Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday –

Joining up with Six Word Saturday this week.

Travel hopes are high.  No Whammies!

This weekend I am getting ready for a trip to Indiana with more students than I’ve ever taken before.  The logistics for the trip are like an LSAT problem and I’m dealing with some anxiety over the trip (as I always do, but with 20 people traveling, the stakes seem higher this time).  Last year at this same tournament, I had the worst trip I’ve ever had.  Two hotel issues (that were totally my doing), a problem with the advance (again, my doing)…I guess that was all but that was enough to scar me.  Luckily, I was only traveling with two students, so the problems were easy enough to deal with.  With 20, that would definitely not be the case.

So, I’ve been trying to double and triple check all the plans, but I still feel totally anxious.  I have not been sleeping great and I have a ton of grading and cleaning and such to do before I leave on Wednesday morning VERRRRRRY early (like 3 am early).

That’s the other part of this equation.  My husband is currently in FL for work.  He will get back around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night.  I will leave at 3 am on Wednesday morning.  We did this same thing last year (tournament schedules are usually very similar year-to-year), but last year was when all hell broke loose with my DD’s meds and we switched to pills and she wouldn’t take them for me and then I left and my DH got her to take the meds fine but when I got back she started having these horrible anxiety attacks about school.  It ended up being her med levels because of the switch from liquid to pills, but the whole experience with the traumatic days leading up to my departure with the pills, then the problems while I was traveling, then coming back to these horrible anxiety attacks…it is making me even more anxious about this year.  Sigh…

So, in a way.  This year HAS to be better.  Right?

Health and Caregiving, Life Updates, Uncategorized

School Happens

Every semester it is the same thing.  I start out so on top of things, convinced I will be able to keep up with it all.  Then, slowly, things start to spiral out of control.  It usually happens around my house.  Piles start to form.  Papers, mail, clothes that need to be put away, stuff.  Next, grading.  I start to find myself with piles of papers or emails with things to grade.  Oh, and the to-do list.  That starts to pile up as well.  Emails get backed up.  Then, curve balls get thrown at me, but I can’t adjust because of all the piles.

This semester has been a bit better.  I haven’t let the grading pile up too badly yet.  I’m relatively on top of class prep.  But, oh there are piles.  My dining room table.  One of the couches.  Bean’s desk.  Really, any flat surface is fair game for a pile to form.  And they don’t even make sense.  On the dining room table right now is a Sorry game with a magazine on top of it and an envelope on top of that.  There is a ball next to that pile and then another pile mostly of mail items that have been opened, but need to be dealt with in some way.  Then, there is my purse that I’m not currently using because I’m using my work bag instead.  There are some little toys and jewelry from my DD’s birthday party two weeks ago.  On the couch next to me there is a set of “scratch off” cards and little stencils that go with it, my work bag, my DD’s princess bag that she wanted to take to school instead of her backpack today, a stuffed giraffe…

pacing a heart and myself

We found out last week, after a last minute trip to Stanford on Wednesday (my long day at work) that my DD needs a pacemaker.  It was not totally unexpected and the news of how they could do it was better than I thought it would be (no open heart surgery, just a small incision), but it still is a bit of a disappointment.  We will only be in the hospital over night (or at least that is the prediction – last time they said that we were in for four days).  It will mean more doctor’s appointments post-surgery.  It will mean a new thing to deal with.  And it is a new thing in her heart that isn’t working.

I am very happy to have this weekend off to catch up on housekeeping and class prep.  I am very happy to have a lot of weekends off this semester.  I need that.  For sanity.  For the sake of my house and family.

So, life is moving on.  I’m going to try to pick back up with the blogging.  I feel the need to write. Now if I can just MAKE the time!

 

 

January Focus, Monthly Focus 2016

Welcome 2016 – January Focus = Simplify

I’m back from my trip and it was a great time.  I will probably have some pics this week on Wordless Wednesday.  I’m now settling in to a house where it looks like Toys R Us and Bags n Boxes have exploded multiple times and filling in my calendar for January in my new Erin Condren planner (which I love so far) and noting that it is already filling up quite a bit.  So many things for my DD’s school, workshops for work and family stuff with the Spring semester starting for me the last week of the month! The new year comes fast and furious it seems!

I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of some of other bloggers and podcasters and rather than having New Year’s Resolutions, which I always seem to fail at, I’m going to have My One Word (which is “myself” if you haven’t been following along or have forgotten) and a monthly “focus” where I work on a habit or behavior I would like to establish and/or change.  So, I’ve decided that January is going to be all about simplifying for me.  With my house piled high with STUFF and my calendar filling up with STUFF and my feelings of overwhelm in the past, I think this is a great place to start.  I have a few specific areas of my life I would like to simplify:

  1. Things I own/have in my home.
  2. Things for my classes – grading, assignments, travel planning for the team, etc.
  3. Things I have to do – I want to simplify caring for my home, making meals, getting exercise, my schedule, etc.
  4. Money management

SIMPLIFY JANUARY 2016

I realize those are pretty broad, but I think that spending a week or so on each one this month will really help a lot.  I have some choices in how to simplify things – the first, and probably the most difficult for me, is to GET RID OF IT!  Whether it is getting rid of things in my home or getting rid of certain assignments in classes or delegating things to others for the team or my home or figuring out a system that simplifies HOW things are done for work or at home, I definitely have some choices.

So, I’ll be talking some on the blog about what I’m doing to simplify and hopefully sharing some of the resources I find with all of you.

New Year's Countdown

Countdown to 2016 – Things I’m Looking Forward To

countdown

Well, it is almost 2016.  Ten days left in 2015.  I had forgotten just how badly 2014 ended last year (and 2015 began) – with me losing my voice and my husband needing a molar extracted, all while we were out of town at my in-laws.  Sigh…hopefully this year will end better and 2016 will start with a great family trip to Monterey (already booked – we just need to stay well for it).  I thought I would do a Countdown to 2016 with my Ten Things I’m Looking Forward To in the New Year.  As you all know, I recently changed my word of the year from Grounded (which I still like – and relates to my new word I think) to Myself.  So, I’m going to focus on Ten Things that Myself is looking forward to – starting out with positives rather than changes that need to be made.  I’m looking forward to a spectacular 2016!  So, let’s start the Countdown with (referral links included):

erin condren planner

My new Erin Condren planner!

I have had serious planner envy for a couple of years now.  I tried to win an Erin Condren planner multiple times and once I got close.  But, I ended up with one of her journal items instead.  It was nice, but not a planner.  I just could not justify spending $50 on a planner, or so I thought.  But, because of my recent focus on MYSELF, I really thought about how much I WAS spending on planning items.  I’ve bought apps (anywhere between $.99 and $4.99).  I’ve bought multiple cheaper planners.  Never totally happy with them, but thinking I could “make it work” only to lose the ability to “make it work” and give up on it (anywhere between $4.99 and $12.99, probably two or three a year).  And every single review I see of this Erin Condren planner is a RAVE!  And there are so many people online who have hacks and ways to use the planner and some real ways of maintaining interest and using the planner well.  I figured, I might as well just drop the funds (Christmas present to myself) and get one for 2016.  It should arrive on Christmas Eve before I leave for my in-laws on Christmas Day, so I’ll be able to work on getting some of it filled in while I’m there!  I am very, very excited about it.  I got the Vertical layout out of the three to choose from:

layout guide erin condren

I toyed with the hourly layout, but felt like it was too constricting.  I also got some “Do-it-all Dots”:

do-it-all dots

I have some favorite Erin Condren visuals that I’ve found online (not that I will be able to keep mine looking as good as these, but I can dream!

weekly view pure sugar
Pure Sugar

I like the cover of mine – “Let the Adventure Begin!”  Because this is MY year and it will be an adventure, to be sure!  I will obviously need to get some cute stickers as well.  I already have some colored pens I should be able to use…

erin condren planner used.JPG
BelindaSelene
Five Minute Friday

Returning to Five Minute Fridays

This 20th day of November, I am rejoining Five Minute Fridays after missing the past couple of weeks.  And I haven’t just missed doing them, but I’ve missed being part of the community!  So, I’m glad to be back this week for another five minute write.  This week’s prompt is “Dwell” and I love the resources that Kate has provided for Advent season.  I just realized that our church’s Advent kick off event is this Sunday and I’m so looking forward to it.  It also gives me a chance to use this weekend as a “new” start.  Yet another “new” start…I need them often it seems.

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

DWELL –

When I hear the word dwell, I can only think of homes.  We dwell in our homes.  And right now, my home is not really dwell-worthy.  I’ve been struggling.  I thought it had only been since our daughter was born six years ago, but earlier today I found a journal from 2001 (14 years ago for those counting) and it all could have been written this year for the most part.  I struggle with making my house a home and keeping up with the up-keep.  Always.  And it makes me tired.  I want to dwell in a place that I can sink into.  A place I can relax and enjoy and breathe a sigh of relief when I walk into it.  But, maybe it isn’t my home so much as me.  My home is often a reflection of where I am feeling.  If I am feeling in chaos and lost and wandering than my home is a mess, my schedule is a mess, my finances are a mess, etc.  If I can get myself grounded and find some order in my life, it spills over to everywhere else.

So, I think I need to stop seeking a “plan” or a “routine” and start seeking a grounding.  A firm place to rest.  A place to set my eyes and look forward, not necessarily by date and time, but by who I’m supposed to be.  By God’s plan, which doesn’t fit in a planner, but instead fits in my heart and my mind.  I need to know that my life well spent.  I need to feel that I am dwelling in the right place.  And that, then, will be reflected in my dwelling place.

—————————————

Well, there you go.  I do like that last couple of lines.

Dwelling

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday

First week done, only sixteen more.

When I say it like that, it doesn’t sound like such a long time.  And really, it isn’t.  Halloween will be here before I know it and then Thanksgiving…then the semester ends and Christmas is here.  Yikes!  But, really it is four whole months.  Isn’t it funny how a smaller number makes it sound like a longer time?

I am much, much more prepared this semester than I have been…well, probably since I started teaching.  I think I’ve finally (16 years later) figured out what (1) I am capable of doing well and (2) my students find to be engaging and educational and (3) what I can realistically let go of during the semester.  And, I’m really looking forward to this semester and giving my students my best.

I’m sure there will be weeks when I fall behind and/or get frustrated with the students or myself or my home management skills (that often are distracting me from my work responsibilities) or am exhausted from traveling with the Speech and Debate team (which is huge starting out this semester).  But, I am hoping I can manage those frustrations and delays much better than I have in the past.  We’ll see…

How about you?  What is your Fall looking like?

Uncategorized

A Quick Update – Back to School!

Well, today was Back to School day for my DD:

Ready_for_First_____Grade_

I haven’t been posting here much lately for a couple of reasons.  First, we went away for the last four days with family and the internet was spotty at best.  Second, one of the exercises in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life was to list out my priorities.  When I did so, this blog was not on the list.  I didn’t think about it until afterwards when I went back to review them to set goals and realized the blog was not even on the list, so no goals were needed.

I am a little disappointed as I like the THOUGHT of blogging on a regular basis and forming a community and maybe even making some money from writing one day, but this made it clear that this is just something that is not important RIGHT NOW.  I do like that Crystal Paine (the author) talks about seasons of life and how some things just don’t fit with what you’re doing at THAT TIME.  It doesn’t mean I will never be a “blogger” in some serious way or that I can’t blog when I have the time here, it just means that right now it isn’t really something that is a priority for me.  It is kind of nice to see some things fall away that would stress me out (yes, even though I don’t have a ton of followers or a big demand, I would stress out about missing blogging days).  Blogging when I have so many other things to do is one of them.  Maybe when I get my routines down and time starts to become more available, I will be able to devote more time to it.  But for now, I’m going to aim to do Five Minute Fridays (because I love that exercise and that community) and Six Word Saturday  (because who can’t write six words?) and maybe one other day a week if I have time.

I haven’t found a lot of other things I can just let go of so easily, but I am working at making my classes manageable as far as grading and prep is concerned (trying to do a lot of front-end prep work right now).  I am also NOT volunteering to do things I might have done before because I realize that I need to figure out my schedule and time management and priorities first before I can start adding things in (even those things that are on my priority list).  If you’re curious about my priorities, here they are:

Family/Parenting:  Spending quality time together as a family everyday.  Includes: eating meals – breakfast and dinner together.  Game night once a week.  Family walks three times a week.

Work: Prepare and perform to provide my students the best possible experience both in and out of class.  Includes:  Be prepared!  Start each week with a clear plan for each class and time set aside for grading.  Being present in class.  Focusing on students – their learning and experiences in each class.  Use office hours for work projects.  Focus on advising, grading and Forensics projects.  Finally, stay on top of email!  Zero inbox every three days is the goal!  Respond, Refuse or Refer!

Health:  Get and maintain the best possible health to protect me now and in the future.  Includes:  Do regular check ups for medical and dental.  Eat right – healthy food and 4-5 meals a day.  Exercise – weight resistant/bearing exercise 5X/week and cardio 3X/week.

Finances:  Get all accounts in order/paid up or off and then maintain a budget and spending plan.  Includes:  Get taxes done for 2014.  Conserve money for only things we REALLY want/need. Question everything!  Meal plan to reduce food waste.  Do online points programs to make extra money each month.

Relationships: Establish and maintain relationships with God and good people.  Includes:  Attend church at least 2x/month or more (whenever not traveling for work).  Do morning devotional every day.  Do Bidwell Pres prayer list everyday.  Go out with friends at least 1X/month.  Send 5-10 cards each month to friends, family and coworkers.  Do friends trip 1X/year at least.  Date with my hubby 2X/month.

Life Management: Manage my household responsibly to have a clean, peaceful and enjoyable space, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Includes:  Do MOMS App for daily household duties.  Set up and keep routines that WORK!  Purchase only what you love and declutter all else.  Continue working on simplicity and minimalism in my home and life.

So, that’s not much, huh?

I did include blogging when I did my weekly time block planning (I allowed for seven hours – one per day), but that time block is not going to work unless I get my act together and do the things above.  So, there is blogging in my future – maybe pretty immediate future, but for now, it is not going to be done unless the other stuff is done above.

I will say that reading this book (I am now on page 83) is making reminding me how much I live my life in fire fighting mode.  I simply wait around for the three alarm fires to get so bad I can’t ignore them anymore and then I fight to put them out.  Exhausted after all the effort it takes to get the blaze out, I collapse in a mess and wait for the next three alarm fire.  I need to do some prevention now and make my life calmer, more satisfying and less exhausting.  It won’t be easy.  I’ve been living this way for a while now.  But, I’m looking forward to living a fire-free life!

So, that’s where I am.  You will see me on a somewhat irregular basis for a little bit (hopefully not long).  And when I am here, I hope to be focused on this space and better at writing, sharing and saying things that matter.