Five Minute Friday, Uncategorized

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!

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

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!

Five Minute Friday, Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday – Pass

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

Five-Minute-Friday-new

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!

 

Five Minute Friday, Uncategorized

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.

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

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.

Just_what_I_needed.
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!

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

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.

——————————————–

 

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -Alive

I am joining the Five Minute Friday crew over at Kate Montaung’s blog Heading Home again this week.  I hope you’ll consider joining them as well.  It is a wonderful group of supportive writers sharing their perspective on a prompt each week.

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

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

7901_Bean_Awake_7-4_display

That is my daughter.  The picture is from July 3, 2009, four days before her transplant.  She had not opened her eyes or been awake for days, maybe weeks before that.  She had been on a paralytic in order to keep her from fighting the ventilator and all the other lines she had going into her little, tiny body.  She had just been moved from the PICU to the CVICU because the PICU doctor had basically given up on keeping her stable after days of changing medication levels, plunging blood pressures to elevated blood pressures, bad labs, etc.  The CVICU is typically reserved for those who have already had heart surgery, but they moved her there, I think believing that if she didn’t get a new heart within a few days, she would need to have a Berlin Heart.  Either way, she would be in the CVICU soon enough anyways.  She was probably as close to death as a baby can be without passing away.  It was terrifying and exhausting and depressing.  But, she held on.  Day after day.  Through what had to be painful and frightening situations.  I must admit that I sometimes wondered if we were doing the right thing.  Putting her through all that. But I had to believe that keeping her alive was better than the alternative.

Bean post transplant one month

This photo was taken one month after her transplant.  The difference is pretty amazing.  In four weeks she was off the ventilator, smiling, had lost the puffiness that had been there for months before.  She was taking formula from a bottle.  She held fingers and loved to watch a mobile over her head.  She was ALIVE – not just at the basic level she had been before, but at the WHOLE level.  She was aware, awake and active.

I am now confident that we did the right thing putting her through everything.  She has thrived in the past seven years.  We have had our medical bumps and rough spots, but overall we’ve had it good.  We’ve had great times and we have wonderful memories and wonderful friends and being alive is good.  It is important to remind ourselves of that when things get rough.  Babies even know it. But sometimes life’s hard hits can make us forget that knowledge.  In this season of new life, remember that being alive is a gift.  A gift to us and a gift to others.

 

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Surprise

Back again to join Five Minute Friday this week.  Each week I can’t decide if it feels like it has been forever since the last FMF or if it feels like I just wrote it yesterday.  This is another one of those weeks.  But, such is life.  This week’s prompt is “surprise!”

Five-Minute-Friday-new

Surprise!  Usually it is something we think of as enjoyable.  But, there are also those unwelcome surprises.  And that is what we got this week.  We went to the hospital as planned, after two enjoyable days in Monterey, expecting a pre-op appointment for my DD’s pacemaker placement.  When we arrived, the woman at the desk asked if I had received the message the day before and when I checked my phone, there it was.  A voicemail from our transplant doctor saying there had been a change in plans and to call him.  I had not received it because we were at the aquarium, then my phone died from all the picture taking and I didn’t check my voicemail that evening.  So, there we were, at an appointment that no longer existed.  Surprise!

They called the transplant doctor and he came to speak with us.  It seems that my DD has only one access point for doing biopsies (I knew this before, but had forgotten) and the pacemaker team had not been told that. Surprise! So, their plan was to put the wires through the only access point she has for biopsies.  Not a great plan.  So, they cancelled the planned procedure and scheduled a different procedure.  This one will require an actual incision in her chest again. Surprise!  Hopefully, it will be done without actually opening her sternum again (requiring an unwiring and rewiring) and just going in under the sternum and running the wire between her rib bones.  They will look at that to make sure that is what they can do.  She will also have another incision where the battery pack will sit – a “pocket” in her abdomen.  Hopefully there will be no chest tube (again, not sure about that) and there will be a night in the CVICU and then to the step down floor for three to six days depending on how she does.  My usual reaction is to say to plan for three additional days because she can be a tough patient in recovery, or at least has been in the past.  Hopefully she has outgrown it, and I will get a good “surprise”.  But, we shall see.

So, that was our “surprise” this week – one night in the hospital has turned into four to seven and we’ve postponed it until the end of April to allow for our work schedules to be a little more forgiving.  But, not all surprises are good, but they are all…well, surprising!

________________________________________

Join us for Five Minute Friday this week – link at the top!

 

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Share

Joining the Five Minute Friday crew once again over at Heading Home.  I love the simplicity of this writing “assignment” each week!  And I love the supportive group of writers who participate!  So, here’s to Five Minute Friday!

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

The prompt this week is:  “Sharing”

Sharing has a lot of different meanings.  There is the traditional notion of giving to others some of what you have, but there is also the idea of “show and tell” or sharing of information.  I think both are important.  We have a tendency to think of sharing as either based in generosity (giving with no expectation of receiving back) or in reciprocal benefits (expecting of receiving something equal or better in return).  But, in reality, we often share things not out of an expectation of receiving something back from the other person but because of the feeling we get when we give.  I believe that, too, is a gift.  But, instead of being a gift from the person to whom we are giving something, it is a gift given us at birth.  It is a gift from our Creator that has made gift-giving innate in us.  Some may ignore it or even resist it, but it is there.  We take joy from very early ages in giving to others and seeing their gratitude or their joy.  And as long as we are not discouraged by others who use our gifts against us or uses us for our gifts, we will continue to be givers who take joy in that giving.  You can see it all around us in the incredible gifts that humans give each other.  I see it, each and every day, in my daughter.  Someone gave us a gift without even knowing us.  A gift of a heart.  And I hope that they can take some comfort in knowing that they gave a gift.  It is who we were made to be – givers of gifts who take joy and comfort in that giving.  So thankful.  And looking for ways to give.

—————————————