Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 219 - Thursday 6/25/15 - GREAT first day of work!  I may not know how this position will roll out come fall, but I know that the team I'm working with is one that I will enjoy being a part of!

Day 218 - Wednesday 6/24/15 - Today I had the opportunity to present to a group of teachers on one of my favorite tech tools.  I felt good about the way things went!

Day 217 - Tuesday 6/23/15 - Grateful today for those in my life who help me remember to appreciate the little things that I tend to overlook.

Day 216 - Monday 6/22/15 - So I handed in my keys today, making it really real.  However, I got the keys for my new school today too, making it REALLY real!

Day 215 - Sunday 6/21/15 - A fairly peaceful Father's Day and bonus time with the peanut made for a sweet Sunday.

Day 214 - Saturday 6/20/15 -  A week.  I've stuck to my exercise plan for a week.  Heading in to week two a little more tired, but a lot more determined!

Day 213 - Friday 6/19/15 - What a wonderful afternoon with my new colleagues.  Reaffirmed that though this has been a scary and uber challenging decision, it was the right one.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Standing Out vs Being Noticed

I was driving in turtle-speed traffic this afternoon when I noticed a lime green sporty-type car that was impossible to miss.  Which got me thinking.  Stand out or be noticed?  What's the difference?

I used to want a bright purple car.  I (obviously) love purple, and I wanted to not lose my car in parking lots.  At the time I had a boring silver car, that was similar to probably 70% of cars in most parking lots.  I always lost that car in the parking lot, and since it didn't have the remote keyless entry, there was no clicking of the lock button to get the horn to honk and alert me to it's location.

I wanted a purple car so I wouldn't lose it.  I never realized that a car like that would most definitely be noticed. 

So I started thinking.  When you stand out, it's your actions that make you stand out, who you are makes you stand out.  It's putting together a presentation that is so far above and beyond what anyone else did, just because you had that much fun with the task, and were able to use all your skills to present the material.  You're not doing it to get noticed, you're doing it cause it's something you genuinely love to do and share.

I feel like when you want to be noticed, you do things in order to be seen, like buy a lime green car.  Or in my case, it would have been buying a purple car, though I didn't think of it that way at the time.  Being noticed, I think, is equal to what kids say is being a show off.  It's doing things specifically for attention.   

As I type this, I realize this has everything to do with my new job.  Everything.

See, I know I stand out when it comes to my gift of teaching.  It is something I was born with, an ability that I didn't have to learn, it was always just there.  Because it was a g-d given talent, and one I truly love, I continue to learn and grow and hone my skills.  This makes me stand out.  This also makes me uncomfortable.  Cause I didn't choose this gift.  I didn't ask to be *that* skilled here.  It is just who I am.  And the idea of taking and sharing this?  I feel like people might think I'm showing off or trying to be noticed, when that couldn't be farther from the truth.  For 14 years I was content teaching behind a closed door, doing my thing, reaching my students in ways no other had done so.  

This is part of what makes me uncomfortable.  I have a gift, a talent, per say, that is one not many around me possess.  I am more than happy to share, to teach, to support those in their quest to grow stronger in this area.  However, I don't feel like that makes me special, and the fact that it does indeed make me stand out makes me uncomfortable.  Ironically, this is basically the crux of my new job, so I better start getting used to standing out in this area.....


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 212 - Thursday 6/18/15 - It is nice to be reminded that little things really can make a big difference.  Something as simple as a reassuring pat on the back can change the course of someone's day more than we realize.

Day 211 - Wednesday 6/17/15 - Grateful for my school friends, in particular, one of them whom I've grown close with.  She made emptying out my classroom a little less lonely today.

Day 210 - Tuesday 6/16/15 - Last day of school.  I bawled like a baby.  But you know what?  That's cause I love what I do, and I'm going to miss the kids that I grew to love over the school year. 

Day 209 - Monday 6/15/15 - Last field trip of the year, a full, long day, and it was the smoothest it's ever been!  Grateful that it worked out so well, as it made for a great end of the year!

Day 208 - Sunday 6/14/15 - Thankful for shelter from the storms today....

Day 207 - Saturday 6/13/15 - Trying on a new routine today.  I think I might like it!

Day 206 - Friday 6/12/15 - Fourteen years of carnivals and not a drop of rain during them.  So thankful that today followed suit, and stayed dry until the end!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Swiss Cheese

My dietitian, once again, shared one of her fabulous analogies.  This time, it had to do with one of my favorite indulgences, Swiss Cheese.

Right now, I'm going through a major transition that has rocked my entire world.  While it is all good stuff that is happening, and great places where I'm headed, it's still left me incredibly unsteady on my feet, and I feel as if the ground is constantly moving beneath me.  That makes it pretty near impossible to feel like I'm able to stand on my own two feet.

Enter the Swiss Cheese analogy.

Imagine a big block of Swiss Cheese.  It's got those holes all over it that go straight to the core of the block.  Now, picture those holes filling up with different things - say, pimentos, pickles, other cheese, maybe even some mold (hey, it goes with cheese, right?!)  What we have is no longer a block of Swiss Cheese.  It's something that resembles Swiss Cheese, yet it's been overpowered by the other flavors that filled in the holes.

Ok.  Let's make it personal.  Imagine a person as a block of Swiss Cheese.  Standing tall, full of holes.  When things happen, when life happens, they dive into the holes and stew on what fills them - the argument, the fear, the stress, the family, the job, the financials, the stuff that is out of their control.  That person is going to be pretty unsteady, full of all sorts of stuff that negatively impacts all they do.

Now picture that same person, only this time, they choose to fill their holes in with positive experiences - like journal writing, exercise, healthy choices, good friends, and so forth.  These experiences fill the holes so that the core of the person is protected.  That way, when things happen, the world will still go on, negative things will still swirl around you, but they no longer have the ability to hit you at your core.  Instead, you filled the holes with self-chosen, positive experiences, and now when the world's chaos hits, you can let it bounce off and laugh.

Pretty powerful imagery in my mind.  Right now, I am so that block of Swiss Cheese, full of holes, constantly being attacked at my core by perceived threats to me and my safety.  However, I am (finally) working hard to fill the holes.  Seeing my therapist twice a week, my dietitian once a week, making intentional choices when it comes to eating, seriously attempting to add exercise to my routine, choosing a career change that will challenge me daily, and encourage me to be truly me.  All of those choices will fill the holes in my world, helping to protect and strengthen my core.

And one day, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, one day, I will be able to stand on my own feet no matter what is swirling around me.  (Knowing, of course, that my "support" team is only a phone call away!)

Saturday, June 13, 2015


When you close your eyes
and all you see is what you don't want to see.

The colors, textures, and scents
all fill your senses behind closed lids.

The memory has been packed up
tucked away behind the gate, boxed up, forgotten.

When you close your eyes
and it all comes flooding back.

The hours and weeks and months
working to put it behind you matter not.

Less than a minute was all it took
for the moment to return to consciousness.

Now it is all you see
when you close your eyes.

Fingers crossed, wishes on stars,
whatever you can do to put the memory away again.

The scents, breeze, piney and floral,
The colors, orange, tan, white, golden, and green.

The textures, clearly visible even now
wood grains, corduroy, denim, grassy, velvety, rough.

Maybe not today, or this week or month,
but back in the faded darkness, behind the gate, and into the box.

This memory will once again,
leave my consciousness and I will resume fighting, living, growing.

For now, closing my eyes
is going to mean working twice as hard to change the picture.

Covering up the scene,
replacing the colors, the scents, the textures.

And I will move forward
stronger than before, better able to live the life I am destined for.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 205 - Thursday 6/11/15 - Quiet evening with the peanut and parents..... it's been too long since that snuggle time!

Day 204 - Wednesday 6/10/15 - The rain held!  Field day was a blast!  Happy to witness the joy in my students faces....

Day 203 - Tuesday 6/9/15 - Sometimes it's ok to not like family.  Today was one of those days.  And I'm ok with that.

Day 202 - Monday 6/8/15 - Grateful for the reminder that the past is the past, and the past can't hurt me anymore.

Day 201 - Sunday 6/7/15 - Appreciating the use of two legs so much more now that I can only comfortably use one, which thankfully, is temporary.

Day 200 - Saturday 6/6/15 - Despite the crutches, was able to enjoy some time with my BFF and her girls this afternoon.

Day 199 - Friday 6/5/15 - Happy to report that tonight's unscheduled trip to the ER had me in and out in under two hours.  Gotta be some sort of record!  And for the record, it was nothing major, just on crutches for a few weeks....

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thankful Thursday - Year 3

Day 198 - Thursday 6/4/15 - Appreciative of the whole concept of a "break-up" in regards to relationship, as while I've not been through one, I'm experiencing the same mental processes with this job transition, and have more respect for those who have been through a break-up.

Day 197 - Wednesday 6/3/15 - Found a new dog walker for the Pup.  It was a much more challenging task than I anticipated, but I'm pleased with the outcome!

Day 196 - Tuesday 6/2/15 - GREAT afternoon at my new school!  It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm so excited to take this next step!

Day 195 - Monday 6/1/15 - It was nice to be in my therapist's office today.  I really needed it.....

Day 194 - Sunday 5/31/15 - It was nice to finally take the Pup out for a walk today!

Day 193 - Saturday 5/30/15 - Enjoyed the rain today, it matched my mood.

Day 192 - Friday 5/29/15 - Had the most wonderful evening with a group of former students.... what a treat to see them all again!