Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nuggets of Wisdom...

(Photo from here)

I'm not quite sure what the new chapter put in my egg sandwich this morning, but I feel like I'm bursting with energy and inspiration today. And, given this past week has been kind of tricky for me, and I'd prefer not to repeat some of my mistakes, I'm going to "take a post" to show what I've learned, or in some cases re-learned.

Teaching can be tricky sometimes. There's the teaching element (working with and looking out for the kids, preparing lessons, making assignments, grading assignments, etc.); there's also the social, work-place element-- the politics of it all. This year I've found myself in a deeper a political pit than I'd like to be. I find myself getting more worked up and drained by the social and political elements of my job than by the teaching/kid element. It makes me sad. I often pride myself in comforting some of my female students by saying, "don't worry, the social part gets better after high school," but does it? I'm not so sure. So I guess one nugget I've pulled out of last week is that it really is okay to spend the majority of my school time in my "hobbit hole". It helps me stay focused on the teaching part of my job (the most important part) and helps prevent me from getting sucked up into a world of social mishaps and politics that only leave me tapped out and depressed. Granted, I know it's important to emerge from that "hobbit hole" from time to time, but it does help to be reminded of the quiet sanctuary it can provide.

This week I've also realized I simply talk too much. I'm not sure what possesses me to talk so much sometimes, but I'd really like to do it less. There are so many interesting things out there just waiting to be read, heard, or observed, and most of them are far more interesting than what I have to say. Not to mention that my Chatty Cathy tendencies are also wearing on me during the time of the school year when energy is a much sought after commodity. A good friend once told me that we have two ears and one mouth and we should use them accordingly in that ratio-- we should listen twice as much as we speak. I'm going to try really hard to follow that advice. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Who knows, maybe my progress will even translate to my writing style.

A couple of years back when I was having a really rough time, my mom sent me an amazing birthday card. I'm pretty sure it was from the Mia Angelo collection-- it has that simple and wise Mia Angelo tone to it. I keep it posted above my desk because it's chalk full of little nuggets of wisdom that are so easy to forget but often make all of the difference. One part of it says, "Listen to your heart. If you can't hear what it's saying in this noisy world, make time for yourself. Enjoy your own company." Boy, was that ever the reminder towards the end of this week. Thanks for the reminder Mom and Mia; I feel much better after some much needed me time. I can finally hear my own heart beating.

My mind rarely rests (one of the plagues of being a wandering spirit who musses), and sometimes I need a little help saving myself from me. I'm lucky to have friends who understand this about me and seem to instinctively know when I need help escaping from my own criticisms and weird need to please others. This time I found my help in the new chapter. I'm pretty sure he didn't even realize he was helping me-- I didn't say a word, nor did he-- but he rescued me from me none the less. After a particularly long session of beating myself up about stupid things and feeling really unbalanced, I emerged from my lady lair attempting to be composed, buried my head into the crook of his shoulder, and instantaneously the fight within stopped. Not long after, my brain shut off, and I fell fast asleep-- which never happens to me. I'm lucky. I'm so lucky.

And now I find myself at the start of a new week. I feel refreshed. I feel lucky instead of defeated. I even feel at peace enough that I can read for my own guilty pleasure, not because I have to read for work-- something I haven't been able to do in a long, long time. Ahhh....

The Date...

The date with myself was awesome yesterday. I feel much more like me and am ready to tackle the world. Funny how one day can change so much. I highly recommend taking yourself on a date day; it's one of the easier ways to get back to center.

I did some yoga, went for a walk, did some chores around the house, headed into town to catch a screening of Earth (great flick by the way), picked out a new summer read (Firefly Lane), ran some errands, rented a few movies (Marley & Me and Seven Pounds), and chilled out in my lady lair all evening long munching on Taco Bell, sipping on a glass of white wine, and taking in the films I rented. It was lovely, just lovely.

Now it's on to grade the 40 research papers I've been putting off while the snow keeps steadily falling outside my window... I guess I picked a good day to grade! :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Getting back to center...

My friend over at Grace's Birdcage Wedding once wrote...

Do you ever have days where you kind of look forward to hanging out with
yourself? Not being by yourself - but like my mind was literally like 'hey you,
lets be buddies and chill together.

I'm having one of those days. I just want to hangout with myself. Life has been moving so fast, and I feel like there have been so many changes around me that I just need to take a day to slow down, screw my head on straight, and get reacquainted with me. It feels like it's been eons since I've hung out with myself, and I'm really craving that quiet, relaxed chill time.

The new chapter is out of the house for today, and the sun is actually shining (it snowed another foot at our house yesterday :( Boo! ). Maybe I'll take myself for a walk, go for a drive, have a nice lunch, get those running shoes I've been eying... the possibilities are endless. I like that! I can't wait to get reacquainted.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Groundhog Moment?

(Photo from here)
Winter this year feels like it has long overstayed its welcome. Just this past week (half way into April, mind you) it snowed almost non-stop for a day or so, leaving us with well over a foot of it at our house-- and to think, it used to be one of my favorite seasons, Ha! I'm not sure if it's because I'm tired of driving on winter roads, mustering through the cold, or the fact I didn't get to enjoy the snow this season through my usual winter adventures as much I am used to, but I am without out a doubt more than over winter. I want spring!
Another downer I've experienced this winter, is having the winter blues (a.k.a. cabin fever). The winter blues have been known to be corrallated to of a lack of sunshine (I don't know how the folks in Alaska do it) and a lack of activity. This year the blues have really taken their toll on me, which is a little unusual. I usually find a way to force myself outside to get that extra sunshine and activity, but for some reason that just didn't happen as much as it should have this year. As a result, I'm lacking my usual spunk and often feel like I'm tinted light blue around the edges with an intermittent splash of grumpy. This is not my favorite state of being! I'm ready to get back to my cheerful little self full of spunk and quirky energy, ready to tackle whatever adventures come at me. Where are you Spring?

Lucky for me, Spring sort of showed up this week. Friday was bright and sunny, at least for the last half of the day. Saturday was fantastic, melting well over half of the snow dumped on us earlier in the week. And, as I look out my window this morning and listen to the birds chirp, it looks like Sunday is going to be marvelous. Apart from the weather, we also had an invitation to start a local softball league. At first I was apprehensive; it's been a long time since I've fielded grounders and swung a bat, but after a little prodding from our friend, receiving a new pink and black glove (a gift from the new chapter), and a little practice in our backyard yesterday, I'm kind of excited. It will be an excuse to get outside, be active, and have some fun with new friends. Sounds like a great spring/summer activity to me!
Despite the long winter and the winter blues, it looks like spring has at least attempted to peek its pleasant little head out of it's burrow. The weather seems to be getting nicer, my mood has lifted a bit, I'm able to get outside more, and I'm starting to feel a bit more energetic. Let's just hope Spring decides to stay above ground for all of us to enjoy!

Happy Spring! Happy Sunday! :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009


(Please Note: my new nest does NOT have eggs in it.)

This week has been crazy. We had parent-teacher conferences two nights last week (a.k.a. two really long days/nights), and I started the moving process. As of 8:15pm Easter Sunday I can proudly say that I'm 95% moved in and am 100% exhausted. I'm so glad I have a three-day weekend to get 100% moved, 100% settled, and 100% recovered.

So far so good, though. It helps that I don't have all that much stuff (only a room full) and that I'm a pretty organized mover. The New Chapter has a pretty great pick-up too, which means we could get the biggest bang for our buck on each load and could get all of my stuff in three loads, wahoo!!

The process has been interesting too. In the past when I have moved I haven't really had to worry much about blending with another person's habits, styles, and stuff. I've had roommates and host families before, but it just seems different this time-- and it is. I'm learning there is definitely a need for balance when merging two lives and all the stuff (both literally and figuratively) that goes with them. I have been given a great room and bathroom, and I'm trying to keep my "touch" in those places. I'm trying not to be too overpowering, which can be quite the trick being the Taurus and teacher that I am! After all, one of the reasons why he and I work so well is because we balance each other nicely. It only makes sense that our place should show this balance. And, not to my surprise, in maintaining the balance, it's starting to feel like home-- his fish mounts and deer antlers mixed in with my color coordinated stuff and girly smells. It works. It feels like us. It feels like home.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Highlight of My Week...

My friend Don over at Musings and Misc. Thoughts asked a good question, and because I'm short on creative juices, I'm going to take him up on it. In his April 4th post he asked, "What was the highlight of your week?" I've had a rather eventful week, so I've decided to give a top-three list of major events and highlights.

1. It's the end of the quarter at our high school this week. This inevitably means long nights of grading and stressed out students. And, not to my surprise, this week was what I expected. There were some high points as I graded, like when students did better than I had hoped. There were a few low points too when I saw just how lazy some of my students were this quarter. Overall, it was a relatively easy grading period, which in and of itself is a highlight! Not to mention that my grades are posted two days BEFORE the deadline-- which NEVER happens to me. I usually slide right under the wire at 7:59 Monday morning-- the deadline is 8:00. Wahoo! Oh, and did I mention that this also means there are only nine weeks left of school! That's worth a double Wahoo and a heel click in and of itself!

2. My friend Lisa and I had a reverse Friday on Monday and then a few other times throughout the week. Our lives have both been so busy lately, or one of the two of us has been sick, that we have been short on quality friend bonding time. We made up for it this week though! We watched Paranormal State on Monday with a few hard ciders, Criminal Minds on Wednesday-- even if it was a re-run, and last night we had a quick stop at our local micro brewery; then we followed it with a light dinner and a night of movies (Amityville Horror (the new version) and Happy Go Lucky (very British, and a little on the boring side). All in all, it was a great week to take a step away from the end-of-the quarter school stress and get back in touch with my dear friend.

3. The new chapter and I have decided to start a new phase this week. Based on where we are at in our relationship, a looming decision about finding a new roommate (he had to find one by May 1st), and our budgets, we have decided to become roommates. This is HUGE for me. I've never lived with a guy I've dated before, and am a little nervous but am also really excited. I will still have my own space (own bedroom and bath), but I won't have to stress about moving back and forth between two houses any more, which will be awesome. Not to mention that this will save us both a good chunk of money-- hello new running shoes and gym membership!

Although I am excited to take this next step, it has also made me realize that I really am an adult now and am making adult decisions. I still sort of feel like I'm 21 most of the time, so realizing that marriage and a family aren't really all that far away has been a little trippy for me this week. Don't get me wrong, I'm ready-- if I weren't, I wouldn't have agreed to move. It just marks yet another chapter closed and a new one started. I'm so glad I love new starts! :)

Well, dear readers, those were my highlights this week. What were yours?