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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Not as Bad as Meredith Grey

I was in the biggest funk last week. I started to think it might be because I was going to turn forty. Turns out, I don't think that was it at all. I'm in the, "it's the end of the year" funk. I can hardly stand it. It's the kind of funk you wish you could just wash off with a good hot shower but it lingers.

I watch and listen to everyone stew and complain. The students get a little meaner and more spiteful. It's so sad to watch everyone turn toward the dark side.

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with my principal about one of my students who is really struggling. I said, "Have you looked around? No one is at their best right now! We have to be understanding of one another, breathe a little. No one is at their best and that includes the students."

My way of coping? Re-watching Grey's Anatomy from the beginning on Netflix. It has turned out to be good therapy. I literally say in my head, "It's not as bad as Meredith Grey." It seems like literally, everything happens to that girl.

And really, it never really gets that bad. Mindless drama watching seems to have put me at ease a bit and I am able to breathe again.

So, my advice...feeling like your life can't get any worse, watch season two, it could definitely be worse. I say that tongue and cheek of course. Some people do have serious and real issues to deal with. Myself included. However, I just can't dwell. I would get swallowed up if I couldn't find a reason to smile. Instead, I'm just going to keep moving.






Friday, March 31, 2017

Day Thirty-One of Thirty-One: All Mine


We always tell each other, don't take things for granted. Be grateful for all you have. Always be brave. We say these things to each other. All of us, well, most of humanity. We mostly live by these rules. We say these things and as much as we mean it we sometimes forget. Sometimes we get a bit caught up or caught off guard by life. 

All month long I sliced mostly about things we lost in the fire. I threw in a slight deviation here and there while sticking to my "not my" theme. What I never said was that there was a lot more that could have been lost in those wee hours of the night back in November of 2016. I didn't mention all the "what if" statements I've wondered about over the past several months. I certainly never think, gosh, what if I could have saved that mug or what if I could have snapped a quick picture of the wall in my kitchen with all the little growth marks on it. I never think of those, "what if" statements. It's the horrifying "what if" that I think about. 

Regardless, I'm lucky. I'm grateful. I'm brave. For all these reasons and so many more. My amazing parents, in-laws, sister, and all my extended family beyond. 










Thursday, March 30, 2017

Day Thirty of Thirty-One: Not My



This was the first year I followed a thread through my SOLSC posts. I was really hesitant to try it. I wasn't sure I could do it. Could I keep it going? I knew it would be hard for a few reasons. In the past, I was able to treat the challenge as a way to force myself to notice. To be a witness to my life and record the little, the big, and the invisible. This year, following the "not my" thread through each post, was a new challenge. I think I will really appreciate having recorded all these bits of life that are not mine. I might have forgotten otherwise and it is a further testament to the importance of writing down the small, the big, and the invisible.

When we ask ourselves to be a witness we see all. We reflect more deeply and the fog of our day to day dissipates. Visibility improves. I not only understand myself a little better but I understand everyone around me a little better too.

As I wrote it all down, you became a witness to my life and I became one of yours.

I have appreciated the journey and tomorrow's slice will not be a "not my." Thirty days of thinking about what is no longer is enough. Thirty-one seems like a fresh number. A turning point you might say. Here's looking to tomorrow. The last day or maybe the first day.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Day Twenty-Nine of Thirty-One: Not My Nest


The other day I could hear a clattering below our bedroom window. It sounded like something was banging into the drain spout. I asked my children what they thought the noise was. They knew immediately.

"Oh, it's that bird that lives in the nest by the back door."

I had to go look of course. I haven't attempted to get a closer look yet but it appears to be empty, no eggs. I snapped a picture and thought about how much work goes into making a nest. Strand by strand. Carefully placed. Sometimes a sprig of tinsel here and there. It's not my nest but it did inspire a poem.



With bits of green,
brown, and gray

Pieces of earth
painstakingly placed

Carefully woven
with a mix of glitz

Tucked safe and tight
nestled by brick




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day Twenty-Eight of Thirty-One: Not My Nine-Year-Old


When did this happen? When did this little girl become double digits? Shawn and I were talking about it last night and realizing as we talked that in less time than we have known her she will likely be moving on. Starting an independent life of her own.

As I watched her last night decorating her cupcakes for school I could see that independence blooming. She's grown so much over the past year. Her confidence is no longer in short supply. She brushes her hair on a more regular basis (this is a big deal). Her style is all her own. The creativity inside her continues to make its mark and some day I am sure will make a splash in a big way.

She's not my nine-year-old anymore. :)



Monday, March 27, 2017

Day Twenty-Seven of Thirty-One: Not My House


Today I was teaching a poetry lesson on personification. I talked about taking an existing poem and just changing the perspective.
Did you write a poem about the sunrise? How do the trees tell the poem? How about the sun?

I also explained that personification is a great way to explore sensory details. Thinking about the five senses +1 (emotional feeling) and giving objects or non-human things senses can help when trying to add personification to a poem.

Later I was thinking about what I might personify in a poem. I thought about my poor empty house. As I started to write about it, I realized I wasn't personifying it quite like I expected but instead writing it a letter of sorts.

I sometimes wonder
if you miss us.
I feel bad
you were left behind.

Empty.
Dirty.
Different.
Alone.

We are okay.
Don't worry
but we miss you.
We'll visit again soon.

So, I decided to try again and write something truly from the house's perspective. I realized that I couldn't do it. It's a little too hard to think about the house as a person. Then I thought about how they are going to tear it down and I thought the house might wonder if that was going to happen. It might ask. I didn't want to tell the house. In a weird way, putting that in a poem would be like admitting the house was dead and I'm not quite ready to do that. I'm not ready to tell the house.

This place, it is not my house. It is a home. It is comfortable. My house is not jealous. It is not human. But I do sometimes feel its feelings. Its sadness. I feel it for the house. I am my house.

This is not my house. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Day Twenty-Six of Thirty-One: Not My Cabinet



My great-grandmother, Edith, was quite a character. When I was still living at home we would go every weekend to take her out to lunch and run different errands. She lived about thirty minutes from our house in a nursing home. She was a very observant lady who, even though she could barely see, didn't seem to miss a beat. Edith was always up for a trip or a good chicken wing. 

Because she spent a lot of time alone, she had a lot of time to think and watch the Lawrence Welk Show. We would often know when it was on because she would call to tell us the channel. Surely we would want to watch too. She would also call quite frequently to ask my mom about various items.

"Do you know where you put my salt and pepper shakers?"

There were so many things she wondered about and she would often give my mom directions as to which cabinet or drawer the item had once belonged to. I imagine it gave her a reason to call but I also think she honestly wondered about all her "stuff." 

I have a better appreciation for that wonder now. I sit here, all the time, my mind might be on any number of things but I still picture my house. I picture my cookbooks every Sunday because I would often grab one or two from the cabinet above my stove when I was making my meal plan for the week. Rarely did I actually pick a new recipe but I really liked looking through my cookbooks. I imagine my great-grandma also pictured her home and exactly where those salt and pepper shakers used to be. 

The cabinet above the stove here is empty. It's not my cabinet. I look forward to rebuilding my cookbook collection and filling up a cupboard with new memories one day.