Plate = Full

I don’t typically get very personal on my blog, unless it’s something important about teaching or the like.  I’ve been debating about this post, but I feel like I need to write it.  This blog is for my students and me, but I still think about my readers.  I’m writing this post because I feel like I need to explain my shortage of reviews and posts in general.

There are two primary reasons for my sluggish blogging.  One of the reasons is work.  The school I teach at is set up in trimesters, and this current trimester which started after Thanksgiving, is all new curriculum.  We’ve taught three new units, most of which we’ve been working on as we go.  As you can imagine, it’s been tough.  I love the three units we’ve taught because they’ve been engaging, fresh, and have really improved our students’ writing.  Plus, we taught Of Mice and Men and The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner.  I was excited to teach TPoG because I love Gae’s book, and also because I created the teaching guide for Gae.  Right now my classes are finishing their memoir unit which has been fun, but it needs tweaking.  I’m overwhelmed at the moment because we assigned compare/contrast essays for OM&M and TPoG which the kids wrote, turned in, and then we handed back with comments and collected again to grade again.  Phew!  Those took a while to get through, but my kids really improved the second time around.  Right after I finished grading those I collected their memoirs.  I have 90 freshmen right now.  I have 90 memoirs to grade.  The trimester ends on Tuesday.  I’ll have final exams to grade.  Plus, I have my Young Adult Lit class to think about as well.  I still have book reviews and responses to grade, plus their final projects.  Yep, I’m feeling the pressure.

I don’t want anyone to think that I’m looking for sympathy because I’m an English teacher, and I know this is part of the job.  I always feel the push to get the grading done in a timely manner.  The difference right now is that I’ve been an active blogger for a year and a half which adds to the balancing act.  It’s tough keeping up with the reading, writing my reviews, commenting on other blogs, staying active on Twitter, and doing my actual job.  But I love all of it, so I continue everything.  Blogging has become a fantastic hobby and way of connecting with wonderful people.  Twitter is often a place of sanity for me when I feel the way I do right now.  I’m not giving any of this up.

My biggest hurdle is health problems.  For almost four years now I’ve been feeling off and incredibly lethargic and simply not myself.  I went to the doctor about it when I started noticing it because my mom, who has hypothyroidism, wanted me to get it checked out.  My doctor told me that my thyroid levels were low, but not low enough to do anything about it.  This was in 2008 or 2009, months before my wedding.  She told me that I’m probably just stressed and we’ll check it again in six months.  Six months later we check it again and it still wasn’t “bad enough,” yet I still felt horrible.  Anyway, after about a year and a half after my wedding my levels were finally bad enough that they put me on medicine.  The problem is that I still wasn’t feeling normal, was still having the same hypothyroid issues.  I went to a specialist this past fall and found out that I actually have Hashimoto’s Disease which causes hypothyroidism.

Now this isn’t a big scary deal or anything like that, but it affects me on a daily basis.  It’s been worse lately, and I’m seeing a new doctor (the specialist wasn’t helpful) who’s been helping me so much more than any of the other doctors.  I’m doing yoga because of her, giving up caffeine, and we’re testing a lot of other things that could be holding me back from feeling better.  I’m bringing this up because it’s one of the biggest reasons I’m not doing as much as before.  I have a hard time staying awake when I’m reading because I’m always so tired, so I haven’t been reading as much as fast.  I feel foggy and absent-minded, and more stresses me out than should stress me out.  Sometimes it really takes a lot of motivation to get the reviews written and the papers graded.  But like I said, my new doctor is awesome and I really think she’s going to get me back to feeling like myself.  Starting yoga and changing my diet has made a difference, but when you’re working with hormones nothing changes over night. I’m a very self-motivated, get it done right away kind of person, that feeling so lethargic and sluggish has really been difficult.

It’s funny to me that I don’t usually write reviews this long, but this post is long-winded.  Basically, I hope this wasn’t too personal for you, but I felt like I needed to explain myself.  I try to keep up my blog and have things ready to post almost every day.  This coming trimester isn’t packed with new material, so I’m predicting it won’t be so overwhelming.  There’s a good chance none of you have noticed my slacking, but I have so I needed to address it.  I love my blog and I appreciate everyone that reads it and comments.


  1. As my sister has Hashimoto’s as well, I understand! I am so glad you are getting the help you need! Good luck with everything, do what you have to do, and may everything even out for you! Don’t forget to have a little fun now and than as well!!

  2. I hope you feel better. I, too, and experiencing health problems at the moment and it’s interfering with all angles of my life. I hope to find the answers soon, until then I’ll keep on floundering to hold on to everything. Good luck.

  3. Thanks for sharing Sarah–my heart goes out to you. I have the same personality and if I don’t feel well or have an unproductive day it really wears on me. For you to have been going through this for YEARS — wow! I’m truly amazed at all you’ve continued to do. If this is you, slacking off, then I can’t wait to see the new you when you’ve got the disease in control and you’re feeling good. Take care of yourself and continue to improve. I’ll be your fan no matter what. 🙂

  4. As an English teacher, I feel your pain, and I think you are entitled to complain without apology. No one – until you have 90 essays staring you in the face – can understand that vast mountain of responsibility we have. And for you to do it while having health problems and STILL win your district’s teacher of the year? I tip my hat to you woman.

    I hope that you start feeling like yourself again soon!

  5. You’re doing GREAT and as a fellow English teacher who’s trying to teach, grade, read for fun, blog, Tweet, *and* live her life I mostly understand! You’re allowed to take time for you or cut back (and I think sometimes teachers are ones who have the most difficult time doing so). 🙂

  6. I still contend only an English teacher could understand the battle for balance that we have to fight for every year. Add in health issues and it just becomes that much more stressful to manage. Just remember, blogging started as a way to share and have fun, so we need to make sure we don’t feel overly obligated. Everyone reading our blogs knows we’re teachers – I hope they can be understanding of our stretches of limited posts (especially at the end of grading periods), and enjoy our summers of abundance in our blogging lives. Glad to hear things might be getting back on the right track for you. And, hey, it’s your blog and you can write what you want to! 😉

  7. Mrs. Andersen says:

    I sooo appreciate all of your comments and encouragement! I actually just received a set of labs back today and while I still need to discuss everything with my doctor on Wednesday, some of the results were pretty enlightening. I’m feeling hopeful that I’ll feel better soon 🙂 The papers are still piled high, but they aren’t quite as high as they were this weekend. As a good friend of mine says, “How do you eat an elephant (not that I’d ever do that!)? One piece at a time.”

  8. Wow! You’ve had so much going on. Sometimes I feel like just the idea of feeling obligated to blog can stress us out. You’ve got a great blog here and it’s absolutely understandable if you have to sometimes take time off to do life. I know English teachers are so busy! I hope you start feeling better soon!

  9. We all have times like this and it’s nothing to feel bad about posting. I just hope that you start feeling better soon!! I’ve been feeling a little snowed under lately, too, but to add health concerns on top of that just makes everything worse. Keep your chin up and don’t worry about your blog readers – we’ll be here when you get back on top of things again. 🙂

  10. Allison R says:

    I don’t think you have to “apologize” for not posting as much. Life always gets in the way! I hope you feel better soon.

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