Friday, October 09, 2009
We flew from St. Thomas to Philadelphia last night - changing planes in San Juan, Puerto Rico. DH slept, I watched the "Star Trek" movie (which had a confusing plot, but since I grew up on Star Trek it was fun) - but that left me an hour or so with just my iPod and a dark plane.
We were above the clouds, it was dark, the cabin was unlit, most people were sleeping as I lip synced to my faves - and I glanced out the window. There it was, riding above the clouds, a gibbous moon (I love that word "gibbous") - three-quarters of a white glowing ethereal disk, just floating in the sky, almost lit from within. Gorgeous. Lovely. One of those rare moments with a different view of a normal object, when one really sees the object in a new and different way.
I almost woke DH to show him and share this moment, but he's such a deep sleeper, not to mention a terrible flyer - so I kept the moon to myself, as the glow lit up my side of the plane.
Phebe - my name - is Greek for light, as in Phoebe Artemis, goddess of the moon. She was there last night.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I wrote a presentation proposal for the National Art Education Association annual convention - something like 5000 art educators meet each year and it's wonderful and inspirational and rejuvenating.
AND I GET TO BE A PRESENTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And of course my presentation is on our mosaic mural project, how it has included almost all subject areas, how kids who aren't my students volunteered to help, how the community pitched in, all that.
WOW, I am SOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I'm 55. I know I don't look that old to the average viewer, I've been blessed with plump cheeks and skin that doesn't wrinkle a lot. But I also have monthly facials to cope with the dark splotches I developed on my high cheekbones, I color my hair (medium brown with grey is just way too mousey a color for my artistic self), and I see the sagging chin, fine lines around my mouth, and sore knees and back and shoulders.
I feel like a "tweenior" - you know, there are the tweeners, the kids who are pre-pubescent but not quite little kids. Well, someone needs to come up with a phrase for those of us who are moving out of middle-middle age toward senior age - I think tweenior fits well. So much better than the "woman of a certain age" which implies raging menopause and frumpy clothes and all that.
Because despite the hot flashes and widening waist and worn out joints, I have more energy than I did 40+ lbs ago. I have more patience than I did when it was hard to walk up the stairs at school, when my knees and my back would go out frequently, when I'd huff and puff as I walked because it was so much work to move.
Now I can walk 5 to 8 miles a day with no problem. I race up and down the stairs at school with little effort. I'm out of the "plus" size clothes, and in many cases I'm not even an XL - a plain old L will fit fine - so I'm out of the old lady-ish clothes and back to my fashionista self.
Some things will never be the same - I'll always have knee and back problems, having fallen after a hurricane and torn everything in one knee. I'll always have problems finding jeans that fit, because I'm long waisted and have never had a small waist. And, well, the "girls" will never be what they were pre-menopause.
But I have wisdom (I like to think), I have life experience, I've travelled and had fun, I continue to travel and have fun, I found a wonderful DH who likes to do similar things, and I like to think I've been a positive influence on my students and the people around me.
So - life is good. Even at tweenior status. Life is good.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Woohoo, maintenance men are replacing light bulbs and ballasts in my classroom, storeroom, kiln room!!!!!!!!!! The lights have only been out for two years, I guess someone figured it was time to fix them. (We've had this on our maintenance repair list for two years.)
The guys were very nice, and thought it was quite funny that I was so excited about the lights and ballasts. I showed them the kiln (which is currently firing) and explained that we've been loading and unloading it in the dark - they were amazed, but, well, school goes on whether we have lights or not. (There was the year the transformer caught fire and burned the wires underground - two wings of the school had no lights or running water for two or three weeks, until wire came from the mainland. In the mean time, we had mid-term exams, and our faculty and kids suffered through because we didn't want to delay exams and mess up the students' schedules.)
Let there be light!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, October 05, 2009
As I've mentioned, I was in a car accident this summer. I arrived in Washington DC for a class at the National Gallery of Art, was on the ground for maybe 15 minutes, and my taxi was rearended by another taxi. I ended up in an ambulance (neck brace and backboard and all) and went to an ER, with my driver in the gurney next to me.
I was okay - stiff and sore for weeks and weeks, but after lots of ice, heat, electromassage therapy, massage, dr visits, x-rays, CAT scans, and my chiropractor - plus rest - I'm slowly improving. I can now do wall pushups and crunches, though limited, since my neck and upper back are still pretty stiff and sore by the end of the day.
But I still can't sleep on my side, I can't turn my head all the way, on and on with things that aren't back to normal.
BUT - the person who has it worse - my BFF at school, my matron of honor, the woman I've taught next door to for 21 years, fell a few weeks ago - and she put out her arm to protect her face. She fell on her elbow, which was all ripped up (and it became infected, and she was on antibiotics for two weeks). She's gone through the x-rays and MRIs and scans and all - and she's been told that she needs surgery, she ripped ligaments and tore the rotator cuff and totally messed up her shoulder.
Like many women, myself included, she's had shoulder issues off and on for a while. We're in our early 50s, we carry too much stuff around, we're both active, we've both lost weight (and we share clothes back and forth). So her shoulder wasn't in great shape to begin with. Now, she needs her DH to help her dress, she needs students to carry stuff around the room for her, she can barely use her left arm.
And she's going to another dr for a second opinion before agreeing to surgery.
So - I keep telling myself, when my neck or shoulders hurt, that it could be worse. My dear friend has it worse. And she knows people who are worse off. While it doesn't lessen our pain or frustration with these current limitations, it does decrease our complaining. Because someone, somewhere, would be happy to be in our situation and not in theirs. Someone ALWAYS has it worse.
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