the roof, the umbrella, my head
Blinding in the dark
across the horizon, across black skies, across the insides of my eyelids
Building the crescendo
until CRACK it makes you jump
Better to stay in bed.
My motivation is not great to begin with, but it is always worse during the days right after I get done teaching, and before the kids get done with school. I have gone into work a few times, and I have done a few little things here and there…the laundry most notably, but I have started cleaning out little places. Nothing that has made a noticeable difference, but I know that a few things are done.
It feels so much like wasting valuable time, no kids, no schedule, I dream about that when I am running hither and yon the rest of the year. But something holds me back. I think I just need to recuperate. I need to rest, and play a little. And completely veg-out. I am still feeling exhausted by the time I start dinner. I am still so tired. I do have a good list going, and I have crossed a few things off! Woot! But not anywhere near the amount that I had planned before finals week.
It really bothers me. A lot.
This is the time that I cherish, yet I feel guilty about it, and feel like I am squandering such a great opportunity. I am mostly disappointed in myself.
Here is what I am proud of: I have walked every ding-dang day this week. Yay me!
Here is what I am grateful for:
- Nicholas having his best friend over tonight for a sleep over.
- Sarah’s ambition
- Katie being willing to take a risk and join a traveling softball team in addition to her city league.
- Having a long, leisurely lunch with my best friend today. It doesn’t happen often enough.
- Crossing several things off my list, and keeping up with putting things on my list as I think about them.
It looks a little bit like snow, doesn’t it? The first time my kids saw the cotton seed drifting in the breeze on a warm spring day, they thought it was snowing. They were confused, because it was warm out, but how can your eyes be wrong? I had to let them out of the car to go and touch it. To feel the soft downy, cottony seeds. I also had to show them the cottonwood trees where the seeds were born before they took flight. That day was full of wonder. I remember it every spring when I see little drifts in the corners of the curbs. My friend at work loves cottonwood seed. She calls it “magical” because she grew up down south, where there are no cottonwood trees. She was lucky enough to be on a photo shoot with her kids when the cotton was flying. The way she said those pictures turned out, made me remember my own kid’s wonder….magical.
I believe there is magic all around us, should we choose to look.
I have been playing around with writing my very own myth this week. I am not far at all. The story isn’t even there yet. Only a character and a tree house, and the weather. I have a whole bunch of writing exercises that I plan on completing the next time I sit down with my laptop intent on writing an original myth. I am SO not a writer. I am eternally stuck. I know I need to PLAY with this, but I don’t really know where to start. The starting is always my weakness. My fatal flaw. Elizabeth is amazing though. I can’t really even put into words how much magic she is radiating through the computer screen at me.
I will stick with it, and hopefully I will have something to show you at the end of it all.
I still have a long way to go, however!
I hope I can find that specific magic sometime soon.
Tonight was Nicholas’ night. He and Katie are both playing ball on Mondays and Wednesdays. Jeff and I switch kids. I like watching Nicholas and Katie. It is the rest of the team that is the problem.
Being a teacher is hard. It means I have expectations for behavior of other people’s kids. I am sort of hard-wired now to correct behavior of Elementary aged kids and it is a hard habit to break. It was nice to have these expectations during my years as a Girl Scout Leader. It is also nice because whenever Jeff coaches ANYTHING I stress the importance of DISCIPLINE.
Nicholas’ baseball team needs some DISCIPLINE. Right. Now. By the end of the game tonight I was ready to blow a gasket. Kids were being sneaky and putting a bat between a teammate’s legs and pulling up quickly….ouch. They were sitting on the end of bats and others were kicking the bats. They were climbing the fence in front of the bench. They were pulling grass and throwing it at each other. They were sword fighting with the bats. They were doing anything you can imagine, except paying attention to the game. And the (four!) coaches were doing NOTHING.
I yelled a couple of times to sit down so we could see. (Okay, maybe more than just a couple.) I also yelled at some of the butt poking boys to stop being gross, which got the coaches attention enough to say, “Knock it off.”
Poor Nicholas, he can’t join in the fun because he looks at me and knows. He knows I am about to lose it. What is amazing to me is all of the kid’s parents are sitting right there as well! Nobody says a word.
I may be crazy, but I think it awful. I think that kids should be expected to act appropriately during organized events. I know that I have high expectations, and I like to goof around just as much as anyone, just not during a game. And I feel the same way when Katie’s team is goofy, although her team doesn’t hold a candle to Nicholas’.
We have always supported out City teams. These are the teams where there are no try-outs, teams are made so they are kept fairly even, and there is not a lot of pressure. I love that because then if we miss a game, it isn’t a big deal. It is fun, and light. (Hockey is NOT like that. It is very serious.) However, after this year, I think I am going to support going to a traveling team. I don’t want to, because it is very serious. I don’t think we need to be very serious all year round, but I can’t stand the behavior and lack of respect that I saw tonight. It is sad.
I hope I can find a little more patience so I am not so worked up the next time Nicholas plays. I really like watching him and Katie play ball. It is all the other kids that I could do without.
P.S. I would like to add: If the coaches set high expectations for the kids, I am certain that the kids would rise to the occasion. Many are joining in because nothing is done when you are goofing around. Baseball can be boring, so who wouldn’t want to goof around? If the coaches were engaged and using the time on the bench to teach as they watched the game, my guess is we wouldn’t have a problem.
I will leave you tonight with a little Guns and Roses (This is where I got the title for the post):
I was working on my remaining tasks for The Magic of Myth class today. I know that the website is going to close down soon, and I really want to finish it! So, I went back to the April 10th class. I had commented on that post, but I wanted to figure out where my BRAIN was. I also went back in my Writer’s Notebook to see what I had written. It is amazing how my thinking throughout the first three (four?) weeks shifted around. I just shake my head and say a prayer of thanks that I talked myself into signing up for this class.
Anyway, there were many questions that were asked at the end of Elizabeth’s posts. We were invited to answer them, or not. We could go our own way if the spirit moved us, or we could list out each question and answer them. I did both. Some days my thinking was already off and I ignored the questions, some days I needed the questions to find out what direction I wanted to go, some days I took one question and ran with it.
Now I really need those questions, because the flow of the class has been interrupted. Therefore, I began re-reading and re-thinking the questions I had answered. Finally, I found where I had left off, with this question:
How did your parents meet?
And, I didn’t know.
So, I called my mom. Here is the story:
My mom worked in Minneapolis, close to downtown. She was a Dental Assistant, and loved it. Those were the days where you went out to lunch with your work friends every single day. They would go to Murray’s on Wednesdays (I think?) because they always had a fashion show during lunch.
My mom, Mary Helen, and Jane went to lunch at a bar (the name long forgotten, but the sandwiches that were piled high with roast beef clearly recalled) one day in early to mid April, 1962.
My dad saw them come in. I don’t know who he was with, but he was working at NCR at that time.
When my mom and her friends were getting ready to leave, my dad approached her. “I’d like to meet you,” he said.
When my mom caught up with her friends she was a bit flustered. “I gave him my phone number, and I don’t know if I should have done that!” she told Mary Helen and Jane. Jane remarked, “You never know, you’ll probably marry him.”
My mom remembers that he came to her birthday party that year. Her birthday is April 28th. She doesn’t remember their first date, but she knows they went to some movies and went to Matt’s Bar a lot. My dad and his friends lived across the street from Matt’s.
They dated one month before they were engaged. They got married on September 23, 1962. My dad’s birthday.
I can’t believe how fast it all was! My mom was 26 when they got married. Contrast that with me: I dated Jeff for SEVEN years before we got married! However I was 16 when we met. That is all the information she gave me, but I think it would be fun to ask my dad from his perspective too. I will have to do that the next time he is having a good day.
This was just ONE question that was posed for our class. There were many more, and all so interesting and engaging. It is like taking a class on yourself! So wonderful. Thank you Elizabeth! Without this question, I would have never known this story!
Do you know how your parents met?
Yesterday I took the kids to the movie Maleficent. I looked online, and the listing said it began at 3:00, but when we got to the actual theater we found out it began at 3:30. Annoying, but I am calling it divine intervention. This made time for me to go and buy new running shoes.
I made it a goal to walk this summer, knowing how much I would rather sit on a soft surface instead. I am out of shape. Really. I also knew that it would be hard. Hard to get out of bed. Hard to “make time.” Hard because it will not be fun for a while.
Today, I woke up at 4:30 AM anticipating my first day of walking. Jeff was still sleeping, and I didn’t want to wake him. The wild card is Franklin who always gets up with me. He will stay in bed with me, but as soon as I get up, he gets up no matter who he is sleeping with. And once he is up? He wants EVERYBODY up. I stayed in bed until Jeff got up at 5:30. Then, I didn’t want to wake SARAH up. So I stayed in bed until 6:00. Then I got up. I put on my new shoes and walked out the door.
It was raining.
I kept walking.
Soon I heard a car coming from behind me. It was my husband. He threw me my raincoat. It warmed my heart.
I kept walking. With an open heart. I noticed the cardinals flitting here and there, and heard the songs of many birds. The rain dripped from my bangs, and the rain darkened the front of my blue sweatshirt. The evergreens were showing off the mint green tips of their branches. They looked like they had just gotten a manicure. There were worms in the street taking a squirm of their own. The breeze was slight and fragrant, the rain steady, but also light and gentle. I let my mind wander taking in the spring beauty, and letting sadness come remembering the dog who died earlier this spring when I approached that place in the road.
I was out later than usual, so the sun was up and there were a few people about. I felt the uncomfortable spots on my feet, and noted that I needed to get the inserts from my other shoes into these new ones–STAT. I greeted the people I met with a smile. I noticed the lilacs and the green of the grass and how black the pavement is when it is wet. I began today with an open heart. I would like to greet every day, and every moment that same way.
I finally feel able to sit down and write. I have been thinking about this dusty little blog on and off for what, FIVE months?! Well. Yes. Almost exactly five months. I have been reading and keeping up with those of you I know about, but for those I don’t know about, or those who don’t write, I hope you have had a wonderful 2014 so far.
So, here is just a glimpse of what my life has been like:
I taught four classes (16 credits) this past semester. I taught two classes of the lower-level developmental reading course, and two classes of the upper-level course. It was easier to grade papers when I only had two of each type of course, but I also had to prepare lessons for two different courses, which is harder. It was nice because I had a lot of students from last semester take their upper level course with me. But that was also hard because it is still me teaching, and I think they didn’t get a new fresh perspective. It was “more of the same”. I had great classes, great students, and a great semester with them. I totally miss them, but not the grading.
I took my last class to earn my Post-Secondary Reading and Learning Certificate from California State/Fullerton. I am SO HAPPY to be done with this certificate. It was a hard class focusing on creating a “model” reading program. It was intended to be really idealistic, pie in the sky, make your dreams come true…but I would have rather focused on how to make a difference with what I have to work with. Don’t get me wrong, I am still idealistic, but I have a bit of realism that has crept in as well. I earned my “A” but that last paper was not up to my potential, and I am trying to talk myself into believing that it doesn’t matter and I don’t care, but I still feel guilty that I didn’t do my best. Any way….Who CARES? I earned my certificate and with straight A’s to boot!
3. FUN SCHOOL.
In the midst of my crazy life I decided last fall to take a fun class with Elizabeth called The Magic of Myth. Oh, my. It was THE BEST part of the year so far for me, and I am not even done with the class. I was fully engaged in the first three weeks, and then? I had to do my other (graded) school work (see above) and I had to do work stuff for students and for my department. I had to hang it up for later. Which means soon. The website closes in the next couple of weeks, so I have to go back and finish up the writing part. I will tell you all about it, but right now the only word that comes to mind is: WOW. Elizabeth is an incredible person. She just is. I can’t wait to share my experience with you!
My parents are still not moved into their Assisted Living apartment. We have packed and moved boxes, but the lion’s share is still to be done. They have furniture in their new place, and some stuff, but my mom is really dragging her feet. We have randomly selected Father’s Day weekend to move more stuff and Monday, June 16th as their moving day. It still sucks.
Jeff’s mom is still the same. We have gone to visit her a few times, and she is at first kind of alert, but it usually ends with her sleeping. This sucks as well.
Jeff has been fishing a few times, and has been back to the keyboard writing about it. He is not coaching this summer. He is making good food as usual. Yesterday we had Breakfast Pizzas. They were delicious.
Sarah, Katie, & Nicholas are all ready for summer, but sad that school is ending. None of them want to learn anything ever again, but they are going to miss their friends. We have had a break from hockey and are gearing up for a hockey summer day camp that will start this month. We have finished with choir, the kids sang at Orchestra Hall (downtown) for their big spring concert. We have finished with dance as of last night, three recitals in one day. We have started baseball and softball (Katie only) and Sarah will be starting rehearsals for a summer play that she is in: The Wizard of Oz.
Franklin has been sweet, and calm. He has also been a freaky dog with the barking. The usual. He made it through a thunderstorm last night without shaking or panting. He is weird.
5. The House
is a mess. I am attempting to gut it. It is slow going. I have done all laundry. I have a vision. I still am just as resistant to cleaning as ever, but it MUST be done. I can’t stand it any more.
I am happy to be back here! Writing feels good! Any updates you would like to share? xoxo