Thursday, December 31, 2015

Where Are the Cool Kids?

"You're young, you're single..." Then why am I not out at a party with all the other young, single people? Instead, I'm on the couch in my PJs with a bottle of wine and some Redbox movies...cause that's what the young and single and cool people do.
I maybe should have gone out tonight, but really just couldn't bring myself to do it. It wouldn't have been a night with just a few close friends, rather a bunch of strangers and awkward conversations trying to catch up people who may have been a part of my life at some time...and that doesn't necessarily spell out FUN to me. Plus, the weather create some major road problems and has had people bumper to bumper and scrambling to find alternate routes to their destinations, and that doesn't spell FUN to me either.
See, I have my excuses. I don't know how good they are or if I'm just putting forth a sorry effort to continue this recess of isolation. Because that really is what most of this break has consisted of - a lot of me and little of anyone else. I know, and we could speak of healthy or unhealthy all we want but as soon as I'm required to go back to work on Monday and be surrounded by people all the time, I'll want my own time again. So I've been mostly guiltless in my long gym visits, late night movies and reads, late sleep-ins, YouTube binges, morning lattes, store roaming, and really, whatever else I feel up to. Like venturing into Illinois for a unexpected breakfast and a 10am movie.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Be My Guest

When one of your BFFs since you were in diapers needs a place to crash on the weekend, you don't hesitate...even if she does have her four kids in tow. Four kids, 6 years old and under, packed into a one bedroom apartment with a love seat. There were blankets and pillows strewn across the floor, along with books, dvds, magazines, pretzels, crayons, papers, pencil shavings (yes), grapes, and a pile of tears and "no"s tossed in the corner. Somehow, it was manageable. They all fell asleep when they were supposed to and stayed there until they were supposed to, and though they weren't necessarily where they were supposed to all the other times, there was nothing broken when they left here. No computer or record or picture frame or bones.

And one of the most meaningful conversations I've had with Steph in a long time may have occured also. Not that our conversations typically aren't; we just don't see each other often enough that most of conversations have to be catch up - what have you been up to? But this conversation actually veered towards beliefs, spiritually and Biblically, and I realized how much I need those conversations.
Just the comfort and, thus, honesty that comes with that kind of friendship....

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Give a Girl the Day Off...

Vacuumed the floors.
Mopped the floors.
Scrubbed both sinks, and counters.
Scrubbed the tub.
Took out all trash.
Cleaned out pantry.
Sprayed entrances with bug spray.
Cleaned coffee pot.
Did all dishes.
Organized books.
Finished a book.
Wrote 2 blogs.
Made a journal entry.
Two and half hour workout at the gym.
Shopping lists. And shopping. 
Made a killer dinner.
Watched a movie.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Even So

"The sight of all that time-worn stone, shaped grain by grain over thousands and thousands of years, made it seem like the place had been created by a very patient God." - Half Broke Horses

Goodness gracious. Goodness and graciousness. Work has been much busier lately. More work and less working out, which puts my in a bit of a tizzie. But the drain of extra running around combined with not eating healthy didn't do me any service as far as trying to get to the gym. I've felt a bit...crabby. That's really the only way to say it, and I can't quite put my finger on why. I've been spending a lot of time with people, but I don't think its been necessarily enjoyable time. Certian encounters might have made me a bit leary; feeling like people want control over everything or let me know that they know everything or just questioning everything. Maybe I'm just incredibly defensive, but I don't know if I'm being very nice.  I'm short and corrective, even to people who don't deserve it. I'm avoiding hanging out with people. The turn-around needs to happen; me being more conscious of my vibe and energy before I start becoming people's target. Or before I just get bitter. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Things and Stuff

The wave came again. More heat. Then a nice cool off, and now the temperature is auguring to creep back up again as if it was just a short little tease. Back and forth, back and forth. Just like my emotions these days. 
A wave of frustration came in with the Indian Summer. One person after the next that I have to build up my nerve to challenge. At the insurance company, the grocery store, work, the weekend gig at the garden, my landlord, and even a friend. The second to last one has been a dousey - I'm currently in the process of writing my grievance after numerous phone calls to no avail. Oh, yes, someone answers and then little, if anything, is rectified. So another phone call. A backed-up air-conditionar which overflows onto the kitchen floor; a dishwasher which refuses to drain; mold which finds itself in the most unexplainable places; a leaky hot water heater soaking the carpet and having to sit for 72 hours until something can be properly done about it. 
And the matter of an unprofessional email sent to my superiors regarding a matter that misrepresented by someone who didn't take the time to investigate. I'm stirred up by ignorance, the willingness to put someone through  labor or distress just because you're lazy or need a power trip is something I'll never understand.

Cap it off with the new car not looking so new anymore. It was an accident. One that could've been avoided, but then all accidents usually can be right? That still means having to deal with things. Things. So much of stress has to do with things, and when its the people behind them as well it can just be all the more of a hitch and strain. Its amazing how much you can let it suck from you, how easy to lose sight beyond things and, well, even beyond people and their actions. 

But there has still been a good laugh or two, a couple real fall days of cool weather and grey skies, and some great reads and great food.... things that I suppose should be paid attention to. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


"August feels like a hinge in the year. Swing backwards and summer is there, swing forward and fall is waiting. I'm in the swing forward camp. I'm never sorry to the see summer end, although I'll miss the peaches. I'm ready for sweaters and socks and new suede shoes." - Stephanie Madewell (Even Cleveland)

Entering the third week of school and it may be the hottest week yet. We're heading into the tail-end, the fizzing out of summer, but are still coming in the building all sticky and smelly from activities. The Indian summer has hurdled itself right into the midst of us while I've been poised for the change of seasons for a couple of weeks now. Eager, wishing, hungry for something different. Ready for the door to swing. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Newness of New

And here we are. Back at it, after what some may call a summer vacation but really didn't feel very vacationy at all. Vacations rejuvenate, refresh, even inspire as they take you away from your everyday, away from your regular, away from "the norm".  I didn't get that; I'm just back, with nothing to show for it. We stood in a circle and while other shared celebrations of a new home, so many years married, new grand baby, some trip, project finished...I listened and shoved away my millstone disguised as a new car. A new car - exciting and nerve-wrecking and a bit heartbreaking to know I'll be saying goodbye to my not-so-trusty Big Red who I actually love driving. But I do think it was just that time. 
And it was time to go back I suppose.  The time I had did seem like a break though, and for that I should be thankful. I should be thankful for a lot of things that have occured over the past week or so. New car, or almost like 2 new cars once the JEEP is returned after a make-over, new books thanks to the Book Fair, new food and drinks, a new school with new kids...Its all fresh and rejuvenating in its own way. I hope to take advantage of this year, to really search and evaluate and consider; to not be so stressed by the prospect of having to endure.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Head and The Heart

Being home gives me time. And more time allows for the inpromptu rumaging through old things, old memories. I've dug some things out of the archives, opening boxes and notebooks/journals filled with the collection of experience - struggle and pleasure. Other things that are often displayed right in front of me have gotten more attention as well, seemingly jumping out to prompt me into longing for another episode...

The realization or just rememberance that I've gotten to do some absolutely incredible things in my life has been a blessing; refreshing in a lot of ways. But its also made me want more. Its made me not want to have the time to sit around. I've been struggling with the fact that I haven't taken this summer to get up and go somewhere. Then the opportunity presented itself for a time a little later on, this fall, and I was one click away from a plane ticket; before I had time to think through the pros and cons and be somewhat responsible, I was committed. I was going to Ireland, maybe France, time and money be damned. I was so excited and so anxious at the same time because I want to GO but I know once I was boarding a plane, a few hundred dollars would be tacked on to that once I was trotting around in an enjoyable fashion. I mean, Ireland! France! It doesn't come cheap as I'd want it to count for something.

But then the car went on the fritz, the plane ticket went up, and Ireland got cut down to just a few days while Paris got extended a few days, and I just couldn't rationalize the spending of my savings on a less than ideal package; a trip in which I would be limited and wouldn't really get to do my heart's desires.

So I turned it down. My motto of "just go" took a back seat, or really got thrown out the window is more like it. My heart sank a little, knowing I would return to work without a single story to tell while others would be able to go on and on about the summer travels. Its no secret the last year has been a bit of a struggle for me... but there was some relief in my decision, too. And immediate planning for the coming year.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Trophy in a Postcard

I'm home. Not necessarily where I want to be. This summer, this year really, has brought me still, to remain after so much commotion in a spot I seemed wedged in...
This is the first summer in about 8 years, I believe, that I'm not packing my bags and headed off on some grand adventure. I accepted it, partly because I didn't know what else to do, and partly because I sitting might not be so bad. It might be what I need desperately. Down-time, is something I'm actually relatively good at; its accomplishing things during that down-time that I struggle with. I can watch tons of movies and sprawl myself through the internet, and read and even plan...but actually executing...
I want to be doing, but often I need a jump start. Just sitting and telling myself to get things done doesn't really do the trick; its the motivation from something else that sparks more motivation to move on. I'm sitting here browsing through other friends' and acquiantances' photos, and wanting to be there. I don't even necessarily care where there is, but its somewhere outside my ordinary where things are happening. I get jealous; it may also be a craving or simply discontent, but I can't deny a sense of envy for others' adventures and envolvement. Their summer looks thrilling, and most importantly, successful. They did something.

As much as an answer to prayer my last 3 or 4 months have been, I can't say there is anything to be proud of. And that, ultimately, is what I think I'm struggling with. The fact that its been a whole year since I've been able to hold something up for everyone to see. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Out, Digging

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." -Margaret Atwood
In the summer, too, and why not be covered in it?

Even with gloves on, my fingernails become black, and I forgo scrapping out the mud and mulch that has accumulated from the hours spent plunging them into the ground. I burn under the sun, get bit by seen and unseen pests, pricked with thrones and jabbed with stubs, my muscles ache and I don't really mind it. 
The time passes with me clearing out entire patches of weeds and runaway plants; I yank things as tall as I and some as small as fingertidp, my ears plugged with music to hum along to or contemplating past and future events, talking to myself or God......

I got an unexpected summer gig, which couldn't have been any bigger of a blessing really. With nowhere to travel to this year (a huge disappointment I'm still struggling with), I was going to be left on my own for five weeks without much to do other than go shopping, apparently. Shopping with money I wouldn't have. So instead, I toil in a surprisingly enjoyable fashion, for a surprisingly generous amount and feel rather accomplished at the day's end. The money, if I'm going to be honest was the primary motivator, and obviously, I wouldn't have taken the offer without it, but the mornings and afternoons have provided unexpected peace as well. The earth, in and of itself, can be calming, reflective, and even healing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

You Know

You know when I rise and when I fall
When I come or go, You see it all
You hung the stars, You move the sea
And still You know me.

via awelltravelledwoman

Thursday, May 28, 2015


"Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together? Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences."

People need companionship. Myself, a self-proclaimed loner, doesn't always like to admit this, nonetheless, its the truth. I can hibernate away, even in the stark of summer, but then here comes the need, the desire, for other life. I find rejuvenation in nature, in the view of mountains, fresh air, water, a sunset... yet also in a good conversation. Sometimes I don't even know it, know that I need it, and I find myself in another's presence where things just come together; I think the others needed it, too. On a bit of a whim, Pops and I drove to a different town along the river and ended up perched at some waterfront, biker bar where we downed a couple cold ones and shot the breeze with those doing the same. Just a little, a handful of exchanges and it felt a second wind. Enough to get up and move on.
The next day brought a recollection of a treasured boss over White Castle burgers at the kitchen table after pulling countless weeds out of the soil. An elderly gentleman on his own, often leaving me on my own to work, but ready to tell a story to a willing ear. 
Its these small encounters that I realize I need more often than not, usually forgeting/avoiding  to seek them out. Some come and go, never to be visited again, and others come back or we carry them with us for long enough. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cathedrals in My Heart

The days are getting longer, the nights shorter. I can hear the kids outside my window or door dribbling the basketball down the pavement or playing tag across the lawns well past dinner time. I'm staying up later also, somehow feeling like there's more time in my day just as I did when I could run outside with the fireflies when I was young. Like I never have to be AT anything, like no one was necessarily expecting me at any specifice time. Before the heat strikes and seems nearly debilitating, this is a stretch of the year I enjoy. School is coming to a close, a bit of excitement of a schedule/routine change and restrictions being lessened. Though I am feeling a bit regretful as this is the first summer in probably 7 years that I don't have a trip planned. Nothing; no Asia or Europe or Africa or cross-country drive. I'm torn between that urge to get up and go and the relief of just being able to relax yet get some things done. I don't necessarily want to run away anymore....maybe in a sense, but I don't hate going to work. Seriously, I have hated going to work. A lot. And suddenly, I don't hate it so much anymore. Not at all, really. I've been seeing these little blessings, if you will, that have popped up just because I stuck around. Because I stuck it out. There's been a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will, a reward for perservering and however long I stay now, I have that affirmation and satisfaction.

Friday, May 15, 2015

One Small Step, One Giant Leap

He did it. And then jumped into my arms to celebrate. I told myself I was perfectly fine with the notion that he may never do it, not for a long while at least, and understood the anxiety, but I think deep down I wanted him to know he COULD do it if he made up his mind. I wanted him to have a victory. 
We talked about here and there for two weeks. More than two weeks, and he assured me that he had no intention of conquering this fear. "Go ahead, ask the Arch question," he instigated, and answered with a resounding, "No." But then he got in line and took a deep breath because all the other kids were. The tears just started flowing, but he stayed put. 
He was so happy he jumped into my arms at the top. Literally left the ground to hug me in jubilation. 
He even reminded me a day later that he did it, with a an ear to ear smile.I still look at him, nearly 5 years after we met,amazed at his progress and think to myself, "I had something to do with that." Actually, I've been told I had a lot to do with that.

This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.
- Terry Tempest Williams

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Picking Out Stars Between Thumb and Finger

Its a night like this one, when the air is cool and a bit crisp, but still and silent, and the moon peaks over tree limbs while the stars cling to the sky like bugs on a windshield (or like splotches of ink on notebook paper, if the tools were reversed) I may feel most alive. I'm running, my lungs are swelling and sweat is framing my face, but my legs are weightless and spry. This is the feeling of 
possibility and....hope, because you feel powerful and backed by something powerful as well. 

It also makes me think of Africa, where I have felt more alive sync; its something which is immensly difficult to put into words because the feeling is typically at a time or in a moment you weren't necessarily prepared for. My moments are unexpected and sometimes slowly but often instantly, I feel full. If something were missing, I feel like I found it. The stars usually do it, and in Africa the stars were more dazzling than I have ever witnessed. Its a night like this one that feeling comes back along with the remembrance of things that have accompanied it...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Better Yet

Ahhhhhh. Spring - freshness, newness, lively, healthy, airy, cheerful, and inspiring. It feels a bit like a clean start but with blessings I am familiar with. I am well aware that it could be gone soon enough though I'm trying not to think about it. I am on a fervent mission to not return to a certain place next school year. I feel like I'm almost actually where I belong....and there's still something better yet.

defeat, my defeat, my deathless courage, you and I shall laugh together with the storm, and together we shall dig graves for all that die in us, and we shall stand in the sun with a will, and we shall be dangerous.
-kahlil gibran; the madman 

photo via awelltravelledwoman

Monday, March 30, 2015

I Am in Your Light

Never would I have imagined this seemingly coming full circle. I guess you could call this a circle; perhaps an ellipsee as it surrounds two focal points, or maybe just a curve because I still don't really know where this is going to take me. As much as I would like to have a plan, and often do with a lot of things, somethings I just ride out. I know I've been doing that with this job a little too long, but its also allowed me the chance to do some other incredible things. But now I've returned to Beasley, under completely different pretenses of course because I never would have agreed to it otherwise. Nope. No way would you have gotten back in that building working side-by-side with certain someone. Not that we ever worked side-by-side; she moreso loomed over me and then ducked when responsibility came looking for her.

❝ I don’t think that anything happens by coincidence. No one is here by accident. Everyone who crosses our path has a message for us. Otherwise they would have taken another path, or left earlier or later. The fact that these people are here means that they are here for some reason. ❞

At the time I was happy to leave, and I think I'm happy to be back. Wohlwend had become so frustrating it took away from what we were trying to invest in the kids. It didn't even feeling like investing anymore; it was just getting by, making do, showing up. I can't say this new gig is going to be any more rewarding, but much of the (pardon my language) bullshit within the actual building and classroom seems to be absent. I walked in a little nervous today, just because I thought there would be a possibility of let down.  Change can be hard, frightening. Leaving what you at least know, however frustrating and disheartening, is safe.  What if they don't take to me well or we don't mix? What if its crazy and I'm not equipped? What if no one cares or wants to help? There are so many things that can make the transition intimidating. But it can be so good, too, and bring so many things along with it.  In this case, peace. Its almost like I've been vindicated.

Friday, March 20, 2015

This is the Thing

This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find … themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. … they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.
Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.
Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? … Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”
Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe … life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.

Relevant magazine

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jagged Pill

You live you learn, you love you learn
You cry you learn, you lose you learn
You bleed you learn, you scream you learn

I guess Alanis Morisette figured it out years ago...I thought almost certainly I had figured it out years ago, too but things still creep up and then wallop you. Hard. Sometimes you feel like a fool, sometimes you feel sorry for yourself, sometimes both if you've been hit hard enough. Though, I'll admit, its not so much the impact or the force of the blow; I've been fortunate to make it out intact and for that I'm very thankful. Its much more about the frequency. The things that have happened have happened in a relatively short period of time. It can feel like your being engulfed in negativety and dissent. And when you feel like you're being swallowed, things start to look hazy and unclear, without a direction of where to go. I hate not knowing what to do, and that, in and of itself, can often be the problem. I've failed to acknowledge that things aren't in my hands; I've been failing to acknowledge that, instead trying to fix things all my own or, worse, just accept defeat.  I think the reality is that clarity often causes confussion, while murkiness can lead you out. Its the realization that maybe you don't have all the answers, maybe you don't have a handful of options, you just have the sacredness of calling on someone else...

Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood.

                  - C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

Sunday, February 22, 2015


No more sickness, no more sickness, no more sickness. No More Sickness!!!! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

All the Small Things

I wouldn't, on average, consider myself a worrier. Even off average, I don't know if that's a word which can be attributed to my personality, especially in comparison with other who really, well, worry. 
Now, when there's a tragedy or catastrophe, or something I would describe as violating, such as getting my car stolen, I may panic. Hyperventilate. But sometimes little things, even mere inconviences, add up to cause worry. Or anxiety. Or frustration. 
So when those little things are countered, sometimes they seem like big things.

Something like losing (or forgetting) your locker lock at the gym. A lock that you thought was $5.00 but was actually $10.00 and even though you used a gift card it was a gift card that you could have used on dozens of OTHER things besides a lock. But since you've had something stolen, now you think about leaving things (particulary things not locked up) and you don't want to leave said things (cellphone, wallet) in the car because that was, well, stolen. So not knowing where it could be and hoping you remember to ask the gym desk person if anyone turned it in, but instead finding the lock, a day later, set right on the bench in front of the locker you special. Its a good thing that makes your mood a little more good, or your day, or whatnot. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Come Out of the Shade

There are so many little moments throughout the day at work, little moments of insanity and delight, moments that inspire and discourage....its difficult to even relate many of them to people or even down on paper. Mostly, as of late, they have been moments of frustration and discouragement. Its unfortunate; its come down to encounters with co-workers and administration - petty, trivial, insignificant things that overshadow the incidents which are supposed to take your focus. Incidents which tug at me whether I'm at work or not. I can take the student gettying angry at me and giving me a good thump (yes, I get smacked almost daily at work), I can handle having to take off down the hall after a kid who get mad or who simply thinks its hilarious to have someone chase him, I don't even mind having to haul a kid off the floor, or block a book or lunch tray being thrown at me...
They're kids and they have so much going on inside of them that none of us will really understand. But I lose it when an adult fails to address an issue in a professional manner, or when they ignore a problem that's occuring on a daily basis, or they expect a kid to behave perfectly, or they hound someone regarding paperwork, or simply not communicating anything efficiently. I lose track of the grand things: 
the hug and "I miss you " from a student who has been out sick; the student who finally asked for permission for something when words are such a struggle; the student who finally did something all by themselves or the student who goes to the bathroom on the toilet for the first time. These are victories, celebrations and I barely have the energy for them anymore. Its not that I don't care about them; its great that they happen but I think I'm almost indifferent. And its because I can't get out of the funk the rest of the day puts me in. Everything else swarming around me clouds a lot of the good. That's unhealthy, uninspiring, unmotivating. I've had a really hard time with it all as of late, even shedding a few tears. And I thought today, "Some of this is me. I'm choosing to be downtrodden and resentful and bitter when I walk through these doors. Let's try to change that. Even though I know its time to leave, its time to get away, I'm here for now."

"Change your energy, change your life."

Friday, January 2, 2015

I've Forgotten How To.....

The new year has come and gone, but mostly it just feels like it has just gone. It was surround by sadness and anxiety and fear because something else had gone too. My car was taken in the middle of the night, from right outside my apartment. Though it could have been so much worse, as nothing harmful was done to me personally, it still felt like I had been invaded, attacked. Like the act was done TO me and not just some random car that could have been anyone else's too. And maybe I was a target....and so I've been paranoid pretty much every night since. The first night, it was every little noise and a couple of nightmares that had me waking up. Now I just find myself wanting to be in before too late, even before dark which really is unreasonable and rather depressing as well. But I have this
pending, unsettled mood hovering over me or around me. An aura of unease. 

I even got the call just a few days later; today. But spending the majority of my week on holiday break actually dealing with and worrying about this...has been draining. I'm spent and in absolutely no mood to return to work in 2 days. I feel like I need an additional week to actually enjoy and get things done....

Mom and Dad have been truly life saving. Dad especially, remained shockingly calm and has navigated me through most of the "What the hell do I do?" moments. I've kept going over everything and asking myself what I would've done, who I would have called, who would've helped. He and I really almost reversed roles, with me freaking out and nearly hyperventilating and him telling me to breath, it will be alright. Well, I don't know if its alright YET, but I have a bit of hope.