Monday, April 29, 2013

Inspired By...

This is a little complicated to explain, so please, gather your bag of breadcrumbs and try to follow the trail....

Sundays.  Tayla over at She'll Be Free has this great feature called Sunday Link Love.  She finds all sorts of goodies, and shares them in one easy-to-access post to start off the week.  In reading through the links this week, I stumbled across an article that made a lot of sense to me!

The link was from another blog, called Roots of She.  The post?  This one.  All about fear.  Now, you may want to head over and read the whole post (it isn't that long, and it's an easy read) but for my purposes here, I've quoted the chord that struck me:
"I sat and looked underneath the fear – what were the needs sitting underneath its surface? What was it I really wanted?......  To feel safe, to feel cozy, to feel loved......  I could meet those needs in other ways, in healthier and more healing ways, than by staying at home.......  To feel cozy: I wanted the soft feeling of a blanket wrapped around me so I wore a long, soft sweater to work and super fuzzy knee socks...... When you’re able to break down the fear or stress or anxiety, you can begin to meet the needs that are underneath it."
This is a bit of a patched together excerpt, as I eliminated a few parts here and there, cause this is the part that spoke to me.  I've had those mornings, like she writes of at the start of her post, where I just want to curl up in bed with The Pup, a soft blanket, and shut the world out for a little longer.  Days where getting up and going to work is the last thing I want to do.

Today was one of those mornings.  And taking a little inspiration from that article, I managed to get myself cozied up, carry-out style.  I found a very comfy sweater that felt like a soft blanket wrapped around me.  I found the softest socks that I had.

You know what?  It worked.  Sounds a little silly, but that big, comfy sweater and those soft, comfy socks got me out of the house and to work.  Yeah, once I got to work, and got into the day, things were peachy.  But those little comforts, they're what got me to work so that I could get into my peachy-keen day.

Sometimes it seems a simple thing.... yet, it makes a incredible impact.

(P.S.  If you're not sure what the title of this post means..... well, it's still poetry month, 
and it's a bit of a hat tip to one of my favorite poetry books - Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sketches in Stillness

I came across a new blog (by way of Facebook friends) that I have become completely smitten with.  It isn't so much a blog.... well, at least not in the sense I think of when I hear the word "blog."  It's more of an artist's blog, a sketch pad, you could say.

Anyway, I was perusing the pages and found the image here-
YogiPets Sitting - Sketches in Stillness
Love.... could it really be that simple?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Smiles

Poetry Month Edition
(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Image courtesy of Threadless

Image courtesy of SnorgTees

Thursday, April 25, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 150 - Friday 4/19/13 - Grateful to come home to a quiet house, a snuggly puppy, and a night where I don't have to set the alarm clock!

Day 151 - Saturday 4/20/13 - Glad to live in a state where all four seasons can be experienced in a 24 hour period.  Or at least I think I'm glad....

Day 152 - Sunday 4/21/13 - Much enjoyed lunch with my BFF today.  Always a treat to spend time together.

Day 153 - Monday 4/22/13 - I was so happy to sink into the cushions in my therapist's office today..... much needed!

Day 154 - Tuesday 4/23/13 - Very proud to be part of such a powerful learning experience.... today culminated a two year academy experience, and I learned so much during those two years!

Day 155 - Wednesday 4/24/13 - So grateful that my class had such a good day!  They were uber productive and got a lot accomplished today!

Day 156 - Thursday 4/25/13 - Very much appreciating how well my therapist understands me.  Very, very much appreciating that today.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Randomly Meandering

It's been an interesting week.  There's been a lot of static in my brain.  Figure that if I share it with you, then it might not continue playing in my brain?  Worth a try....

1.  Picking up food for The Pup, I stumbled across this bag of treats.  "Only 3 calories each!"  Seriously?  I mean come on.  They're dogs.  Do we really need to count their calories, too?  Frustrated me to see that, and stressed me, too.  Probably because I am supposed to be slowly weaning myself off of counting calories myself.  Um.  Yeah.

5.  This weather situation has been pretty baffling.  This time last year it was in the 80s.  Today, it snowed.  It was in the 70s just 48 hours ago.  My closet is confused.  So am I.

13.  I've been feeling VERY overwhelmed lately.  The overwhelmed feeling that leaves me without words.  So while I've read and do appreciate everyone's comments on the blog, I'm a bit behind on my replies.  Same for commenting on your blogs, friends.  I am reading, please know that, I'm just having a hard time commenting these days.  Please don't take it personally, I do enjoy reading your blogs and your comments, even if I don't say so lately. 

24.  Stuck on the concept that I can't please everyone.  In the middle of parent-teacher conferences at school right now, and know that I have the one parent that is impossible to please coming up.  Somehow, the 24 positive conferences don't outweigh the one negative one.  Gotta change that.

35.  I went out on a limb with a project at school.  Like, went really far out, and was dangling like the lone leaf left on the branch once autumn departs.  And this was a pretty big project.  Like, really, really big.  So far.... I don't want to jinx it, but so far?  It's surpassed even my expectations.  Which is actually a little frightening.

47.  Been watching a National Geographic documentary on the 80s.  On part two of six.  First, it's pretty fascinating.  Second, it brought this to mind....  Two of my favorite 80s singers.... 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 143 - Friday 4/12/13 -Thankful for the enthusiasm of my students - they carried this tired teacher through an incredibly full day.

Day 144 - Saturday 4/13/13 - Today's appreciation goes to my neighbor, who stopped by to feed The Pup his dinner, and take him for a brief walk, so that I could spend the afternoon-into-evening at a special six year old's birthday celebration.

Day 145 - Sunday 4/14/13 - Grateful for afternoon naps.  They make the rest of the day more tolerable.

Day 146 - Monday 4/15/13 - So appreciative of fully functioning sinks.  You don't realize how important it is to have your sinks drain properly until they stop working!

Day 147 - Tuesday 4/16/13 - Grateful for the new awareness that I now have...... starting to understand myself just a tiny bit more...

Day 148 - Wednesday 4/17/13 - Grateful for the light show that mother nature provided this evening.  Better than anything I could have watched on TV, that's for sure.

Day 149 - Thursday 4/18/13 - Very grateful and relieved that today's presentations went so well!  I hope that the rest of them go equally as well.....

Monday, April 15, 2013

Look for the Helpers

My thoughts and prayers are with all who have 
been impacted by the tragedy in Boston today.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Guest Who?

Sorry.  Bad play on words.

I.... um..... well..... yeah..... so......



So.  There's this blog.  It's one of the blogs I read.  It's on my blog roll.  You might want to check it out.

And if you do...... you might want to check out THIS post. 

And if you like it...... you are more than welcome to comment and say so!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 136 - Friday 4/5/13 - I am grateful for the delicious roasted asparagus I made for dinner.  They turned out just right, which was quite surprising, actually!

Day 137 - Saturday 4/6/13 - Grateful for puppy licks to wipe away tears.  The Pup is much more cuddly than kleenex, and does just as good of a job.

Day 138 - Sunday 4/7/13 - "Always will be room for you, no worries."  I appreciate these words more than anything right now.  Sometimes a simple statement is anything but simple.

Day 139 - Monday 4/8/13 -  So thankful that I got the green light to try a pretty neat project at school!  I hope it turns out as well as I think it will!

Day 140 - Tuesday 4/9/13 - Extremely grateful that my therapist made me pause and realize how much progress I've made over the last year- I'd have rushed right over it otherwise!

Day 141 - Wednesday 4/10/13 - Beyond thankful that my team finds the good in all steps - forward or backward, baby or giant - the fact that they point this out is uber appreciated.

Day 142 - Thursday 4/11/13 - Grateful for the flexibility of The Pup's dog walker - made it easy to ensure he was well taken care of during this ridiculously long day.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The A Word Revisited

A little over a year ago, I had a rather unpleasant encounter with the A word.  Probably not the word you are thinking right now!

At the time, I was in a very frustrating situation involving people close to me.  (I purposely avoided even using the A word!!)  Off the top of my head I don't remember what triggered the situation, though I do remember how horrible I felt:

Engulfed with sadness (that was covering the anger.)  
Swimming in fears (which were masking the anger.) 
Swallowed by a tremendous inner turmoil (that was disguising the anger.)
And extremely, extremely, self-destructive (which was the anger turned inward.)

At the time, anger was not allowed in my vocabulary.  It was evicted from my body (or so I thought) and sent permanently away.  Not only was anger not in my vocabulary, it was NEVER an emotion I experienced (or so I thought.)

Well, seems that I've been revisited by the anger train.  Except this time, instead of burying it, ignoring it, pretending it didn't exist, all the things I have done my whole life..... I felt it.

I felt anger.  
I.  Felt.  Angry.
And I didn't explode.

(Yeah, I'll admit it, I imploded a bit,
but even that was not nearly as destructive as a year ago.) 

This time, my first reaction was not a helpful one.  My second reaction was not a helpful one.  My third reaction was not a helpful one.  But I allowed (unconsciously) each of those reactions to come into view, dangle for a few minutes, and pass, without grabbing on to one of them and acting on what could have been rather quite self-destructive.

While my chosen coping tool wasn't the most positive, no one got hurt.  (Had I gone with either of my first three reactions... yeah, things would have gotten really ugly.)  And after using my words to journal about the situation and talk and process the situation, I found that I didn't feel angry anymore.

I survived, what one year ago would have been a catastrophic set-back, that this time, left me relatively unscathed.  Yes, it ruined my entire weekend.  Yes, I felt extremely miserable for a few days.  Yes, I thought I would never escape the angst that enveloped me.

I felt anger, and my world didn't end.  It didn't come crashing down around me.  It didn't cause me physical harm.  I didn't allow that anger to put me in a space of self harm.

I felt anger..... and I survived.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Updating the Menus

Panera bread has changed up their menus.  They might have done it a while ago, but I'm not a frequent flyer at the chain, so I didn't notice until my recent visit.

Their menu boards have a new addition.  And I'm not sure how I feel about it.

They've added calories to each item on the menu board.

Now, a part of me cheered when I saw them, because it means I won't have to tap the keyboard to find *that* number anymore.  (Yes, I'm still keeping meticulous food records, but that's another post.)  It is definitely convenient to have them listed right there.  But........

I was a little disturbed to see them there, too.  I am not sure how I feel about calories being posted right there on the board.  I'm concerned.  I'm concerned that it's going to create an even more twisted sense of health.  I mean, we're already living under a warped sense of beauty, what, with the childhood obesity crisis, the fact that eating disorders are being diagnosed in grade school kids, and the fact that adults are knocking themselves out trying to fit into society's expectation of "healthy" looking.

So, is putting calorie amounts on a menu board going to feed the problem?  Is it going to create more eating disorders?  More anxiety over healthy eating?  More neurosis?  Are we setting the current generation up for failure in the food department? I mean, I would *love* to go back to the days when I wasn't calorie obsessed.  I look forward to when the day comes that I no longer need to do so.  Won't posting calories on the menu board make everything worse?

Go ahead, read up, you can let me know what you think....!
Slate: 12.19.12 - Calorie Menu Labeling: Will Fast Food Turn Healthy?
Forbes: 09.17.12 - Calories on Restaurant Menus won't make us eat more, but...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Views from the Window

I was sitting in the window seat of a restaurant the other day, and while I waited for the rest of my meal pals to arrive, I watched the hustle and bustle of the busy sidewalks on the other side of the glass.

In particular, I found myself noticing one thing.


It seems that I've spent a lot of time looking at shoes lately.  Noticing the styles (welcome back 1984) and the colors (neon?  really?) and how shoes compliment the wearer's outfit.  I've never paid much attention to shoes before.  I find a pair that I like, buy them in black and brown, and I'm set.  Comfort over fashion, that's the way I roll.

You know who has interesting shoes?  My therapist.  She's got some rockin' kicks.  I should know, I've spent a lot of time staring at them lately.  Which is kind of unusual for me.  I'm learning that when the conversation gets tough, I experience a brain freeze not unlike the kind one feels upon drinking a milkshake too quickly.

We've been wading through uncharted waters these past few weeks.  It's been really mucky, too, with all the crud that has been dredged up.  But as with all muddy ponds, when things start to settle, the water starts to clear up.  Then you can see straight through to the bottom of the pond, where a mysterious and beautiful world awaits.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

365 Days of Giving Thanks

Day 129 - Friday 3/29/13 - The gods must be smiling on me today, cause I survived not one, but two family meals in one day.  Truly shocked, and so thankful they went well!

Day 130 - Saturday 3/30/13 - Thankful that the weather was once again beautiful, and the day with family wasn't too intolerable, either.

Day 131 - Sunday 3/31/13 - Thankful for a day of rest.  Nothing but sunshine, a nice walk with the Pup, and relaxation!

Day 132 - Monday 4/1/13 - So happy that baseball is back!  Finally, there will be something on TV that captures my attention!

Day 133 - Tuesday 4/2/13 - Today's gratitude goes to..... um.... um.... I'm grateful for puppy snuggles.

Day 134 - Wednesday 4/3/13 - Thrilled that the pup has finally learned to use the bathroom bell!  Really, he has it down this time!

Day 135 - Thursday 4/4/13 - Thankful for little treats, like the warm, gooey, single serve rice krispy treat I figured out how to make!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Autism Awareness

Yep.  It's that time again.  April.
Yep.  It's poetry month.
But April also hosts a pretty important topic.
Autism Awareness.

Now, you might think, "Why do we need to have a month for THAT?  It's something people deal with every single day!"  That is true, but..... it's pretty powerful to have a month where everyone focuses on EDUCATING others about AUTISM.  For 30 days, people who may or may not be connected to autism share information, encourage others, and promote awareness in general.

In my web-travels, I stumbled across this great article by someone from the Friendship Circle - 10 Ways to Support Autism Awareness Without Writing a Check.  April 2nd has been designated Autism Awareness Day by the United Nations.  Across the globe, people "light it up blue" in an effort to spread autism awareness.  What struck me about this article is that it's possible for EVERYONE, ANYWHERE to show support and increase awareness, without spending a dime.

So no more excuses.  Let's get moving.  Here are a few to get you started, but be sure to check out the full article, it's short and sweet, and chock full of ways that YOU can make a difference in the lives of someone different.

2. Offer a kind compliment to a family that you know is struggling, you never know how much a genuine compliment warms the heart.
5.  Stand up and speak out if you hear someone being unkind to someone with autism, or any disability/difference, for that matter.
9.  Add a little note to your prayers, including those who care for and have autism, offering them compassion and tolerance.

P.S.  If you're not sure what autism looks like, here's a great read about the 20 Faces of Autism.