Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Goals Check-In #3

I'm in a much better head space than the last time I was here. While I never turn a blind eye to my anxiety, it does ebb and flow and this week has been much better.  Even better, I've made progress on more than just one of my goals.  Let's check in!

  • Read more. -  I have finished four books in June and still have a couple of days left.  Check the Book Challenge tab to see just what I've been reading.  
  • Turn off the TV.  -  The TV is still on at least some of the time.  Seriously, watch GLOW on Netflix.  I was sad that there were only 10 episodes, honestly.  So great!  But I've been listening to a ton of podcasts in the last couple of weeks, too.  My true blue will always be The Popcast (check them out in the sidebar to the right), but I've loved Broadway Backstories, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, Theater People, The Broadway Cast, Young House Love, and That Sounds Fun with Annie Downs.  
  • Lose weight/Eat right. - I'm still down right around 20 pounds, but I'm not discouraged because I am changing shape/gaining muscle.  Yesterday, Sister and I did a six mile walk before breakfast, and while I enjoy walking that was much longer than a normal workout.  Eating right isn't terrible, but I also don't deprive myself.  For instance, during last week's adventure I had 3 AM fresh donuts, Ben and Jerry's and Cracker Barrel french toast for breakfast two days in a row,  It was a delight!
  • Learn to cook. -  I made hamburgers while baking half a dozen sweet potatoes yesterday.  And all of those were just prep to eat for the rest of the week.  Does that count as cooking?
  • Prep curriculum. - July is going to be my month to work on curriculum.  We have a workshop next week, so I'm hoping that will give me the jump start I needed.  Because I have completely vacated thoughts of school planning since school let out.  
  • Go on adventures.  - Sister and I went on a 36-hour road trip last week.  We left in the middle of the night, drove to Tennessee for an appointment, then stayed the night in Pigeon Forge before coming home.  It was crazy, but it was an absolute blast!  This weekend, I have some time carved out for my bestie, Amber, and I'm really looking forward to that.  

It always seems like summer goes fast once we get to the 4th of July, so I'm just buckling in to enjoy what's left before it's back to that school day grind!  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Goals Check-In #2

This is a space where I intend to be honest, so here goes nothing. I am not doing so hot with my goals overall, minus improving my health at the moment.  Moreover, especially this week for some reason, I'm really struggling with mental spin out.  If you don't know what I mean by that, let me explain.  

I've always struggled with anxiety.  I used to have hyper-realistic nightmares about failing tests long after I was out of school.  I tend to latch on to the worst-case scenario of most situations, and prepare as though that is the inevitability.  I'm a bit of a raging hypochondriac.  Depending on where I am in my life, anxiety manifests in different ways.  Currently, I spend a lot of my time alone.  I don't have a tremendous amount of friends in my life right now, and those that I do have are traveling or don't get their summers off.  My sister works the night shift, so half of any week I'm sleeping while she's working or vice versa.  And that leaves me alone with my thoughts, and I don't always need to be alone with my thoughts.  Now, let me say upfront that I am not a danger to myself or others.  That's not at all what I'm talking about.  Now feels like a good time to include that I am a control freak, and I do not handle change well, at all.  And here's the thing about life--it often changes quickly and without the courtesy of even sending advance notice.  (Preferably on engraved stationery, please and thank you.)  All of these things have been building into the greatest anxiety sandwich you might ever want to behold. And I've ponied up to the table ready to take it down in one gulp.  

I hear myself when I'm spinning out.  I know what I sound like.  (Like I should be in a bunker in a tin foil hat, more often than not.)  But, that doesn't always stop it.  The good news is that since I'm on a reasonably successful health kick, I haven't been using my two favorite methods of shutting off the anxiety, food and alcohol.  I've been filling that gap with obsessively checking social media and reading the comments of other people who may actually be in bunkers with their shiny, shiny hats. And while it's calorie-free, it's not doing much for my mental health.  Ironically, I thinned out much of Facebook during 2016, so my feed is mostly businesses selling antiques and comfy t-shirts (I see you, Ruby's Rubbish).  But Twitter might as well be Pandora's box right now.  Part of it is that things happen there in real time.  No sooner has something happened than you have video and first-person accounts, and all of the commentary on it (SO MUCH COMMENTARY, and everyone's an expert).  I love that about the medium, but it's also something that isn't great when you have unlimited time to obsess.   So, I'm really working on thinning out who and what I connect with there simply for my own sanity,  And I will continue to wrestle the beast, and keep out of the tin foil.  

On with the check-up, such as it is:
  • Read more. -  I have finished half of one book.  I have good intentions, but a short attention span.  I am starting a new one today.  We'll see how it goes.  
  • Turn off the TV.  -  I think this may have been an unrealistic goal, peeps.  I have been medicating with a lot of TV repeats.  Whenever I'm feeling low, I watch comedies.  I'm firmly camped in Parks and Rec, Designing Women, and Mom.  I will say that I have been listening to some podcasts, which both gives this quiet house a little noise and brings other happy/interesting conversations into  my life.  So, I guess that's a little progress?
  • Lose weight/Eat right. - As of this morning, I am down 19 pounds in 39 days.  I walk a lot while I watch TV, and have even been getting up crazy early some mornings to walk with my sister.  
  • Learn to cook. -  Nope.  But I am eating well.
  • Prep curriculum. - I have only thought about curriculum once since school let out, and that was because I went to work to sign some papers and someone asked me a question.  But I am going to get to work on that in the next couple of weeks.  
  • Go on adventures.  - Sister and I have an adventure on the books for next week.  More about that when it gets here.  Otherwise I have been watching a lot of t-ball games, which are their own kind of adventure.  
I will be back sometime soon with hopefully more progress and updates.  Thanks for sticking with this post if you made it all the way to the end.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Work

I promise this isn't going to become a fitness blog.  However, as this is my space, I get to decide the programming and tonight we're going to talk about what I've been up to the last 26 days.

The last 26 days I have logged every bit of food that has gone into my body and drank more water than I ever thought possible.  (Seriously, no sodas in nearly a month.  Not even a sip.)  I've clocked every minute of exercise.  I've counted every single step.  I've compared this week to last week and the week before that to see where I can improve.  I've crunched more numbers than can possibly be healthy, and read every chart and graph the apps have offered.  I've treated my body like a science experiment.  And in 26 days, I've lost 16.4 pounds.

Now, before we start up the confetti cannons, I should let you know that I have a long way to go.  Very long.  Ideally, I would like to reach my first goal (60 pounds gone) by my 36th birthday this October.  It also means that when we go shopping for bridesmaid dresses I will be ordering one much smaller than what I would order right now.  Once I reach that goal, I would like to try to lose even more, but what I want most is to be as healthy as possible, no matter the size.

I love how I feel right now.  It's work, but it's the best kind.  And if I already feel better, imagine how it will feel when I hit my goals farther down the road.  I've got to stop now because I'm getting up at the literal crack of dawn to go walk with my sister and I need my rest.  (I totally log my sleep now, too.  I'm such a weirdo.)  Just wanted to share.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer Goals Check-In #1

I know, technically, it's not even summer vacation yet.  But I felt like this was a good time for a baseline check of how things are going in each of my selected areas of interest.  I'll try to do this every couple of weeks this summer to keep you, my dozens of readers, up-to-date and to keep myself honest.

  • Read more. -  I haven't started reading yet, unless you count the books I bought for my nieces. But it's on starting Thursday.  I haven't completely organized my reading list, but I'm looking forward to a lot of time in my sun room reading this summer.  
  • Turn off the TV.  - Not doing so hot on this one either, but I am exercising while I watch, so that's an improvement, at least.  I mean, Netflix released the new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt this weekend and I got hooked on their new true crime documentary, The Keepers.  The Lemonade episode of Kimmy is so great (and the season as a whole has some great laughs).  But let me talk for a minute about The Keepers.  I still have two episodes left and I am so intrigued by that entire story.  I don't want to spoil it with too many details, but it's a murder mystery involving a nun, but so much more is revealed in the process.  I highly recommend the series.  
  • Lose weight/Eat right. - I'm doing really well with this particular goal.  I've lost 13.2 pounds since I started about two weeks ago.  I'm watching what I eat (using the Lose It! app) and exercising a lot (thanks, Fitbit!).  I still have a long way to reach my first goal, but it certainly doesn't seem like such a pipe dream anymore.  
  • Learn to cook. -  Okay, I'm not really eating junk, but  I'm also not really cooking yet.  I've pinned some recipes that I'm interested in and I'm looking forward to having plenty of time to work on them.  
  • Prep curriculum. - I'm in the "gathering up what I need" stage at the moment.  Of course, I also live very close to my school, so it's not like I can't come trade out when I needed.  I am looking forward to putting together some fun projects for next year for a several of my classes. (At this point, I'm not even totally sure what all I'm teaching next year, but I am working on what I know.)
  • Go on adventures.  - With my sister having time off each week, I'm guaranteed an adventure or two at some point.  I'm also going to be hanging with the nieces a lot more, so who knows what we might be up to?!  
I'm well on my way to summer vacation!  Wednesday is my last official day, so I'm looking forward to not waking up to an alarm on Thursday.  I will check back in on my goals Monday, June 5.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...
Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

As a pack rat in recovery, I don't know that we should be celebrating that.  I think teachers are pack rats by necessity, because I always think I'll use whatever I'm saving for school. Sometimes I do, but most of the time it just takes up space in a cabinet or crate.  So, I'm working to really thin out things at home and at school this summer.

Also, when did we get all these "national whatever day" notifications?  Why does everything need a day?  


2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?


I don't know how to change a tire. I know that I should, but I've always happily let my dad take care of most of that kind of thing.  I don't know that I should be able to do this, but I wish I could tile floors. It would be much easier to take care of that myself rather than pay someone and I really want tile in my bathroom and in my front room.  I'm handy enough, but that's beyond my skills set.


3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

I do crave sugar.  I have to have at least some in my hot tea, but will drink unsweetened iced tea.  I will use a pack of Splenda in a pinch, but I don't like the taste of artificial stuff.  I love dessert, but since I'm working to lose weight, I'm trying to be very selective about what and when I have it.  (Though they had Dippin' Dots at school on Monday, and I definitely had some.  Also, the guy who invented them graduated from my school system, so we get them from time to time.)  


4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?


Leggings.  I love them so much.  I wear them underneath my dresses and my tunics and it makes it very hard to love my jeans again.  


5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.


It's funny that you ask this question this week, because it's basically the assignment my Music Appreciation kids are working on right now.  They have to create an entire timeline, but I'm just going to stick to one memory.  

I was in the eighth grade and it was about this time of year, and our high boys team had the opportunity to play another school at (old) Busch Stadium.  School was let out, and it seems like the whole county went north for the game.  Our boys played in the early afternoon, then we had tickets to watch the Cardinals that night.  My friends and their parents all stayed overnight at the hotel across the street and we all went to this little diner/bar area in the hotel and the song "Cheap Seats" by Alabama came on the jukebox.  It was a brand new song at the time and we sang along, laughing and smiling at each other.  I can still see everyone's faces.  And whenever I hear that song, I'm instantly transported right back to that sweet moment.


6. Insert your own random thought here.


I realize this was very much my random thought last week, but by the time you're reading this, I will only have five more days of work for the school year!  And I am ready for a break from that grind more with every passing moment.  I'm ready to have my own routine and schedule!  I'm ready to not wake up with an alarm clock every day.  And I'm really ready to get to work on my summer goals!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Summer Goals

Like I said in the Hodgepodge, I'm just a couple weeks away from summer vacation.  I often joke that they have to give teachers a break so that we are willing to come back and do it all over again.  Summer is definitely about refocusing and restoration for me, but left to my own devices, I am the worst.  I stay up late and sleep later, watch too much TV and spend more time than I possibly should lounging around.  So, for this summer, I'm setting forth a few goals.


  • Read more.  -  I've already put forth the 2017 Book Challenge, but I'm only doing so-so at that. I just don't have the focus to read during the school year, so I'm going to really work on making some headway this summer.  I have a shelf full (and a Kindle full) of great books just waiting to be read!
  • Turn off the TV.  -  I love television.  I always have.  But I'm spending too much time with it. This summer, I want watching TV to be an event, not constant background noise.
  • Lose weight/Eat right.  -  My little sister gets married March of 2018.  I desperately need to lose some weight before that happens.  My big goal is 60 pounds, but I'm focusing on the daily goal of just surviving each day without completely losing it and eating an entire pan of brownies for now.
  • Learn to cook.  -  I can read a recipe, but I don't enjoy cooking.  I just don't.  But I know that to be ultimately successful at losing weight, I need to stop eating pre-packaged crap.  This means I'm going to have to be able to successfully prep and cook things that are good for me to eat.  So, that will be interesting.
  • Prep curriculum for 2017-18 - I'm teaching two different sections of American History, World History, and Music Appreciation, and while I've taught these classes before, I have several things I would like to work on before going at it again.  My goal is to spend at least a day or two a week focused on getting these plans into working order.  (And this is why teachers are never fully on break.)
  • Go on adventures.  -  I love a good adventure.  Whether it's going some place I've never been or just looking more closely at places I thought I knew, I want to go have some fun this summer!  

I know these are mostly the lame things that people always say, but I really mean them and I am fully prepared to show proof this summer as needed.  And most of all, I can't wait to get started!   (Only nine days to go!!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you're a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.

I get my hysterical laughter from my mama.  When we think something is truly and wholly funny, we are known to laugh until no sound comes out and tears stream down our faces.  One such instance was years ago, when my mom, dad, brother and I had gone out to dinner.  My brother was maybe nine, and displeased that we had decided to eat Chinese food.  He remains one of the funniest people I know, and was that way even then.  He started in on a comedy routine that had Mom and I laughing so hard that by the time the waitress came to take our order, we looked like there had been some kind of tragedy at the table.  I was blessed to grow up in a house where wit and laughter were always encouraged.


2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.


You can't hit a branch of my family tree that doesn't have a teacher or a nurse in it.  It goes back generations.  Maybe that's because post-Civil War, both were considered acceptable positions for women, but it's definitely there.  Both of my parents, one first cousin and I are teachers, my sister and two aunts are nurses.  So maybe it's simply the lineage in both of those fields of service that I appreciate so much. 


3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?


I don't like anything in a salad.  It just grosses me out.  If I had to pick, I would go with some kind of chunky chicken salad with no egg.  And definitely some good homemade bread of some type.  Because who can pass up bread?


4. Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog?


I have a desk in my office at home and a desk at school.  Neither are particularly organized, but I know where most things are.  My school desk is especially out of control this time of year.  (see picture for reference.)  This is what the end of the year looks like in desk form.  Being a teacher is hard, people!




5. When I was nine years old....


my little sister was born.  And I thought she was exactly what I wanted, until she got big enough to be in my things.  There were some sketchy years when she was a student in my classroom and I was still living at home.  But now that we are both adults, we are best friends.   


6. Insert your own random thought here.


I love my job.  I was born to be a teacher.  But I am so ready for summer vacation I could scream!  Good thing we only have two more weeks!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 

We have had a very rainy spring!  In fact, it rained for most of Friday's track meet.  I had an umbrella, but that wasn't always as effective as I might have liked.  Aside from rain, I started the month with the school musical, had spring break, and then went right into track.  Love the downhill slope to the end of the school year.


2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?


I'd like to think I could give a decent presentation on most things teacher-related.  Plus, I do sort of make my living doing several 30-minute presentations a day on history and literature.  (Though I might still need some notes for those.)


3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.


My favorite memory is making dumpling with my grandma.  She would give us little chunks of dough and when we were tall enough we could help put them into the pot on the stove.  She's still living and occasionally still makes them and it's still my favorite.

4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?


I'm kind of a lyric fanatic.  As a singer, it's kind of essential to know the words.  I'm the worst at remembering lyrics, but I do usually know what the words are supposed to be.


5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.


Of that list, I've only been to Times Square.  I was 17 and definitely felt like a tourist, but it was still fun to see.  I live near the Gateway Arch of St. Louis, and it's really not particularly exciting to see (It really is just a big metal arch), but I still remember looking for it every time we went into the city as a kid.  They have done some renovations on the museum and I would like to check it out sometime once it is reopened.


6. Your signature clothing item?


I don't know what it is for sure, but it's definitely black.  I also am really fond of hoop earrings and most recently, leggings with tunics.
 

7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?


I would say participating in theater.  Even if it's just not of interest to you, I think it's eye-opening when you see the amount of work that goes in to even a small show.  Plus, I think that learning how to perform on a stage is a good life skill.


8. Insert your own random thought here.


I cannot wait to see Lucie Silvas and Chris Stapleton Friday night!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge (Because I'm Averaging One a Month)


1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?

I put on a musical with about 70 or so kids participating and it happens to end right at the end of the month.  This year we are doing Beauty and the Beast and the music is difficult and the costumes are elaborate, and did I mention all the children??  Pretty much everything about my life right now is madness.


2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.


I don't really recall one from my own childhood.  I was a dramatic kid, but I'm not sure that I ever had a made up word.


3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?


Oh, Joyce, I need to do all 15 of these.  But, all of them will have to wait until I get to spring break.  I have several home improvement/cleaning projects that I'm hoping to get done during that time off. To answer the question, I will go with dusting the nooks and crannies and cleaning out drawers.  


4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?


I really had to think about this one, but I finally settled on the first (and only good) Sex In The City movie.  I don't think it gets much more New York City than that.  If I really went digging, I'm sure I could come up with a few more.


5. What's put a spring in your step this month?


The fact that it feels like spring again for the most part.  It warmed up early in February, but then we had a cold snap and even some brief snows before it warmed up again in the last week or so.  I'm ready for it to feel like spring, but the summer heat can take its time.  


6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?


I spent all of high school and one and half years of college saying that I didn't want to be a teacher.  My mom taught kindergarten most of my life and my dad teaches high school vocational classes (auto body and repair).  I couldn't imagine going into education until I did AmeriCorps.  I worked with at-risk kids and loved it, and after that there wasn't really any doubt what I was going to be.  I've been teaching for 14 years now and I can't imagine loving anything else.



7.  What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?

I like the smell of real flowers, but I don't enjoy floral candles or anything like that.  I'm more of a vanilla or coconut type of girl.  And as much as I enjoy wine, I'm never good at determining what notes are in them.  If it doesn't taste like the bottom of an oak barrel, I'll probably drink it.


8. Insert your own random thought here.


I've been having weird dreams for the last week or so.  They wake me up and then I go back to sleep and have a different weird dream and I pretty much do this all night.  I'm not sure what's causing it, but I would really like for it to stop.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hodgepodge 2/15

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called both sets of grandparents Grandma and Grandpa, then just added their first names.  However, the great-grandkids call my two living grandmothers Gigi and Granny Jo, so that's what I call them the most these days.


2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?


I have never been to California.  I would be happy to see any of it,  Obviously, the iconic figures like the Golden Gate Bridge would be on my list.  


3. What are three things you don't know how to do?


Knit, Sew, Crochet.  Many have tried to teach me.  All have failed.


4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?


I'm trying very hard to celebrate love and the lifting up of others.  This is easier some days than others.  Yesterday, for instance, instead of being bitter about Valentine's Day, I donated to a couple of causes I believe deeply in, and did some not-so-random acts of kindness.  I'm celebrating small victories, every single day.


5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?


I love almonds.  I will eat them in anything or raw.  I don't like salted almonds, though.  


6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?


If things go well, I'm cozy in my pajamas watching a little television or reading a book.


7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.


I haven't made much progress on my book goal for the month, but my favorite book of the winter so far is definitely Forward by Abby Wambach.  I basically read it in one sitting.  It's well-written and a great look at what gives someone the drive to work toward that level of greatness and the toll it can take, as well.


8.  Insert your own random thought here.


This is one of my busiest weeks of the winter.  I'm booked every night with some school obligation or the other and I'm just tired.  But next week looks tame by comparison.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

In my classroom, students record a quote and then tell me what it means as their bellwork, a quick assignment they complete before class actually begins.  These quote lists were made years ago, and are simply numbered by day.  I say all that to share today's quote:

"There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness, and truth are absent."  Leo Tolstoy

Seems fitting for the times we live in, doesn't it?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Blah

Am I the only one who has been feeling especially blah lately?  And I'm not just talking about the political arena, though there's certainly enough going on there.  I hesitate to call what I'm feeling pessimism, because I don't really feel that everyone and everything is bad.  It just feels like every area in my life is part of some emotional rollercoaster I did not get in line to ride.  And yet, here I am in the stupid car with nothing but my faith in God and razor sharp wit to keep me secured.

A student the other day was talking about how "grown" they were.  I pounced as soon as the words came out of their mouth.  "Do not be in a hurry to become an adult.  Being an adult is a trap.  Stay a kid with a magic refrigerator and occasional laundry service for as long as your parents are cool with it."  And I say that somewhat jokingly, but also not.  Because this being an adult thing is way harder than they tell you it's going to be.  And I have extremely supportive parents who do things like go out and get me a hot water heater because mine is leaking and I have no clue A) how to get the right kind/size of water heater for my aged house and B) when I would actually go get one as ballgame season is still happening and on the few nights I'm home I pretty much collapse in a pile.

I've been living on my own for nearly 15 years, and I still have no clue what I'm doing 90% of the time.  And while I'm doing that 10% I think I have a handle on, someone is bound to tell me I'm not doing it to their satisfaction.  Yeah, yeah, we aren't supposed to let other people's opinions get us down, but have you figured out how to actually do that?  Because I'm a habitual people pleaser, and knowing someone doesn't like me or something I've been a part of is kind of devastating to me, even when I try to pretend that's not true.  Part of that is probably that I live and work in the same community that raised me, so interpersonal relationships can get complicated.  But even if I lived and worked elsewhere, I'd still want people to like me and the work I do.  It's just who I am.

I don't really know that I have an actual point outside of thinking maybe getting this all down will be cathartic or something.  Maybe all of this ennui is seasonal and a result of a lack of snow days, paired with a full moon.  Maybe the world really is a dumpster fire.  And yet, for whatever reason here we are.  And despite the rollercoaster, I still find things daily that bring me hope or make me smile or remind me that maybe no one really knows what they're doing.  Maybe we really are all just winging it and hoping someone slightly more competent comes along side us to keep us afloat.  I don't know. But maybe that's okay, too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 2/1

1. Can you believe it's the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?

I just saw Miranda Lambert for the third time and it was easily the best of her shows. The openers are great, and she is just musically in the best place she's ever been in.  Singing and dancing at that show was one of the few moments of pure and absolute joy I felt this month.  If the Highway Vagabond tour comes your way, I strongly suggest going!


2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?

The sound of relentless junior high chatter.  It's Spirit Week in these parts and it is noisy.  


3. I read on the Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead)

Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try?

I am a people pleaser at my very root.  I talk a lot of stuff, but I care what people think about me and I don't like conflict.  And if people aren't okay with me, I fret.  I'd be okay with dropping some of that.


4. What is sacred to you?

My time.  Don't waste it.  Don't take advantage of my willingness to help.  Don't expect more of me than you are willing to give yourself.  Also, don't ask me to get up really early on Saturdays.  I may do it, but I will whine.  


5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?


For a long time, I couldn't stand it.  Now, if I have time to make it, I like to add brown sugar, apples and a little bit of peanut butter.  So basically, I make a cookie.


6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?

I love a good sunset.  I'm assuming that you mean time of day and not a poorly written YA series.  Of course, that stirs up some feelings too.



7. Something you're looking forward to next month?

I'm looking forward to hanging out with my bestie a little later this month.  We don't get to see each other as often anymore, so any time we get to spend together is pretty special.  



8. Insert your own random thought here.


I'm a little sad that is doesn't look like we will really have any snow days here this year.  Winter has been warmer and wetter than normal, which happens here some years.  While this means we will get out of school a little earlier, there's something fun about getting an unplanned day off now and again.  Plus, no snow makes for a very long February and March.  But such is the life of a teacher, I suppose.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge (On a Thursday)

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now? 

All Songs And Performances.  I'm in the middle of three days of auditions for the school musical.


2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?

I'm typically the first person to speak up.  I have the gift of administration (we used to call it being bossy), so I'm perfectly fine sharing what I think.  It's typically a good thing, but I think that because I have a loud speaking voice and a passion for what I'm talking about, it sometimes comes across as being pushy, even if I'm not.



3. What do you remember best about being 12? 

When I was 12, I was starting the 8th grade, and I remember being surrounded by a fun group of friends.  That year, the HS boys baseball team played at Busch Stadium and all of my friends and their parents went up and stayed over night and we just had the best time.  Every time I hear the song "Cheap Seats" by Alabama, I think of that weekend.



4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why?

Apparently, I'm Rabbit, which honestly, seems about right.



5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? 

I'm still learning how to work my iPhone after always having a Droid.  I'm loving having a Podcast app that I can download my favorites straight to.  The Popcast is my favorite and has gotten me through a few long drives recently!



6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL)...you have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

Those are all pretty fabulous!  My immediate response is San Juan, PR because it is so incredibly beautiful and I didn't get to experience near as much of it as I wanted to when I was there years ago.  But I would also love going to San Antonio so that I could see my great aunt who lives there and really can't travel anymore.  I keep saying I'm going to go down there again to see her, but I haven't had the chance.


7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what? 

Oh, I'm such a music person.  I can connect a song with just about every big moment in my life.  The first one that came to mind was "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack.  I heard that song for the first time in my living room in college because Crys worked for the radio station and had a preview track.  A bunch of us were together toward the end of our first or second year of college and I just remember how happy I was to be listening to that song with all these friends I loved so dearly.  But I could probably pick a dozen or more others in this category.


8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I haven't done the Hodgepodge in ages but in an effort to blog more, I couldn't resist!  It was always one of my favorite blogs, and even though I'm late to the party this week, I'm going to try to join in more again!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Once Upon A Time

It's been a really long time since I kept this blog up regularly.  I don't really know why I stopped to be honest, other than just not really taking the time.  And that's unfortunate, because I have "met" some of the best people because of this little corner of the internet.  My goal for 2017 is to try to come here a little more often.  I've set some personal goals for this year, so maybe I will come here to discuss them.

Those goals include:

  • Reading two books a month that aren't for school purposes
  • Taking some steps (baby though they may be) to improve my personal health
  • To find ways to put love, peace, and goodness into the world by my actions and my finances (and by any other ways I can contribute)
  • To focus on the joy, even when my default setting is worst-case scenario
These are seemingly small things, but I'm good with that.  I'm old enough to know that I'm not good with sweeping change.  I get really into for a minute and then I get frustrated or bored or whatever and stop trying.  I'm focusing on achieving the small things, because enough small things can turn into something bigger.  I think that part of that may be coming by here and sharing again.  Even if no reads it, I think it's something I'd like to do for myself.  So, I'll see you soon!