November 3, 3 things.

I am so grateful for open and honest conversations. Communication makes or breaks any relationship. Clarity; I am grateful that my surgery went very well yesterday (outpatient- nothing major). But I woke up and came home. Whew; I am grateful for this hot cup of coffee I’m having with my boyfriend this morning. #choosejoy #things #gratitude

The Gratitude Reboot

Oct 19, 2022 – 3 things

Serene

Today I am grateful to find peace where I once was troubled; today I am grateful to be settling into my new home – purchased by me and no one else; today I am grateful for all of the women who came before me that made it possible for me to get a mortgage without the signature of a spouse or a father. #choosejoy #3things #gratitude #empowered

3 things – simple

August 8, 2022

I am grateful for late night, left over pizza and garlic butter;

Yummy

I am very grateful for this streaming ice machine thingy that goes through my current brace- it is very soothing (as is the pizza, if I’m being honest);

I am grateful for my amazing friend and her timely, post-it note worthy words “we can hold space for many feelings at once”.

Hoping I have all that I need to fill the cups of those who cross my path during this school year.

#choosejoy #gratitude #3things

Summer 2022 is almost gone but my to do list isn’t finished.

August 7, 2022

I am grateful that when I tore my ACL abroad that I did not break anything else the multiple times I fell as I continued to walk 5-7 miles a day. I tore it on the plane ride over, but when school starts it will be because… I tore my ACL in the Alps. Seriously – sidestepping my way to the window seat is just too… sad.

I am grateful for the support I had during that trip and here at home during surgery and this past week of recovery. A positive environment helps the healing and so far my healing has been awesome. Thank you.

I am grateful for grace and forgiveness. I will be even more grateful when I learn to give both to myself consistently, but I’m afraid I am still a work in progress in this area. So wonderful that others have mastered it and can teach me. I practice, but it’s very hard. It’s so easy to give to others but not to myself. I know I am not alone in this particular battle and struggle for growth as so many of us are so hard on ourselves. Still, I go to bed tonight with a grateful heart knowing that today I tried to be the best person I know how to be, that God loves me, and that my light still shines bright.

So, my to do list for summer 2022 remains with many items yet to be done. I shall use this as a challenge to myself to try to maintain some balance in my life as a teacher. You see my to do list was not filled with chores, but with adventures and new things to try. I don’t have to wait until summer 2023 – and for that I am grateful.

#choosejoy #3things #gratitude #aclsurgery #grace #forgiveness #travel

July ? 3 things – it is summer and I’m a teacher…

I am grateful that my trip abroad with students and parents finally happened and we had a successful educational experience.

A hilltop in Belgium where the American Memorial stands to honor the soldiers that liberated Belgium in WWII.
The precision of the American cemetery. Chilling.

I am grateful for the roof over my head and the home I have built for myself, but I have really been missing my house and my outdoor space. I pray real estate prices come down so this teacher can afford to buy a house. I am grateful I have enough – because I do…I have enough. I don’t need a house – I want a house, and I am grateful to know the difference.

I am grateful for the two little angels I spent the weekend with. They surely have my heart…just when I didn’t think I’d give it away ever again – God tricked me and sent me grandchildren. The sweetness, the innocence, the joy and laughter are all so uplifting and life-affirming.

I decided to put this photo of me as a child on my phone to remind myself who I really am. I, too, am a precious gift from God. This photo was kept in my daddy’s wallet until the day he died. ❤️

#3things #gratitude #choosejoy #bertramtravels

May 19, 2022 – 12 days ’till closing.

3 things – I am grateful to have Baby Bird in the nest for a few days, even if she is too busy to hang out.

I am grateful that, by the grace of God, in 12 days I will close on the sale of my home and I am assured my final order for divorce will also finally be signed by the judge – Praise God. It’s been over 2.5 years and I think the stress has aged me 10 – but I have never been more at peace.

I am grateful for my dear friend who celebrated her birthday today. She means the world to me and I would be lost without her.

#choosejoy #gratitude #3things

3 thing April 12 – 2nd day of spring break – I’d rather be at the beach!!

I was a wreck – so nervous.

So, day 1 I got sinus surgery and it’s a 3-5 day recovery with 2 weeks of no strenuous activity. I did this over spring break so as not to miss more time in my classroom since the repeated sinus infections that knocked me out so bad doc gave me a Covid test every time, kept me from my job on multiple occasions. Then I got Covid!!! So it’s been a very rough school year.

So here is my list of gratitude I am grateful for the surgeon and health care professionals that did an amazing job of calming my nerves, healing my pain, and giving me tender and full attention. Special shout-out to Chris, the recovery nurse that was generous with the pain meds but more importantly, started singing I am woman…how did she know?

I am grateful to have people to surround me with their love and care as I recover at home.

I am grateful that I call tell the pressure behind my eyes – the one that made them feel like they would just explode out of my face – well, it’s gone. Praise God.

On another note…

I was called selfish and a bad teacher this week by another teacher. I was told I lacked commitment to my students and criticized how much school I had missed, my lessons and instruction. Although she has never been in my room. Nonetheless, it really hurt my feelings. She is a friend. No conversation, no asking me if I’m ok or why my absences have been so many. (See sinus story above).

Hmmmm chronic illness… Choosing to take care of my physical, or mental health for that matter, is not selfish. It’s called self-care.

I have accepted that she was having a bad day, is overwhelmed by her job, and chose to lash out at me. Perhaps even something personal going on as well. Teaching is hard and very demanding and we tend to ignore our own needs ALL THE TIME. So I repeat, self care is not selfish.

Basically? We had a misscommunication as I failed to receive information about a student. That prompted the unprofessional email. Anyway – I’m disappointed she was not made to apologize or did not do it on her own accord – as she also sent this to 2 administrators. I was told it was handled and now it’s a personnel issue and they can’t tell me anything. They printed my email of concern and put it in the file of this incident Total cop out.

I don’t want to reply to her attack in kind. I thought about bringing her flowers and just saying – something is clearly upsetting your life and I hope whatever it is gets better for you .. and give her the flowers. Be the bigger person and give her. Chance to apologize. She’s a teacher – she’s under too much stress – she snapped and had a target that morning and unfortunately it was me. I can empathize. But I can’t accept the personal attack. Standing up for yourself is a part of self care. I cannot let it go unnoticed. She is my friend. This could be just what SHE needs.

I am grateful that I have grown is gratitude, grace, and peace and I hope to continue to help others grow as well. You are never alone. Ask for help. Reach out – someone will reach back.

Have a great day everyone. And be kind to one another. You never know what their struggles are.

#gratitude #3things #choosejoy #selfcare #bekind

April 6, 2022 Gratitude should be spoken.

Today. Hmmmm – today the Lord gave me breath and pushed me out of my bed. I am grateful. Today I had food to eat for breakfast and a car to drive to a job (after a hot shower and fresh clean clothes attained) I am grateful. Today my feelings were hurt. It’s was shocking and made me hide in the corner so as not to show my tears. I am grateful for the friend that stood and listened and the other friend who offered a hug – not because she heard us talking but because she could tell I was upset and she cares about me. I am grateful. I listened to a play with students who don’t like to read aloud. I am grateful for the actors who recorded the words. I went to my second job after a faculty meeting and I was grateful to have a colleague inquire as to my health and day, rather than just walk by saying nothing. I am grateful. I did my job and was told thank you for being here and I heard the genuine gratitude in her voice. I am grateful. I got to enjoy a lovely dinner out with a lovely friend who shares many experiences with me. I am grateful God allowed us to find one another in all this chaos. My son called me. I am grateful. My daughter called me. I am grateful. I worry about the person who hurt my feelings today, who lashed out irrationally and unprovoked. I will pray for her tonight and I am grateful that it is my choice to decide how this will affect me. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts and it ruined my day because until now I thought this person was my friend. I believe she still is but perhaps needs some grace and prayer. I am grateful that I have the power and strength to give her mine, my grace and prayer. I’m in my bed now. I’m grateful for the comfort of my pillow for it has been a difficult and long day. I am grateful for my life. For my mistakes. For my loves. For my losses. For my wins – I am grateful for me. Finally, I am grateful for the medicine I take at night that keeps me healthy. This world is so crazy – speak your gratitude.

3 things: forgiveness; grace; prayer #choosejoy #gratitude #3things

3 things at the end of a very long, hard week.

March 25, 2022

Today I found some treasures in a box that has not been opened in a long time. Boxes full of memories really can help to remind you who you are and who you’ve always been no matter what kind of crazy enters your life. It was very comforting and for that I am grateful; I asked my juniors to draw and color a scene from their book club book. They all loved it and some turned out some amazing images. We laughed, they relaxed and talk about their books, and we spoke about the mental health benefits of coloring or creating and I am grateful we had this time together; I am grateful for my safe arrival in Augusta to babysit this weekend and extra grateful that my soon to be 21 year old son came to play, too. #choosejoy #gratitude #3things #getyourowndamninsuramce