Monday, November 03, 2014
I've been challenged to think of a time I used strength I didn't know I had until it was needed. It seems I've encountered this a number of times in my classroom teaching days. My first full-time job was at a tiny school where I wore many hats. My degree is in Music Education, but the first year I also taught Junior High Boys Health and Phys Ed, among other things. At the time I still had braces on my teeth, weighed less than 100 pounds, and was shorter than anyone in the entire class. Not only were they were bigger than me, they seemed to delight in trying to flummox me. However, after being assigned to write a physical education paper on flatulence, colonoscopy, and gut flora, they were able to curb their after-lunch intestinal concerts. Yes, I coached them through the entire alimentary canal, so to speak. I was extremely glad for the idea and that it had its intended effect. Those were some research papers to grade!! Teaching has definitely challenged me to stay engaged with the amazing world in which we live. It has required me to think on my feet, to stretch my world view, and to remain optimistic even when the job seems impossible.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Sometimes when I discuss slow tempo with music students, I talk about an event held annually in India. The goal in this event is to move the slowest on a bicycle. Moving slowly on a bicycle is quite an accomplishment, and so is consciously slowing down for life in general.
We, or a least I can speak for myself, believe that we can accomplish so much more if we push ourselves. Frankly I do need to do that most of the time, especially for repetitive tasks. Speaking of which, one reason I have to push myself to get these done is that I have not allotted a sane amount of time to do life maintenance. I'm working on this in almost every area of my life. It's not easy letting go of the desire to have something done just so or of the illusion that life's minutes are going to allow me to "get to" everything. My major illusion is that these pesky little chores will get done on the fly, "just as soon as..." - and you can fill the blank in with any number of seemingly urgent things to do. And some of these really are urgent.
While I'm being frank, I may as well admit that there are a fair number of changes I should make but don't because of that nefarious character so many SparkPeople have mentioned: PERFECTIONISM. Sometimes this nixes a change because of striving to make the change just right and all at once. More often for me it is because I'm doggedly trying to get A, B and C done to a T before moving on.
Sure, it's great to finish what you start, but so often I have merely intended to start. I have researched and gathered knowledge. Life events occur that call me to a different priority. Time marches on. Sigh. It's OK to feel a little blue about the detours, but it's important to line up today's priorities with today's reality. The willingness to flex when needed was more valuable than reaching that original goal, but that the time for the projects set aside is past. De-cluttering the should-have-done list and paring down the think-of-what-I missed always exacts a price, but the purchase of time and a lighter load makes the regret short lived.
It helps to remind myself of what I "purchased" during those super difficult years. Would I really want to have traded the time responding to my children's teachable moments for a mending project? Would I exchange those precious hectic years caring for my parents for keeping things tidier? Will I exchange my personal peace in the present thinking about why I didn't get more help or what I should have done differently? Not really.
For my Spark journey today, I plugged away at several things that need to be done since one of my goals is to organize two upstairs rooms. These rooms have seen an ebb and flow of success. I did not totally finish this time, either. I worked to focus on only one thing at a time and to not spend attention on side issues, and it felt good to make progress. Adios to that twinge of angst over things I forgot I had and got along just fine without. Hello re-discoveries that might enhance this year's homeschool program with my son.
Then I got outside and enjoyed some of a clear summer day while gardening. In some ways I did not really slow down my activity, but I did slow the pace of the "shoulds" enough to enjoy the sun and soil and to tuck away a new memory. Tomorrow I plan to spend some time just walking, maybe not even fast. Just walking to see what there is to see. Then I'll come back in and have at some more dust bunnies!
Monday, July 21, 2014
I had such a busy weekend. I took my son and brother out to Columbus OH so we could attend my nephew's wedding reception. I felt really good that we had been proactive enough with packing that I did not start the trip already tired. That's a rare happening, but we started getting everything together early in the week. We always have to pack food for my son since he has a laundry list of allergies. My daughter helped organize my brother, and she cleaned his kitchen since he'll be staying with my other brother for a week.
We knew almost no one other than the newlyweds and their immediate family since most of our relatives had been at the actual wedding several weeks ago. But the advantage was that we met our nephew's newly acquired in-laws and enjoyed getting acquainted.
Then on the way home I had a jolting surprise. I decided to stop for lunch and fuel. I checked my purse...and....no card holder! Where was it? My son and I searched the many tote bags we had. We ransacked the cooler. We pondered whether or not we had seen it lying somewhere back at my Columbus brother's house. I knew I didn't have enough gas to get back there.
On top of that, some years back I had had to be rescued by the same brother when I plain out forgot my wallet driving to Philadelphia with my daughter and her friends for their first summer camp. I really didn't want to have to appeal for help for the SAME mistake, that is, if the cards were even at his house!
Just then I thought maybe I hadn't looked under the seat. Voila! There they were. Oh joy!
But the turtle? That was yet another interesting sight. As we resumed our journey, I looked ahead and saw a large lump that seemed to be moving. Yes, it was a good sized turtle! Miraculously the traffic was light enough that it seemed to have made its way across at least one lane of interstate, last I could see in my rearview mirror. I hope it survived the rest of the trip!
Saturday, July 12, 2014
I still have the same goals: to lose 40 pounds, to actively seek emotional fortitude, to eke out some proactivity every day.
for weight loss: get some movement for the first loss in a LONG time!! through strength training - immediate goal would be three times a week
for emotional fortitude: exercise, planned pleasures, time management on at least a few things - immediate goal would be to focus on structuring the day to make an earlier bedtime more likely
for proactivity: plan the exercise time, plan week-end meals, tweak food budget and plan, and continue to ponder long-range goals so as to better prioritize short range activities
That's all folks!
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