Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Blessing #89: Waking up refreshed

I can't believe it!  I woke up before my alarm went off AND I felt refreshed, not groggy, AND I slept through the night!!!  

This has not happenned in months and months and months, and not at all on a school day.  


Monday, March 30, 2015

#88: First Mow

I actually mowed today!  I learned last year that if you wait until May to mow because you've been putting it off then it takes 17 times as long as a month earlier because the grass is so tall and every time you push the mower forward it almost dies and you have to lift it up to get it unclogged then the bag fills ups super fast and you have to unload it and then you run out of gas more quickly and have to walk down to the M & W to refill then you see something shiny to eat while you're there and decide to take a break from mowing and cook chicken salad to take for lunch then you don't mow the front yard for two more weeks which repeats the whole process.

Nope, didn't do that this time.  With the exception of the front yard.  It's not done.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

#87: Friends that get you AND tell you the truth

Today I met with some friends and shared how I've been feeling lately.  What I thought I was saying was something like this: It is hard going through this being single business where I am learning to make God be my God rather than men, food, looking good, not being alone, not feeling bad, not feeling anxious, or eternally trying to figure out what about me I need to change

Afterwards a friend told me, essentially that I have a perception problem, there is nothing wrong with me or my life.  My perception of my life is the "glass-is-half-empty" version;  that I do amazing and good things, ie. lack of doing things are not my problem; that God does not work the way I think He does, and trying to make it so is causing most of my dis-easiness; and that I have been spinning my wheels lately and not getting anywhere because I'm not addressing the real problem, which is my perception that life is not giving me my fair share and that God has forgotten me.

Oh, I'm so grateful for these words!  I felt momentarily "caught", like I'd been found out, but it was quickly replaced with a sense of relief that washed through entire body.  She put words to exactly what I have been feeling lately.  It was a direct hit. 

And it was because she had the guts to tell me the truth as she saw it.  She changed my life today!  Thank goodness for those friends who are willing to tell us the truth, even if it might not be entirely palatable.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Blessing #85 for 2015: Tired.

I'm tired because I wore myself out today.  I went to Brundage with three friends and we played ALL DAY!  The best part of wearing myself out physically is that after a certain point, my brain gets too tired to be anxious. 

I love that.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#84 for 2015: Healthy Eyes

Helen Keller sandwiched between my mom & my aunt
I went to the eye doctor today for the first time in 10 years, too afraid to go because I was scared I'd be told I have some sort of eye disease or macular degeneration (my grandmother had it, but I'm not even blood-related to her!) or bifocals or something.  My left eye has definitely gotten blurrier in the last few years.

20/20!!  Apparently the blurriness I am experiencing is just relative to my other eye, not the rest of the population. No macular degeneration!  Only a slight astigmatism on my right eyes, which is causing the blurriness. 

This all reminded me of Helen Keller, who not only couldn't see but also was deaf.  My mother met her in 1961--she came to their house for lunch in Dallas.

Can you imagine?  She couldn't see or hear but still accomplished amazing things.  I'm so grateful I can see, but I'm just as grateful to have such a woman as inspiration.  She really proves to me that the only excuse I have for my life is me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blessing #83 of 2015: ACTUALLY doing work!

I went to Java today and actually did work.  This is not the only amazing part:
  • I went to the Hyde Park store instead of downtown.  It was a debate. 
  • I stayed there for 3 hours doing work
  • I was wearing jeans, a hat and drinking tea- while I did school work!
  • I didn't feel rushed or cramped for time
  • Because I wasn't rushed, my brain was working better with planning than it has in months!  I wrote some lessons down and then, since it was 46 seconds before class starts, I went back to them an hour later and edited them!
  • I ENJOYED IT!!  I haven't enjoyed doing schoolwork perhaps all school year.  I had no idea that sitting down and actually doing the work could feel so good!
  • Apparently, taking care of oneself is one of the keys to feeling happy that I have just now stumbled upon!  I left there feeling invigorated and motivated to not eat cereal for lunch (which I did), to not stay up late watching Gilmore Girls (which I did) and to go on a run this afternoon (which I did; I'm batting 300, not so bad).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day number 82: Snow calmed my anxiety

It was a winter wonderland when I left McCall today.  It looked just like a Christmas card!

Perhaps it's that I grew up in Texas, where the last time I remember snow was 1984 when we made snowmen in our front yard and I was 9, but I am still excited and amazed every time I am in snow. 

I slept 10 hours last night.  When I got up at 8:30 I was so groggy and tired and ready to lounge around the cabin.  It was pouring rain outside--perfect weather for my flannel pants and hot tea.  Then I checked the snow report for Brundage.  They got 4+inches overnight up top, and it was currently snowing.

This triggered the "shoulds" inside my head.  The committee was called to order, quickly filling my mind with all sorts or reasons why I needed to go up and ski.  Nevermind that I was exhausted, wanted to run, needed to pack, and really wanted to sit around and read all day long.  All that went out the window as the people in my head rallied together to avoid the fear of missing out.  I imagined telling people who knew I was in McCall, no, I didn't go to Brundage that day they got a foot of snow....I chose instead to sit around and read a book.  It sounded so pathetic.

At one point I saw blue skies and the anxiousness got worse (I guess the committee feeds on good weather?).  Ironically I was reading a book about reducing stress, so I put my new tools to work.  I kept sitting, kept reading, kept boiling water when my tea was empty.  Suddenly it was 1.  Something falling outside that looked like flowers falling from a tree caught my eye.  I looked out 10 minutes later and the rain had turned to snow!  It snowed bug fluffy wet snow chucks.  It snowed sideways.  It snowed those little pellets that have some special name.  No matter what, though, it kept snowing.

I don't know if the snow gave me an excuse I could live with for staying in or if the lateness of the hour did it or if suddenly my starts were aligned, or if it was all the windows in the cabin that gave a spectacular view of the snow, but I gave up the battle of "the shoulds".  Some might call this acceptance (which I know little about until all the fight is out of me);  I call it marvelous.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blessing #81 for 2015: Skiing and biking in the same day

A day full of friends, fun, great snow, mountain biking and an ice-covered lake.  I've only seen that amount of ice on a lake a handful of times in my life, and it's amazing!  Check out the fracture patterns...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Blessing #80: Spring break in McCall!!

I am in McCall for a few days during spring break!  I'm so proud of myself for coming up.  I am really, really sucky at deciding and following through when it comes to going out of town, unless it involves an airplane ride.  No, wait, even then, I hem and haw until the prices shoot up a lot of the time.

My original plan was to come up later in the week, but then I realized I'd just schedule myself out, wonder all week if were really going to come up, not come, then regret it all next week.

Also notable is that 3 years ago I was here in McCall for spring break for a week-long class, staying at the local Holiday Inn Express.  Before I left, I broke up with my boyfriend and spent the weekend crying before and after class, with brief tear-ups in my hotel room at lunch.  It was awful.  We got back together by the end of the week.

2 years ago I came up to the same cabin I'm in now and stayed 3 or 4 nights.  It was only a month after the break up (same guy as last paragraph) and I spent those days feeling and crying and hurting.

Not now!  Now I'm happy and lounging in my circa 1999 flannel pants & compression socks with a cup of tea, Tom, and Jerry.  I'm happy as a clam!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Blessing #79 for 2015: Plans on the 1st day of Spring Break

The first two years of teaching when spring break came around I lamented for days about not having anything to do after school on Friday.  Oh, the pity party was big and festive, I'm sure you all got an invitation.

I felt left out and persecuted by and resentful of all the people in the world who were out and about enjoying their lives after they left work at noon because they are busy and important and have bikes to ride and slopes to ski and hills to run.  Woe is me, how come nobody wants to hang out with me?

Then a friend told me that the reason people have something to do the Friday of spring break is because they make plans.


This goes on the [long] list of things that seem obvious in retrospect but that I would never figure out unless someone told me.  It's right up there with "don't drink and you won't get drunk" and "if you want your hair to look finished, you have to finish it completely." 

So I made plans.  I had fun.  I ate sweet potato fries.  No pity parties, just a mediocre movie with a great friend, food and conversation.

Happy Spring Break!

Friday, March 20, 2015

#78 for 2015: Feeling a part of the beautiful day

It was a beautiful, 70 degree day in Boise.  I kept seeing the blue sky out every window at school,  and I didn't feel lonely all day.  Or sad or left out.

This is really weird but in the past on pretty days I would feel really left out and lonely.  Often I'd come home, turn on the TV and spend the hours till the sun went down watching mindless TV or Ever After or Pride and Prejudice (the Kiera Knightley version, of course).  I'd close the blinds most of the time because just seeing the sunny weather conjured in me a deep sense that I was being left out of life.   In my imagination, everyone else, at least in Boise, was out playing outside with their friends doing fun adventures in the beautiful weather.  I considered going out on a bike ride or hiking Table Rock or even just walking around the neighborhood, but the thought gave me a profound sense of pathetic-ness.  I heard all these voices in my head saying unhelpful things like you'd be that old single lady walking by herself, trying to pretend that she's okay with being alone but we can all tell she's not.

Once the sun went down, the sense of being left out or pathetic disappeared.  The critical voices in my head shut down and I often felt embarassed and remorseful that I'd wasted so much time and energy stewing and staring at the TV.  

I didn't do this today.  For one, I made plans.  Did you know that making plans that involve showing up at a designated location with pre-arranged people can make you get off the couch and sometimes not even turn on the TV?  (I had a friend tell me that 2 spring breaks ago after I felt left out that the entire world had plans the Friday of spring break.  She told me, Joy, people have something to do that day because they MAKE PLANS.  It was a revelation for me!)  I went on a run and to coffee with a friend.

Second, when I looked out the windows at school, I didn't feel that left out feeling!  It's a miracle!  I've felt left out of things for my entire life:  sports, parties, girlfriends, my high school, my college, my 2nd college, my masters program for a while, wandering around Eastern Europe, wandering around Ireland.

Okay, I get it.  It's not about where I'm wandering; it's about who I think I am on the inside.  I have finally figured out that I myself am worth spending time with and to keep myself company--so much so that when I got home from my friend it was still beautiful outside and I did not feel left out or pathetic as I made dinner, with the blinds open, sat on the couch and watched 4 more episodes of Gilmore Girls.  Not one single thought of pathetic, left out or pretending.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day #77: Ending a Wednesday with Dancing Queen

I just got home from Mamma Mia, the Broadway show. It was awesome! I'm so grateful my friend had an extra ticket and asked me to go! It's a play written to the music of Abba, so there are great tunes and we got to dance and sing at the end to Dancing Queen.

I'm wearing a boa to school tomorrow.

And my tiara.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blessing for day #75 of 2015: I ran a half but I'm not sick 2 days later!

The Shamrock Shuffle Half Marathon is perhaps the first race in a year I have run after which I did not get sick!  Austin Half Marathon: sick the next week.  Christmas Run: sick before, during and after.  City of Trees Marathon: sick before and after [also was a terrible race for me].  Zeitgeist: sick the week after.  Idaho Wine Run: sick before and after.

I don't even have hives!  Don't ask.  All I know is that the next day after most of my half marathons and all the marathons, I get non-itchy hives everywhere.  They stay for a couple of days then leave.  But I don't have them!!

I have been doing some things to take care of myself that apparently, though they were a news flash for me, have been well-known and practiced among grown up people for years:

The ominous Berry Vanilla Puffs
  • Sleeping more than 6 hours a night
  • Taking Zinc
  • Stop doing things when my throat feels scratchy
  • Lounge around for large portions of time the day after a hard run or race
  • Cut out processed sugar.  My last cereal binge was last Wednesday night  [yes, this is a really long time for me] AND I didn't eat the entire bag AND I haven't touched it since.  I've left it sitting on my kitchen counter as a warning.  As long as it is just sitting there I am reminded to eat an apple or down 3 Lara Bars real quick [a better choice than Berry Vanilla Puffs, even if they are organic]
  • Sleep really well the night before the race
  • Don't cram a bunch of things into the day of the race that are stressful
  • Relax
  • Not eating stuff I'm allergic to
  • Take it easy
I'm so grateful I'm not sick!!  And I'm so grateful for Zinc tablets!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Blessing #74 for 2015: Gustav Klimt

I just saw a trailer for Woman in Gold, coming out April 1, which reminded me [happily] of my trip to Eastern Europe I took with GEEO (a non profit that offers travel programs for educators) 2 summers ago.  The movie has to do with a painting by Gustav Klimt, perhaps my favorite artist ever.

My favorite part of Vienna on that Eastern Europe trip was all the palaces.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Lots and lots and lots of shiny, beautiful things.  Oh, and the music!  And the theatres!

Ahem.  I digress.

One place, the Belvedere Palace and Museum, has a fantastic collection of Klimt pieces, including the one I had seen before, The Kiss.

 Let me just say that no picture does this piece justice.  I broke into tears when I saw this painting live.  The gold sparkles.  And the size!  I Googled it and it's really on about a 4.5 foot square, but in my memory it's humongous!  (Perhaps the shininess of the gold makes it seem bigger.)

It gets better!  At the other end of the room is this painting:
According to the Belvedere website, it is called Beethoven Frieze: "The Arts", "Paradise Choir" and "The Embracement".   This picture is awful, but the original is amazing.  It is also huge (at least, in my memory).

To stand in front of works of art like this was a moving experience.  How fortunate I am to have been able to go to Vienna, but how wonderful for any of us when we take advantage of the opportunities that are right in front of us.  I ran around Vienna for two days trying to see as much as I could, because who knows if I will ever get to go back!

I know that some people have a different take on vacations and maybe on sightseeing, but my philiosophy is, why not go see it if I'm here?  I exhausted myself on the trip in Vienna and Prague, listening to music every night in century-old theaters, visiting palaces, churches and amusement parks and climbing every bell tower I found.  At the Prague castle I stumbled upon a spectacular show of Marilyn Monroe's dresses, shoes and notes peppered with works of art.

The box for the awesome cupcake.  I forgot to take a picture before I ate it.
I never know what I'm going to discover when I show up for what is right in front of me.  In Vienna I also visited Freud's house and on the way back to downtown I found a cupcake shop with the most delicious cupcake I've ever had!  I discovered the choir picture just by wanting to see The Kiss in person. 

At home, it's harder to remember this for some reason, though it's just as true in Boise as in Vienna or Prague or Ireland.  When I just show up [even reluctantly], whether it's going to the grocery store, grading papers, making dinner or a phone call, I give the universe an opportunity to fill my life with something wonderful.

P.S.  You can take a virtual tour of the Klimt gallery at the Belvedere Palace and Museum here (click on the Klimt room).

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Blessing #73 for 2015: Shamrock Shuffle with Friends!

What a great day!  A fun half marathon with friends!  There were actually 4 of us, but I kept forgetting to take a picture until there were only two of us left.  The medals are humungous and I think it left a bruise when it collided with my arm getting into the car.  It rained the entire race, but I felt really good the whole time.  And no knee pain!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Blessing #72 of 2015: A Bad Dream

Last night as I finally turned off the light at 10:10, I said a quick prayer that in the morning I would be able to get out of bed within an hour of the alarm going off.  This has not happened in probably 2 months.  I've been so busy and stressed that by the time a lay down at night my brain keeps going and I can feel my adrenals still firing.

Enter the prayer last night.

I actually slept all the way through the night.  All the sudden I was dreaming that I was walking across a college campus, taking a shortcut through the courtyard of a dark building.  I was scared.  It was dark.  I had that feeling that I should turn around but I kept going.  I got my cell phone out to get ready to call 911 if I needed to, but I couldn't figure out how to get the emergency screen to work while I was so panicked.  As I walked I saw one of those big accordion doors ajar and [stupidly] pushed it: there was a terrible looking man behind it holding a knife.  The look on his face was pure evil and he lunged for me and I was terrified and I ran away and I screamed in my dream and I'm not entirely sure I didn't scream out loud!

There was NO way I was going back to bed after that--it was still dark outside and I was terrified!  Once I got my spirit back into my body, I got out of bed and looked at the clock in the kitchen.  Please don't be the middle of the night.  Please don't be the middle of the night.  I looked.  5:15!  Woo hoo!

I stayed up and spend 30 full minutes sitting, reading, praying, drinking tea, writing, adrenals off, mind still, free of worry, fully in the present.

That's when I realized what God had done, and I said thank you.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Blessing #71: The age of technology

When God was giving out tools for living, organization skills was not one I recieved.  I have, over and over and over again, tried to organize myself. 

Take my paperwork, for example.  I get mail, I make a pile on top of the filing box over months or years, then, when if falls over when I open the cabinet, I take all the papers out and spend 2-3 hours sorting it into piles on the floor.  Then I usually get distracted by watching a movie or taking a nap, eating popcorn, wondering what shoes I could wear with my new black skirt right this second...(you get the idea), leave the papers on the floor for a number of days or weeks and eventually, finally, (usually at 2 a.m.), when I can't stand the mess for one more minute, file the piles actually into the file box.

I could tell you more stories, but it is sufficient to say that the organization of my teaching materials is not much different than the file box.  I literally make piles on the floor by my desk that I have to step over in my monthly efforts to sort through the piles that accumulate on my desk and the counter in the back of my room. 

Last year my school district switched to Google and I started using Google Drive a little bit.  During my Masters degree last summer we used Google Drive all the time and I warmed up to it.  Now this school year our curriculum is given to us via Drive and Dropbox.  I toyed with an online lesson planning program called CommonTeaching.com but I never seemed to be able to get more than a day or two planned at a time.

None of this made a difference to me, though, until I had my formal evaluation last Monday.  I knew going in that my weakness is planning.  Rather than dwell on that, however, the feedback I received was constructive and helpful!  She said something to me I've heard a thousand times but finally it went in:  If you plan now, you won't have to reinvent the wheel every time you teach it later.  Duh.  I don't know if it was the new recipes I tried this week, or the increased amount of sleep I've had lately or the newfound willingness I have to stop wasting so much of my time in all areas of my life, but I heard it this time. 

Suddenly this week I have been noticing things I'm doing that I've done before, that I could SAVE and then not ever have to remake.  I find myself saving things on Google Drive; creating tests and worksheets in Drive; organizing folders in Drive!  And the best part is that I can work on something on my laptop in Drive that is instantaneously updated when I go to my desktop at work!  No more taking things home!  No more "I have to cart this big bag full of materials around with me to get any work done".  No more "I can't find that, I know it's around here somewhere" (well, there still is some of that, but I'm making progress).

It struck me on the way home from work today that perhaps I became a teacher at the perfect time for me.  If I had started teaching straight out of college, there would be no Dropbox or Google Drive or scanning of documents.  There would be piles and binders and spirals and filing systems on the floor.

I end today in the peace and calm of the perfection of God's timing.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Day #70: AMMA!!

I get an Amma treatment once a month, and today was the day!  It's a type of massage, but instead of feeling groggy at the end and ready to rest, you feel invigorated and strong and ready to take on the world!

Amma Bodywork Therapy is what I describe as Traditional Chinese Medicine delivered through vigorous massage.  I got certified in Amma through the Wellspring School for Healing Arts when it was located here in Boise.

Since it's based in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is WAY more than massage, which of course has been around for thousands of years.  TCM and Amma have helped my body heal in tons of ways: my spirit is calmer; I don't have swelling in my ankles like I used to; I understand how food can heal me and have changed my diet; when I get sick an good Amma treatment can help my immune system fight off the infection more quickly.  The list could go on and on, but the point is that Amma can help us heal all areas of life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blessing #69: Belonging

I had a committee meeting tonight that was SO FUN!  How good it feels to sit in a room with people I love, laughing together while we plan something good for our community.  How good it feels to ride there with a friend both ways and to be able to talk unselfconsciously the whole trip!

When I joined, it took me 2 years to feel comfortable around these people.  I almost quit I felt so much like an outsider.

Then one meeting, a woman on the committee, "Hello, Joy," when I walked in.

I was hooked!  My anxiety about staying or going vanished and I stayed.  Slowly but surely I overcame my anxiety, got comfortable with these people and comfy in my own skin around them.

And now I have a room full of friends that I get to see and laugh with once a week for part of the year!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blessing #67 for 2015: Borrowing other people's God

I had coffee with a friend today.  She has such a beautiful, strong connection to God that I can feel it when I'm with her.

What strikes me the most about her is that she is genuinely interested in other people's good.  For example, a man walked by and almost tripped and my friend was concerned he would fall.  Her attention went completely to him from me as he tripped by.  Later a pregnant woman walked by and my friend commented on how beautiful she was.  My friend doesn't have any children of her own and loves being around children.

That last one is what kills me.  I find that I waste lots of energy being mad at God for what I don't have and resentful at people who do have those things.  Until recently I couldn't stand to be around people who had anything that I felt I'd been deprived of because it hurt so much.

Then, as I am writing this tonight, I have PBS on in the background, (watching a great show on Italian Americans, by the way) and this comes on:

Here is another woman who has lost something she'd been given, and though she hurts, she still wants to be around kids and make them happy.  She is not running away from her pain but using it as fuel for constructive action.  (Here's the link to the Muddy Puddles website)

I'm borrowing the god of these two women!  Whatever power they've found I could use a little of lately!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blessing #66: Sadness

I promised myself I wouldn't repeat any of my blessings this year, so I keep trying to find creative ways to use Bogus Basin.  I get so much joy out of this place!  We in Boise are so lucky to have a beautiful mountain so close.  I can be on a lift within an hour of leaving my house.

Today was the last day of night skiing at Bogus.  Not that I night skied at all this year, but that is not the point.  As I was driving down the hill after hanging out with fellow ski patrollers and mountain hosts in the lodge, I found myself feeling low with a heavy sensation in my heart.  A few miles later I was able to identify this emotion as sadness. 

I'm not so much grateful for sadness (although without sadness joy loses some of its sparkle), as for the ability to identify sadness and live through it.  I used to go weeks, days or years ignoring emotions.  I'm not sure it was conscious, it was just survival.  I seemed to come out of the shoot with the idea that negative emotions were dangerous; therefore I avoided feeling sad, angry, hurt, etc. at all costs, so my way of being was unconsciousness.  Though this had the benefit of enabling me to make it through the days, being this out of touch with myself had debilitating side effects.  I was plagued by anxiety, insecurity and was constantly doubting myself. 

When I got divorced at 32 I woke up.  Our marriage counselor sent me to individual counseling and that experience shot me into another world.  I learned how much hurt, sadness and pain was inside of me [a LOT] that had never been allowed to come out.  I learned how to feel the sadness and pain that was inside of me [did I mention that there was A LOT?] and live through it.  I learned how to feel the emotions that [apparently] come with being human (I learned that, too) without spewing all over everyone around me. 

It turns out that feeling emotions is the only way to truly "process" them and get to the joy that lies on the other side.

What a happy/sad day!  Good friends, little snow, much fun.
View from the top of Nugget.
The beauty and splendor of Idaho..

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blessing #65: Full Moon on the way to work!

If you pretend I have an iPhone and you pretend that it is in focus and you pretend that the moon is SUPER DUPER big and bright, you will see the beautiful moon and its glow that I experienced this morning on the way to school.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Blessing #64: A Clean Bathroom

I cleaned the bathroom tonight.  And the kitchen floor, if you must know.

And yes, I'm proud of myself!  There was a time when I never cleaned either. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day 63: The Husband's Secret

For book club this month, we're reading The Husband's SecretI listen to them on CD and some months it takes me three or four discs to get sucked in.  Some months I just barely make it through them. 

No so, this month!  I was hooked after a few chapters--still on the first disc.  I don't want to tell you anything about it, because it's so great to listen to.  It is set in Austrailia and read by an Austrailian, which totally enhances the experience.

Read this!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blessing #62: My changed attitude

Yesterday at work was...rough?  I didn't sleep very much on Sunday night and I had my annual formal evaluation then, too [yes, I chose that, I know!].  Let me just say that I was not in the running for teacher of the year based on how school went yesterday.

But last night I took A to B Calm (Magnesium supplement)  and went to bed really early--and slept!  No lying there for 2 hours wondering why I'm not asleep; no getting angrier and angrier as the minutes ticked on; no exhaustion the next day. 

I also asked God to run my day before I started today. 

What a different day!  I was full of patience and kindness toward my students.  Class after class was awesome!  I can't believe what a difference my perspective makes.  I apologized to two classes for being so cranky on Monday, and one kid said, "I knew it!"  This made me laugh.

Today I could see the good in my students.  I saw kids who are uncomfortable and insecure about their mathematical ability; who want to please me and feel successful in school; who want approval.

And this made all the difference.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Blessing #61: Energy Saving Trees

I got a tree!  I got a tree!  Idaho Power has a shade tree program.  Residents of Ada County can qualify for a FREE shade tree to save money.  (It's so cool, check it out here.)  I got a flyer for it in the mail with my bill about 6 months ago, but by the time I logged on to sign up for my tree, they were out of trees.

Not this time!  I got an email today about the program and placed my order about an hour ago!  I got to choose from about 8 varieties of trees.  WOO HOO!!!

I decided on a Princeton Elm, which will turn yellow in the fall according to Google.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Blessing #60: My Freak Out On Friday

Last Friday I had what I felt like was a major meltdown.  A few of you might have witnessed it.  There was yelling a cussing and God in the same sentence.  One friend told me to stop trying so hard (which made me cry more) and another friend told me that I was just "this close" (she held up her thumb and first finger up about an inch apart) from a surrender.  She told me that some people don't ever get to this point of surrender and that I seem to be approaching (this made me feel much better but still made me cry).

After my outburst I sobbed and sobbed on my way home, where I watched 5 hours of Gilmore Girls and finally went to bed around 11:30. 

In the morning I almost bailed on my running friends.  Wallowing seemed necessary and it's draw was hard to escape.  The 51% of me that wanted to go got me dressed and showed up at the bottom of the Robie hill.  About 5 miles in, I was so glad I hadn't stayed in bed!

My mind started to clear.  My spirits lifted.  The grogginess passed and my body started to feel good.  My whole day turned around.

Next I went to church to "feed the hungry" (see post from Saturday), took a nap, then on my way to dinner at my girlfriend's house, I saw a rainbow over my house!!

Today I got to spend the whole beautiful day skiing with the Mountain Hosts and was so excited to see some friends I hadn't seen in over a month.

Now, I'm not saying that the meltdown on Friday made the beautiful day today or the rainbow yesterday, but I am saying that they meltdown on Friday was a cathartic release of emotion.  It was like the pressure cooker of my spirit went off.  I feel so much relief.  I feel like I am letting God be in charge these last two days.  I'm saying that the blowup on Friday cleared the space inside of me for God to move in. 

Thank God for meltdowns.