Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just Another Day in Paradise

Day 2 of my renewed effort to blog regularly. It was 80 blooming degrees today! Again! On the 24th of September! It is the warmest September on record here, and today was absolutely gorgeous weather. It was a nice day at school. So very different (in a good way) from being in the mainstream classroom. Partner and I prepared for a presentation we will be giving to staff tomorrow, I made some really cute Bingo games using Dolch words, and we taught everything except Kindergarten. It was relaxing and enjoyable due to it being "Game Day", and all in all a good one.

I gave a fellow teacher and her kids a ride after school because their van battery was dead. Cute kids and they loved riding in my new Ruby. I really didn't mind a short drive on a beautiful afternoon.

Bob's jury duty is extending into at least one added day, although there is danger it will run over into Monday. Monday is the day he is supposed to be having his first go-round with that test they give you when you are over 50. You know, the one that is unpleasant, but doesn't seem so bad after you've gone through a day of preparing for the test. Personally, I think he'd be willing to fillibuster the jury deliberations just to postpone the test, and I really don't blame him.

A fellow teacher brought me a felted bag she made for her daughter. She isn't happy with the way it turned out and would like us to add leather handles and maybe a lining. I'm not sure what I can do for the bag or her satisfaction level. The design of the bag is one problem, the yarn she chose is another, the way it felted is a problem, and on and on. I'll give it a try, but I'm not sure that we can really help it.

Today I am grateful: for a peaceful day at work, the beautiful weather, a newly bathed new car, my daughter's seemingly okay health, and a tasty grilled salmon dinner. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back at it

The first month of the 2009-2010 school year is drawing to a close. It has been an (ahem) interesting start to this new year, my 28th of being a teacher. Our school start was delayed due to ongoing construction within the building. I changed to a new teaching assignment in which I share a classroom with another teacher. Both of my children have been ill and hospitalized this month. There have been times this month when I have thought about starting a new anonymous blog where I could rant to my heart's content. It's not like I have that many readers to this blog, but there are times when I have wanted to blow off steam without anyone knowing.

Let me say this. Although there have been many worries and stresses in the past month, I am noticeably less stressed than I would have been had I had a regular classroom and group of 27 students to call my own. The new job assignment, although chaotic, has been very much what I expected and tried so hard to secure. My new partner and I are getting to know each other and finding our way toward sharing a space for 8 hours a day. And my children seem to be improving and their health is always a source of gratitude for me.

My puppets have really gone by-the-by since July, when the craft show was cancelled and we took our trip to Yellowstone. I have sold 4 which are ready for delivery. This is a source of disappointment to me. I believe I have a great idea and a good product. I find that once the show was postponed, putting the kits together have become a source of stress for me, and that is not what I wanted. Once again, I enjoy the process of making the items, but once the pressure of "business" arrives, the fun goes away. I need to remember this and adjust my artsy time accordingly. I am an idea person. I love creative thinking, problem solving and the challenge of developing new ideas and projects. I do not like the pressure of sales and/or deadlines. This is an important lesson for me, which I need to remember.

My basement studio has been at a standstill for many months now. I still love the concept of having all my creative bits and pieces in one place. It is a true fantasy for me to think about having spaces for my yarn, clay, paints, fabric, sewing machine all ready to go in one big workspace. I don't know if the basement will ever be finished, but if it is, it will be a dream come true.

As always, I have many, many more ideas than I have energy to pursue. I am seeing myself changing and looking at life differently. I feel as though I am still in a mid-life transition which has been going on for the past 5 years. I've been doing some research about this transition, in which physical changes occur in the processing centers of the brain. There is some indication that the maturing brain blends tasks across hemispheres. The left and right, which are so distinctly separated in the young brain, join forces to problem solve and view life in the senior years. I would love it if I could access and open the creative centers of my right brain without the fear of the "realist" in the left brain jumping in with common sense, practicality, and cost figures. I am becoming more patient with myself, and content to see where the transition leads. I actually passed up a challenging job opportunity this summer, and I'm glad I did. Could it be that I am mellowing in my middle age? I suspect those around me would say NOT!, but I feel that I may be finding a way to being more content and relaxed in who I am and how I spend my time. Does that make me less ambitious or just wiser about life? I'm not sure it does either, but I think I am headed in the proper direction. Will I reach a point where I can just choose to be still, live in the moment, and enjoy relaxing? Hmmmm, that seems a quantum leap, but I would like to move down that path.