Sunday, September 05, 2010
"Isn't this the best?" That was what Tom would say. Often. Viewing a sunset, visiting with friends, enjoying his family, Tom always saw the bright spot in everything and commented on it. He was the kind of person who never brought you down - he was a lifter of spirits.
Tom was a teacher for part of his career, and an administrator for most of it. He was one of those remarkable principals who was loved by both the teachers he worked with and the students. While he approached life with kindness, he also approached it with great humor. He was fun to be with. Tom wasn't one of those easy going, fun loving people who backed out on the hard stuff, either. He was always ready to pitch in and do the hard stuff.
So many people from so many different walks of life were at the church today to honor him, support his family, and to try to make sense of this tragedy. Students, Sunday school students, teachers, friends, family, golfing partners, his fellow band members, and his aikido partners all gathered to remember him. It was a lovely service, really. So many of the things that represent his passions were on display; his guitar, drums, golf clubs, and his gi were there.... very sweet, but sad not to have him there in body as well as in spirit.
I knew Tom first as a school principal, then later he joined the aikido classes I attending. It was always a pleasure to spend time with him.
From left to right:
Tom, my friend Jeff, Miss Miyaki (who used to be one of the Emperor of Japan's body guards and an extraordinary aikido teacher), and my friend Judy.
Rest in Peace, my friend. I hope you are where you can sit back, take it all in, and say, "Isn't this the best?"
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Woohoo! I had fun!
I met with Shannon for my first personal training session. I had interviewed her a couple of weeks ago to make certain that she understood, appreciated, and was willing to work with my back injury and physical restrictions. I liked her when I met with her, and hoped that I would like her once we started working together. My first start day with her was supposed to be last week, but I had to work at the school work bee, so I had to move our first session back a week.
Those of you who read my blog 'So it Begins' know that I was worried about fighting work stress and stress hormone weight gain - this is just what I was talking about. The work bee wasn't bad. It was fun. But it was a weekend day I had to cancel things that are important to my well being; my fitness program and my music lesson. Then I had to work a 12 hour day on Thurs. and will have another day like this on Tuesday. And guess what? I have gained 2 pounds since the beginning of the school year - Sept. 1. Stress. I have lost enough weight that 2 pounds isn't a huge thing... it is the upward trend that concerns me. But, I digress...
I did have my first session today. It started with a cardio warm-up on the treadmill. Sweet Shannon had planned a program of weight training, cardio, and balance based on my talk with her about my injuries, current state of fitness, and concerns. It was very appropriate in terms of not stressing my lower back and seemed balanced in terms of addressing different muscle groups and cardio. I was very pleased.
Okay, here's a bragging moment.
At the end of our session Shannon told me how impressed she was. She thought that based on my age and what I told her about my injuries and my unhappiness with my fitness levels that I would need to start at a lower level of exercise. As we went along (and I am very good at saying if something is too much) she realized that I could do a lot more than she anticipated. When our session was over, she was impressed with how fit I am in spite of it all.
It was a fun workout, I have a routine that I can do at the gym myself now, and I feel like a buff 60 year old.
After my session, I had to hurry home because I was expecting the delivery of the new Serta pillowtop mattress for the antique bed in the guest room. My king bed will go in the larger guest room when my Sleep Number bed arrives this coming Wednesday. So Mike moved the futon out of the smaller guest room and moved the antique bed in. The mattress arrived 10 minutes after I arrived home; well timed! I spent the rest of the day cleaning, organizing, and rearranging the guest room. I'm not quite done, but I am pleased with my progress.
Sorry, Stella was on the bed most of the time I was working, but was cuddling with Mike in the living room when I took the pics. So, no Stella fix for her fans.
Since I have been in such pain at night, I am moving into this room to enjoy the new mattress until my super bed arrives next week.
Tomorrow is Tom's funeral. The yin and yang of life - pleasure and sadness.
Birth and Death is a grave event;
How transient is life!
Every minute is to be grasped.
Time waits for nobody.
Inscription on a Zen Gong
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
It is always a little sad at the end of each school year when the children pack up their belongings. The carrels are suddenly devoid of the individual characteristics each child brings to his or her work space; the carrels lack the richness and personality that emanates from them while they are occupied by the children. The room, free of the clutter and evidence of many active children busy with projects, feels sterile and empty.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been bringing the classroom back to life: getting books, instruments, and materials out of storage, replacing equipment that has worn out, organizing the room and our materials, and whisking spider webs out of the study carrels.
The room is ready,
and I am ready.
The classroom may be cleaned and organized, but it all looks so empty!
I am looking forward to the room, the playground, the whole school, filling up with excited, spirited children and reflecting their unique and vibrant personalities. Tomorrow, they will come in full of excitement and enthusiasm, reconnecting with their friends and teachers. And yet another year of exploration and discovery will be under way.
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