Saturday, October 29, 2011
We dodged the snow bullet here. It's been a chilly day, but with blue skies and a gentle breeze. I managed to get myself to Body Pump this morning and worked out hard. I have added more weight to my workout and wasn't able to complete quite all of the reps in the triceps and biceps routines. The weights I had been using weren't offering enough challenge, but the next size up were a little too much by the end of the routines. I am figuring that next time, or the time after, I'll be able to complete the routine without pooing out at the end.
After returning home though, I have been a lazy bum. Yesterday's school activities wore me out and what I really felt like doing was reading and taking a nap. I know I deserve this kind of rest, but always feel a bit guilty when I don't 'accomplish' things. I am rereading Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens. Many years ago, my then husband and I went to see the performance of it in Cleveland. It is a long book, and it was a long play - so long in fact, that they performed it over two evenings.
The next book I plan to start (consecutively) is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Stella, my Partner-in-Sloth, or How We Spent Saturday
Friday, October 28, 2011
This is my mother-in-law, Glenna, just last Christmas. Around 10 years ago, she took a course in clowning with her church and decided to become part of a clown ministry. She knew that I sew, and wondered if I would make her a clown outfit. I bought volumes of colorful fabric, rickrack, and a clown outfit pattern.. The clown suit was hard to make, but the end result was quite delightful. I did not let her know that I was actually making it for her, and gave it to her for a Christmas present. She was absolutely thrilled with it.
Sadly, we lost Glenna to a head injury this past May. It is still hard to imagine that she is not here and I know Christmas will be lonely without her.
When we went through her belongings, I brought the clown suit home, and tucked it away in a storage bag. Now, I have to confess, I do not like clowns. I am actually a bit of a clown-o-phobe ( coulophobic ) and avoid them whenever possible. However, I decided to resurrect her clown outfit to wear for the children's Enchanted Forest at school. It is much too big for me as Glenna was a foot taller than me. I entertained the children (and their parents) who were waiting for their tours through the Enchanted Forest, leading them in some songs with a canary yellow ukulele. I had a good time, and so did the children and parents. It was kind of fun to get people's reactions. It seems that more people like clowns than don't.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The week before Halloween is alway a hyper energized one at school. The children are all fired up about Halloween, and my students are busy writing scripts and making costumes and props for the Enchanted Forest acts they'll put on for the other children in the school and for parents and grandparents. We will be performing the Enchanted Forest acts all afternoon tomorrow, so I am glad that, even though the high temperature will be in the low 50's it is far better than the rainy 40's we had today.
One cool thing this week was discussing Trick or Treat for UNICEF with the class preliminary to passing out their UNICEF boxes. I have a short UNICEF video I show them, then we discuss the needs of children around the world. After that, the children set a goal for how much they want to try to collect. They decided on a class goal of $300, which is a nice amount for 16 children. One of the things children have done in the past has been to add to their boxes from their allowances if they did not collect their goal amount while out trick or treating. This is not a requirement, it is what those children have wanted to do.
One thing I love about UNICEF is that children see so much on the media about war, disasters, etc. They are concerned about it, but they are also helpless to do anything about it. Collecting for UNICEF empowers them to make a positive impact on some of the tragic situations in the world. They love to feel like there is something THEY can do.
On the home front, I was happy to get back to Body Pump this week after missing two sessions. Last Wed. I was not feeling very well, so I opted to stay home for some R&R. Then I had a bad bout of insomnia Friday night, finally fell asleep around 4:00 am, and overslept so I could not make my Saturday morning class. I am a little sore after last night's session because I was a bit out of shape. It is a good sore, though. I kind of like the feeling of my muscles telling me that they worked really hard.
Fernando was out of town last week, so I had two weeks to work on speed on my tremolo and arpeggios, plus some of the difficult passages in pieces I am working on. I have been pleased with my progress this past week, and was happy to get back to my lesson this week.
Okay, I have to admit that I am really working this evening on seeing my glass half full-ish instead of half empty-ish. Fernando now has a student who has a lesson after mine. Wah! Pout! Whine! The next student seemed like a nice enough man... but darn it, now we can't be so caught up in what we are doing that we go past time. Half an hour and my time is up. I am trying to be magnanimous and be happy that for the three months I have been having lessons with Fernando, he was generous with his time with me. BUT .... a little piece of me hopes that Guy-Who-Comes-After-Me will decide he needs a different time slot.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
This morning I read two inspirational quotes on Spark:
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
- John Wooden, Hall of Fame college basketball coach
This one bothered me a little, I have to admit, although the written reflection on it was more to my liking.
My take; Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you cannot do. Just because you cannot do something now, does not mean you cannot do it ever.
I prefer this mindset:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”~Lao Tzu
I do not let my students (or myself) say "I can't do this." If those words or thoughts are expressed, they have to be replaced by "I am working on this." The difference in mindset is not just semantics; it changes the way we approach things on a neurological level and paves the way to success.
In addition, excuses get in the the way of success. "I can't do this because...."
Uh, uh.. if you want to, there is every likelihood you can. Have you seen clips of, or know, someone without legs running marathons? It happens you know. Earlier this month, I heard a most remarkable performance of a remarkable concerto. It was Beethoven's last concerto, written when he was profoundly deaf. It was so brilliantly written it transcended time.
So, do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you cannot do. Set your goals, and approach them step by step, minute by minute, day by day and your WILL achieve them. Will there be plateaus and set backs? Of course! That is the nature of progress. Twists and turns are in the most interesting of paths. They heighten our awareness and offer new learning opportunities.
Obstacles can will be in your path, but they do not have to slow you down. They can actually enhance your progress by adding new challenges.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Mixed reviews about my weekend.
I think I may have fallen asleep around 3:30 am Friday night after another bout of pernicious insomnia. This resulted in waking up too late to go to Body Pump, which was a huge disappointment. I have gotten in a few short walks this weekend, and really should do some weight training on my own since I missed body pump, which means I should do that as soon as I complete my blog so I can unwind enough to fall asleep tonight.
I am not usually a big shopper, but I did go shopping on Saturday to freshen up my fall wardrobe. I found a pair of stretch cords, a sweater, and a lightweight 'yoga' hoody. Who knows why it would be a 'yoga' hoody, but it is a very soft cotton which makes a good layering shirt for the chilly weather we're having. I wore my beloved cowboy boots out shopping and was glad to find that my hip tolerated them. It's been a few years since I could get away with wearing them without some kind of punishment technique from my hip.... just one more way to measure progress.
Speaking of measuring progress, I am back to my optimal weight after an initial gain from the beginning of the school year. This is one more reason for the need for a few new items for fall, I fit my clothes differently since last fall, weight lifting has really toned up my thighs and middle.
Last night I was able to fall asleep right away, and sleep most of the night. It was a pleasure to sleep in until 8:30.... almost unheard of in my life of waking before the crack of dawn. I had coffee with Mike, then went out for brunch with two friends I have not had a chance to visit with recently. One of my friends has just picked up the guitar recently and hoped I could come over and help her with the lessons she has been working on. That was fun. She was doing well, working out of the Mel Bay book 1, and figuring out how to read notes. What she did not understand was the timing, so I went over that with her, while Stella and her dogs had a good romp outside. My dog ~ you know, that charming Stella?~ came inside and peed on her rug. That was embarrassing! So guitar session over, time to clean the rug and take my errant poodle home.
It has been a gorgeous weekend. Tomorrow is my hiking day with my class, so I know I will get good exercise in, and then hopefully have time to go to Zumba in the evening.
There were some disappointments this weekend, but it was overall pleasant.
Now I need to get off the computer, lift some weights and work on my own guitar lessons.
Now does this look like a dog who would pee on a friend's carpet??? Yeesh!
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