Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sticks and Stones

I saw a saying today (by Inspower) that for some reason
caught my attention.
And made me think. 
I think maybe because it involved take-backs.
And I always wish I could have some life take-backs...
rewinds and re-do's,
do-overs, second chances.
"I really screwed that one up"s.
It said,
Three Things You Cannot Take Back in Life:
After you say them,
After you miss them,
After it's gone.
Man, how I wish.
I've said many words I wish I wouldn't have...
stupid words,
hurtful words,
haughty words...
Those words still haunt me sometimes.  Funny how the good things
I've said, I don't much remember.  It's the ones I wish I hadn't said, or the ones
I should've said that stick in my mind the most.  Jumping in on a  game of gossip, or
saying something so stupid that it caused a friendship to ache, not speaking up for
someone when I should have...
They say actions speak louder than words.
But the wrong words...can hurt.
I can only try to remember to carefully use and choose my words.
'Cause I can't ever take them back.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

May I Have a Do-Over, Please?

Anybody else out there tend to have
perfectionist personalities?
(I blame my birth order.) 
I'm a selective perfectionist.
The definition is not pretty.

Selective Perfectionist, n. One who chooses to complete
random tasks to perfection, and has full potential to do
everything "just right," but often chooses to waste their time
perfecting something else, when other things
require attention.  Also known as 

One advantage to being more, ahem...mature,
is knowing that life is full of lessons and 
ironies and u-turns,
and learning to heed them is what makes it
so interesting.
I'm so glad I wake up every day with a new do-over.
I mess up every day. 
But I think God likes it that way.
The more I mess up, the more I need Him 
and learn from Him.

I'm not a perfect friend.
And I've learned I don't have to try to be friends with everyone.
Real friends are tried and true, 

I'm not a perfect mother.
I look back on raising my children,
and feel the things I did right mattered most,
and the things I did wrong -
definitely mattered, too.

I'm not perfect on the outside,
(WAY not perfect)
but I consider inner beauty
to be far more important.
ALWAYS  working on that.

  I'm not a perfect wife.
Ask my husband.
But I know I love him more today
than when I married him 33 years ago.
And I know if he ever leaves me,
I am going with him.
(He's going to be upset with me for
making that little joke,
so don't tell, OK?)

I'm not a perfect daughter.
But I'm the oldest of three girls
so I TRY to be the most perfect.
It hasn't worked out so far.

I'm not a perfect sister.
Ask my other two.
They'll tell you a thing or two.
Just don't believe everything you hear.
There's always another side to each story.

I'm not a perfect housekeeper.
Please refer to above definition of
selective perfectionist.

I'm not a perfect teacher.
That makes it easier to
change the things I can,
accept the things I can't -
and always keep trying.

I'm not a perfect writer.
I adore using run-on sentences,
I start some with "And,"

and have been known to 
dangle a participle or two.

I'm not a perfect Christian.
I'm glad I'm not.
 He still has a lot to teach me.
Generally speaking, I think people expect
Christians to be perfect. 
God doesn't.

That's the real me.
Willing, hopeful,
messed up,
thankful, listening, trying,
and forever
Ready for my daily



Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Common Thread

Today, I'm thanking my lucky stars
(well, really God, of course)
my friends and coworkers at school.
Past and present.
You know who you are.
Some time ago,
 I started a 1000 gifts journal.
I wanted to write it down.  Read it
again and again.  Remember every day.
All the reasons I am thankful.
All the things I am thankful for.
All the people.
I noticed as I was rereading my list,
that my friends and confidantes
at school
come up quite often.
They are on my mind quite often.
I don't tell them that, quite often.
It's time to say it.
What am I most thankful for?
Their humor?  Nope.  But boy, does it make for a better day at work.
They fall off chairs, wear funny outfits, write silly notes,
use funny nicknames, cause mischief at the
table during staff meetings,
and tell hilarious stories. 
Their ideas?  No, but a point worth making.
You don't think most of those wonderful activities, games, songs you see me use in my classroom are original,
do you?
Their dedication to the profession I also love?
Uh-uh, but it goes without saying.  Oh, could I give you a long list of
reasons they could be somewhere else instead.
But they're not.
Their support and friendship?  Well, this was a debatable close second.
After all, I am focusing on THEM today.  But no, not even that.
Not even that we share fears, tears, heartaches, celebrations,
and jubilations.
We share prayers, hugs, lunches, materials,
soda money, private jokes.
We. share. pretty. much. everything.
That's what teacher's do.
OK.  So you want to know
what I love most about them?
My dear friends and colleagues...
My sisters (and brothers) in education...
My neighbors and comrades...
It's the love they have for their students.  Their children.  Our children.
I see the same love in their eyes, hearts, hands, voices,
It's deep and it's our common ground.
It's the reason they are here.
It's the reason they do this, day after day,
year after year.
Some days (even years) it's not so easy.
They just don't feel like it.
They don't see how they can possibly give more.
Oh, but I see it in their eyes. 
They sparkle when they talk to them. Teach them. Hug them.
Console them.  I hear it in their voices.  They laugh with them. 
 Read and sing and play
with them.
Their hearts are full because of them.
That's what I'm most thankful for.
Their hearts full of love for their students.
Our most common thread.
Our reason for coming back tomorrow.
And the next day.  And next.
Thank you to my friends and colleagues, past and present.
You make me better. 
You are my privilege.

Friday, January 23, 2015

I've Got to Hand it to You

Sometimes I get impatient.  With my hands. 
My fingers grow older.  More knobby.  More stiff.
I'd like them to work the same as they always have.
But one or two won't quite bend the same as before.
Sometimes they ache and feel tight. 
That irritates me.  They've always done what I wanted them to.
Not anymore. 
Now they demand attention.
I guess that's only fair. 
They've never complained, all these years.
Sewing.  Darning.  Crafting.
Writing.  I mean the old-fashioned kind where you actually hold a pen or pencil
 in your hand -
 letters, Christmas cards, notes for class at school, chalkboards full of lessons,
love notes,
lunchbox notes to little boys, 
grading papers and filling out report cards.
Cooking...stirring, peeling, grating, cutting.
Cleaning. Ugh.
Scrubbing, washing, rinsing, polishing.
Painting walls, pulling off wallpaper,
planting flowers and pulling weeds.
Grasping ski poles for dear life.
So, thank you, old hands. 
You've worked hard. 
You still haven't given out on me.
Thank you
for caressing soft sweet faces and
little fingers and toes,
for cradling and cuddling,
for smearing finger paint, pounding play dough,
and building sheet tents,
for holding hands with the same guy
for 37 years,
for decorating home-made birthday cakes,
for wiping tears, noses, baby bottoms,
for clapping, snapping, finger playing,
piano plunking.
You've  held up pretty well.
You've given me great joy.
 Thanks for hanging in there,
knots, aches, and all.
You're the best...
hands down.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Please Pass the Tissue!

I've been back in Kindergarten two years now.
 Here's some very important things I've learned.

The more I'm around five-year olds, 
the more I act like a five-year old.

If you offer a candy treat as incentive, that parent form
you thought you'd never get back -
filled out and signed,
will miraculously show up the very next morning.

Fifi the French puppet might be shy,
but she can make even the
quietest in the class talk.

When you tell your class you'll be attending
several days of teacher classes,
they just don't get it's not because 
you're not smart enough to already be a teacher.
No matter how many times you repeat it.
If you're not a morning person,
and you teach kinders, 
you keep telling yourself you can surely
learn to like coffee!

A brand new box of crayons
is still just as special as it was 
45 years ago. 

If you call your class a family,
you'll have to be Mom
more times than you wish.
And you won't get to be Mom
as many times as you'd like.

Whoever invented the term, brain break...

If you're going to have to trust your babies to a sub,
just know that she might show up with 
her two, BIG service dogs-in-training.
It changes the whole game plan.

Full Moon's real. 

Just because I said I wouldn't cry in front of them
on the last day of school,
doesn't mean it won't happen.
It helps to fake a cold all day.

Congratulations to my little 2013 Kinder graduates!
Teacher's feeling so proud today!