Embracing a Real, Messy, Yet Glamorous and Fun Heart: Interview with Teacher and Mom Cyndi MoonPosted on
Cyndi Moon is a preschool teacher, wife, and mom who lives her real, messy, fun life in Colorado. You can find more of her inspiring writing at Have Fun with God.
About six years ago, my completely planned out life, took a new turn. My wonderful husband, Derek was out of work and we had three little boys to take care of. That alone brought on it’s own set of hardships within our marriage and our lives. (a whole other story) :)
After about 9 months and a lot of creative ways to get by, my husband was offered a job in Colorado. I never thought we would leave our comfy life in Indiana, but as soon as my husband was offered the job, we just knew it was where we were meant to be.
Our new adventure had begun! The five of us didn’t know a single person in Colorado and we had to fully rely on each other for everything. It seemed we had many times where we were feeling tested after moving. But you know what? We survived! From struggles of selling our home in Indiana, my mom being sick and passing to heaven a year after we moved, dealing with a difficult rental situation, my health problem (all better now), and a few other crazy roller coaster situations.
We would have never thought about moving across the country, had my husband not been out of work. Sometimes those life interruptions put us on a course way better than we could have ever planned.
Today we are happier than I could have ever dreamed and Zach, Brandon and Mason are loving Colorado. They are doing great in school and are involved in different activities/sports.
One of the questions you asked me was, “What does it mean to be an everyday hero to you?” My husband was a hero every day that he went to work to provide for us. His faith was never shaken and he told me repeatedly that “God has it all figured out. No need to worry.” And…He really DIDN’T worry. Part of me thought no way is he not worried about how this is all gonna play out, but he consistently kept the same tone of faith over the years. It took me a while to catch up and believe right along with him. Today when we are hit with a life interruption, we tackle it together and with faith.
"What is your Current Gig/Passion Hustle?"
I am currently “working” as a preschool teacher, but I wear many hats (shoes :)ha ha. I put working in quotations because it’s more like I get paid to do something that I love!
Seeing a child understand something for the first time is unexplainable. And when the shy guy is now the most talkative kid in the room, I feel like I made a small difference in helping him learn how to show people who he really is. I get to encourage kids to unlock new adventures in their minds and I feel lucky be an early part of their school life.
The kids I teach are young and I know they will soon forget Ms. Cyndi, but my hope is that they remember feeling loved and important.
"What is a quote you live by?"
“Someone else is happy with less that what you have.” No idea who said that, but I printed it out one summer when my kids were young and put it on my refrigerator to teach them to be happy with the simple life that we had. Little did I know that lesson was for me. :)
I learned this even more when we went to Punto Escondido, a little Island off of Panama. The people here were happy with no shoes and only an ocean to bathe in. They had very little, yet they had a lot to smile about.
The other quote I have grown to love this year was said by Solomon. “So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15
"What small thing will you do today to make your world/community a better place?"
When I was younger I found myself eager to make a difference. I didn’t know how, but I wanted to do something BIG!
Sometimes I exhausted myself searching and getting overly involved in service. Then one day it occurred to me that we can all make a difference everyday when we are kind and transparent.
I talk to a lot of ladies who think that all of the other mamas have it all together. A little secret I wish someone would have told me when I had itty bitties at home was that, they too didn’t have it all together.
Okay, maybe they didn’t leave dirty dishes piled in the sink overnight like I did when my kids were younger. Who am I kidding? I still do that!
Some of the moms that I thought had it together, really didn’t. They had the same struggles as me: Getting enough sleep, exercise, weight, cleaning the house, folding the 8 loads of laundry that kept building up on my dining room table, and managing to walk the dog while taking care of three little boys.
I’m not glamorous, but I’m real. One of my very best friends came over one day and she told me she was glad my house was a mess! I was a little shocked but she explained that when she had company, me included, she would go on a cleaning spree so that I wouldn’t think she couldn’t keep her house clean. Silly right?
It was right then and there that I learned I could make a difference by having a “messy” life! I didn’t want to be perceived as having it all together, because I truly didn’t. Slowly I started to share the authentic person inside and I hope other people, because of what they see, can be real as well.
"What does a day in your life look like?"
I fall asleep last and wake up first in our home. I guess you could say I’m a night owl and a morning person. I wake up around 5 am, my favorite part of the day. I have my morning coffee and some quiet time with God. ((I also start messaging my wonderful sister friend, Jaime! ha ha))
After my quiet time I hurry and get ready, so I can start following the snooze buttons in my house. I make sure my two middle schoolers have breakfast and make their lunches while getting my breakfast and lunch ready too!
My husband heads out the door and by 6:45, on a good day, the boys and I are out the door to start our carpool. I usually come back home since I don’t have to be at work for another hour and start knocking out my dishes, laundry or whatever needs to be done. I also get a chance to see my older son before he needs to leave for school.
I head to work around 8. I play, sing and teach all day, then head home to one of my kids activities around 3:30. Our evenings consist of practice, meetings, games and more games, homework, more work, youth group, or a rare evening at home with nothing on the calendar! Everyone goes to bed and I stay up late only to turn around and do it all again at 5 am the next day.
"What has been your journey to get to where you are now in your life?"
That’s quite a long story. I don’t know where to start. My journey has been filled with love and MORE lessons that I can count.
I’ve gone through losing hope, and finding it again, only to lose it again and find it. That seemed to be the pattern for a few years, until I finally learned my lesson to trust God in all of his clever ways of teaching me.
Now when something occurs that I perceive as devastating, I remember that every hurricane I went through, ended on a good note and my hope endured. The other biggest lesson I learned was when my mom died. I realized that I had put to much power into other people and how they could help me. For the first time in my life I felt alone.
I remember sitting on the stairs of my back porch with all of this grief and no one to call. The one person I could call and ugly cry to, was now in heaven. Of course I could call my friends or my family, but to have that one person who would listen without judgement was gone, or so I thought.
It was in that moment I realized I was never alone. God was always with me and he was waiting for me to make him number one.
"What was the biggest struggle you had to overcome?"
hmmm not sure I would say here :) Still working on letting people see the hardest parts. I’m getting there.
"What was the driver for you to pursue your current career/passion side hustle?"
Besides being a mom on a mission to have new adventures this year and a preschool teacher, I have decided to start my blog again. This is my year to have fun!
I wanted to transform my blog from where it was used for healing to now being used to celebrate every little piece of life and just have fun!! I wanted to focus on having fun because I think we can all get in the rut of taking life too serious, I was anyway.
I want to enjoy life and try new things and have made a point to find something new to try every month.
One of the things I’ve always wanted to try was watercolor painting, so I took an afternoon and painted a picture for our new home. I had no idea what was going to happen when I sat down to paint. I only knew that I wanted to have a picture similar to one my mom had on our walls when I was growing up. This turned out to be nothing like my moms painting, but I had FUN doing it!
"What is your favorite story from the work you’ve done?"
I’m drawing a blank but if it comes to me I will send you a story.
"What prepared you the most for what you’re doing now?"
Empathy. I’m not sure if I learned that from hardships or if I was just made that way. It makes me a better teacher, especially when I’m working with a kiddo who has some special abilities.
"What is your biggest fear?"
Not sure I have one anymore. I have some things I hope will never happen but I have no control over how life happens. I can only control my reaction to it.
"How do you balance life and career?"
I have learned to say no without feeling guilty!
A few years ago, I ended many commitments that took me away from those who really needed me at this phase in life… My kids, my husband, my family, and my friends. I started pouring my time and service to the special people around me. I try to turn off my work at night, but I hear teachers aren’t good at doing that! :)
"How do you use what makes your heart sing to make the little bit of world around you a better place?"
I love to write! A while back I had a blog, which started as a healing avenue for me, but lead to many friendships around the world. I’ve never met the people I talked to through blogging but I was blessed to hear testimonies of survival.
When it all comes down to it, we all have a story which made us who we are.
I love hearing those stories and learning why people are the way they are. There is always more to how a person is acting, then what we see. The way we act is a symptom of how we are feeling, and I loved writing and encouraging people to share that about themselves.
"What do you wish more women would do for themselves?"
I wish more women would take time for themselves and learn to say no! :)
"What is something you hope our readers will do after they read this interview?"
I hope you walk away feeling like you can do BIG things by being simple and messy. That is where authentic lasting loving relationships happen.
I was thinking the other day about how people on their death beds want to see their loved ones only to tell them how much they love them. They aren’t telling them their to do lists or trying to pretend to be someone they aren’t. They are wanting them to know they are loved.
Love really is the most important thing.
Be transparent and let people see who you are, you might just find yourself with a few new authentic friendships.
All we really need is love. To be loved and to love others. Show your true self and you will find your true friends.
"Is there anything else you’d like to share?"
Find a new adventure everyday! If you need to, start with one new adventure this year. My family is focusing on having fun and enjoying this beautiful life.
Every month I’m trying to find something new to do for myself or with my family. One of the new things I did this year was cross country skiing! Something I’ve wanted to do, but never had the courage to try.