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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Spring Clean Preparation

I've been noticing things. 

I'm not a super-clean-everything-must-be-spotless kind of person by nature. However, I can get into that mode, and I most definitely come from that upbringing. 

The other day, coming up the basement steps, I noticed a line of dust on the inside of the door jamb. I haven't dusted here, I mean, honestly, I only dust what I see, so I have never dusted this spot. I also never noticed it until...until I did. This led to looking at the baseboards—the cupboards. Then the crevices in the windows and sliding doors. EW! So I did what any person would do. I went and watched a bunch of viral cleaning videos to get inspired! And, it worked. 

Well, I mean, I should say it inspired me to grab the Swiffer, take care of the dust and then immediately buy a Scrub Daddy, some Dawn Power spray, and a box of Magic Erasers. I'm preparing for a deep clean. I've even been protein-loading my meals to get ready. You might think all this preparation is somehow a way to delay or procrastinate since I have so much time on my hands for a few days. But you'd be...well, you'd be right. I really kind of want to lay around a little bit. I'm still kind of winding down because I have no lessons to create or Seesaw videos to watch and respond to. I think I'm in shock. soon as I'm done relaxing, binge-watching television, napping ridiculously, and sitting to sun myself in the backyard, I am destroying that grime on my baseboards. It'll be any time now. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Something for Me

Move 61%


Excercise 46%


Stand 108%


The rings. 

They really have me checking, thinking, planning. 

I'm really good at tracking student progress. I can take a note, type it, voice it, do anything with it, and use it for good. 

When it comes to tracking my own progress, I fall down a bit. I take some care of myself, but not enough, and this has been a year I've realized it more than ever before. 

My family got me an apple watch for my birthday. I hadn't wanted one until recently, but I love it. It's helping me to stop and take a moment to breathe. I've been told that will get annoying, but I seriously need the reminder. Stop--focus on yourself for a minute--you can--and you should. 

The rings, they push me to move more. Being a teacher on my computer all day, I'm actively singing, dancing, and interacting as best I can, but it's not the same level of activity I'd have if there were 20+ bodies in the room. Still, I manage to get some exercise points in there. 

What I'm also noticing is when I'm partway toward a goal (that's when a ring closes on the watch), I grab the leash, or run to the backyard to play chase, or drag a kid outside to hit the volleyball. I am doing better for myself, and although the watch seems a bit extravagant for me, I think it's doing the job I need it to do. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Morning Comforts

During my teenage years, my great-grandmother lived in a nursing home about thirty minutes from our home. Every Saturday, we would drive over to pick her up and usually take her to a town another thirty minutes east to see my other grandparents. We also usually got lunch and groceries. It was a busy day of errands and visits every weekend. It was also a lot of time in the car. 

One of my most comforting memories of this time in the car is sitting next to my great-grandmother. Often I would get tired and lay my head in her lap. She would gently smooth my hair behind my ear over and over again. It was so soothing. 

This morning I found myself remembering these rides from my childhood while sitting on my couch. It was dark in the living room, and my youngest, fourteen, was pushed up next to me, cradled in a comforter. I smoothed the hair from forehead to neck. Jane snuggled in tighter. None of us wanted to get up and get going this morning. It felt like a good day to just stay right where we were, let time stand still, and just relax in comfort. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

All Happy

Sunday we arrived at our campsite. It was the afternoon, and we went back and forth on whether we should start down a trail. 
I’ve been counting the days until we’d get here. Even though I wasn’t sure we’d all enjoy ourselves, I knew I needed the trees, air, and quiet to reset my mind. 

Me, realizing I'm finally in the woods.

As soon as I stepped on a trail, I felt renewed. It was shocking to me how restored and calm I felt. It was joy. I forgot what joy like this feels like, and I was experiencing it for the first time in a very long time. That’s not to say joy has been absent altogether, but this most definitely felt different. 

I think my joy was different because we were all feeling joy at the same time. I'm grateful. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Last Slice

Today has been long. It was a full day of individual meets with students, one after the other. Then I had the last handful of conferences after. It was just one day, but there were not enough breaks today, and I felt it. When I finished, I stood up and could feel the tension just double down. You know, when you finally feel like you can relax, but your body is so conditioned to sitting up ready to go that it almost seizes up with more hostility. 

I texted Shawn and said, "I cannot adult anymore today. I'm ordering Dominoes."

So now, on my last night of slicing, I'm waiting for a slice to come my way. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bird Chatter

After dinner, I went outside with Cassie to throw the ball around. There was a gentle rain that wasn't the least bit annoying. It was just a perfect kind of rain to be underneath. Fresh smelling, soft drops, with large spaces in between. Not enough to even make your hand wet or your nose drip. But just enough to be noticed and heard. 

The birds seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the gentle drops. There was so much chatter and singing it was hard not to search and scan the trees trying to locate the conversations. I felt a bit surrounded, but it was a joyful sound, so I didn't mind. 

The playtime ended, and I went back inside. Cassie stood at the door. 

"Come on, Cass, time to come in."

She stands, staring at me. 

"Cassie, come on. Come inside."

Slight whimper. Stomps one foot and stands there staring at me. 

Eventually, she came along, but not happily. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

A Conference Night Slice

It's one of several conference nights I've had over the past two weeks. One more night to go later this week, and I should be finished. In the fall, I remember conferences going pretty quickly. Everyone had finally fallen into somewhat of a rhythm and knew how to navigate the remote learning environment. I had communicated so much with families up to that point that talking again felt redundant. To top it off, they were all being done on Google Meet. Again, something that was more comfortable at that point but still a bit unusual 

This time has been different. I know these families so well. Better than I've ever known a class of students. That is saying a lot. There are some families I've had multiple years, but this year, the connection I have to my families is so much deeper. I'm in their home every day. They've heard me sing, watched me dance, listened to me teach. I've heard them try and watched them help. It's not perfect, but we have all made it better along the way. 

I love these kids and their families. These conferences have been tough but good. I'm looking forward to being finished and getting to relax these tight shoulders—just a few more days and then a break.