We turned in our charter application to the state of Texas on Thursday. Phew! I stayed up until 6am (and then slept until 7am) before running around all day (to tour a school, get checks cashed, get things notarized, make 1,716 pages of copies, and hand delivery the six copies to the state education office.
I've never stayed up that late to work on something in my life (even in college). The state revised the budget templates less than 72 hours before the application was due, so it prevented us from getting the application done as early as we would have liked. The final step--hand feeding each sheet through my printer to print page numbers on it--took forever, too.
Driving around town finalizing things in the final hour felt terrible. I felt like I was inviting the universe to knock me on my butt. I mean, I could have gotten in a car accident or a terrible traffic jam or Henry could have gotten sick at the same time Matt had an important meeting. One small thing could have derailed our entire year of work by preventing us from meeting the 5pm deadline.
I am so grateful that we were able to pull it off, even in the final hour. I find that my nightly gratitude practice of reviewing everything I'm grateful for has helped bring gratitude to the forefront of my mind at many other times during the day, too. In fact, several times this week, my gratitude for my life brought joyful tears to my eyes. I'm so thankful for a life partner that is willing to go above and beyond to support our family even more when I need to pull back and focus on something. Every night last week, for example, I cooked dinner and cleaned up as much as possible before Matt got home, we all ate dinner together, and then I retreated to the bedroom to work on the application while Matt took Henry and Hoss to the neighborhood farm, bathed Henry, read the bedtime stories, and then cleaned up after dinner.
I am also overwhelmed with gratitude for identifying a passion that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. As soon as I turned the application in, I was most excited because it meant that I got to work on other things like facilities and teacher recruitment. Picking just one main passion was never easy for me. I remember various points along my journey where I had to make conscious decisions about which path to follow. I remember choosing to join Teach For America, knowing that it would put me on the education path rather than let me pursue my other interests in fighting for gay rights, promoting higher quality sexuality education among young adults, or starting a non-profit organization like the boy/girl scouts but for both girls and boys together.
I chose education knowing that those other interests would be woven into my work in education, but it was still hard to walk through one door and not others.
Anyway, this post was supposed to be about our most recent round of Purposeful Conception which starts today! The segue was supposed to be a story about how I turned in the application and then attended a conference for public Montessori educators in Texas. I connected with a friend in my old neighborhood in Houston who is actively trying to conceive. She explained that she and her partner waited until her short-term disability coverage kicked in (based on a conversation we had last year over dinner). I was giddy with the idea that a conversation we had meant that she would get part of her maternity leave subsidized (since I failed to learn that trick until it was too late). Then our conversation progressed to all of the nuances of conception, such as tracking cervical fluid. I explained that I never even knew what it was until I was past 30, since it just isn't something that's talked about in my family, circle of friends, etc.
And then I was thankful for the space created by Purposeful Conception to talk about all of these things--from the logistics to the deep, emotional considerations about our fears related to how our lives will change when we welcome new life into our families.
So, please join us if you're gearing up for conception! People always ask when they should take the course. I definitely recommend taking it earlier rather than later because some of the topics spark the motivation to change something big. You can register here.