A host of adjectives to describe my day: Discombobulated ForgetfulConfused Exhausted D a z e d Disorganized Punchy Perfunctory Hazy
No real explanation - save for staying up too late last night. Off to an early bed this evening to see if that results in more upbeat adjectives tomorrow. Quote of the day: A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~ Irish proverb
She lived in a small house in a small, serene neighborhood in a small community filled with small-minded people. Her days were filled with small, mundane, repetitive tasks: work, errands, chores, shopping, homework, TV, laundry. Her goals seemed small, it now occurred to her: job, marriage, kids, home, car, dog. All achieved . . . and she took no small pleasure in most of these accomplishments. She endeavored each day to fill her soul with gratitude for the small things, to live in the present, to appreciate all she had earned or been given. Yet - she was overwhelmed recently with just how small her life was: no community of friends, no outside activities, no hobbies. At home there was no small talk at the end of the day, no small gestures of affection. Just small noises coming from separate rooms. Small comments - just enough to function. Sometimes small, sideways glances of disgust or frustration. Sometimes in the still, small moments of the night when all others slept she dreamed - she no longer wanted small. She wanted BIG. She wanted loud, busy. She wanted the glitz and the glamour. The fame and the fortune. She wanted her name to be familiar and beloved by the world. She wanted to create, to be sought out, to lecture, to travel, to lead, to learn. She wanted to dance and to dine. She wanted notoriety. She wanted connection to others. She wanted invitations and accolades. She wanted limousines and red carpets and fancy dresses. She wanted book signings and gallery showings. She wanted philanthropy and foundations. She wanted BIG! She wanted EXTRAORDINARY! She had always felt this was her destiny - but time seemed to be running out. The small, persistent second-hand was ticking away. Perhaps she was unrealistic. Perhaps she was wrong. Perhaps small was all she would get. There was an element of doubt, of course. Fortunately, it was small.
Quote of the day: Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or Shakespeare. ~H.F. Hedge
I'll be honest - I read my horoscope in the paper, and online, daily. I do so mostly (99%) for entertainment value. But, occasionally I find insight or tidbits of truth that make me think. This was true of yesterday's entry in my paper: Sagittarius: Animals puff up when they are threatened. Fur or feathers stand on end; fish take in more air to appear bigger; people do the same thing. When you see this reaction, ask: What is this person afraid of?
Intellectually I knew this - but it was a helpful reminder that anger in all its various nasty forms is just masking a deeper fear and that I should be more concerned about the fear and its cause than the anger that hurts my feelings or elicits my own anger in response. If individuals, and states and countries and governments could focus more on understanding and addressing our fears, there might be peace. What are we all so afraid of? Quote of the day: The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. ~Henry Louis Mencken
Thought I'd do a take on Oprah's column "What I Know For Sure" in her magazine -
What I know for sure...
Being judgmental never results in anything good. Be open-minded, be forgiving, be kind, be positive. These will bring you what you want in life - at least I think so - I'm kinda counting on it.
On the flip side, however, don't be a doormat. Believe in yourself, respect yourself, don't give away your personal power, be confident, be strong, stand up for what you believe. You are worth it and YOU MATTER.
There is an ancient Latin phrase: "In vino veritas". Translated it means "In wine there is truth". Tonight, it was not wine, rather beer (two to be precise) that opened my eyes to this realization. No, folks - not an alcoholic - just joined some colleagues from school to celebrate a birthday. One member of the party was a woman with whom I have had a rather strained relationship over the years. I have chosen to release my grudge against her - and while we may never be "besties" I see now that we can get along and might even LIKE each other one day.
My apologies to all those upon which I have passed judgement - I was wrong. We are all dealing with SOMETHING in our lives. Be kind.
Quote of the day: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Dalai Lama
I reached home before I remembered that I had meant to stop at the drugstore to pick up a prescription before coming home. Slightly perturbed, I dropped my bags, threw in a quick load of laundry, told my teenage son I had to head out again, and jumped back in the car. I drove, slightly too fast, through the tree-lined neighborhood, my mind singularly focused on the errand at hand. I knew I would get irritated if anyone or anything got in my way - a dog-walker, a slow car, a bicyclist. I just wanted to be done and get back home, strip off the work clothes, don my sweats and settle in. Fortunately the road was clear. As I rounded a bend, I saw them in the distance. An elderly couple it looked like, slowly crossing the street. I checked my irritation - and my speed - as I neared. Something about them commanded my attention. They were similar in stature: short, slightly bent at the waist. They took small, slow steps. Each wore a hat. He, a black, flat cap. She - well, I didn't get a good look. I could see each had alabaster hair curling out from under their head gear. The waning afternoon was sunny, mild, yet each wore a beige sweater. In the gentleman's hand was a cane, but he carried it by the shaft next to his side, rather than using it. "They're so cute" was my initial thought. "Just out for a stroll."
As I slowly passed them, I took my eyes off the road long enough to see that they were holding hands - tightly, at once supporting each other and loving each other.
My throat constricted. I drove on consumed suddenly by the fear that I would never find myself in a similar scenario thirty years hence. I didn't even know I wanted this, until I saw it.
Quote of the day: Grow old with me! The best is yet to be. ~Robert Browning
Twenty things to which I would always say "Yes"... 1. Summer 2. An ice cream cone, coffee chip ice cream 3. A good book, cozy chair, warm blanket, roaring fire, glass of wine (I consider this ONE thing! 4. A hug and kiss 5. A trip to Paris - or Italy - or Spain - or... 6. New shoes 7. Financial freedom 8. A puppy 9. A summer baseball game 10. A new journal 11. A warm cup of coffee 12. Poetry - writing it, reading it, sharing it 13. A best friend 14. A house overlooking the beach 15. Freedom 16. A bunch of fresh tulips 17. Kindness, compassion, empathy (again, ONE thing) 18. A prime rib, baked potato, salad dinner 19. Music - all kinds ( well, maybe not Rap so much) 20. Good health ...to be continued, I'm sure. Quote of the day: “Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.” ~Pearl S. Buck
I won't fill up these posts with my rants about THE TEST. But today was DAY ONE and I had managed to work myself up into a real tither over the weekend.
I don't stress about much - ever. Not worth it. Life is too short. But I made the mistake of reading endless Facebook posts regarding THE TEST from around the country - and became more and more worked up over the weekend. I must have questioned my poor daughter at least ten different times about the walkout she wanted to participate in today, about the test schedule at her school, about her graduation requirements - on and on - poor kid.
As I went to bed my stomach was churning. "This is ridiculous" I thought to myself, "You haven't been at all stressed up til now - what gives?" This morning was no better. Shallow breathing, mind sifting through all the possibilities of what could go wrong, or things I might forget to do or say. I KNEW I wanted to have one last conversation with my kids before we tested - I felt I had not adequately prepared them - they needed to know that while I hoped they would try to do their best, that these results in no way defined them or their abilities, that THEY shouldn't stress out about this, that we all just needed to get through it and move on.
I had to scramble a bit this morning figuring out who the latest kids were to opt out, where the materials were that I needed to administer the testing, other logistical issues. At one point I felt the tears coming. I shook them off. This is madness - I would NOT let myself cry over such a pointless and absurd state of affairs.
I spoke with my students once they all settled in, got the test started with only a few glitches, made it through about an hour of testing, successfully logged everyone out. My opt out kids were amazing, as they sat in a corner of the Library quietly working or reading. My Instructional Coach was a lifesaver in getting me to breathe and relax. My testing kids were brilliant - listening, following instructions, working hard.
I am much better now having made it through DAY ONE. No doubt my emotions will run the gamut over the next few months - but I'll deal! May all of you who are walking this same path with me be at ease and may all go well for you.
Quote of the Day: Why waste your time worrying? Has it ever solved anything? Breathe. Think. Solve. Much more effective.
at once churning, engulfing and delicately floating, ethereal
excitement leaps and curls around
transforming the ordinary spaces
optimism and anticipation
thwart any opportunity for
but nests in a darkened corner of the soul
obscured by potential and belief
accomplishment, achievement, conquest
ideas explode, rush in, bombard
a lightness of being, fragile yet sound
permeates each creative cell
Hope bubbles, then cascades over
of what is to come
Quote of the day: “Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh