My Broken Spring Break

Today has been great. It is my first official day of Spring Break and my husband and I dropped my DD off at Art Camp this morning at 9 a.m. and went to a leisurely breakfast at one of our favorite places in town. We then came home and did some catch up work we both had and then I went to pick up my DD at Noon from Art Camp. She wanted to eat downtown and get a book at our local used bookstore, so we did. It is a beautiful day after many weeks of rain and clouds and cold, so we ate outside and enjoyed the sunshine. We then came home and her friend came over and they have been playing independently and I’ve got a few projects done around the house and for work.

But, I am feeling a little sad because tomorrow morning I am driving away from town with a bunch of college students and going to New York for the remainder of my Spring “break”. My daughter will spend the week with my husband and his parents are coming up at the end of the week to go to a family friend’s funeral on Friday. I would love to be here spending every day in a leisurely way and seeing my in-laws and being there for my husband at the funeral of his good family friend. But, instead I am traveling and spending approximately 10 hour days at Hofstra University while many students compete in Speech and Debate. And I love Speech and Debate and the opportunities for travel it provides to me and my students, but when it cuts into my family time in such a big way, I start to feel the pull of home. Such is life. No one’s job is perfect and no one’s life is perfectly balanced. But, it still feels a little disappointing.

I am trying to approach it as a bit of a working retreat to get my life on track. I am not judging, so I have the days relatively open to getting things done (around providing my students meals, rides and advice, of course). But, it is always harder to get things done at tournaments than it would be at home. And every week I don’t spend with my DD feels like one I may live to regret. I don’t like to think about things that way, but I almost have to. I am trying to view it as my husband’s gain because he doesn’t get to spend time with her nearly as much I do, so this is good for them. I won’t be here to interfere with them spending time together.

My other goal while I am gone is to figure out what I can possibly do differently moving forward to make my life what I want it to be. It isn’t easy for me to figure out what I can do to make things change because I often feel kind of trapped in what I’ve become. But, I have to view myself as more of a caterpillar rather than a fully formed butterfly. Or maybe I’m a chryssalis since I’ve already lived my earlier life and hopefully I can figure out how to break out of where I’ve been and do a little more with what I’ve been given.

Life is a series of challenges. I am finally feeling ready to take some of them on before they come barreling down the road at me. I am ready to approach them first and preemptively deal with them!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Spring Edition


Spring Break, warm weather, too short.

This week has been BLISS!  It hasn’t all been just sitting around the pool reading and drinking coffee, but there was definitely some of that, as witnessed above.  But, it is weeks like this that make me wish at times that I did not have a job…or two.  I have done some grading and I’m closer to being caught up, although I will have to make a push on that today and tomorrow to finish it up completely.  But, I’ve been able to spend time having fun, get things done around the house that have been hanging over me FOREVER (can anyone say laundry? cleaning up the back yard a bit? taking the donations to the thrift store?).  I still have quite a bit to do, but I’m feeling like I have half a grip on things now (instead of hanging on by my fingertips, which is where I’ve been for the past couple of months).

It isn’t all peaches and cream around here, but small improvements relieve a lot of my stress and then I can focus on the issues and tasks that need to be dealt with.  Which is a lot, but the list is getting smaller.  Slightly smaller.

Today, my DD and I are walking in a 1 mile fun walk for our local hospital’s heart center.  There is a 5K too, but she felt like that would be too long, so we’re doing the shorter one.  It should be fun. I’m meeting up with someone new from a Meetup group I just joined, so that is a little stressful, but I’m sure it will be great.  There will be lots of fun stuff to do afterwards and then we can come home and relax and I can get some more things done.

Tomorrow, I’m volunteering at DD’s Sunday School, where we haven’t been in a couple of months.  With flu season, my travel schedule and my mom’s illness it just hasn’t been in the works.  But, hopefully we’ll get back this week and make it a more regular part of our weekly schedule now.  DD loves Sunday School and church is always a welcome respite during the week for me.

Then, Monday…dreaded Monday.  Spring Break is over and I’m back to the work grind.  But, hopefully without the pile of grading hanging over my head and with a better plan for dealing with the stuff coming in from students and a plan for my classes for the rest of the semester.  That may be a bit much to hope for, but hey, hope is all about optimism, right?

What’s your Saturday looking like?

Participating in Six Word Saturday at Show My Face!

Thursday Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up Thursday #23: Vacation Edition


Well, I have SO failed on my 31 posts in 31 days mission.  But, maybe I’ll try again in April.  We shall see.

I just got back from a mini-vacation (two days) and we had a great time.  So, I’ll relate today’s Thumbs Ups to items related to my vacation:

1) TAKING VACATION!  We aren’t really the vacationing type of family.  We try to do one major vacation a year with Bean, but we often fail in that effort and end up doing some short trips or visiting family and not really doing anything “special”.  We’ve done two vacations that I would call total successes – one with my in-laws to Lake Almanor and one to Oregon.  Both were really a lot of fun.  But, they are stand outs.  And I love to travel and do family trips.  So, we did a mini-vacation this Spring Break.  We drove just an hour to our destination (which made it easy to do and not waste a lot of time driving) in Redding CA and we stayed in the Oxford Suites and we used my DD’s gift from our in-laws (annual passes) to visit Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum three times while there!  We also swam in the hotel pool two times, ate breakfast at the hotel each morning and then meals out the rest of the time (which, unfortunately weren’t great, but hey, I didn’t have to do the dishes).  We played Candy Land as a family a couple of times (we bought the nostalgia version at the Museum gift shop and it is awesome).  Overall, it was great and I am so thankful to have time together and away from home and just to relax.  I didn’t open my laptop while there (which is incredibly unusual for me and I’m proud of myself for that), which means I will need to do some catch up on grading and blogging and email, but that’s okay.  It felt good to just vacation.  I read over half of the book that I’m currently reading (The Girls of August) and it was blissful.

2) TURTLE BAY EXPLORATION PARK.  This isn’t a new place to us, but there is always something new to discover there.  If you’re ever in Northern California and can make it to Redding, CA, consider visiting this place.  It is best for people who love animals or plants and/or who have children between the ages of 2 and 12 (about).  There are a ton of things to do in the area – the Exploration Park includes a museum that has two exhibitions showing.  Sometimes there are fun ones (like the candy one we visited today) and some are more artistic (like the other current exhibition which is a photography show featuring Northern California landmarks), but they are always interesting.  We had a great time all three times that we went this weekend.  Our favorites are the Lorikeets, my DD loves the play area and water feature and the animal show during the summer months is great, learning fun!

Motivational Mondays

Motivational Monday – Spring Break Edition

pi joke

A little humor in honor of Pi Day this weekend.

Well, motivational Monday is upon me once again.  And once again, I am feeling a little lacking in motivation.  I am thankful it is Spring Break and I have no instructional duties for a week as I have a TON of grading to get caught up on and it would be nice to go back to school with it all graded and entered in the grade book and prepped through the end of the semester, which is actually spiraling towards us at break-neck speed it seems.  So, I guess I’m kind of motivated to do that.  I am also motivated (sort of – I’m feeling a bit ambiguous about my motivations versus my must-dos, but in the end, if I can converge those two things it would be great) to get all the laundry caught up and get the house somewhat clean and organized.  Oh, and I HAVE to clean up the backyard because the dog comes in with stickers all over her every time she spends any amount of time out there because of all the weeds.  So, yeah, my Spring Break is basically booked up.

But, I am also motivated to spend some quality family time doing things that are fun this week.  So, tomorrow we are heading an hour and a half north of us to Redding, CA to stay a couple of nights in a hotel (which, in itself would be enough for my DD) and go to Turtle Bay Exploratory Park (one of our favorite family outings, which we have annual passes to thanks to my in-laws) and maybe find a couple of other touristy things to do (although playing in the pool and reading and relaxing sounds like enough things to do for me).

Speaking of reading, I’ve been doing pretty good in that area.  I’ve already read three books since the beginning of the year, which is really good for me during the school year.  I’ve stayed off of Candy Crush at night and read instead and I’ve been motivated to finish books!  I’m excited about re-establishing my reading habits and I’m motivated to get as many books read this year as possible!  So far, I’ve read Inferno by Dan Brown, The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian and Murder in Merino by Sally Goldenblaum.  I am currently reading The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons which seemed like a good read for Spring Break.

I think that motivation sometimes stems from desperation (the procrastinator’s way) and some of my motivation will be coming from that (laundry, grading, etc.), but other motivation stems from desire and that will be my motivation to read and spend quality time vacationing with my family.  So, I’ve definitely got some motivation going on this week.

What about you?  What is motivating you this week and what are you motivated to do?