Monday, March 25, 2019

SOL19 Slice #25 Weighing on me



I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL19)
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for the month of March 2019.

A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.


Oh, my, reality check. I went to my annual physical, only to be popped out of my denial. I have gained weight since my mother's death this past October. (Did you know that you don't gain weight if you don't get on a scale?) Now, the bitter truth. I need to wrestle with this, meet it head on, do the right thing. The doctor would like to see me take off 10 lbs, yes, no matter what; 20 lbs would be best. I can do this! 

Honestly, this is 'here I go again.' I've been down this road before. I know how to do this. It's not going to be any extreme approach...been there, done that:

- college summer, basically a starvation plan that was built around a lunch that consisted of a can of diet soda and 8 wheat thins (RIDICULOUS!) (Oh how foolish!!) (though the weight did fly off).

- another fun diet was the South Beach, which my husband and I both went on, supporting one another, only to lose power about one week into the diet...and all we could think about was the ice cream in the freezer...that approach ended with a binge! We remember that diet fondly, calling it our "Hurricane Isabelle" plan. No, we didn't lose much weight that time.

After all these years, I know - the best way for me to lose weight is to treat my body with respect. It's about eating right, eating modestly, and doing so day in and day out. I will try to be more mindful about what I am eating. As I've learned just this month, I'll do more writing...and be rewarded by less stress; this will help with that mindful eating. It's about adding in more exercise. Thankfully, I love love love long walks. This reality check has arrived just in time for spring, with its longer days and beautiful weather - perfect for getting outside!

Yes, I can do this!
I am halfheartedly fully invested and determined! Ha!
Here goes!


Sunday, March 24, 2019

SOL19 Slice#24 Really me?



I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL19)
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for the month of March 2019.

A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

We finally got around to adding new insulation plus a simple flooring to our attic crawlspace. Such a boring expense, and yet, of course, an important one for this old house of ours. In order to do the work, we had to empty the attic of all its treasures. We've been going through these boxes, sorting and culling. Having lived in this house for 30 plus years, going through boxes is not unlike unearthing a time capsule. I am astounded at what we kept, what we "treasured." Honestly, I've had to pause with some boxes, to recall if these were really mine at all - their insides seem so foreign. 

I found - for example - three boxes of old clothing that my boys had worn when they were young, in a box labeled "quilt scraps." I am not a quilter. I have never made a quilt. I am the recipient of an extraordinary scrap quilt made by my late mother-in-law, for my husband when he went away to college. Did I imagine that I might do the same for my children? Did I imagine this once? Was this really me? 

The other big surprise was my Russian textbooks and notebooks - once upon a time, I took notes in Russian?! I wrote pages and pages in Russian? I majored in Russian in college and continued to find ways to speak and use the language in graduate school and for a few years thereafter. I visited what was then the Soviet Union, and became quite fluent during my summer there. Then, life happened differently - here I am looking back 30 years on my Russian studies, a fabulously full life with many joys but little or no Russian. Truly, this is a case of use it or lose it. I've lost it. Except for the handwriting, I would not have known those old Russian notes were mine. What was I thinking by saving them?

A friend suggests that I get the app Duolingo, and see if my Russian comes back. Hmm. This seems more plausible than quilting!

Strange to think what time does. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

SOL19 Slice#23: Note to self



I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL19)
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for the month of March 2019.

A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.





Dear Maureen,

You are having a very good March!

I notice your self-care improves dramatically when you write every day...when you unlock, when you release, when you pour it out onto paper. Do you see the difference in yourself? Say, between today and this same date in February? Or January? You have been in a real funk, Maureen. Yes, you have your reasons for this...however, words release it. This I know: writing is healing.

This month,
You have been more patient.
You have been more present.
You are conversing more.
You are laughing more.
You are filled with gratitude.

Writing is healing.
You owe this to yourself.
You deserve this.
You must keep writing.

Advice for April:

  • Find a quiet place. 
  • Write and reflect.
  • Indulge yourself in playing with words.
  • Dare to share it in your blog.
  • Breathe.
  • Smile.
  • Repeat.


Love,
me, myself, and I





Friday, March 22, 2019

SOL19 Slice#22: Wild wind



I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL19)
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for the month of March 2019.

A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.


This poem just tumbled out of me today, as I tried to walk in the blustery wind, on the way to school.


Wild Wind

Today is a day 
when the walls close in,
I'll step out into the wind.
Exhilarating,
exuberant,
invigorating.
What was once on my mind
is gone, gone, gone.
That thing I wrestled with,
in the night,
I can no longer recall.
My hair's gone free, 
chasing all around my head.
The tree's branches bend,
back the other way again.
Sidewalks are covered
with small debris.
I'd better jog than walk,
if I want to cross the street,
Wild wind pushing me,
encircling,
dancing,
surprising.
Was I sad?
Was I worried?
I no longer know.
Today is a day
when the walls close in,
I'll step out into the wind.




Thursday, March 21, 2019

SOL19 Slice #21: The mole



I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL19)
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for the month of March 2019.

A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

What was I thinking, saving my blog post for after my eye doctor appointment? My eyes are so dilated, and have been so for a couple of hours now. This is actually giving me a bit of a headache. 

I forget how one must adjust to this! 

I have a mole behind my left eye. Well, the doctor refers to it differently - a 'nevus.' It's basically a freckle; a spot, a mole. It was discovered about 12 years ago, and I remember feeling quite nervous when I was sent to have it looked at more closely, photographed, and measured. Imagine - photographing the back of an eye...that's pretty cool! Thankfully, there was nothing wrong and my eye doctor called this my baseline. I have it checked out annually, to make sure it doesn't grow or change. For the past eleven years, it has not changed. Fabulous!

My general thinking: I have moles and freckles everywhere - why shouldn't I have one behind my eye? 

My appointment day thinking: Oh please please please don't say the mole has changed at all.

I'm old enough to know that one doesn't always hear good news at the doctor's office. Perhaps it is a good thing that I can compartmentalize, and not give this a single thought until I am in the doctor's office, but, wow, the negative thoughts I have make up for the year in-between. It is as if my mind is flipping through a rolodex of all the lucky breaks I have had in my health and I am thinking, "time's up!" Then I flip through everyone I know who has health issues and I think, "your turn now!"

Sitting in the special machine,
forehead touching one part,
chin touching another,
make sure both chin and forehead touch firmly,
no movement,
don't blink,
sit perfectly still,
try again,
follow green light at the center,
now to the left,
now to the right,
don't blink,
try again,
sit perfectly still,
painless and yet terrifying.

Then I am watching the doctor's face...
watching two doctors confer...
watching them look at photos past and present...
waiting to hear...

Yes! Again, the good news - the mole behind my eye has not changed! Everything looks great.

Only thing I have to complain about - I can't really see the blog post that I am typing.
Life is good!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

SOL19 Slice#20: Blissful Stillness



I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL19)
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for the month of March 2019.

A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.



The beauty of 3:30p.m.
Or maybe it is 3:35p.m.?
My day is filled with so many sounds,
children's voices - squealing, shouting, crying, laughing, talking, questioning, arguing
movements - clapping, running, banging, knocking, dropping, falling, bumping
adults - wondering, interrupting, calling, talking, laughing, herding, leading
raising voices
insisting
demanding
noise
noise
noise
and then
one last blast while children and their families gather all their belongings
frenetic searches for items
fast conversations
final questions
at the exit
followed by
silence
quiet
calm
absence
hush
nothing
blissful stillness.
It never ceases to amaze me
The beauty of 3:30p.m. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

SOL19 Slice #19: The Moon



I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL19)
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for the month of March 2019.

A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

It's Tuesday,
so I slip out the door at 5:30am for an early morning jog,
leaving my hot tea on the counter, steeping,
my ritual of three weeks now,
as I try to 'spring' into shape.

My eyes are immediately drawn to the moon in the sky - wow! 
nearly full,
bright and brilliant,
standing out, beckoning in the early morning,
still night,
sky,

I think as I jog,
what are my top moon memories?
What do I think of when I look at the moon?

Here are a few of my moon memories - 

- 1969, the Apollo landing, my parents, brothers and I absolutely riveted, watching the newscast; this has been followed by years of curiosity with this space travel (and countless trips to the National Air and Space Museum with our three sons as they were growing up)

- a year or so later, traveling with my family to Florida, I saw a full moon in the sky, and I watched it over countless driving hours, stuck in that car with my brothers and my parents; how I stared and stared at that moon, only to finally see its shadings and variations form the outline of a man's face...and, ever since, my eyes immediately see/form that same image on the moon, my man in the moon 

- my silly high school friend, passenger in the car I was driving, recreating the American Graffiti scene, mooning other girlfriends in the other car - of course, she did not have the courage to moon the boys...

- my baby (now 30, a father himself), how he loved the moon so much, that I made him a "moon" costume for his second Halloween; it was a very simple, cardboard, sandwich-styled board, with a friendly-faced quarter moon design; he was our little man in the moon

- an anniversary trip to Florida, years back, boys being babysat by our sister-in-law...a beach in the dark, a darling husband, a full moon in the sky, and some good fun by ourselves.

- living in Little Rock, Arkansas, back in 2004-06; we lived down a big hill, and the full moons seemed to sit at the base of our cul-de-sac, beckoning, saying "Hello! Welcome! Notice me!" every time we stepped out our front door...beautiful

- a friend's wedding in Oregon, middle of summer...driving down a country road after the reception, the moon leapt out in front of us, so magnificent, so gorgeous...we stopped the car on the side of the road and took picture after picture with our phones, though none were even half as good as our memory of it.

- glimpses of the moon in the daytime, from my school playground, running with preschoolers; how excited the children are when they see it; how I always sing "When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie, that's amore!"

I love the moon!