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

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

Monday, Monday 3 things

February 28, 2022 – I am grateful that today I felt energized after work for, probably, the first time in 2022. I have been sick or just run down all of 2022 so far. So, today was a good day – serene – and the weather was nice enough, too for a long silent walk. Ahhhh; I am grateful today for God knowing who to put in my path and exactly when to do it. Blessed are the angels; I am grateful for the excitement on the faces of former students when they see me unexpectedly out in the world. It’s fun. Thank you for this day.

#choosejoy #3things #gratitude

NOT SO Daily 3 things

The struggle is real, folks.

So, I have clearly struggled these past few days getting my daily gratitude out. I have thought about many things to write and about many things I am grateful for. However, my current mental state and life events have left me with back-handed, snarky gratitude that I did not think was healthy to put out into the universe….until now. Lol. tongue in cheek – I am grateful that I had the fortitude not to punch that flying monkey of a divorce attorney in the neck when she continued to suggest that I had 3 months in the summer in which I could work 40 hours a week and make a big impact on my salary. The nerve; I am grateful that I am strong, intelligent, and well spoken, particularly when others are condescending, dismissive, and manipulative. It’s how I survived the last 25 years; I am so terribly grateful that I do not have to go to bed tonight with a stoned drunkard passed out next to me, only after telling me I’m dead weight and worthless. #Iamenough. #covertnarcissistshidewell #choosejoy #gratitude #3things

I will do my best to reframe for a brighter post tomorrow and I am grateful to know that the power is within me to do so!

February 15, 2022

Friday Snow Day – Daily 3 things of gratitude

January 21, 2022 – Brrr it’s cold out there! In South Carolina we don’t often get that biting cold wind that takes your breath away when you step outside. I felt it today, boy. Brrrrrr. The moment I felt it was immediately grateful for the warm home I had just stepped out of and the warm car I immediately climbed into. My heart aches for the homeless or for those who cannot afford to properly heat their homes. I will say extra prayers for them tonight; I am grateful for the technology that allows us to have eLearning days with out students; I am grateful for the clear chest x-ray today – so grateful for good health (even when I don’t feel great). Find the joy around you every day…#gratitude #3things #choosejoy

December 1, 2021 – Today’s 3 things of Gratitude

I am grateful for the annual leave days that I am able to use however I see fit. I saw fit today; I am grateful for the love and compassion of those who I now surround myself with – I encourage you all to eliminate toxic people from your lives. Time is too precious; I am grateful for teachers of all kinds who have helped me on my journey through life. #choosejoy #3things #gratitude

the few…the proud…the incredibly sore

Educator’s Workshop at Paris Island March 1-4, 2016 for the Recruiting Station of Columbia, South Carolina…holy cow…what an amazing experience.  The sign that speaks 2016-03-03 07.20.02 (2)the mission of the base really says it all.  “We Make Marines”

My participation in this workshop tops the list of professional development experiences and learning  about what I can do to help young people to find their paths, wherever they may lead.2016-03-01 15.26.41

Our group of 30 educators stayed in Beaufort and traveled to the base daily.  We met Marines and recruits and learned what it takes to be a US Marine.  We also were able to experience shooting the M 16, repelling down a 50 foot wall, running the obstacle course, and of course, visiting the pit.

The PIT – a sandy spot that looks like it is ready for a beach volleyball game, but I assure you this is not a fun spot.  PIT, I believe stands for “personal incentive training”.  Now, I don’t know if that is an official breakdown or one of affection.  I know we all thought that some “personal incentive training” could be very effective in our classrooms.

The repel wall… one marine at the top and one at the bottom.  These 2 men are there to make sure you go down safely.  You could pass out and drop and still be lowered without harm.  This did not assuage my fear AT ALL!   So, here is the whole story.  When we first arrived, they put us in formation and said “those that have no intention of repelling please go to the back fence”.  I did not move.  I was in.  The instructor explained what was going to happen and told us to go get our gear.  I walked with the group, but in the room with the gear – I bailed.  I came out empty handed…I just could not do it.  My fear of heights was going to win today.

2016-03-03 09.51.43The Marines that we were working with over the course of the 4 days expressed their dismay as I passed by to join the non-participants.  I stood to the side for the 20 minute preparations of the group – anger growing and frustration brewing.  Not only was I battling my fear of heights, but I had just hurt my knee on the obstacle course (read about that here).  Still, I could not take it any longer and I walked up to my Drill Instructor and said “I don’t want to wuss out – is it too late?”  No it was not.  They went and got gear and got me ready in 60 seconds flat.  As I climbed the stairs the shaking began.  I tried not to think about it as I watched educator after educator disappear over the side.  It was finally my turn.

Marine number 1 hooked me up, told me to step back, and then, just lean back.  I tried and tried.  We were to put our heals over the edge – half on, half off sort of thing.  And then, keep legs straight and do a trust fall – 50 feet in the air – with the guy that is going to “catch” you 50 feet below.  I kept staring into the eyes of Marine number one and listening to the voices of those below – trying to distinguish  that of Marine number two.  I had my first heal over the edge.  As I tried to inch my other foot back, I rocked back and forth, left to right, not really making any progress.  As the anxiety level rose, I had to step from the edge completely again.  UGH!  I repeated this twice.  Seriously?  I was so frustrated that I could not overcome this.  I wanted it so badly!  My Marine was so patient and so good and calming a woman on the edge.

Again, I get my right heel over the edge.  “Now, just move your left foot,” he said.  Sure.     “I’m trying!”  I screamed.  Mental note – do not piss off the Marine holding the rope.   Deep breath.  Finally, I edged the foot back and he said , “you are there – now just lean back.” and in one fell swoop I dropped over the edge.  The exhilaration at all time high in this 46-year-old life – I made it half way down the wall before they stopped me.  My fingers were dangerously close to the rig and we needed to reposition before they lowered me the rest of the way.  Whew.  When I hit the ground it was hard to even think straight because the adrenaline was so high.  I do remember, however, giving a great big hug to Marine number two.

2016-03-03 14.14.57-2

I can see why they make recruits to this.  A trust and confidence builder for sure.  I am so grateful for the experience and to two very special Marines that I will never forget.

Batter up!

I just sat through the first scrimmage of our girls softball team for this season and boy was it cold!   So, after coaching track and going on a run with my husband, the weather seemed tolerable enough – oh no — no, no.  The lack of clothing on my body and the failure to stretch after my run, and the (what felt like) 20 degree drop – not a good combo – I have some tight muscles!

Anyway, I enjoy going to the sporting events of my students.  I try so hard so go at least once every season to every sport.  My goal is 2-3, but sometimes I just cannot make that happen.

As I looked at the softball team tonight I realized I either currently teach or have taught every girl on the team, by far the highest volume of students of any sport.  And, although my fingers maintain little feeling still as I type this post – my pride for these girls knows no bounds.  Although I left after 2 hours and they still had more game to play, at one point they were down zero to 7.  They fought their way back to an 11-7 lead.  Nothing makes me more certain that I am in the right place when I see young folks rise above and conquer.  It had nothing to do with me – I was merely a spectator.  But, boy it felt good to see them fight and find that success.

I do not know at this time if they won the game, but they definitely won my heart (too much?).  Well  it’s true – and I know that I am a big sap!  If you get a chance to attend a sporting event at a local high school I encourage you to take it.  These kids work tirelessly at their sport.  We often hear comments like “this generation is so lazy”, “these kids are so entitled”, “no one wants to work for anything anymore”.  But these kids go to school all day, maintain their grades with homework (sometimes hours), and practice every single day for 2 hours after school – not to mention friends, jobs and chores.  And yes, I put friends on the list because, let’s face it, relationships of all kinds are work.  These kids work hard. These kids have drive.  I was so tired after work today…but then I just remembered how tired my students must be, too – and so I go and sit in the cold.  Way to go girls!

***update – I wrote this a few days ago – the girls won the game.  I have since been to a few more games and they continue to thrive! Go Canes!

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