Thursday, July 27, 2017

Health and Happiness....

They go together like.... peaches and cream, burgers and fries, boys and girls. Possibly more entangled and intertwined than this even. The last couple days I haven't felt well. I was stricken with Vertigo again. Debilitating. And joy sucking. Today I sit here feeling drained and exhausted. I think it's a residual effect. For the last 36 hours I have been dogged by feelings of defeat, depression, exhaustion, and lethargy (not to mention that spinning feeling you get when you've had too much alcohol and you just might throw up). Happy, joyous and free were not in the cards. I realized that the many things that are RIGHT in my life, were minimized and I was swallowed by my lack of ability to move. I was overwhelmed and I gave in to the feelings of defeat and depression that lurk in the shadows of my life waiting to make their presence known at any given moment. But today I have a choice. I can let my unhealthy self take over and keep me down and perpetuate a plethora of problematic health symptoms already present. Or I can choose healthy behaviors that I know will contribute to more feelings of groundedness, peace, and dare I even say it.... happiness. Happy was hard to find when my health failed me. Which in turn made it hard to seek healthier behaviors/foods because I was enveloped in darkness and depression. So which came first doesn't matter. But what I can do today will matter and will make a difference on both my health and my happiness. I am choosing to behave in ways that are healthy for me today. Which may be difficult, but I believe it will also increase my ability to choose happiness. And who doesn't want that?!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Gratitude Lately....

Michelle's post at BTL yesterday was gratitude lately. It was fabulous. Because it helps me keep focused. On all I have to be grateful for. Which is a lot. And so much more productive to focus on than the little that I am not extremely grateful for right now.

  • to learn new ways to live and new attitudes to take with me. 
  • to rethink my health and movement routines (or the lack thereof).
  • to make new friends and cherish the old
  • to learn to engage in self-care: it's a real thing, not just a concept, out there. somewhere.
  • for summer times of renewal
  • for trips of a lifetime.
Shall I expound on this? Hmmmm....
Here's a glimpse at the trip of a lifetime with my llbff.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon


Winslow, AZ

Our home away from home at the Garden of the Goddess Retreat Center, NM

Madrid, NM, where part of Wild Hogs was filmed

New Mexico hiking

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A firm foundation

What everybody/everything needs is a firm foundation. This week I've had opportunity to reflect on my foundation as a teacher. Many thoughts flood my mind as I look at my journey as a teacher. My direction and passion continue to evolve. I am not the same. But as I look back at that first year-- we were a good team. I had great teachers holding me up and keeping me sane. I've been chasing that ever since. Let me backtrack a little farther.... student teaching set the bar HIGH. I was part of an amazing Kindergarten team. We did things together, we planned lessons together. We encouraged, shared tiny teaching tips. We built each other up. My mentor was a great example. And as a teacher, she was the best. I may have referred to her as the student whisperer. When Mrs. H spoke, everyone listened. Random, yet remotely related, thought number two of this post: first year teaching is hard. HARD. And so it goes. I often felt alone, overwhelmed, and under-supported. I have come to the conclusion that this is fairly normal. Because I also know I had great support. I reiterate: first teaching is hard.

Yesterday I had the honor of going through my first year teaching town: Guymon, OK. I met up with my partner, who retired this year. I got to reflect on the team we were, how staunchly she supported me and all the help she gave me. I missed the chance yesterday to meet up with other teachers and my principal, and I'm saddened by this. These are my friends. I love them. We were a TEAM. And everyone did achieve more because of this.

So this year, I face a new building and new grade level. My challenge is to be a great team member, not a lone wolf. I want to have a team again!

Every teacher needs a firm foundation. Who am I kidding? That is a fill-in-the-blank sentence right there. Every (____________) needs a firm foundation. I need it. And bet someone I need know does too. I don't have to be entire foundation, just one stone; part of a team, holding each other up.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My morning view

I sit here this morning soaking up a beautiful mountain morning view. I have birds everywhere around me. I just had a hummingbird not even 5' from me.

I have never been more acutely aware that I am white. never. What I mean by that is... NEVER. Yesterday we drove through the nation that our country graciously afforded to the people who were here before us. The people we put down and make fun of and say things like.... "it's not my fault they don't want to work" or "it's not my fault that they are drunks...." or (one of my favorites)... "I refuse to feel guilty because I was born white" or even better.... "It was a long time ago, what does this have to do with me?!"

My first instinct is the thank God (the god of the white man apparently) that I am white. Because there's no way to know what kind of oppression and hell these people are (are, not were) born into. And then, yes, this epiphany is followed by guilt. And compassion. And anger at what we-- as a nation (and THAT my friends is not something over and done with and in the past)--are still doing to these people who we duped and asked for help and pushed and pushed and then graciously gave them some of their own land that grows nothing, and sustains nothing.

I will not let my guilt and grief and overcome my awe or ruin my vacation. But it is a shadow and it makes me both grateful and grief-filled.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Here we go....

Today began a monumental adventure. My llbff (life long bff) and I set out to see the world, or at least the Grand Canyon. We are taking a road trip. Hitting the scenic spots. Tonight, night one, we are in Pueblo, Colorado. We are using airBnB to book our accommodations. Tonight's accommodations are fabulous.
I found a little sticker for my coffee mug that says.... Adventure awaits. Yes it does.

On the road!
We had to stop and take a pic at the border!

Here's the sky at the KS/CO border
 Our home away from home for the night! Amazing!!! So pumped!

What is next? Time will tell....

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The River Denial

I have been dying my heart out. Something I love. But it has morphed into something that steals my time and my life and my freedom that I obsessively must do. I become oblivious to everything else in life. I *should* (I HATE that word, but I'll use it for lack of a better term) have read ahead on Masters classes. I am not only WEEKS behind in one class, but now I'm behind in both classes. I know I have a project due in the one class and I have a teleclass one day this next week. I will do that from my vacay home.

Today I woke with a pit in my stomach of all the things I have neglected in my life and home. Denial is a great thing when it works, but when it stops working, it's a special kind of misery.

Aren't they pretty though?! No wonder I love them so.

Friday, July 14, 2017


Dear SW Philly,
You are such a long time in the past, but every time I smell fresh asphalt in 100 degree weather, I am transported back to the summer of 1987, and living in that big ole building working for the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education. I completely understand when people say that smells trigger memories/emotions.
the naive country girl who was way of out her element

Dear Masters Classes,
If you could just give me a couple weeks of ACTUAL summer break, that would be great.
the burnt out student

Dear Tie Dye,
If you could just create yourself and give me some rest that would be fabulous. Thanks.

Dear Carrie,
You are not as young as you once were. Please stop pushing yourself once you get tired.
Your decrepit self

Dear school,
Stop peeking around the corning and sticking your tongue out at me.
This teacher in summer