Archive for the ‘me’ Category

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A different way to start the New Year

January 7, 2013

Despite its calamitous start, I’d say that 2013 is off to a good start.

That first day is one that, as much as I’d like to forget, will likely become the memory that pushes me beyond the ho-hum to make this year a great one. 

You see, I’d been feeling tired and stressed before December had even started but I’d hardly noticed.  Then I was obliged to work extra hours every day while juggling a final week of school that was bordering on insane.  On top of all the usual seasonal chaos there was a municipal hearing, two performances of a school play, preparing for and hosting our biggest solstice celebration yet, and a fabric dyeing workshop.  How I survived it, I just don’t know.  And the funny thing is, I thought I was doing well because in the 10 days following, I kept from getting sick despite all the sugar and late nights.  That was, until, I woke up on January first.

Despite not a single glass of bubbly the night before, I woke up at 9 am with one nasty headache.  I had already determined that this was the day for cleaning out our main living spaces; clearing the cobwebs so to say.  Well, I did that, but my allergies didn’t like it and by the end of the day I was little more than a miserable pile of tears with a splitting headache. 

I loathe visiting that place so by the time I went to bed I had determined that I was going to eat better and sleep better for the rest of the holidays (in the hopes that I might start the new school year better than I had ended the last).  I figured it might be easy enough and then I went for labwork.  They revealed that there was more to my crash than just a few weeks of late nights and too much sugar.   It seems I’d gotten too cavalier about taking my vitamins, holding space for relaxation and getting exercise, and all the other things that keep me healthy. 

Seven days into this year I’m on a whole different pathway.  I’ve made a list of menu ideas for the month, Kevin and I have been snowshoeing twice and cross country skiing once, we’ve gotten things started with our architect, I’ve got a plan for my stories and circles for the new year, I’ve started attending contra dances again, I’ve been going to bed earlier and getting up before the sun, I’m taking my vitamins, I’m preparing meals in advance (so that I can better avoid blood sugar crashes) and, most importantly, I’m feeling better.

2013 – I know you’re going to be one heck of a challenging year but I’m ready for you!

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So long 2012!

January 7, 2013

So long 2012, it’s been good to know you!

You were a different year alright.  I’m going to remember you as the year of crazy stress, new adventures and reacquainting myself with old friends and nature. 

You started off with lots of skiing – regular Sunday xc skis, and then a my first days of downhill in 5 or 6 years during spring break.  Oh, and there were many nights and afternoons of playing Catan while nursing my ouched toe.

 There was the kootenay road trip to visit old friends, preparing dinner alone and then taking it out to the guys after their long evenings spent scrubbing new climbing routes 

 In the summer we made our long awaited road trip into Northern California which featured long drives, outdoor dinners at sunset, tiny dots of climbers on El Cap, and meeting 3 generations of the same family enjoying the best parks interpretive program I’d ever seen – a one man act about John Muir.  It was a trip full of impulsive decisions to go this way or that and some horrible camping spots that will give us stories to laugh about for many years to come.

 Returning home, our little suite seemed huge but dark so we got back into hiking, went on a few backpacks, and spent a few nights sleeping under the stars.  We saw bioluminescence for the first time, grew our first successful garden, I started a nature studies program and then started getting ready for school.

 Our hopes of buying a lot and building a house faded after a few failed attempts and Kevin finally realized his dream of owning a boat.  And that very same week, we began negotiations on what is now our lot.  It was just a little bit stressful around here at that time!

 The last few months of the year were a blur of reading house books, meeting architects and getting to know the builders in our town.  Friday dinner nights with friends were a regular part of our fall routine and in December the snow came – and STAYED.  We did candle dipping out in the shed for solstice, won our variance appeal, had our first Christmas on the island and more. 

 You were a good year 2012, and I know that 2013 is going to be even better.  New house!

 

 

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coming up for air

March 7, 2011

Finally… I can breathe again!

This, my first year of teaching has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride thus far. Wow, I never knew it was possible for so much drama or to work so hard and yet still feel like I can’t win.

Right now I’m in the midst of a change that includes me giving up many of the duties I had held since the fall. Before I started down this path I recognized that the life of a Waldorf class teacher wasn’t likely to mesh with my ideals of balance and sustainability. Somehow I thought it would be different for me but this year at least, that has not proven to be true.

After months of trying to make things work and struggling to get mentoring I found myself out of energy and short on nerves – far from an ideal situation for the children or for me.

After taking a week to recollect and recenter I returned to school today, donned an apron and began my new routine. Now instead of stressing about parent communication and lesson plans I get to sit back a bit, observe, and put more focus on handwork. It also means I get some time for myself and can look into getting involved with more community events – both for the school and the community at large.

Fresh air never smelled so good!

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finding my rhythm

September 18, 2010

School is well underway now. Two weeks in and I’m finally starting to feel like I can handle this. I was so incredibly tired the first week and I couldn’t believe how wild my class was. It’s amazing what the excitement of being back at school and the addition of a few energetic souls can do to a class. I’m sure having a new teacher also added to the craziness. In any case, we’re finding ourselves and I’m learning to balance my incredible work load with some time for fun and exploration.

In the days before school began I was busy readying the room and worrying about being able to meet the class. Now two weeks later I find I know what I need to do and can be delighted by the simplest of surprises: a child who tested my patience all day waving madly when we crossed paths in town or the light unconscious humming of a song we learned earlier in the morning. It’s been two weeks and I can honestly say there is only one other time where I still enjoyed the job this far in. Yes!

Yesterday evening and today have found Kevin and I out enjoying the beach and then when I settled into work this afternoon birthday verses somehow streamed their way through me and onto the page. It’s so nice when that flow just happens without the pressure of a deadline. In any case I thought it might be nice for me to share some of the verses. Note that I did not go into the depth that some teachers do – crafting a verse with an anapest, iambic, trochee or dactyl foot to meet the temperament of the child. I am thankful for the wisdom a colleague offered – that it’s more important to create something that speaks to me about the child and meets him or her. That, and that a bit of rhyme can go a long way.

Here goes:

1. Far off the jagged shore
On the high open seas,
The greatest of creatures
Kindly watches o’er me.

In struggles and triumphs
I know to be me
And trust in my kind heart
That beats with the sea.

2. Bright-eyed and wakeful
I greet the light
That shines on me
With all its might
Reminding me before the night
That I must do what’s true and right.

3. Steadfast I stand
Like a tree on the land.
What my heart knows is true,
Like the sun, does shine through.

4. Lightly on my nimble feet,
Through the rocks and twigs I sneak,
Until I find my home at last
Among the trees and wild grass.

5. Not fearing vengeful pain or wrath
My feet stick firmly to the path;
From mountains high to valleys deep,
My spirit roams spreading love and peace.

And now we’re off for a night of music playing with friends while the song funky town plays to remind us of why we chose to live here. Oh how I’m loving this new life today!

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change is coming

April 29, 2010

Change has been brewing for quite some time now and it’s made for quite the balancing act lately. Earlier this month I was adjusting to being back at school, trying to sell the house from a few provinces away, being without the computer and desperately waiting for word on the jobs I had applied for. Oh, and there was school too of course!

It’s hard to believe that in such a short time I’ve completed my last practicum, celebrated a great birthday (on more than one occasion now!) and gained a computer. Together, Kevin and I have sold our house and made a decision on where to go too! Quite the handful but all really good things.

There is so much to do in these last few weeks of school and as much as I would like to be here more often, I know my days of multiple posts a week are over… well at least until summer!

I’m so excited!

There are only 5 weeks left of school now and then begins the journey west to pack up and move further on west. I’m so excited to be joining the class I connected with and to be moving somewhere we both want to be… where the ocean touches the mountains which touch the sky.

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melancholy monday

January 4, 2010

I was some how able to keep myself upbeat during my last post but by last night I was a wreck. I’d had the day to reflect on things both past and future and to add to the mix I was thinking about my late friend Cory.

Today would have been his birthday had he not had leukemia or rejected the bone marrow transplant. I know I can’t turn back the clock but even though it was 9 years ago his memory is still fresh. Having had an earlier run in with cancer he lived each day as though he might not see the next but with such youthful and energetic enthusiasm. It was contagious at the time but as each year passes, I’m reminded of how much further I am from living life that way and it’s upsetting.

I know that my view of the world is changing – I wouldn’t be maturing if it wasn’t – but it seems like fear keeps taking a larger and larger hold on me. Fear of falling, of breaking, of not losing weight, of failing at work and relationships, of not getting what I want in this life, of letting other people down, of making them uncomfortable, the list goes on. This isn’t what I want but at the same time how do I change it? Thank goodness for true friends who listened to me yesterday and helped me shed the most raw stuff. If I learned anything, it’s that I need to talk about these thing because getting upset and then trying to bury them isn’t working.

My winter holidays didn’t go the way I had expected – not even close. A big part had to do with house guests that didn’t leave but another thread, with a much longer history, is how I deal with injuries.

I get hurt a lot and I’m convinced it’s because there are lessons I haven’t yet learned. I gave up hockey, downhill skiing, mountain bike racing and now even cross country skiing because it seems that if I fall, I break something. Fracture number eight, which happened four years ago was so painful and persistent that I let a doctor convince me it was too risky for most of that stuff. Ooh it made me upset at the time but this thumb thing I’m dealing with now is serving as a good reminder for why it’s hard to turn back to those sports. I get frustrated from losing my independence and having to start over at ground zero again with my training.

At the same time, my social life has always revolved around sport and I have yet to find a worthy substitute for that or the adrenalin rush. I think that’s part of why I have a hard time accepting ball room dancing and swimming laps with wall hangers as my new activities. And heck, even though I love handwork it sure is hard these days and that makes me wonder what will it be like in another decade or two.  Should I even consider teaching handwork down the road?

It’s been a few years and I still don’t know what the answers are but I need to find a new determinism for finding what meets my needs for socializing and adrenalin. And of course, if you’ve been here and have any suggestions I would love to know!

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reflecting on 09 and pondering 2010

January 3, 2010

New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing but Heather and Granola Girl have captured me with their reflections on 2009 and their hopes for the year ahead. I always thought September was more my time of year but suddenly I’m in the mood to take a look backwards and forwards.  There were some significant changes in 2009 and so many yet to be defined in 2010.

sewing on the beach

In 2009 I took care of a few items on my bucket list:
– learned how to use the pottery wheel (it was so good to use my bowls when I was home for Christmas!)
– starting this blog
– training for triathlon
– trying dragon boating
– going to Glacier National Park in Montana
– dipping candles
– visiting New England
– going back to school for teacher training
– getting involved in the (Vancouver) Olympics – I dreamed of volunteering at the games but the logistics didn’t work out and carrying the torch was closer than I ever imagined I’d get

Olympic toch relay

Plans are already in place for a few more items to come off the list in 2010:
– attending the Olympics (I still regret that I didn’t go to Sidney where I knew 10 people who were participating!)
– finishing teacher training
– starting a new career
– taking a cross Canada road trip

tenting on Maui

There are some things I’m really proud of from last year but need to go a step further with this year so I can truly say I love this life!

Getting fit. Getting into a cycling and swimming routine last year was great but it took a lot of work for me to get to the point where I enjoyed it (and these were both sports I loved when I was in public school and university). Then I lost momentum when I spent half of the summer without my bike and away from a pool. I’m not sure that triathlon competition will fit into the plans this year but I need to get back on the fit routine so I can enjoy hiking, photography, and whatever 2010 has in store for us. I think the key here is to remind myself of why I want to get fit and starting my day with exercise.

Glacier NP - view from the E!

A decade or so ago I went so far as to run a few nights a week so I could develop the endurance to hike longer and higher. If I could handle that, surely I can handle a few pilates, swimming and yoga sessions a week now!

artful attempt at shore protection

Finding rhythm. I know that I need to get to bed earlier so I can get up earlier and do more with my day but I can’t believe how hard it is to do when my days aren’t jam packed with activities outside of the house or something to proove in a competition. I’m hopeful that regular glimpes at this post will help keep me on my game but I’m also going to need to find a way to limit my time on-line. The rhythm I’m still struggling to find needs to squeeze my computer time out but make space for fitness, socializing, sleep and healthy eating so I can be ready for a summer of outdoor exploration.

silhouette at big rock

Doing what I love. Taking leave from the career I felt was destroying my soul was a big move last year but finishing my training and starting afresh are going to be big too. There are still a lot of questions about where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing seven months from now and beyond but the most critical thing for me is it to find what I love no matter what situation we end up in. That means being open to whatever our future holds and rediscovering the outdoor activities we enjoy but haven’t done much of lately. I also need to be open to enjoying new things and doing what it takes to love the work I’m doing.

Kev on the slackline

Having goals are a big help and so this year, I resolve to get outside, get to bed early, get fit and love life. Have a great 2010!