Friday, January 31, 2014

Ice Cream for Breakfast???

Earlier this year I vowed to evolve.......

to try new things......

Well, tomorrow is one of my first opportunities to do something JUST FOR FUN!!!

Because tomorrow is......

Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast day!!!

Yes! This REALLY is a celebration!

In case you are not familiar with this particular celebration, allow me to give you a little background:

Several years ago there was a family who lived in the distant corners of New York state, the part far distance from the bright lights of Broadway. In that area winters could be cold and brutal. The weather could also cause life to become very boring.

In order to brighten up the dreary days of winter, the family decided to celebrate something a bit out of the ordinary, something that was just for fun, so the family created what they called Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Even when the two children, Ruth and Joe, headed off to college they continued to celebrate the holiday every year on the first Saturday in February. Word spread and now people all over the globe celebrate right with them.

The only rules are that you eat ice cream for breakfast- whatever flavor or ice cream treat you prefer. 

Tonight I plan to stop off at the local grocery and splurge for a special pint for myself, as well as my teenage daughter. I am fairly certain that she will think I am a bit crazy, but I am also fairly sure that she will not mind jumping in and celebrating right with me.

Won't you join in too?

I would love to hear from you if you plan to celebrate. What flavor will you enjoy? Leave a comment and join in the fun right with me.

Back to School...... At least Temporarily

It had to happen, sooner or later.

After weeks of snow and cold here in good old eastern KY, we are finally getting back in school. It is hard to believe that this will make only 5 days that we have been in school during the month of January.

The sad thing is...................

I am not really sure that I WANT to go back.

As I get older and closer to retirement, I find myself getting more and more dissatisfied with the job of teaching. I got into this profession because I wanted to help children and I still do. I wanted to see the joy that comes when a student finally "gets it" and I still do. I wanted to help students realize that there was a whole other world out there where THEY could make a difference and...... I still do.

Sadly, there is so much that gets in the way of those things:



New Programming

More Paperwork

Lack of Student Motivation

Even More Paperwork

and Even More Meetings

Teaching just isn't what it used to be. THAT is why I find myself sighing a bit as I prepare to load my bags and books into the car and head back to work this morning.

I do have one consolation............

This IS Kentucky and it IS JUST THE END OF JANUARY.

THAT means............

There is sure to be another storm front bringing more snow, ice, or both our way within the next few weeks.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Glimpse of the Future

The last couple of weeks have been tough ones for me, because they have revealed a future that I am not sure I am ready for.....

A couple of weeks ago my uncle died. As I visited the funeral home on the day of his burial I found myself thinking of the inevitability of the loss of my own parents.

Then, this week, my mother celebrated her 74th birthday and I found myself returning to a local funeral home as one of my colleagues buried her mother.

I have been lucky to have both of my parents for as long as I have. My father has been through several accidents and life experiences that could have taken him from us. My mother, though in relative good health, has been experiencing memory loss in recent years and seems to be constantly experiencing some type of health issue.

Each time that I speak with Mom and she tells me that Dad isn't feeling well, my heart grips for a few seconds. I find myself wondering if he is finally experiencing some illness that could be the one that takes him away.

I know that I will never REALLY be ready to lose my parents, but this glimpse of the future has really jarred me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cleaning Calendar----- Trial One

Yesterday it finally happened----

After two weeks of Christmas break and an unexpected extra week of time off thanks to snow, ice, and the polar vortex, the day came when I had to return to school. This meant a return to early mornings, after school meetings, and paperwork.

But this time things were a bit different.....

When I chose my word for the year I decided to focus on evolving, changing, and rediscovering the joys of living. One of the big steps in making that happen has been to begin thinking about ways that I can actually reclaim some time for myself.

Like any other household, a large part of our time is spent cleaning. When I get started, it inevitably turns into a cleaning marathon. My daughter (Bless her heart) often complains that when I start cleaning I keep cleaning and it turns into chore after chore after chore. What might have been a Saturday afternoon of fun becomes a Saturday afternoon of exhaustion because of a Saturday morning full of cleaning.

This is the year that changes!

While cruising through Pinterest a while back I came across a great post about a Cleaning Calendar. Jennifer Scott (Bakerette as her blog is named) is a woman after my own heart. She really wanted a clean house but she wanted to break things down into smaller, more manageable bites, so she created a daily/weekly kind of breakdown that would enable her to have set things to do each day rather than try to get it all done on a Saturday.

I have downloaded her calendar, shown it to my hubby, and shared it with my daughter. This is only our second day trying to use it, but I think it may work. Things were much smoother yesterday and I actually got to relax for just a few minutes in the evening (even after our weekly after school faculty meeting).

Don't get me wrong..... the piles of things here and there are still bugging me. I have to figure out how to get dear daughter and sweet hubby to realize that stacks of things (organized though they may be) can still be clutter and need a home other than the kitchen table. Or maybe...... I will just have to change and learn to live with their stacks-------

Here is a link to the blog entry about Jennifer's Cleaning Calendar, just in case some of you would like to give it a try too!

Getting Organized: A Cleaning Calendar 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Living In-Between

A while back, I came across a description of THIS BOOK online:

I was intrigued and added it to my Christmas "wish list" that I make for my sweet hubby. On Christmas morning I found it inside one of the many packages that I received. As soon as the scraps of wrapping paper had been bagged, the new clothing had found a home in the closet, and some semblance of order had returned, I began reading.

In the weeks that have followed, I have found myself highlighting quote after quote.

I have always been one of those people who tried desperately to store away in my memory every significant moment that I could. I became a scrapbooker early in my son's life and he is now nineteen. I have book after book filled with photos and journaling documenting his achievements, his milestones, the laughter, and the tears. I continued this practice with my daughter who is now sixteen.

When I read on page 17 of the book, "Many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now," I thought for a brief moment that I could pat myself on the back. After all, I had documented all of those best moments, right?

As I read on, I began to doubt myself.... I found myself agreeing that the important things, the events that really shape us are sometimes the things that we overlook- those minutes BETWEEN events.

I spent last year waiting to turn 50........... knowing that it was coming, and wondering what would change. Well, guess what? Nothing really happened. The day came, the day went, and I was the same person. That is part of the reason that I selected my word for this year- EVOLVE.

I want to take time during 2014 to really examine who I am, what is it that has shaped me, who do I want to be for the remaining years that I have? I want to enjoy each moment, not agonize over it. I want to LIVE in those in-between moments. I don't want to be one of those people that Jeff Goins talks about....... the ones who are "speeding up and skipping over, missing the important as we scan for the urgent." I want to be one of those people who is experiencing the meaningful things in life.

I have not finished the book yet; I am taking my time, trying to digest each chapter and see what the significance is for me personally, but I can honestly say that I recommend the book whole heartedly!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Little Word....

A couple of years ago I was introduced to the concept of selecting a single word for the coming year. It was meant to be a way to help you focus on one particular aspect of your life that you wanted to change or refine..... kind of a new take on resolutions, I suppose.

Anyway, at the time I selected the word "reduce" and it worked. I took the year to focus on reducing my stress and reducing the size of my waistline. I was able to achieve both.

Last year, I didn't really join in. I just kind of drifted through the year........ living.

As I prepared to enter 2014, I wanted to once again join in the One Little Word movement, but I really wasn't very sure of the word to choose. I have spent the last week or so thinking about it and trying to decide what the one little thing would be for me for the upcoming twelve months. Finally, it came to me.....

My word for 2014 is.......

Allow me to take a minute to explain my word choice...

In looking over my life in recent years and what I wanted for the future I kept seeing a variety of elements of my life that I wanted to change. At the root of all of them was a change in ME.

I have reached that milestone age- 50. This year I will become an empty nester, as both of my children go off to college. Glenn has (semi) retired and is rediscovering his love for music, singing, and community service. I think the time has come for me to begin my own personal evolution.

I need to rediscover the things about me and about life that I love and use those to help shape my future. I need to allow myself to make changes and grow as a person... though I know that some of those changes will be difficult.

I looked up the definition of the word evolve and saw that it was "to undergo gradual change; to develop". That is exactly what I hope to accomplish this year.. I want to EVOLVE as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a human being and to allow myself to stumble a bit as I do so.  I want to take my time.... to explore just who I am at this stage in my life.... to rediscover the things that make me uniquely me... to develop into an even better version of me