Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Last night, I finally got the book review posted, so I didn't write on here. This is one of the tips I've learned these last few weeks. Don't pressure myself to do something that is not important to anyone, but myself. That's helped my energy levels. I have been drinking a more water and eaten a little less. That's helped my energy and the way my pants fit. All good things! (Anyone else hear that in Olaf's voice? My daughter is a Frozen addict.)
But did those tiny changes make that much of a difference? I'm not sure. It doesn't seem like that should make so much of a difference. So I started thinking about what else it could be. Less stress. I have had less stress in the last week or so. I have consciously decided to stop worrying about some things and other things have been resolved. So my stress level has gone down quite a bit. I didn't even consciously realize the physical toll the stress was taking on me. That's a big deal. I'm going to have to keep thinking about that for a while.
I have spent more time that needed playing games on Facebook and listening to podcasts, but I'm not going to beat myself up for it. I did accomplish things and my kids are with Nana for the night. Drew and I went out for some ice cream. So spending a couple hours on Facebook games and binging on true crime podcasts is good self care for tonight.
And good self care helps stress levels go down. So whatever your self care looks like, do that because taking care of yourself and managing your stress is a big deal.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
I have missed 2 days, one on purpose and one on accident. Tuesday night I stayed up way too late to finish a book. A review on that is coming soon. I actually thought I had the review written and saved in my memo app on my phone. I guess I didn't save it, so the review will take a bit longer. Grr... But anyway, since I stayed up way too late on Tuesday, I went to sleep super early on Wednesday.
In the last two days, I have had more water to drink. Today I didn't get home until about 6:30 pm because I had 2 meetings, but I was not exhausted. I still played with the kids, got homework done, and was ready for bed.
I have been listening to a few podcasts and thinking about what to write. I haven't gotten much. I do feel like today was a success because I had a long day and still feel pretty good. Maybe I'm winning this war on tired.
Monday, October 10, 2016
I have had a good light lunch for a few days now. My pants already fit a smidge better. Today I chose water for dinner instead of soda. Those are tiny baby steps. I have a plan of how to organize a few things in my classroom which should help. Again it is a tiny step, but tiny is better than nothing.
I will have a series of tiny steps that will lead me to good changes and hopefully more energy. I will celebrate my tiny steps and my good changes. I will not beat myself up for off days.
I can do this.
Saturday, October 8, 2016
I see ways that I am hurting my 'stop being so tired all the time' cause, but I'm not doing much to change that. I won't make excuses. It is a lack of self control and I'm not very proud of that. I did make one change this week. I have stopped pushing myself so hard to finish a book in 10 days or less. I never set out to make that a goal, but somehow it became one. And that is a whole lot of completely unnecessary stress. The books will be there when I have time.
So this week I haven't stayed up late reading or felt guilty about not reading. That is a step forward. I have still found reasons to stay up too late. Being stricter about my bedtime is one more step in the right direction.
Another step in the right direction is to be healthier. I will get morr energy if I take care of myself better. That's a rather obvious statement, but the action part of that is much harder than the saying part of that. Healthier takes time and/or money. I don't have lots of either one. But some small changes can make a big difference. Those small changes don't have to be expensive or time consuming either. Something like not eating spoonfuls of cookie dough from the tub I bought from a fundraiser. (Again obvious, but hard to do.) Also drink more water. Make water my first choice drink.
No one is going to better my life. I need to take control for myself. So I have some small and attainable goals in front of me.
Lord, help me do this.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Crap! I missed yesterday. So out of 31 days, I got through 5. That's not much. That makes me feel a little like a failure. I was so excited to get back to this. I can't say that I've been planning, probably because I'm such a pantser, but I still felt like I was putting some good content out there. Writing is good for me and putting space in my life for writing is a good thing.
Space in my life for good things has been hard. I don't want to complain or speak negatively about anyone, but I have been overworked the last little while. That isn't terribly surprising. I'm a teacher and basically every teacher is overworked. I had previously been able to find space and still teach to my personal standards. The last couple years that has been hard. I can see a light, but some of the things that would make it better can't happen right now for various technological reasons. So the light is there, but it is still far away. Another part of the space issue I'm having is my own laziness. I'm not sure how to better energize myself to be a good wife, a good mother, a good teacher, and a good person. This time of my life is exhausting. I'm sure there are plenty of parents out there who remember these years with small children and full time jobs. I know I'm not unique and I know my children will become more independent soooner than I'm ready for and that will provide me with more space. Of course I'm sure that will come with a separate set of issues. But right now, I have an issue of energy and I think I need to "fix" this issue or learn from it in order to move on to the next phase better.
So I know I need to do something, but I have no clue what.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
It is easy to blame other people and other things for being tired, but sometimes you need to look in the mirror. Today, I need to look in the mirror. It is 9:45 and I'm just now starting to type this. Lily went to sleep pretty well, but I sat rocking her for a while longer and looking at Facebook. I eventually turned my phone off and went to talk to Drew. Then I headed to bed with my laptop. I turned in it on and played games on Facebook. Then I finally started typing.
Not only do Facebook games keep me up later than is necessary, but also binge watching NCIS or Murder, She Wrote on Netflix. I have stayed up too late reading books and listening to podcasts or audio books. There are so many good books, podcasts, and TV shows that I want to fit just a few more in before I go to sleep. At times it really seems almost like an obsession. Just one more and I'll be satisfied. Just 10 more minutes and I'll get closer to the ending of this playlist or book.
A part of my obsession to try to finish it instead of sleeping is because there isn't tons of time to myself. So it is a bit selfish and maybe a smidge of my introversion. Other than that, I'm not sure why I'm willing to give up sleep when I know I'm tired. There will be more time in the coming days, so I don't need to fit it all in today. At least that's what I tell myself. Maybe I should start listening myself.
Monday, October 3, 2016
A part of my tired problem is that two year olds don't sleep. At least my two year old doesn't. She doesn't like going to sleep. She doesn't like sleeping in. She doesn't like sleeping all night.
Every night it seems like she needs a different routine. I try to start it the same way, but she doesn't sit still. I go to plan B, C, or D. Sometimes one of those work well. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes Drew has to walk her. Sometimes that's not good enough. Eventually she will finally go to sleep.
But most nights she wakes up once or twice. She slept better as a newborn. Some nights she needs a diaper change halfway through the night. Sometimes she is hungry. Sometimes she is cold. Sometimes she is hot. Every so often she rolls out of bed. And rarely she has a bad dream.
In the morning, she is an early riser by nature and isn't a hard sleeper. So if Ike walks down the hallway at the wrong time or if I make too much noise getting ready, she wakes up.
I remember Ben going through this phase and I remember hating it then. Some things never change. I still hate it. Maybe some day soon she will sleep better. Until then I'll probably just keep complaining that two year olds don't sleep.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
So I really thought my post today would be about Lily screaming for a good 15 minutes at about 5:30 am. She wanted to leave her room and see Daddy. I told her no because she needed to go back to sleep and so did I. However, a bit after that, I heard Drew get up and shortly there after get sick.
That changed the whole day. Today was homecoming at church. So there was special music, that we both were a part of. It was also our turn to greet people before the service. There was a lunch after service. We weren't planning on going to that and we were going to my father in law's house. So I didn't fix any food to contribute. That was a rough sketch of the day.
So the special music went on without him. The greeting was a bit rough because I was late and I think I left early. We didn't go eat with my father in law becuase we don't need to make him sick. We did stay and eat lunch there even though I didn't bring food.
I could have felt guilty and overwhelmed about various points in the day. But I didn't. I changed plans at the last minute and just went with it. That was freeing. I didn't get caught up in my head and there was space to allow other things to happen.
Like hearing the encouragement from a church member and the compliments as well. Like enjoying time with church families and my kids. Like hearing, really hearing, a podcast and a YouTube video.
So maybe I'm one step closer to conquering this tired thing. Get out of my head and roll with life.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
|Photo Credit: Mister G.C.|
Friday, June 10, 2016
|Photo Credit: Herman Frantzen|
Another year has come to an end. Not a calendar year, but a school year. Graduation was last night and we said goodbye to another group of seniors. Bulletin boards are empty, boxes are packed, furniture is labeled. I am ready to box up this year and let the moving crew do their job to move me into a new classroom. It has been a difficult year for so many different reasons. I have found myself listening to book after book and podcast after podcast in an effort to quiet the noise in the back of my head. I have enjoyed the stories, but the pace of them has been rather frenetic. I can't say exactly why. I'm not certain what it is that I'm running from. Maybe just the list of things I need to do. Maybe the stress of messing up one of those "to do" items. I know I need to set aside some time to stop, time to just listen.
That is the whole reason I chose the word Still or maybe the word chose me. But I haven't done a good job of making that word a reality. I do have another half a year do to better. Maybe with the end of the school year I will find an opportunity to be still. Somehow being still seems overwhelming. I guess that is the nature of change.
Monday, May 30, 2016
|Photo Caption: Me|
Friday, May 20, 2016
|Photo Credit: cea+|
This week has been exhausting. There has been good stuff that happened too. My son and husband went to Monday Night Raw this week. It was one of those lifetime memory moments. I was so happy for him that I actually teared up. It was just so special. I got to finish a great book and start another one. And those two things have kept me up late and it was good. I have seen Ben playing and Drew coaching youth soccer games. They both do such a great job! It is a joy to spend my Tuesday and Thursday nights watching them.
However, my daughter is teething and it has been raining all week, which has thrown off my dog's bathroom breaks. Those two things have combined to make sleeping through the night nearly impossible. That hasn't been good. I've also had a cough for about 3 weeks. It was probably a virus that turned into a cold or allergies because I have also had some drainage. That hasn't been good.
The good stuff and the bad stuff have combined to make me exhausted. It is also the end of the school year with testing and special days abounding. So taking a sick day isn't going to happen. I'm getting a half sick day today. I might be calling the doctor as well because coughing for 3 weeks probably isn't a good thing. Then tonight I'm going back to be house manager for the drama musical production tonight and tomorrow.
I keep thinking someday things will slow down. I think I won't be this busy forever. At some point in time this week, I stopped myself. I thought maybe it won't slow down. Maybe life will always be this full and this busy. Maybe it will always be this exhausting. Maybe I should stop praying for God to make this easier and pray for God to help me do this well.
What do you think?
Friday, May 13, 2016
|Photo Credit: Frédéric BISSON|
With all of the stuff going on this week, it would be easy to become discouraged or angry. It would be easy to write a post to complain about all the bad stuff happening.
But it hasn't been a bad week.
There have been low lights, but there have also been highlights. I have listened to Ben and Lily laughing together as they played. I have listened to Ben laughing shortly after he wakes up. (That's an amazing feat because that little boy is not a morning person.) I have listened to Lily laughing as Ike licks her face all over. I have gotten to cuddle with my husband. (Again amazing feat with two little ones in the house.) We have all sat down together and eaten dinner. We have given hugs and kisses. We got caught in a spring rain storm. I have had deep conversations with my son about his worth. I have had conversations with my daughter about her school day.
It has been a good week. So bring on Friday the 13th. I'm ready for you!
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Thursday, April 28, 2016
OH it is so hard being an adult! Too much to do in one day. Can I get an amen?
The field trip was great because I got to see some of my students in whole new light. We got to celebrate things together, like making some really cool art and eating a whole burrito when you were the last kid in line and it's almost time to go. (Yes we really did celebrate that.) I got to create art. No rules of what it is supposed to look like or be like. Just here are some cool pieces of wood and some wood glue, create. I got see some amazing photography and folk art. I got spend time in a museum. It was a chance to breathe. The class party went a bit wonky. I can't make one of the meetings. It might rain out the soccer game. But it's all good because art and I got to meet today.
What made your day great today?
P.S. I'll post photos of my art when it is done. Today was just step 1.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
What am I doing more of?
More playing with my kids
More enjoying my kids
So when we are out walking and I see the sun shining on Lily's red hair, I stop. I smile. I tuck that memory away. When Lily uses a new sentence and just sounds so cute, I stop. I smile. I tuck away that memory. Last night when Lily wanted to walk around the track instead of sitting to watch Ben's game. She took my finger and said walk. So I walked. She discovered a stand of pine trees at the top of the hill. She saw and adventure and climbed the tall hill. She got stuck in all the roots and was trying her hardest to figure out how to climb further. I stopped. I smiled. I took a photo and tucked away the memory. I just love my adventurous little girl.
Ben is now 7. He is growing so fast and conquering so many things. First grade has not been easy for him. His writing was behind and general expression of ideas as well. So we have worked so hard with him and he is doing fabulous. His allergies have gotten the best of him this past week. So he went to the doctor Monday and missed school. So yesterday he had extra work to do. Last night he did 2 worksheets that he missed and 4 spelling assignments! He didn't need to do all the spelling assignments, but he was willing to work. So he just kept working for me. What kid does that much work just because you ask him? Mine does. Last night after the game I saw a video of the dolphin in Shedd's Aquarium giving birth. I called Ben over and we watched it again together. He just kept oohing and ahhing over the baby dolphin, talking about how cute it was even when it was just a bit of tail sticking out. Again, I stopped. I smiled. I tucked away the memory. There's more I could say, but I'm not sure I'm ready to publicly share it. Suffice it to say, there are many times in these last few months that have been special. I stop. I smile. I tuck away the memory.
A little bit more good stuff in my day and life looks a little brighter. Actually it looks a lot brighter. So if you need some brightness in your day, look around. Stop. Smile. And tuck away the memory.
Monday, April 11, 2016
|Photo Credit: Wonderlane|
I wrote a post last weekend and had every intention of writing one this weekend. I knew something would come to mind and I would have words to share on here. I've had plenty to share in passionate conversations the last couple nights. And now here I am on Monday morning with the weekend past and the passionate conversation gone. Maybe the late night conversations and early morning wake up calls which contributed to my lack of sleep have also contributed to my lack of wordsmithery this morning.
So I should be writing, but more than that, I should be thinking. I should be capturing thoughts to expand on and stories to share. I should be reserving a space in my mind to start building these posts. Why?
Because I miss this.
I have written very sparsely this school year. In part because of the massive amount of work I had to do. In order to accomplish a textbook-less, paperless classroom, I have had so much work to do. I have more that I need to do, but it is work that requires quiet and therefore is reserved for work days. So for now, I find myself 'done' with all this extra work. I'm settling into a better paced routine. I'm finding extra minutes in my day. Extra minutes to think and extra minutes to write. I've been thinking that I wanted to get back on here regularly, like once a week. Then last week I even had a few ideas floating around my head. I actually thought of things to say! So I was prepared to be writing. I thought I would be writing. And I look at the blank screen and nothing comes to mind. So I'll be back next week with something better, hopefully.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
|Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski|
The world tells us that we can have it all, family and career. What it really means is that we can have a career and be successful, powerful, rich, and have some family on the side. That isn't having it all because when you keep trying to do both one of them will end up leaving. So we need to decide which one we want.
We see so many examples on TV, both fictional and non fictional, of people choosing career and losing family. But the media, doesn't focus on that. They don't tell the story that way. They focus on other things, so we don't see the truth. How many times have you heard of a cop, chef, business person, musician lose their family because they are working too many hours? Again in fictional or non-fictional stories. How many times have you heard the story of dad being hard on me because he was a military man or he was a pastor or he was a professor? They aren't defining that man by family terms. They are defining the man by the career.
Maybe it is just an easy story to tell. Maybe fiction writers in books or on TV or in the movies just go to those stories for convenience.
Or maybe they tell those stories because they are the most believable. Those stories are most like us. We don't tell ourselves the truth. We tell ourselves that we are doing okay. We can have a career and family. We tell ourselves that even though others failed, we won't fail. We can do what others can't do.
Let me be one to say, that's a huge lie! You can't have it all, so stop trying.
Actually, redefine what you mean by having it all. Going after a career isn't a bad thing. Dragging other people along, so you can pretend like you have a family while you are going after a career, I think that is a bad thing. Be honest. Do you want to be on top of your career field? Great! Go for it! Do you want a happy healthy beautiful family? Great! Go for it! But don't expect to be on the top of field. Do a job well (because doing a crappy job on purpose isn't cool.) and then go home and do family great!
Redefine what having it all means. Don't listen to what society tells you. They lie a lot. Listen to what God is speaking to your heart. He doesn't lie. Actually he can't lie. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it.
Monday, March 14, 2016
As a Christian, I know that I am "not of this world." (John 15:19) I can't say there aren't times that I have wanted acceptance in a secular group, classmates, co-workers, etc. It is something that crops up every now and then. That one is an easy one to conquer though. I read the Bible and listen to Jesus' words. I know it isn't me that they are rejecting, but the Holy Spirit living inside of me. I really get that and I'm really okay with that. I just need to remind myself every once in a while that I'm okay with that. In fact in my sermon notes from yesterday, I wrote (twice) "Don't let their rhetoric become yours." Just an emphatic reminder of whose I am.
But then it happens at churches too. Those are the ones that are hard to accept. I know I won't fit into the world, but shouldn't I fit into the church? Shouldn't there be people like me there? Maybe, but maybe not. Churches are still made up of people and people won't be perfected until they are in heaven. So in an imperfect world full of imperfect people, it only makes sense that there are lots of places that I don't fit in. That doesn't make it less frustrating. I know that I'm not going to find people exactly like me, but it would be nice to find someone or even a group that is a little like me. I guess I'll wait for God to bring the right person along and until then I'll just keep praying about it.
And thanks to Lecrae for the courage to keep being me.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Modern Mrs. Darcy posted something a few weeks ago. I thought I would keep a list of things saving me right now as well. What is going on that I need saving from? Sickness, too much work to do, stress, keeping my son caught up, getting my daughter to the next step in development, not letting the housework pile on top of me because I have too much to do. Maybe this is just the regular list of things that happen to young working mothers. Whatever it is, it is leaving me wanting to cover my head and stay there. So the idea of having a physical list of things that are holding me together right now is very attractive. This is my current list:
Pretty wallpaper for my phone
Alone by Hollyn
The song Jolene and all of its versions
A hot bath
A rag doll
My new Cardinals blanket
So when I feel overwhelmed by my to do list, I pull one of these things off my list, settle down, and get back to work.
Friday, January 22, 2016
But then recently I started thinking I might be a little more Elsa than I know.
I think Gaston might be the most dangerous of villains,,,,
But Maleficent is the most powerful and intriguing villain.
I think Frozen might have the best soundtrack....
But Mulan has the best song.
The best prince might just be Naveen...
But Prince Philip is a close second
Agree/ Disagree? Thoughts of your own?
Monday, January 18, 2016
So on the last day of 2015, I finally felt like my word meant something. God is so amazing. He is really looking out for us.
So for 2016, the word Still has been the only option in my mind. In the last few months I have felt like I'm running 100 miles an hour. I haven't known how to stop and just be silent. I know I need to do it, but I'm so uncomfortable sitting with my own thoughts right now I just can't make myself. So knowing I need to do something but can't make myself do it seems like just the thing that a new year is made for. So this year, I'm going to be reminded to be still. I need to learn to be okay with silence, with just me and God.
My verse for the year is pretty obvious Psalms 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."