Being myself

Yesterday, I listened to the German audiobook for “Bis(s) zum Morgengrauen”, which is somehow one of of my favorite audiobooks (the beginning and first third of it, anyway), while I made brunch and sunflower seed butters.

All turned out delicious.

I did not leave the house the entire day.

The entire day.

And I was totally okay about that.

At night, I hung fort my prayer flags, and then a bunch of paintings that I pulled out from a corner box.

My space is finally looking like I live here – I think this is the longest I’ve gone without making my space home-y.

Usually, I do it right away, hanging things and making my space feel like home…, but, for various reasons, I was concerned about doing it here, and so never did it, which meant I never fully unpacked and that I never fully felt at home here.

After last night’s decorating, I’m actually excited to come home and do some more throughout the week – and I already feel so welcomed whenever I enter my space, and it is lovely.

Today, for the second day in a row, I slept in past 9am (which is not necessarily all that late, but seems like it when compared to a 4:10am weekday alarm).

I again listened to my beloved audiobook while cooking and eating brunch and lunch, as well as cooking dinner for the week.

I then power washed the whole front walkway and house steps and front wall – and it looks amazing now!

I talked with a friend briefly while doing part of it.

I then rushed upstairs to clean off my legs, put on some socks, grab my white tennis shoes, and then head off to a gallery closing party I’d wanted to attend.

I even invited someone to go with me after I was already on the way, and didn’t really expect it to be a yes on the other person’s part.

It was a no, and I went anyway, and comfortably.

I had asked myself what the person I want to be would do…, and she very clearly would have gone to the opening alone, and so I went with confidence.

I even tried out those glasses the eye doctor gave me way back a few years ago, to see if they might work out (I had some trouble catching lacrosse balls the other week, and hit myself, causing me to be worried about my eyesight.).

At the closing party to this blacklight art show, I felt like I was walking into a college party – it was dark, blacklight lit, and smelled of pot and alcohol and a little bit of sweat.

And yet I walked in confidently and comfortably, and merely laughed at the idea altogether: college after college (again).

See here some choice selections from the show:

Cool, huh? πŸ˜›

Afterward, I went to Whole Foods to pick up my new helmet, and then stayed there a while to get my necessary steps for the day, as has been my practice on previous occasions, as well.

Eventually, I returned home, ate a final bit of food, enjoyed my homemade sunflower seed butter, had olives as a kind of dessert to my dinner, and then came up to get ready for bed.

I am going to bad far too late, but I have not yet perfected being exactly the person I want to be, so I accept it – I did loads that was true to myself this weekend, so I’m actually rather okay with having this one thing be off.

Here’s to amazingly restful and refreshing sleep tonight! πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2019

Sharing is caring (world peace edition)

Is it wrong to be excited about sharing a negative experience with another?

I mean, to feel excited at discovering that a friend and I each have gone through similar bad experiences – is that so bad, feeling excited about it?

At first glance, it sounds off – being happy about not just myself but someone else having to go through a bad experience.

However, upon consideration, my opinion of it improves – in fact, it even seems a wonderful thing, this excitement.

You see, it is not that I am excited that we each suffered – not at all.

I am excited that we are able to share so fully and deeply and truly with one another, be so vulnerable and open with one another, and that we are both able to find someone who understands…, and, possibly most importantly, someone who loves us nonetheless for what we share openly.

And, in having that excitement happen, and in having that sharing and love happen, we are bringing positive out of two negative situations.

So, in a way, I guess it’s like multiplications: two negative stories, when shared across our two lives, make a positive.

(Yes, I enjoyed that dorky/nerdy moment.)

So, yeah…, share away your tough and deep and true stories, people – be open and vulnerable with one another.

I think it might just be one of the best ways for us to learn to love each other best.

Aka world peace. ❀ ❀ ❀

Post-a-day 2019

Wordplay

There is something about watching my students strain with the effort of counting by hand their 100-word-minimum essays at the end of their test that brings to me a flood of joy, tumult of joy.

First, their unreasonable reaction of having to count by hand 75 words the other day on a partnered assignment – now that was too much, and I merely scoffed at their shock that they had actually to Count the words…

Automatic word count on the computer has spoiled them, and they know no other way of obtaining a word count – some actually didn’t understand how they were supposed to know how many words they had, if it was hand-written… I just looked at them with doubt and distaste, and let them figure out (finally) that they have to count it themselves.

Then, the fact that they tend to annoy me just about every day with their nonsense and casual rudeness of chit-chat while I’m talking or when I ask for silence – “quieter” and “silence” are not the same thing, just FYI – plays a role.

When they sit down in class, all backpacks against the back wall, with only writing utensils and any notes they want to use – but nothing digital – and receive the article and accompanying packet that says they must complete it for a trade by the end of class, they suddenly realize that this task is important.

I take almost everything for a grade in class, but I think that most of them do not check their grades regularly, and so have no idea that I do this.

Today, wit bit written clearly at the end of the instructions on the packet, it somehow finally clicked for them: This is for a grade.

After I told them to begin, the room was silent.

And it remained silent.

This was the first time this class had ever been silent for more than about 30-45 seconds at a time…

… and I could not stop smiling.

I actually had to turn around and cover my mouth, I just couldn’t stop smiling at their lasting silence – they were also not only silent, but working, too.

We’ll see how they did… if they followed instructions throughout the quarter, they ought to have middle to high A’s on the exam… if they haven’t, well, then they won’t have so good grades…tant pis.

And so, nearing the end of this silent hour, I delighted in watching them, just for once, suffer a task, especially one that has always seemed so commonplace to and for me…

A whole new round of smiling popped out of my mouth at that point, and I loved it. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

The music returns

Man…

I started playing music in the evenings last week… I found an iPod that apparently was discarded to me by my dad (as it has his business card in the case and loads of music that seems very much like it would have been his music), and charged it, plugged it into my speakers, and played it on shuffle.

It was great.

Especially the part where Christmas songs popped in on occasion.

I loved having the music playing in the background all evening, as it made my space feel so warm and welcoming and loving.

I even put on my unicorn onesie (handed down to me, not purchased) while I did a little art project, and the whole evening was super lovely and fun.

And I was on my own.

And the two of those don’t often go together for me, which made the night all the better.

So, I’ve begun playing music from the iPod somewhat often in the evenings at home, as of this past week and a half-ish.

The other day, I had a strong desire – enough so to follow through with it – to pull out my trumpet.

I’ve played occasionally with a school instrument at my various schools these past several years, but I hadn’t taken this one out of its case since, possibly, about seven years ago.

But I really loved playing around on it.

i then guitared last night, and that was lovely.

Today, a student showed me a silly video of another student of mine playing the saxophone (we were talking about music and playing instruments during class today), and I was inspired to pull out and play my saxophone tonight.

It, too, was a lovely time.

And there seems to be something almost magical in the air around music in my life right now – I feel somehow that it is returning to me because it is time for music to be a strong part of my life again (not because my interests have changed in any way).

I hear music on the horizon, and I am delighted.

Post-a-day 2019

Insane in the membrane

Tonight, I had a bit of a breakdown: a sort of explosion of tears, accompanied by a few choice curse words – which meant I was really upset, as anyone who knows me well can attest – and a total overflow of frustration.

All because someone used my brand new blender, the blender which I hadn’t even yet used.

Someone used my glass and my fork (and didn’t even wash the fork), and I just went ahead and cleaned them, and moved on with my night.

But, when I opened one of my labeled private cabinets, I felt almost violated, definitely invaded – I could tell someone had moved things around in there, and I quickly discovered just what had been used… and, when I did, it was just too much for the end of this day.

It was time to cry.

I even said a few rounds of meditation before driving home today, because of the day up to that point.

I was settling down emotionally and mentally and physically by the time I arrived home and was riding my dinner.

And this sudden discovery, combined with that bit of everything else that hadn’t yet finished clearing, was just too much in the tank.

Tears and verbal expression of my stress were necessary.

I am still not st all happy about it, but I can tell that I mostly will be over it by morning… I might even forget about it, but the blender is a specifically sensitive subject (because it was specifically researched and selected, and costs hundreds of dollars, and, due to an error that occurred, was just this week replaced by the company… I do not let people use this blender, because I take extra special care of it, and I’m the one who pays for it, so I get to use it.), so that forgetting might not happen, after all.

I sent an e-mail to the community about it, and, knowing that I was so upset, I called my mom and asked for her help in composing an e-mail that expressed the necessary information, communicated clearly, and wasn’t pissed off like I was at the time.

(All my stuff is clearly labeled with my name – how could I not be annoyed at someone’s using my stuff, even if it were just stupidity on his/her part?… I kind of hate stupid people in the first place, remember?…)

Nonetheless, there was a lot of emotion at play today, on many accounts and on many levels of emotion.

Add to that the layer of sleepiness I reach by 8pm after waking at 4:10am, and we have a no-surprise cry situation when presented with high stress.

I can’t experience the feeling fully right now, but I do look forward to cracking up at the fact that I cried my eyes out – snot everywhere and everything – over a blender. πŸ˜›

P.S. One of the hardest parts for me about being a schoolteacher is the part where I cannot, for the sake of what most schools consider to be propriety, share openly with students about certain things, even if it is something that could and likely would make a huge difference in their lives, and something that would promote an amazing culture in the school and in the world at large…. ::sigh……

Post-a-day 2019

Another day full of energy

I asked God and the World to have me do what was best today, what was perfect.

Apparently, that turned out to be waking up at 3:37am to use the bathroom, and then going back to bed, only to go ahead and get up at 3:47 and begin my day, instead of waiting for my 4:10 alarm.

Then doing a solid workout at the gym, and heading to school for the team’s morning working, and catching just about every traffic light along the way, adding a full ten+ minutes to the drive – I kept asking, What are you having me avoid by being pushed back in my time path here?

Then forgetting until it was too late to grab a student and schedule a meeting with him.

Then passing a different way in the way to my room, only to discover that we could have great breakfast in the mornings – and then to have a delicious omelette and few sips of orange juice that satisfied every nutrient need for my body post-exercise and the general morning activity of the previous four hours.

Then organizing class materials, helping someone develop a good idea into a great one while I got myself some autumn tea, grading a bunch, and then sitting down outside in the shade for twenty minutes with an old priest on my way to lunch, discussing various aspects of the workings of his community’s life, plus a bit about language and culture – I’m working on getting him to offer masses at least weekly in French (which would be a great increase from the current ‘zero ever’ frequency).

Then my being shown love by a couple students as I obtained my lunch and took it to eat.

Then happily chatting with coworkers and showing a test to the department head for approval.

Then kicking a kid out of class and partly scaring the rest of the class.

Then forgetting about the kid for most of the class period, and eventually remembering and finding him sitting outside on the floor, joining him, and having a wonderful talk with him in which he Fi-Na-Lly got it, and due to which he now intends to pause to consider before Everything he does – you see, he discovered that he just really doesn’t think at all before acting, thus resulting in some terrible behaviors.

Then being silly yet helpful with my next class, and having an oddly at-home comfy environment for class as they did their test review work, and scheduling a morning meeting to help a student.

Then perfectly running into the person I was seeking when I was only halfway to where I was going to find him – and my being slightly disappointed at the journey being cut short, as I would not be able to run into another person I sought to schedule a meeting.

Then having to pause to use the bathroom, running into some students, and finally heading out.

Then, just as I was about to pull out of the parking lot, being flagged down by the exact person I’d hoped to cross earlier, and talking for a bit and scheduling our meeting for tomorrow.

Then singing, unsure as to why, a German praise and worship song that repeats, “Ich vertraue dir…” (“I trust you…”), and laughing at myself, first for singing that song with such sudden delight, and second for the struggle that is riding a Vespa/motorcycle with an open-faced helmet while singing – better watch out for bugs…

Then having to order a new helmet… πŸ˜›

Then running a silly errand to print something and it taking a crazy amount of time, while I gladly enjoyed the presence of someone I love and rarely see.

Then sharing something wonderful with my mom.

Then finding Crown Maple Syrup (not alcohol, but syrup that was aged in the barrels after the alcohol was bottled out of them, allowing the odor to soak into the maple), and sharing the discovery with family who were delighted.

Then coming home to Sunflowers and stacks of colored paper just inside my back/side door, sitting outside on the porch for a while, cooking and eating dinner, and heading up to shower and to ready myself for bed.

Then reflecting on the day, and discovering how so much of it were things that I could have seen as bummers as they happened, but that I allowed just to be as they were, without meaning…, and how beautiful it was – without forcing anything or stressing about anything – to have all that I desired in the day to fall beautifully into place, loads better than I had initially anticipated.

Life really does go beautifully when we let go and let God… that was my high school junior retreat theme, and it was awesome then, and remains to be awesome now – it works every time. πŸ™‚

Well, I’m off to sleep, for an early morning meeting, preceded by an early morning workout, waits for me(!).

(I promise I’m still not a morning person…)

Post-a-day 2019

Being myself, laughing out loud*

Be the person you long to be.

Let go of whatever is holding you back, including yourself.

Accept the fears, acknowledge them, and allow them to be superfluous side comments in your mind.

Feel the pressure that time is upon you, and just start – then the pressure will be off.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Be who you long to be, now.

These are my near-daily considerations…, plus specifics on who that person is who I want to be.

In January, I began slowly searching for what to do next in becoming that person… I knew it had to do with my physical body and my fitness level, but I didn’t yet know how that would turn out.

I got a friend to join me in my search, as I knew I needed the moral support to make it truly happen.

In April, I found the place where I wanted to belong.

The place where the person I want to be would belong.

101 workouts later, I am so much that woman, it is almost scary for me even to consider it – I have been afraid of never becoming that woman for so long, and it seems that I am actually being she, and now… I’m not waiting for 40, like I had once thought.

There is an image I’ve had for years, and it is of me when I am 40 – I live in a chic place, with a chic and gorgeous man, and, somewhere, there is a kid or few… every time I glimpse this woman, my breath is caught in envy – she is my every dream for myself…, all the better that she is myself, though my future self.

In the past several months, I have been taking on being she now, and not waiting for 40 anymore.

When I began these workouts in April, joined this gym, I knew I was taking a step I had never before taken toward being that woman.

Fitness would be only the catalyst for an explosion of transformation in who I am in life.

I knew I would end up fitter than ever before (though I grew up doing sports, and was always fit), and that fitness would help me be who I wanted to be.

I knew that I was acknowledging that, despite the fact that there are terrible deeds done by people constantly in this world, those people and those deeds do not define humanity, nor do they define my life.

I was acknowledging that being fit, being sexy, being the best physical version of myself need not be dangerous, despite what has happened to me in the past.

Besides…, now I could just kick the guy’s a**, if ever he – whoever any new he may happen to be – tries something terrible toward me… anyway…

My second class, I had to attend alone, without my friend who signed up with me.

When it got hard physically, and I felt the beginnings of the challenges to come that would change my body for the better, for the sexy self I wanted for myself, I cried.

I was alone and exposed, and it was emotionally scary.

For the next few weeks, whenever I hit those physical challenges, I cried – I was not accustomed to fitness and sexiness being safe, and so it was scary to know that I was doing work that would turn my body fit and sexy.

It felt like walking around Downtown Gotham at night, singing – as though asking for an attack from any which direction…, but I now knew that it wasn’t… in a way, I knew that Batman was by my side – please excuse the silly reference, but it is oddly applicable – … and he still is…, and it’s like I’m training to be Robin – I’ll always have Batman, but I can handle things on my own, too…. and, it just so happens to be that we have cleaned up Gotham altogether, and there are only the occasional bad guys now…

Anyway, enough Batman…

Working out was scary and actually made me cry from fear on the almost daily – not because of actual dangers, but because of perceived dangers from the physical results I eventually would have.

After a month of what I felt were too minimal results, I took my diet fully into hand – I did a mostly raw cleanse for two weeks, tried out some regular foods again afterward, decided I hated how the regular foods made me feel, and eventually took on my current diet of absurdity that has me feeling amazing, pretty much always.

I currently weigh – and have weighed for a few months now – less than I did at my fittest, back in high school, and I still have some more visible patches to relieve.

I fit into all of my shorts, and have had to alter some of them, because they were too big, only weeks after they suddenly fit again.

Just about every item of clothing I own…, actually no… some of my clothing is just a bit too big, because of how I’ve shaped out and slimmed down, but some of the best pieces from my wardrobe look absolutely amazing on me.

I’m almost totally comfortable in a swimsuit, and I can get over it and wear one when circumstances involve swimming.

I have dropped several percentage points in my body fat, to the point that I am in a fancy percentile of really healthy people.

My butt is about 75% muscle now, and I kind of can’t stop checking it (to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating on that estimate)…, and it makes me smile with delight every time I rediscover how much muscle there is there now.

I find myself looking at and feeling my muscles somewhat as a pastime nowadays, and it makes me chuckle every time I notice that I am doing it.

I’m not (socially) afraid of attractive men, and I don’t feel inadequate around them or attractive women.

I am stronger than I have ever been, and by far.

And not just physically.

I teach high school boys, and I could totally take a good chunk of them – it’s actually funny seeing the weights some of them use at weightlifting practice, when I consider that I used to think them so strong and fit compared to “adults” who are not in the prime of life and have ‘let themselves go’.

I now see that the prime of life is more about when we take on life and take on being our best possible selves, and much less about an age.

(e.g. “Sexy Old Man” at the gym, as my friend always calls him, is fitter than probably all but a handful of these boys, and even that handful is questionable.)

I practically bounce when I get out of bed in the mornings, and I glide with ease down and up my stairs (in the dark), like I have been up for hours and have stretched and gone for a run…, instead of rolling achingly from bed, and creaking down the stairs, everything just a little too uncomfortable to be moving so much so quickly.

I only feel lame in terms of my fitness when I look to compare myself with others at the gym – who, by the way, are some of the fittest people I’ve ever seen in life, so it’s really no biggie there – so I aim to remind myself that that is not a necessary comparison, but merely a point for encouragement.

And it is encouraging, so long as I keep it straight in my head (which has been easier and easier the further I’ve come with everything these past months).

I am a little bit in love with my gym, and its role in helping me – in being such a valuable tool for me – to become this person I so long to be.

I am extremely grateful – to the point that words cannot express, and only a good, long look into my grateful eyes could possibly portray – to the owner of my gym and to the coaches there.

To the owner, I am grateful for his stand to have an exceptional gym.

Period.

He does not settle – be it in something that improves his gym or himself, he will make it happen, thereby encouraging, enabling, and empowering others to do the same for themselves in their fitness and, therefore, their lives.

Also, I love his humor – I laughed pretty hard today – though I wouldn’t say he jokes around much… genuine is more the word for how he shows up in the world.

And, for his genuineness, I am the most grateful.

He cares, and it shows in everything he does.

And it is always felt, and forever appreciated.

His gym is a place of love and inspiration, and encouragement to be the best possible version of oneself – it is no wonder that it is his gym I ended up joining, though without knowing what exactly it was that drew me in at the time.

For the first time in my life, I am bummed when I ‘don’t get to go to the gym’, as it now is phrased…, because I actually love going there.

I still am super focused on myself and my own training during the workouts, but I even enjoy talking to and with people now, because he has a gym filled with great people – these aren’t meatheads or dopes, but awesome people, every one of them…., and they are all there, because people always end up being surrounded by similar people.

If you have an awesome and amazing and fun gym owner, you get a gym filled with awesome and amazing and fun people.

And I am honored to be a part of their clan, and forever grateful.

Five and half months in, 101 workouts completed, and I know that this is one place where I belong.

I just worked out this evening, but I – despite never having been and still not being a morning person – am practically excited about getting up for the 5:15 class in the morning.

Who knew life could alter so much – and for the better – just by joining a gym? πŸ™‚

πŸ€—πŸ™πŸͺ

πŸ¦– Rawr, World – here I am. πŸ¦–

“Let’s Freakin’ Go”

*because 101… lol πŸ˜‚

Post-a-day 2019