The year in review

Usually January is the time to sit back and review how the year went, but in my case, for this past year, big changes started in August.  In fact, come to think of it, big changes seem to have happened in the summer months since 2007, when I first leapt off the cliff of ‘normal’ employment. Last August, I resigned as the training director at the local training facility so that I could more fully focus on teaching both my local students and those students who I travel for.

I *love* teaching.  To be honest, sometimes I wish I didn’t love it so much – being a teacher, teaching ANY subject, is not a profession that is going to make me a millionaire.  It’s not a scaleable enterprise, because as a teacher, I’ve only got so many hours in the day, and anybody who is a teacher knows that to do it well takes more than just prep time and teaching time.  It’s an emotional investment, and a day of teaching often leaves me feeling drained and empty, but dammit, I do love it.

This week was a very difficult week for me, and for my local students.  I’m scaling back on my local classes – well, cutting them out entirely, really – and even though it’s a decision that makes logical sense, for me, and for the training facility I work with, I still feel emotional and depressed about the decision to give up my students.  I feel like I’m giving up ON my students, and I hate that thought. I’m giving up a community of people that I am a part of.  Giving up the ability to celebrate tiny accomplishments, ones that aren’t marked by trophies or ribbons, with my students. Giving up the ability to laugh with them, be frustrated with them, admire them, be frustrated BY them, be proud of them.  It’s really got me down, can you tell? My motivation to get busy on my other pursuits, DVD projects, book projects, harnesses, contactacoat….is all focused toward someday having a place of my own, right out my back door, where I can again have that community of students to share in the journey with, as well as the flexibility to continue to travel and teach, which I also have grown to love even more than I thought I would.

All of this happened just as I was preparing to leave for San Jose for World Team Practice #2.  Not great timing, but still, practice was like a vacation for me.  A chance to turn my brain off and just run with my beautiful, talented, loving, amazing dog.  I got to stay at Coach Nancy Gyes’s house, and that REALLY made it like a vacation.  Solar got to swim, I got to go to sleep hearing the sound of crickets, looking over the city of San Jose, got to wake up to the sunshine, snuggling Solar…my blood pressure goes down just writing about it.

And so, life goes on.  The only thing that seems to stay constant is that things will always change. I’m headed to San Diego to teach this weekend, and then to Hawaii to teach next weekend.  David is coming with me to Hawaii and we’re going to actually take a real (non-dog) vacation in conjunction with the seminar.  I’m looking forward to the seminar, but (and how ill is this?) I’m very nervous about the vacation part….how will I function without a dog? That makes my blood pressure go up….I’m sure a counselor could have a field day with my codependence on my dogs, but I just can’t imagine not having them around, they’re like limbs, a part of my body, a part of me.  Thank goodness Blynn will have them, that’s the only saving grace that will allow me to relax.  But those mornings, not having Solar in the bed between David and me…how sad will that be? 🙂

Moments like the one above…meditation for me.