Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Work, Frustration, & Prioritizing

I had the best blog post rolling around in my brain as I was working out this afternoon.   I'm realizing it sounds whiney as reread what I have written.  In light of the horrible tragedy we remember tomorrow I am reminded how blessed I am.  What do I have to complain about? Having a job? Clothes to wear? Enough food to eat? A safe house to live in?  Maybe it's not such a big deal I couldn't hold my yoga poses like I expect I should be able to do after nearly 3 months of PiYo.  Maybe today sucked and the kids were jerks.  I didn't get a prep time, like usual, but I did get 30 minutes of lunch today, which doesn't always happen.  I did get to complete 70 minutes of workout.  I had the opportunity to use behaviors as teachable moments several times today. A meeting after school resulted in some solutions to some other issues I've been having with some kids and curriculum. 

That doesn't mean this year isn't taking a toll on me.  Not having any prep is very taxing.  I'm at school until 4 most days just to keep up with my documentation.  That doesn't usually include any time to prep for the next day.  That gets done in the morning before school and on Friday nights for the week ahead.  I come home exhausted every single day.  I'm struggling to find the balance.  Most of this is because it's my first year in this position.  My workouts are crucial to my daily survival.  I crave that hour to myself each day.  It's truly the only time I have to myself during the day other than the few times I manage to make it to the restroom.  There are just some things I'm not willing to give up.  Coffee, lunch, my kiddo's sporting events and my workouts are non-negotiable.  I'm getting whiney again... ugh...  It will all get better.  I know it will.  Just have to keep going. 

How do you stay balanced?  How do you get things done and not end up wearing yourself out? 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Summer Solace

Today's post was going to be titles "Summertime Sadness" but that's not completely accurate.  Summer sunshine is the balm that heals the woes of winter.  Fall is definitely on it's way.  I can already see the changes in the landscape. The summer coneflowers dropping seeds, the grasses waving big beautiful tails, pumpkins blazing orange awaiting picking, the sun is casting long shadows earlier in the day.  Football Friday's, Cross Country Saturdays, bon fires, blankets  and hard cider shared with friends.  

I have window's open today.  A cool front moved through taking with it the humidity and 90 degree temperatures that have hung around the last two weeks.  What a relief from the constant beating rays causing sweat to ensue as soon as one steps outside. It's so nice to feel a breeze flow through the house along with the songs of the cicadas and crickets outside the windows.  My kids would disagree, calling them pesky and loud, not unlike the both of them.. ahem.. I mean, nothing like my little darlings. Ha!

I suppose it shouldn't surprise me how time has flown by.  Some schools are just entering their second week, yet we are entering week 6. One month down.  5 weeks until fall break.  5 weeks until Cross Country Sectionals & regionals.  My oldest son is 5 weeks into his high school career, and 5 weeks from the end of his first varsity season.  

Until then i will continue to enjoy the bounty from my garden.  The squash, tomatoes, and last of the green beans.  Fall kale, spinach, and lettuce.  Trips to the apple orchard for crisp apples and fresh cider. The herbs in the pots on the porch. Savoring the freshness that can only be brought by sunshine and warm temperatures of summer.  


Monday, September 1, 2014

Unofficial End of Summer

Many days and weeks have passed since I last blogged and for that I am truly sorry, friends.  My best wishes to blog on a weekly basis died a quick death.  I wish I could write while I run.  Running has become a frequent occurrence again despite the August heat and humidity.  Words lap onto the shore of my brain as I place one foot in front of the other steadily recounting events, struggles, laughter from the day.  All of these thing good blog material.  It's as if when my feet stop my brain shuts down.  Imposed writers block due to inactivity.  My body craves movement; thrives on it apparently.  Do you think my professor this fall will accept my breathy dictations in place of nicely written research papers? Most likely not. 

I'm sad to see summer go.  I love the heat, the humidity even.  Not the oppressive stuff that makes breathing difficult.  Feeling the sunshine kiss my skin with heat.  Afternoons at the beach. Working in and eating the goodies from my garden.  The summer colors in my flower beds. I just love the summer.  Maybe I wouldn't appreciate it if it was summer-like all year long.  I doubt it. I just love it!

So anyway, I spent the last unofficial afternoon of summer 2014 with my husband, sister, and dad down at our tiny hometown's annual Labor Day festival.  Dad, Dayna and I all usually go together, and this year Rex joined us, and my mom brought my niece and nephew for a while. Every year we eat the best roast beef sandwiches, play Bingo for a quarter a card until we win or run out of money (my sis and I save quarters most of the year for the occasion), buy raffle tickets and usually end up winning something like a tool set, a free pizza from a shop in a neighboring town, or a cash from my dad's business.  We usually have a good time talking to folks we haven't seen and most likely sat next to at Bingo last year.  Some things don't change.  Some big things do change.  For instance, I know fewer people every year.  This fact doesn't surprise me as much as hearing my dad say the same thing.  Is it sad the people I recognize are his age?  I've seen my share of men wearing white crew socks with sandals and jean shorts for quite a long time!  

All of this makes me think about how lucky I am. We really live in an alternate reality from much of the rest of society.  We are the stereotypical white, middle class family.  Two working adults, two kids, two cars, ranch style house, blah, blah, blah.  I'm like an ostrich with my head in the sand when it comes to seeing what others have to struggle with. I have a husband who takes care of us. Parents who taught us how to make an honest living by working hard, even when we feel like giving up. Parents who taught us respect. Who taught us to live by the Golden Rule.  Why does this feel more an anomaly than a norm these days?

Perhaps I'm being too harsh in my assessment.  A tad bit judgmental? Maybe so. But this I know for sure: I have great memories of that little town and the people in it, many of whom I talked to today.  I was married in the little Catholic church in front of many of those people I talked to today as did many of my friends and family.  These memories can never be taken from me despite the changing demographics and landscapes. No amount of volunteer work or civil service will bring back the school, the elevator, the blacksmith, or Bauer's Grocery Store, much the same as my dad can't bring back his family's pharmacy or doctor's office that were gone long before I became a citizen.  I can, however, continue to support my little town's Labor Day tradition by eating roast beef and playing Bingo down along the river at the tiny VFW hall.