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Catching up

December 30, 2012

I have spent the past three days catching up on my blog reading.  Oh, it feels good to be caught up.  So many beautiful posts and photographs.  So many ideas and connections swirling around in my head.  I have missed your words.  It is a sacrifice when I stop visiting your beautiful virtual spaces.

Now that I am on target with all of you, I have decided to start over on an important journey.  I read the first chapter of Christina’s book,  A Field Guide to NOW, and forced myself to put it down.  I hid it from myself so it would not stare at me.  I pushed it out of my mind so I could do all of the things that were not a choice.  This is going to be my gift to myself during my “break” from school.  I am going to savor every page, every word.  I can’t wait to get started.  If you haven’t read this book yet, I would LOVE it if you would join me!  If you HAVE already read it, why not re-read it with me?

The next gift to myself will be to read Laini’s new book, Days of Blood and Starlight.  Santa brought it for my stocking this year.  Feel free to join me in this adventure as well, but you should read Daughter of  Smoke and Bone first, Days of Blood and Starlight is the second book in the trilogy.

I loved Bethany’s post about self care.  She did an exercise for advent and I don’t exactly know what it was, but it involved picking a word out of a hat each day and then doing it.  One was “Read.”  I had never put reading in the category of self care before.  Bubble baths–yes.  Manicure/peticure–absolutely.  Massage–oh, most definitely.  Even sleep could make that list.  But “read”?  Huh.  Now, it makes perfect sense.  Of course.  How could I have missed that all these years?

2012 is coming to a close so quickly.  I can’t really believe it.  I haven’t really thought about the new beginning that is 2013 yet.  I need to take some time to process that.  Maybe as I am undecorating my house today.  That tree is coming down people, it is a fact.  What are your thoughts as we enter into a new beginning?  I love new beginnings.  Clean slate.  I get to choose the colors.

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Lest you think that I am deliberately ignoring the massacre in New Town, you are somewhat correct, although it has stubbornly hung out in my brain and sneaks to my consciousness when I let my guard down.  We chose not to tell our kids about this tragedy.  I don’t know if that is the right way to deal with this or not, but we didn’t want to burden them with such sadness and fear, it really hits too close to home.  Many people wrote about holding their kids tighter through their tears, and that is exactly what happened in my home, many people wrote about how there will be families that have a big empty space to work around during the holidays.  This was also lurking in my mind.  But the perspective that keeps playing on a loop for me is the role of teachers during this horrific event.

I didn’t watch much of the news, and I only read two articles in the paper, but I can re-create the crime scene in full detail.  I heard a first grade teacher being interviewed, and I could very well have been her.  I read about how the principal and the school psychologist rushed the gunman and wondered what I would have done in the same situation.  I heard the kids interviewed and pictured my former students.  They were so little and vulnerable.  Of course the WHY is there.  Always.  Why target seven year olds?  I really can’t think about it at all without tears rolling down my cheeks.  As a teacher of young children, your students become your kids.  I loved them while they were in my care and beyond.  It is a very intimate relationship.  I would have tried to protect them with my life as well.  This feels like 9/11 all over again, something significant and horrible has changed our whole country.  It feels different.

I am deeply disturbed by how the NRA has responded to this national crisis.  I am disturbed by the lack of looking at this from multiple perspectives.  This is not a black and white situation.  We really should be looking at all angles objectively putting our emotions and beliefs aside and analyzing what is going on in our culture, and why we are experiencing tragedy after tragedy.  That is how we can move to a solution.  How disappointing that leaders in power cannot stop digging their heels in before being rational and honest.

I needed to put these thoughts down, because they are with me often though-out the day.  But it is too painful to keep it in the forefront all the time.  I don’t think we can move on from this, it will just have to become part of the back-drop of our culture.  Always lurking.

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  1. January 3, 2013 8:54 am

    I am with you, in being angry at how the NRA responded to the crisis, and in feeling change is needed. I think a lot about change in how we take care of people with mental health issues, and how easy it is for them to access guns.

    I have been reading a lot too. Read and loved Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, and an early Barbara Kingsolver novel, Animal Dreams, which I’d never read. And Mark Salzman’s True Notebooks: A Writer’s Year at Juvenile Hall. Have you read it? You would love it. And I also read most of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Cant’ Stop Talking, which gave a whole new perspective on what it means to be shy and bookish, as I am.

    Happy New Year! I hope you get the job!

    • January 8, 2013 7:21 am

      Yes, yes to the mental health aspect of this as well. There is so much work to be done, and it won’t take a quick band-aid fix.

      Thank you for the great book suggestions! I wish I had the time to sit and read them all. I read Animal dreams (and Bean Trees, and Pigs in Heaven) so long ago that I can’t remember them at all. Time to reread those I guess! And the True Notebooks sound so intriguing, it reminds me of Monster that I read this summer. I think I am one of the ones who “Can’t Stop Talking” so I don’t know if I should delve into that book! :) I am excited that it is Tuesday today…no pressure!

  2. January 7, 2013 4:34 pm

    Great post, Megsie. I bought A Field Guide to NOW for both my mom AND my sister for Christmas. They were so happy. :)

    • January 8, 2013 7:23 am

      Thank you Liz. :) I wish I had read this before Christmas, it is a wonderful gift idea. I loved it so much, I am sure you are shocked! I have a friend that I may give this to, I think she would LOVE it.

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