Thursday Thumbs Up

Thursday Thumbs Up #4 – Day of Rest #31days

July 2011 001 - Copy

Well, I have failed at the #31days posts, but since it fits within my theme of “Coming up for Air” I thought I would go ahead and tag this as one.  I think I’ve spoken before on here about how a student of mine last year told me about her strict adherence to a “day of rest” each week.  Because our speech and debate team travels on weekends, she told me that she needed to work out a different day of the week to have her day of rest – she felt like it was very important to her mental, physical and emotional well-being.  At the time, I thought it sounded kind of extreme.  A whole day of rest?  Isn’t a few hours here and there good enough?  But, the more I realized my levels of stress and constant putting out fires, the more I started to come around on having this entire of day of rest each week.

I have not actually achieved a full day of rest yet.  Originally, I thought Thursdays would be that day, but then I started filling them up with things.  Another class to teach.  A leadership workshop in the evening.  It is hard to schedule things such that one day a week I do nothing – no commitments.  If I CHOOSE to do something, it has to be something that is not required – something spontaneous and something that feeds my spirit and health.  So, I’ve decided to try to schedule an entire day of rest next semester.  And then make sure I actually do not agree to anything scheduled on that day.  It will be hard to do, but I’m going to try to do it.

Today was my partial day of rest.  But, I spent the second half of it in the pediatrician’s office and then at our local hospital getting an echocardiogram and EKG for her because her blood pressure was extremely low.  Turns out all was fine, but when you have a heart transplant recipient, you have to play it safe and get the checks done.  Tomorrow morning we’ll get a blood draw to check her med levels, but I think she was just a bit dehydrated.


But, I’ve lost track of my Thumbs Up portion of the post – 

First, thumbs up for our transplant team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.  They are truly fantastic and make me feel like they care about my child as much as I care about my child.  That can’t be easy with the volume of patients that they serve, but they really do make it feel that way.  We have felt nothing but blessed with being placed at LPCH for our daughter’s heart care.

Second, thumbs up for echo and ekg techs who were awesome with a four year old tonight at our local hospital.  I can’t imagine that either of them work on preschoolers very often, but both of them were amazing with her.

Third, thumbs up for my awesome four year old and her incredible behavior through the doctor’s appointment, echocardiogram and EKG this afternoon.  I know she must have been exhausted after a day of preschool, but she was in good spirits, very cooperative and more than anything she was joyful.  I am so incredibly thankful that I have a child who rolls with the punches as far as her medical services go.  She could be miserable and crying and resistant, but instead she almost embraces it.  I am so, so thankful.

Finally, thumbs up for a partial day of rest.  Although this afternoon was a long, three hour medical check, I was at least well-rested after my morning of quiet, Midsomer Murders and pumpkin spice coffee.  I fully embrace the idea of having entire days like that in my future.


My Life’s Work: Reluctance – A surprise #31days post

So, I think I just figured out something about myself.  Much of what I do in life I do with some level of reluctance. It is an epiphany. I am unsure why I just realized it, but here it is, staring me in the face like one of those tattoos people end up with in all the “men friend comedies” coming out nowadays. Where did it come from?  What would have possessed me to get it?  How do I get rid of it?  Why did my friends let this happen?

Now that I have had this realization I am unsure what to do about it.  I think my life makes some additional sense with it. I am forty-something with no real direction in life. I mean, I have a job (well, two now) that I like much more than I hate;  I have a daughter that I love (but who also totally confounds me and makes me question my adulthood quite often);  I have a good marriage (but one that drives me to frustration on a regular basis).  But I don’t feel like I have a “calling” or a “passion” or even a committed relationship with anyTHING.  Everything I do I do because it seems like the thing I SHOULD do, not the thing I am CALLED to do. I leave a lot up to chance and just wait around to see how it works out in the end. It kind of sucks to live life this way. And it definitely sucks the good out of things.

I know what the problem is. That part is not a mystery. I lost myself a while back. It was like I knew who I was for a really long time.  I knew who I wanted to be. I knew what I wanted my life to look like. I knew what kind of people I wanted surrounding me. Then, I just slowly lost touch with all of that. I thought I was becoming someone else. I thought I was just realizing new possibilities for my life. I thought I was just outgrowing or changing who I wanted around me. But, in reality, things were getting let go of and tossed away without any replacements being in the vicinity.  I became disappointed in my life and myself. And I let that disappointment drive me to not seek out the missing replacements or go back to who I was, the life I had envisioned and the friends I had let drift away.  And so here I sit. Wondering what to do NOW to change things. I don’t really care if I go back or move forward – I just want some assurance that I am moving TOWARDS something better than this place I am currently stuck.

This is hard. And it is depressing. And, in a way, it is liberating. It is hard because apathy, reluctance and stuck has become my norm. It is depressing because I am forty-five and should have figured this all out years ago.  I feel like I have wasted a lot of time and effort. But, it is liberating because I feel like there are opportunities for me out there. As a person, as a mom, as an instructor, as a friend, as a colleague, as a wife, as a coach, as a Christian, as a daughter, as a sister, as a forty-somethinger.  So much is out there.

This did not originally start as a #31days post, but I think this is the biggest breath of air I could come up for. A chance to breathe in ME, who I am and who I am becoming. Quite the revelation. Now, to set about figuring it out.

Next up…vision.




To-Do Tuesday #2 – Catch up!


That turtle is clocking speeds much higher than I seem to be in getting things done.  I feel like for every one step forward, I’m going about 20 more backwards.  Some things are going well this semester.  I like my classes.  I feel better about my teaching.  But, I am behind in grading (a lot) and I’m struggling to keep up with the myriads of paperwork I have to do for my administrator position with the Speech and Debate team.  And, my house, well let’s just not talk about that.  What a disaster.  Finances…also not great.  If I can ever get everything caught up in my life – my work, my home, my finances, my personal wants/needs – wow, that would be crazy!  I don’t know even know what that would be like.  I hope to reach that some day, but I’m not holding my breath.

So, this week, my to-dos are many.  For work, it will mostly focus on getting caught up in grading and paperwork for travel.  I need to make some reservations for travel – hotels and rental cars – as well.  And October and November are multiple weekends of travel in a row, so there is a lot of that to do.  At home, I have so many things to do.  But, I would like to focus on getting laundry caught up, since we now have a working dryer again.  And, just decluttering a bunch of areas where stuff has piled up during this first six weeks of school.  Stuff in the entry way, on the dining room table, on the living room tables, etc.

I do have a blog thing going on this month.  I’ve decided to participate in The Nester’s #31 Days project!  My button didn’t come up so well on the linky (sad face), but here it is:


It is my first attempt at making a button and I kind of like it.  My theme for the #31days is, as the button says, “Coming up for Air.”  My focus will be giving ourselves a break, digging ourselves out of the holes we may have fallen into, and really taking some deep, cleansing breaths.

So, there you have it!  My Tuesday To-Dos…