I’m a fraud, and here’s why …

Okay, I’m going to go ahead and admit it. I’m a fraud. I’m not who I seem to be. I am always striving to project the image of a confident wife, mother, librarian, and runner. I strive to do right by the people most important to me in my life. I honestly try hard, but I fail often. I know that no one is perfect, but I am very far from perfect, and I really feel like you all should know about it. Not that any of you were thinking I’m perfect … I’m not that presumptuous. I’m just a little worried that in an effort to reassure myself of my successes I have painted the picture of someone I simply am not. I’m a fraud.

  •  I’m a fraud as a wife.us

Marriage is difficult. Marriage is rather like the marathon (more on that later, as my 15th wedding anniversary is coming up and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this concept). Marriage is not easy. I often put my own needs before my husband’s and our needs as a couple. I often approach situations with him from a “how does this affect me?” standpoint rather than a “how are we going to make this work?” stand. I work hard to squeeze all of my training in around our hectic schedules, but am I working as hard at squeezing couple time in with him? No. No, I’m not. My priorities in my marriage are a little out of whack and I need to work on this. Just as I am dedicated to my sports, so should I be dedicated to my husband. So, I’ll admit it. I am a fraud as a wife.

  • I’m a fraud as a mother.girls

My daughters are smart, funny, sweet, beautiful, and talented. They are sources of great joy for me. Their spirits and tenacity amaze me on a constant basis and they inspire me to push myself to be better. But do I pay enough attention to them? I mean really look at them and listen to them? Do I let them know how much they mean to me? No, no I don’t. I am often distracted when I listen to their stories from school that day. I am often stirring something on the stove top while answering a text about soccer practice carpool and stretching my tight calves from my afternoon cross country speed work that I’ve raced home from. I mean I’m there, but am I REALLY there? In the car when they are letting me into their worlds by telling me about this one girl at the locker and this one funny teacher that does that funny thing and the funny song the younger one made up with her best friend, am I even really listening or just picking up pieces of the story here and there? Even worse, am I calculating my long run route and the paces I want to hit that weekend? Yes, yes actually I often am. I have to say, I have never wanted to be the mother that lives so vicariously through her kids that she has no real identity for herself anymore. That’s not healthy. But, have I gone too far the other way? Am I a self-centered mom? I’ll admit it. I am a fraud as a mother.

  • I’m a fraud as a runner.run

Yes, I run. I run A LOT. I run roads, trails, and tracks. I run alone and I run with a partner or group on occasion. I run long and I run short. I run hills and I do speed work. I run races and I monitor my pacing on practice runs. I set running goals and I stick to them. I read about running. I talk about running. I write about running. I share my running passion in person and through social media. I am a runner, but I often doubt myself. I often am envious of faster runners. I often yearn for more running success instead of celebrating what I’ve already accomplished. It’s so easy for me to cheer other runners on and to remind them to quit doubting themselves. I tell them, “quit focusing on how far you have to go. Concentrate on how far you’ve already come”  and “you’re doing awesome. Don’t quit. Think about how many people that don’t have the courage to do what you’re doing.” “There will always be someone faster. Focus on beating YOUR own best.” I say these things and I genuinely mean them, but I have a really hard time following my own advice. I’m happy for faster runners, but I am also envious. I often wonder if I can really improve any more. I often wonder at what point I’ll be exposed for the running fraud that I am. People must be on to me. I mean, isn’t it obvious? I’ll admit it. I am a fraud as a runner.

  • I’m a fraud as a librarian.librarian

I love my job. I love working in a high school library. I love working with teenagers, for they are energetic, optimistic, humorous, and adventurous. I tend to have a great rapport with the students, and they inspire me to work hard for them. I love to read and write and I love technology, so being surrounded by books and technology is very comforting to me. But am I doing everything I should be doing as a librarian? Do I focus on the teachers enough? Do I focus on my administrative duties — the budget, ordering, technology maintenance, circulation reports, patron logs, collection analysis, etc.? To be honest, all of the repetitive duties and responsibilities are kind of a drag for me. I’m much more motivated by the opportunity to be playful, humorous and engaging, and I get to be this way with the students. What student doesn’t love a passionate, energetic librarian? I enjoy being that bright spot in the day for my students, but let’s face it, those bills and reports aren’t going to take care of themselves. Am I devoting enough of my time on the important, albeit mundane, tasks required of me? No, no I am not. Being a grownup means doing things we don’t like to do sometimes. I need to balance my priorities at work. I will admit it. I am a fraud as a librarian.

I know, I know, no one can be perfect. If you’ve read this far, you are probably shaking your head at me saying, “Come on, no one is perfect! We’re all frauds, really.” No one person can be all things to all people. Perfection is a myth and human beings are flawed. I know all of this, in my heart of hearts.  I know that by striving to do the very best in all areas of my life I am living an authentic life. Yes, I have made some grave mistakes in all areas of my life, but those mistakes don’t define me. Those slip ups do not make me a fraud. They just make me human.

I am flawed. I vow to focus more on living an authentic life. I am a good wife, mother, librarian, and runner … warts and all.

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Stoked to Start School … Seriously!

It’s that time again. Time to start my 18th year in education. My summer break with my daughters has been wonderful. I truly appreciate the fact that I have this time with them. I am completely in awe of the smart, funny, sweet, beautiful, and strong young ladies they are becoming. I also appreciate all of the time I had for myself this summer. It was a summer of relaxation and rejuvenation, but now it’s over, and I’m excited to start a new school year for many reasons.
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  • Wearing real clothes.

Going back to work means wearing real clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I truly feel most comfortable and confident in my running clothes. The sports bra is infinitely more comfortable than an actual bra. The shorts have this magic waistband that won’t slip or irritate my skin, not on a four hour run, and certainly not on a half hour trip to the H.E.B. The material is dry-wicking, useful for keeping me comfortable during workouts or sitting in a lawn chair at my daughters’ soccer practices. Actually, the more I write about my running clothes, the more I realize I will miss rocking them on the daily. But my work clothes … my work clothes are beautiful. Pencil skirts and fun blouses. Body hugging, polished dresses. Open toed heels for the hotter months and closed toe heels and boots for the colder months. A fresh, straight blow-out for my hair, or a soft, fun, flowing of curls. Being a girl is quite fun, and I do really enjoy dressing up for work.
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  • Feeling like a grown up.

To go along with wearing real clothes, I also look forward to feeling like a grown-up with my own purpose again. For, this summer, I have felt rather like a glorified camp counselor/chaueffer/chef/referee/housekeeper/personal assistant/coordinator. I look forward to donning my “real clothes” and doing the job I’ve been educated and trained for. I look forward to spending my day independent of my children, serving in my leadership position as a campus librarian. My duties and responsibilities at work make me feel needed and important. Of course, tending to my family is a gift I don’t take for granted, but I rather enjoy having a job outside the home where I am Dendy Farrar, in my own right, not Callie and Brynn’s mother.
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  • Being challenged intellectually.

I look forward to going back to work because I am ready to once again be challenged intellectually. I need to scratch that itch to create that makes me incredibly happy. I love to work outside of the home. I love to work, specifically, in a high school library. I love the fact that the students are teenagers embarking on that coming-of-age journey that is universal and quite special. The logistical work puzzles that come up throughout the school year that need my attention can become quite bothersome around April or May as I look forward to my summer vacation, certainly. But come August, I’m ready for a bit of an intellectual challenge. I have had enough time off resting my brain. My brain wants to workout again.
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  • Having adult conversations.

Don’t get me wrong, conversations with a fifth and seventh grader can be quite amusing; it’s just that I miss having adult conversations on a regular basis. I can only go so long hearing about the funny lip syncing video they made, the intricacies of the soccer scrimmage that was completely unfair by their estimation, and the “hilarious” homemade joke that seems to take an enternity to spit out. I love my daughters and enjoy their company, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that we have had an enormous amount of together time this summer and I’m ready to experience some adult time at work coupled with my evening family time.
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  • Looking forward to holiday vacations.

It’s no secret, the faculty and staff at a school is just as excited as the students are to go on vacation. There’s nothing like those exciting days leading up to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring, Easter, and Summer breaks. Holidays are fun and long breaks from school add to the excitement for my daughters and me. I know for me personally, anticipating breaks from school makes me feel like a kid again. I openly admit that I am always searching for things that give me that childlike sensation, and working in a school library delivers that sensation. On a trail run I once saw a sign that read, “you are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely;” that sums up this concept perfectly.
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  • Getting back into the routine.

I have been lazily doing as I have pleased for the better part of two months. I have gotten a bit out of touch with the real world living in my “vacation mentality.” The days started later, lasted longer, and never really felt very rushed. Granted, we still had activities going on this summer; it’s just that they didn’t seem quite as stressful as they do during the school year. We had a break from the hustle and bustle and the stacks of homework, permission slips, projects and the like. We were able to move at a slower pace and relax. It has been very nice, but we are all starting to go a bit stir-crazy around here. The girls and I are bickering and we have come to the realization that we need to get back to our routine.
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  • A fresh, new start.

There is just nothing like the brand new, never before seen is there? The unfamiliar and different seem richer, louder, and clearer. The first-day jitters are electrifying. It’s the change of environment, the new supplies, new clothes, and the new people that are so exciting as we embark on another school year. The newness motivates us. We experience a rush of motivation to explore. We compare the new to our existing memories and this captivates and stimulates us. Trading in the overly familiar for the completely new offers us so much possibility, and it is all wildly exciting. But, alas, the novelty will wear off, unfortunately. We won’t be able to hold onto the newness forever. But for now, we’re excited to start another school year.
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  • A time for reevaluation.

A new school year presents me with the opportunity to reevaluate how I am doing things. I strive to do my job with passion and purpose. The start of a new school year affords me the opportunity to question the expectations I have set for myself. Am I making a difference at my school? Am I fostering a love of reading? Am I helping teachers do their jobs effectively? Is my library a warm, inviting space in which to explore and learn? The start of a new school year is the perfect opportunity to evaluate current practices and try new things.
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I know that come April or May I will be ready for my summer vacation. It happens every year, and while my summer vacation is always wonderful, I always become restless. The restlessness is most likely brought upon by the sheer amount of free time I am afforded. It’s time for me to get back to my juggling act. Work, home, kids, extracurricular activities, my fitness … all of it. I’m ready for all of it. Here’s to a great 2016-2017 school year!