Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Showing up...

Today I read a blog post by the Brave Girls Club founder, Melody. It was a heartfelt message and one that resonated deeply within me. Showing up is often times the most difficult part. These days showing up seems to be the challenge. I have lost my spark...sure...I pretend, but on the inside I feel nothing.

Work has become a place where I go...not the place that I love. Watching my home be torn apart brick by brick is disheartening. Looking under the bricks to find the silver lining is becoming more difficult.

I once wrote about otters holding together when the seas are rough. Right now, the sea is very rough and I feel like I am grasping frantically to see if my raft of otters is still there. We are all clawing...the raft has been broken apart, the strength of it weakened over time.

 I continue to show up...with a smile...reaching my hands out...grabbing whoever I can...whoever is there. I am trying to protect myself from the rocks, from the waves that threaten us.

When the day is hard...show up. When I want to cry...show up. When I am frustrated...show up. sad...show up. This is what we do...it is what is expected.

When the journey is difficult...just show up. Make a stand...be a presence. Just show up and you are one step closer to being there...which, frankly, is a better place that just standing without moving at all!!


Monday, March 31, 2014

All you need is love...

Today was a pivotal day. A day that may impact my career, my future...

Everyone just needs a little love. Sometimes we just want to be told that we are valued, that the work we do is enough, that we are helping move the train forward rather than just being a cog in the wheel, a replaceable part. We all want to feel that our contribution to the cause is making a difference, creating a path, a path that leads toward a better future.

We want clarity...

I am passionate about my cause, have worked hard to build something. I know that everything that is built may not remain, that these structures may be temporary, but it is difficult to feel that you are temporary in any aspect of life.

I don't know what the future hold, where my path may lead...I do know that I just need a little love...I don't think that is too much to ask.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Settling In...ready to be free

My son had major spinal surgery...another step in the life of a child with a child with complex medical needs. We spent eight days at the hospital and, amazingly, he is healing well. There were no major hiccups, no issues, it was an essentially smooth surgery. This is a first for us...Usually if it can go wrong, it does. I was fully prepared. It went fairly well...small bumps.

I haven't blogged...I have slept. Sometimes I feel like my life is so exhausting that I can't get enough sleep. I am tired of being tired. Exhausted from being exhausted. Waiting for something to fall into place...to be easy.

Work is becoming a place where I can't find clarity or focus. I am trying to free my world from clutter, both in the sense of people and things. I am ready for freedom and space...I am ready for the feelings of openness.

The last few weeks has been an amazing feel of lightness...even with all of the things happening, the surgery, the stress of recovery...I have felt light. I want to stay in this space...I am truly ready..ready for a change, ready for what is coming...I am on this walk, this journey...
whatever it brings...I am ready, finally ready.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

From Crooked to Straight...

It has been a long week...the cutest boy had spinal fusion surgery on Monday and we are hanging out in the PICU. It is a little like being in a fishbowl. I was walking down the hall on the 9th floor the other day when looking down out the window and noticed some cute stuff below...wait...that's MY cute stuff! Great...apparently I am the display for people above..Oh well!

Life has never been a straight road with the cutest. There have always been curves, jaunts, sometimes even complete hairpins. Thinking we're going one way only to find that our life has been flipped over and we are actually going another. It is a life that keeps one on their feet. "Never get too comfortable," is our mantra. So many times we have begun to settle in, just to be reminded that our boy is actually as medically fragile as we thought...we forget sometimes...this is just our life...it is as it is.

I have had a lot of time to think these last few days...contemplating what my next life move might be. I have done a little art (Monday), have books to read (which haven't been opened), gotten texts from students complaining about whatever they are complaining about, and watched some TV online. I have also thought about my future...our future. The cutest boy has gone from a crooked boy to a straight one. He will be able to sit straighter, breathe easier. Eventually he will feel strong enough to go brace-free and wear a regular t-shirt with nothing under it just like a "real" boy. Big steps in the life of my boy...

Now it's time for me to look too...what is it going to take for me to go from crooked to straight? This is the question that I contemplate. For me, no surgery is required, but what is required is deep thinking...pros vs cons...visions and directions.

Crooked to straight...I am ready to feel the air go into my lungs again...fresh, pure, invigorating.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Where the Wild Things are...

Today I am Max...If you've never read Where the Wild Things are than now would be the time to read it. It was the book of my childhood...the book that described so much about my life. Max wants his way...he is mad...he goes to his room (without dinner) and goes on his fateful trip to the island where the Wild Things live.

Max becomes their king, teaches them to roar their terrible roar, gnash their terrible teeth. Each of the Wild Things seem to represent part of Max's personality...his emotions running through his body. He is angry...with his mother, with his world. Through his trip to the place where the Wild Things are, he let's the "wild rumpus begin."

Soon Max discovers that he doesn't want to be separated from those that he loves...he wants to heal...he doesn't want to be angry any longer. Max wants his world to become one.

I am Max...I am angry...I have gone to my island and now I am leading the Wild Things. We are making a ruckus, we are gnashing our terrible teeth, roaring our terrible roars. I know that my time will come to come home, wherever that may be...join those I love...

I am Max.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I get by with a little help from my friends...

Friends...a gift...sometimes they are ones you have had for a short period of time, some for a lifetime.

On this journey, I have been examining so many pieces of my life, looking to see where I need to do some house cleaning.

It has been a slow and laborious process...looking inside oneself, deciding how and when to clear out, clean out, move out, move on. I wait for signs, look deeply...

One suggestion was to find the things that I really love, the things that speak to my soul. I joined a choir.

Before high school, I had moved in with my dad and step-mom. I was angry, hurt, confused. My life with my mother had been less than savory. Before school started I went to church camp and met a guy, Chuck, who would become one of my best friends throughout high school. Attending the same school was a gift. I had someone who was allowing me to grow into a new me, leaving the old one behind.

I joined choir. How was I to know that this would save me...give me some of the greatest friends I ever knew, connect me with a director who would work us harder than I could have ever imagined, but ultimately showed me that teachers can care about their students while expecting great things from them. I put as much choir into my system as time would allow, ultimately carrying eight classes during seven periods my senior year.

So, I joined a choir...directed by that same director from so may years ago, one of the men who showed me what it meant to be a great teacher, filled with friends from so long ago. When I walked into the choir room on Monday, I felt like my life was coming full circle...the pieces are finally coming together.

What do I hope for? I hope that my life will finally begin to make some sense...that the pieces will come together...that things can feel whole...

I will definitely be doing this with a little help from my friends...



Monday, March 10, 2014

Grateful for the rain...

Tonight my daughter flew in from Illinois. It has been a brutal winter for her...snow and cold for weeks on end. For an Oregon girl, the lack of rain and green has been difficult.

Rain...cleansing the air and the ground, bringing a sense of newness.

Sometimes our spirit needs to be renewed, refreshed.

Water falling from the sky, washing over us, cleaning the filth of the world off, leaving a clean fresh canvas.

This clean canvas, washed by the rain, will be where we paint the picture of the life we desire.

Rain...fresh, clean, beautiful...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Decisions...decisions...

Why is it that decisions are so hard to make? Why is it that at a time when you don't want to make them, they are forced upon you? Life is hard...

This has been a year...a year of confusion, clarity, sadness, relief, opening, and closing. It has been a time to mourn and celebrate, look within myself and look into the face of others.

It's the little things that matter...the little things that make the difference. I am digging deep to determine what those things are. What are the things that are the difference? Is it friends, a satisfying career, deep connections? Which are the ones that matter..truly matter...

Feeling appreciated, honored, encouraged are some of the most important things. Whether in our personal life or professional life, to feel that others value your opinion, your skills, and talents fills you up...helps you to grow and bloom.

So, here I am...decisions ahead of me. What is right? What feels the best? How does one care for oneself while still caring for others?

Questions...decisions...sometimes I wish it was easy. I wish the answers were clear. I wish I knew which way to go. I wish...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Best or worst?

Blogging...a weird sort of public therapy that many employ. Because it's public, one often has to decide how personal, how direct, how much to reveal.

Sometimes the anger of the day brings out the worst and other times the joy highlights the best. The key is that honesty is not always the best policy. Sometimes metaphors and history lessons are used to highlight the experience of the day.

Processing about work, family, life in general...thinking about raising a family, raising a special needs child, teaching children who struggle, whose lives are crap...

So best or worst? I don't really know...depends on the day, the minute, the second...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Finding myself...

When do I feel most like myself? This is an interesting question. There are so many facets to my life...teacher, mother, wife, friend. Sometimes I think that I am many people, rolled into one.

Who am I? When am I at my best, most confident, most comfortable? When I am teaching I feel good. My interactions with the students usually positive. I feel like I am making a difference, learning, teaching, creating.

As a mother, I am all over the map. I know I do a decent job..I love my children...each other them whether I birthed them or not. I have tried to show them that hard work pays off, love your job, love your family, and stay loyal to those who love you. I hope that I have done my job...I never want them to doubt that I am with them, love them...

As a wife...oh my. I am sure my husband wishes that he had a cooking and cleaning wife, but bummer, her took me...the opinionated but fiercely loyal wife!

As a friend, I believe that I am loyal and try to be a good friend. I desire a relationship where I can have deep conversations, vent when necessary, and listen when needed. I have few good friends, ones I know I can count on..that is okay with me...

So...when do I feel most like myself? I guess it depends on which me you want to know...teacher, mother, wife, friend...just some of the sides of me.