wasn’t that long ago that I was in high school…
…Right?
I may have gray hair by 25, but I wouldn’t change a second of it.  As much as I dreaded the intense effort of returning to work after the holiday break, I was so excited to see my kids again.

My evenings are full of exhaustion and yet, somehow, my life is in my evenings.  I fill my evenings with things I value, with my husband, my dog :), my best friend Megan and her precious family, my small group and the community and support it fosters. Jake and I have started reading a chapter from the Bible together each night before we go to bed and it has done so much for our marriage already!  It’s amazing what having that special time to discuss the Lord and His word does for our relationship and communication.  Because of that time we go to bed at the same time, we discuss our day, everyday.  We may lose some sleep waiting for the other, but we are intentionally devoting that time to something more valuable.

As you may notice, at no point during my day did I say it was full of sleep 🙂

In the song “Desert Song” sung by Brooke Fraser, each verse speaks of singing the same praise and prayer to the Lord, whether it’s in the desert, the fire, or even harvest “when favor and providence flow.  I know I’m filled to be emptied again.  This seed I’ve received I will sow”.  That’s where I am, in the harvest.  I know it’s only for a time, but I am so…filled.

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just for the illusion of perfection

Have I really not blogged since June?  With a fact like that, I’ll be surprised if anyone still reads it.  It makes me want to start all over, new site, new blog, new focus, but I know my same habits will still be there.  I’d still want that picture of me in my wedding dress, faceless in a way that I hope makes every woman relate to or at least dream of being married.  My blogs would still focus on myself, as they always do, and my journeys and trials and triumphs along the way.  I’d write to show everyone how I’ve grown, what I’ve accomplished, how I’ve gotten there, not necessarily who I am.

Thinking back on how flawed I am, even in blogging, still makes me want to wipe it all away and start over.  The ever-present New Year’s Resolution sort of mentality- you start full throttle, positive you’ll be so successful they’ll be making movies about you in whatever new venture you’ve taken up.   For a week or two you stick to it religiously, creating, contributing, building slowly, every day.

Then you miss one day.

No big deal, I’ll pick it back up tomorrow. Then tomorrow becomes today and the new something suddenly seems more like a chore than a treat, but you do it anyway.  The next day you remember how easy it was to skip a day, then pick back up so you decide that today you’ll let yourself spend that extra time watching a movie and you’ll pick back up tomorrow like you did before.  Only tomorrow, there’s laundry to do so you put it off until the next day, but the next day you’re just. so. tired. and before you know it it’s six months later and you haven’t touched any of the stuff you bought to make you a better fill-in-the-blank-er.  And on that day, six months later you stumble upon your old hobby and think You know, I really enjoyed that.  I should do that again, only better this time.   This time I won’t lag.  I’ll make a plan, I’ll have a routine, (etc…)

…I should just start over.

So here I sit, wishing to start over, knowing it won’t make any difference.

 

 

 

🙂

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Living in the lap of luxury

Call me materialistic, but I love my iPhone.  And by love, I mean LOVE.  Waiting rooms are no longer a thing of drudgery.  Why, instead of being bored to tears while sitting in my mechanic’s lobby, I can play a move in my scrabble game against my uncle in California and catch up on my girl Cindy’s blog that never fails to challenge me in my walk.  At walmart, when I see that perfect hot pink shredder that I would love love love to have in my classroom but would probably never buy for myself I can pull up my handy amazon.com app and add it to my classroom wishlist just like that.  If on said walmart journey I pass the doggie aisle and remember that I need to make an appointment at the groomer for Ace I can google Beau’s Bath House and tap on the phone number that pops up on my handy-dandy touch screen and voila!  Just like that I am calling a local groomer.  I may need to check my availability, however, so that’s when I put the call on speaker, button push here, tap there, and I’m looking at my calendar whilst talking to the groomer. Remember when you’d hear a song on a movie and sit through ALL of the credits just to see the name of the song, then you’d have to remember it by saying it over and over to yourself on the way home until you could write it down?  No longer, my friends!  Now, with a tap of the touch screen I can bring up a program that will “listen” to the song, identify the song, artist, and album and provide me with a link that when selected will take me straight to iTunes where I can download the song straight to my phone for $0.99.

I ♥ convenience.

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Artistry

I love to write, but I’m scared of it. Scared of sounding stupid. Scared of being uninteresting. that being said I’m usually too intimidated to think up a topic very often, so I follow the One Minute Writer blog. This post asked “In what way are you an artist? (Your response doesn’t have to fit into a “traditional” fine arts category!)”

Every day I scurry around the house straightening books, putting shoes in the shoe bin, folding blankets, arranging the mail by size. I refuse to have cluttered surfaces. Everything on my countertops and tables must be there on purpose. My desk at work stays perfectly arranged- writing utensils aimed the same way (writing side down so they don’t dry out), calendar at a right angle, books ordered biggest to smallest. My husband calls it OCD, I call it a thing of beauty. There is just something so aesthetically pleasing about an uncluttered space. At this form of “artistry” I am an expert.

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In memory

My cousin Shawn and I entered this world within two weeks of each other.  We shared birthday parties as kids and the annual “Happy Birthday,” “Thanks, you too,” as adults.

 

Although we came into this world together, we’ll leave it separately.  On November 13th, 2009, the month before our 23rd birthdays, Lance Corporal Shawn Hefner was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

Shawn in uniform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love you, Shawn.  Thanks for the memories.

Shawn and Rachel

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Dear Reader,

Hello all of you out there in the blogosphere.  I’m sorry I’ve neglected you.  You see, I tend to view blogging as a way for me to prove my worth through writing.  Unfortunately, when I don’t have the energy to try to compose a respectable entry and thereby continue to earn people’s acceptance and silent thoughts of admiration, I get half way through an entry and give up entirely.

Truth is, I’m in a weird season.  I have a great job, but it pays very little considering my qualifications and that’s been a bit of a blow to my ego.  My husband and I are in a rough patch for a number of reasons… combine that with my inability to define myself apart from my husband and you’ve got a rather large identity crisis.

Nobody wants to look like they don’t have it all together, so rather than air my dirty laundry, I hide.  Well, here I am world.  I’m broken.  I’m working on it.  I would really appreciate your prayers.

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