Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -Create

Joining Five Minute Friday before heading out to our camping trip!  This week’s prompt is “create”.  So, here goes:

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This weekend I aim to create memories.  I am living a life with my daughter who is on borrowed time and although I certainly hope and pray she lives a long and healthy life with her transplanted heart, I also try to be cognizant of the fact that I have no guarantees.  Now, no one really has any guarantees (see this horrific story about the dad and 11 year old son who lost their lives in the Nice attack yesterday), but my awareness of this is just a bit more acute with my DD.

Many of my favorite memories from childhood are those on the road.  I didn’t always have the most pleasant of experiences at home.  My father was an alcoholic, but for some reason, when we were traveling, he was usually pretty good about staying sober.  I remember my mom reading to me (for some reason, I really remember reading Ishi one year on our way to Wyoming), listening to the AM radio as we drove through darkness on unfamiliar roads, waking up in a new place each morning.  I remember one time in Arizona waking to the braying of a wild donkey (burro?) outside of our van at a rest stop.  I remember going to museums and old ghost towns and zoos in other cities.  We did a lot of things on these trips and they always felt like an adventure.  We didn’t have super specific plans.  There were no cell phones with GPS so we went by maps and stopped at Visitor Centers.  We camped at rest stops and KOA campgrounds and state and national parks.  And all of those trips created fond memories of family.  That is what I want for my daughter.  No one’s life is all good memories.  She will have her share of hospital and medical memories that will not be great, but hopefully we can create some others that will be her true place of comfort and joy.

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Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Lose

Joining up with the Five Minute Friday crew over at Heading Home again this week.  Five minutes to write on a prompt.  This week’s word is “lose”.

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In all honesty, I couldn’t think of something to blog about immediately based on this prompt.  I thought of a lot of sayings:

  • Can’t win for losing.
  • Don’t lose yourself OR
  • Lose yourself in what you love.

But, I couldn’t make a connection to my life like I usually do.  But, I think I’m starting to realize that sometimes it is good to lose.  I mean, losing weight is good when your health is threatened.  Losing yourself in a good book is great.  But, other times losing is bad.  I lose things all the time and it is frustrating.  But, it is especially bad to lose people.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve lost both of my parents.  There are still times when I think “I should call my mom and tell her this.” or that I have a memory from my childhood with my dad.  So, I guess we don’t really ever lose people unless we lose the memory of them.

So, losing is one of those things that often gets a negative, but can be good as well.  So many things in life are like that.  There is no simple way of looking at things, but instead, we have to examine them and be sure that what we are seeing or feeling about that thing is “real”.  I have definitely suffered through some losses.  But, I have also had good results from losses.


 

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Cheer

Friday, already?!?  Unbelievable!  Spring 2016 has officially come to a close (Class-wise.  Grading-wise, it has just begun to come to a close.) and I’m feeling both relieved and a little wistful.  So many things I would do differently (and can, next semester).  So many students I hope will keep in touch with me (I had some real gems this semester – I’m saying that with no sarcasm at all).  So many things I really enjoyed (and can’t wait to do again next semester).  So many unknowns moving forward!  And a sure-to-be-too-short summer “off” once I get my grades submitted!  I both love and hate this “in-between period”.  It is hard to stay motivated to keep grading quickly and efficiently when I know that I won’t have students asking me about them in class.  It is hard to not jump forward into planning without doing a proper and realistic appraisal of this past semester.  It is hard not to collapse into a pool of exhausted jelly and just watch the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel for weeks on end.  But, I am attempting to keep things going…and that includes my semi-regular, weekly blogging attempts, of which Five Minute Friday is one of the more regular semi-regular posts!

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So, here goes….

Cheer relates to “joy” when I think about it.  Feeling “cheerful” means feeling content and happy.  It also relates to celebrations to me.  The whole “Cheers!” thing we say when toasting others.  And this week is definitely one of celebration!  I gave my last final of the Spring 2016 semester on Thursday and I am somewhat cheerful in looking forward to summer break.  My DD is going to be finishing up First Grade on Thursday and I’m definitely feeling cheerful about that.  At a number of points during her short life, I wasn’t sure we would celebrate milestones such as this.  Summer is always a reason to “cheer” for me.  It is one of my favorite things about being a teacher!  I get to spend long summer days with my DD enjoying summer fun.  I know how lucky I am to have that ability.

Cheer also makes me think of “cheering” for someone or something.  I love baseball and we’re getting back our minor league team after many years of absence.  I am excited to have someone local to “cheer” on and to be able to take my DD to baseball games during this summer of cheer!


That’s it.  Not very deep this week, but it is done.  Even if it was a day late (I went to bed before the actual Five Minutes began last night.  🙂

 

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Five Minute Friday – Expect

I’m joining Five Minute Friday again this week.  I missed it last week.  I almost did it a couple of days late, but decided not to.  I like the idea of doing it ON Friday.  This week’s topic is “Expect”.  Join in if you would like to be part of a supportive community with great messages to share!

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So, here goes:

I have high expectations for myself and my life.  I often over estimate what I’ll be able to do or get done in a certain amount of time.  I often have expected that things will come easily for me (because many things have in the past).  But, life is not so simple or easy and I often find myself coming out the other side disappointed.  It has not yet caused me to change my expectations though.  I somehow stay optimistic (perhaps unrealistic?) in hopes that even those things that didn’t come easily for me will still come.  I still expect that I will be able to accomplish what I need to accomplish, even if it takes longer than I thought it would originally.

Part of this “positivity” is my optimism.  Part of it is hope.  Part of it is that I realize expecting little doesn’t do much for my motivation or my drive.  So,  I would rather have high expectations and fall short than have low expectations and not have tried for something better.  Part of the positivity is based on the fact that I have had such huge blessings in my life, how could I not recognize where things have come more easily to me than to others (Bean’s heart is one thing that always comes to mind…we waited such a short time and we’ve been so lucky with her health since).

So, I expect…not necessarily “the best” but definitely good things to happen and for me to be able to do what I truly need to do when I truly need to do it.  So far, thank the Lord, I have been allowed to experience that, for the most part.  So, yes, I have had a rough seven years or so, with my parents’ illnesses and Bean’s illnesses, but things could have been so much worse.  And most of the time, I think I was pretty consistently thinking that things would be better, not worse.  I wasn’t always right about that, but the thoughts kept me sane.


That’s it for this Five Minute Friday!  Join up!  I’d love to hear what you have to say!

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Five Minute Friday – Pass

Participating in Five Minute Friday over at Heading Home again this week.  This week’s prompt is “Pass”.

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So, here goes:

At this time of year, “pass” is all tied up in grading for me.  I am a teacher, after all and we are nearing the end of the semester.  I consider myself to be a decent teacher.  I’m not great…yet.  But, I’m working on it and I think I do a pretty good job right now.  But, some of my classes are doing pretty poorly.  It is always a question as to whether their pass and failure rate are a reflection of you as an instructor or them as students.  In the end, it is probably a combination.   As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.  I am someone who believes that you can make the water a little more appetizing to them.  You can even give them a way to drink that makes it easier for them to access the water.  But, in the end, you really can’t force it down their throats.  But, it is my goal to do more in my teaching to make the water attractive and to make it easier for them to drink.  I guess I want to be able to make them so thirsty, they can’t possibly turn the water down.

It is not easy though.  I need to improve.  I need to be more engaged.  I need to have a better plan and strategies and activities.  So, this summer will be somewhat dedicated to just that.  But, I’m excited about these changes.  I’m excited about the possibility of serving up water to thirsty students who WANT to drink it down!

 

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Five Minute Friday – Whole

I am back to participate once again in Five Minute Friday over at Heading Home.  Right now, this seems to be the only consistent thing I’m doing each week.  At least there is one.

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This week’s prompt is “whole” – here goes:

Being a whole person is tough.  This morning at my MOPS group we did a personality test and discussion with colors.  I noticed that it was very difficult for a lot of us (including me) because the categories used to describe ourselves were limited in the “quiz” and we all thought it was only recognizing “part” of who we are.  We like to consider our “whole” selves when looking at our personalities and highlighting only parts makes us anxious.  Because we don’t like all the “parts” of ourselves, but when looking holistically, we are more comfortable.

I get it.  There are parts of me I would like to forget about.  But, when we finished the “quiz” and added up our scores and read the descriptions of what it meant to our personalities, we all agreed it was pretty descriptive.  So, what does this mean?  It means that all those parts – even the ones we don’t especially like to recognize, make up who we are.  And no one likes EVERYTHING about ourselves, but hopefully, we learn to like our WHOLE selves.  And unfortunately, we often focus on parts of ourselves and how to get rid of them….our weight.  Our lack of organization.  Our too rigid organization.  Etc, etc.  But, I really do think that when we focus on our whole selves, we can start to embrace who we REALLY are.  Not who we are in one aspect.  That is like saying we are our foot.  It is one small part of us, but it is not the whole of us and we have so much more to offer.

So, let’s look at our whole selves and celebrate who we are as whole people.  And, let’s do the same for others.

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I am not just these feet!  🙂
Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Decide

Joining Five Minute Friday again this week.  I encourage you to join the group if you haven’t already.  It is an easy, flexible write each week and the attendees are all very supportive!

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This week’s prompt is “decide”.

Well, this is certainly a prescient prompt for me this week.  I’ve once again made a commitment, perhaps some might say a “decision” to get my life in order.  And I mean all aspects of my life.  I tend to focus on one aspect to the detriment of all others.  So, when focused on working, I let everything else slide.  When focused on my family and personal life, my work and grading slide to the bottom.  When focused on either of those two, the house starts to fall apart.  When focused on any of those, my finances start to fall apart.  It is like I can’t get a “whole” life going at any one time.  So, I’ve decided that April, being the month of “rebirth” after Easter, can be a chance for me to start living a “whole” life.  And although I think the idea of “balance” is impossible for me, the idea of “wholeness” is not.  I may not always be in balance with work, personal, household, finance, etc. but I can always live in wholeness.  With a focus on my future self and keeping her whole as well.

So, deciding something is internal, but making it happen is external. I’m going to try to bring about the change that I’ve been internally “decided” on for the past few years (at least since I’ve started this blog, but probably before that even).  Which is living a life of “more” – not more things or more activities, but finally, I’ve realized, I just need more wholeness.

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