Getting comfortable

28 Aug

I haven’t been here in a while. I’ve been busy. Busy in a good way, busy doing amazing things, going on adventures and meeting fascinating people. Not the dreary “I’m so busy with my lists and my job and my schedules and deadlines and things I don’t actually want to do” kind of busy. Happy busy.

As I write this, I feel as though I’m brushing down cobwebs and shaking off the dust. I’m settling in, remembering why I love it so much here. I’m getting comfortable, as though I’m sitting in a pile of pillows, wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea on a rainy day. My, how I do love it here.

It does feel a little different, to be honest. Is this space different, or am I? Maybe it’s a combination of both.

I’ve had a summer of extreme awesomeness. There are no words to express how truly blessed I feel to live this life. I’ve seen, felt, lived, dreamed, laughed, traveled, sang, cried, jumped, swam, received and given.

There’s a saying that goes “life begins where your comfort zone ends” or something similar. While I admit that letting go of the fear of being uncomfortable allows for new experiences and discoveries, there is something to be said about comfort. It is so delicious to feel comfortable, content and carefree. I am giving in to comfort. I will be uncomfortable tomorrow. Who knows what will happen…

This is me being comfortable. I call it "Alice in Wonderland before she falls through the rabbit hole." Adventures are about to happen, but in this moment, I am comfortable.  Actually, if I remember correctly, Alice was bored to death before she ended up in Wonderland, so many this is not a good analogy after all.

This is me being comfortable. I call it “Alice in Wonderland before she falls through the rabbit hole.” Adventures are about to happen, but in this moment, I am comfortable.
Actually, if I remember correctly, Alice was bored to death before she ended up in Wonderland, so mayby this is not a good analogy after all.

Lake Muskoka

30 Jun

I just spent a weekend, the first of my summer holidays, in a cottage on Lake Muskoka. The cottage belongs to a friend’s family, and she assembled a hodge-podge of friends and family to enjoy the sun, the lake and the laughs over the weekend.

It was a four and a half hour drive up. I’m not always a good road tripper, but I enjoyed spending time with my friend Kara as she told me about her cottage and how she used to live there when she was in high school. She had to cross the lake by boat to go to school. How awesome is that?

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We spent a lot of time on the boat, a lot of time on the dock and a lot of time in the water.

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There were a lot of people around, all the time. The first night, the girls decided to go out to the mainland for drinks and I stayed at the cottage. A few years ago, I would have gone with them, even if I didn’t want to. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss anything, or look like I was being a party pooper. I love the freedom that comes from not caring what other people think.

The second night, there were, again, many people at the cottage. We wanted to make a fire, but it rained, so we stayed in. Late in the evening, everyone decided to play a game. Sometimes, when I’m around people I don’t know very well, I get uncomfortable. It’s all very well and good not to care what people think if I don’t go drinking at a bar, but I also don’t want to be rude. I don’t think the term anxious is the right one here to describe how I feel, because I know people suffer from anxiety, while I mostly feel uncomfortable. I decided to remove myself from the party and go to bed.

While I’m completely fine with my choices, I do feel like not everyone understands them. Some people are naturally outgoing and talk easily to everyone, regardless of the situation. Some people need a lot of time alone. I, like a lot of people, need a mix of both. I’m not anti-social or super-social, I’m regular-social.

All that being said, I had a good weekend at a wonderful cottage. There were magical sunsets and adorable 2 year olds singing Let it go. There were cookies and boat rides, suntans and swimming. The summer is off to a great start!

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Two minute moments

25 Jun

I am a big fan of the Facebook page Humans of New York. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a page where a very talented photographer posts pictures of people in New York, along with a sentence or two, allowing you a glimpse into their life.

Last week, there was a picture of a little boy and his mother. The little boy said he wanted to make a card for his mom, but the teacher was too busy to help him spell, so he drew a picture. I thought this was a sweet moment. Then, I read the comments.

People were bashing the teacher, writing things like “she should be fired”, “bad teacher” and “a good teacher would have helped him in her spare time”. I had to stop reading, as I was turning purple.

I have a small class of 18 students, but sometimes, I am too busy to help someone. I have three grades in one class. I do what I can, but I am human. Teachers do not have angel wings or superpowers. We also don’t have “free time” while at work. That comment was obviously written by someone who doesn’t have a clue!

My life as a teacher is a series of two minute moments. Here are a few examples of things that take two minutes:

- Explaining what an adjective is.

- Having a discussion on why it’s not nice to kick our friends.

- Finding a lost pencil.

- Eating half an apple. (You have to eat fast, and you rarely get to eat the whole thing).

- Talking to the parent who interrupted story time by bringing their kid in late.

- Dealing with a bloody nose.

- Reading an e-mail.

- Reminding the third graders that they know what synonyms are.

- Looking for someone’s shoe. How do you lose a shoe?

- Putting a hand on a kid’s forehead to figure out if she’s sick or faking it.

- Asking “who’s is this?” about 47 times.

- Reminding some people that crayons are not meant to be thrown at other people’s heads.

- Helping a first grader read one sentence.

- Listening to kids teach each other.

- Sounding out words so kids can spell them themselves.

- Feeding the lizard.

- Holding up a finger to tell someone to wait while someone is asking a question and someone else is tapping you on the arm with their warm, sticky, little hand.

- Reading the story a second grader wrote for you. It’s about a pink giraffe.

- Suggesting that reading might be a good alternative to staring at the ceiling.

- Trying to teach division while the kids would rather talk about dinosaurs.

- Looking up dinosaur info on the Internet.

- Filling out the millionth form of the month.

- Taking attendance.

- Saying hello to every student.

- Not flinching when a box of beads is dropped on the floor.

- Drawing a star on someone’s hand, because everyone knows that will give you more energy to help you work.

- Answering a questions about prime numbers/pronouns/birds/snack time/planets.

- Going to the washroom (if you’re lucky).

- Hugging the child’s who’s crying because her parents have separated.

- Laughing. Kids are funny.

- Listening to a bad joke. They don’t always tell them right.

- Motivating the kid who thinks everything is boring.

- Replying to an e-mail.

- Singing a song.

To be honest, most teachers do several of these things simultaneously. There are 157 2-minute moments in a school day, including lunch time, which is considered “free time”.

If you witness the moment where I’m laughing and singing, you’ll think “what a fun, happy teacher.” But if you see the moment where I’m telling a child he has used up almost every drop of patience I have specifically for him, you will think I am mean and impatient. One moment does not give you the whole picture.

If you know a teacher, don’t say “lucky you” when her summer vacation starts. Try “I know how hard you worked all year, here is a margarita and a piece of pie”.

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Chakra smashing

21 Jun

The title of this post sounds a little violent, but I can assure you, it’s not. Smash refers to smashbook, not smashing something because you’re mad, don’t like it, or it’s a really gross bug.

A few months ago, I started my first smashbook, which is like an anti-scrapbook. It’s not about looking pretty, or using a ton of pre-determined cut-outs that go together. It’s about being creative.

I used to have one smashbook. I now have eleven. I am a bit obsessed. There are many different styles, and every time I go to the store, it seems like one of them is on sale. I decided to use the purple one for any and all yoga-related things, ideas and thoughts.

I’ve done seven pages so far, one for each chakra. They’re not completely done, because I still have lots to learn and I wanted to leave room to add in new words and pictures.

Root chakra

Root chakra

Sacral chakra

Sacral chakra

Solar plexus chakra

Solar plexus chakra

Heart chakra

Heart chakra

Throat chakra

Throat chakra

Third eye chakra

Third eye chakra

Crown chakra

Crown chakra

Like I said, I still have a lot to learn about each chakra, but it’s a good start!

Happy father’s day!

15 Jun

Last week, a co-worker’s computer screen went all weird and she asked me if I knew how to fix it. I said no, but I could call my computer technician. She thought it a little odd that I had my own technician. I told her he also went by the name Pop.

My dad can fix anything, and if he doesn’t know how to right away, he’ll google it. When I saw this, it made me smile.

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I remember being a little girl and asking my dad how to do things. He let me help (get in the way) with whatever he was doing. I know if I asked, he would teach me how to change a flat tire or fix my computer, but I like having to call him for those things. I am a grown-up, independent woman, but I still need my dad and that makes me happy.

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I wrote about this on mother’s day, but it surprises me when people talk of trying to understand their parents, or being friends with them. I really lucked out in the parent department, because mine are awesome!

Reading tent

11 Jun

Last year, in my classroom, we had a reading day. All we did, all day, was read. Well, we did go to the library and do some yoga, but mostly, we just sat outside under the trees and read. Children love technology, but they also love books and trees.

This year, we picked today for our reading day. Unfortunately, it rained all day. Since it’s almost the end of the school year, there was no switching to another day. I wanted the kids to have a special day, so I decided to make an indoor tent. I figured if we couldn’t go outside, we would make the most of inside.

I didn’t take any pictures as I was setting it up (the kids were in gym class). I didn’t have a plan, just an idea. I tied string to the cupboards, then tied the other ends to chairs behind the bookshelves. I added some Christmas lights and some curtains and fabric (surprise, surprise, it was all pink). The whole thing was held together by many, many clothes pins. On the floor, I used old duvet covers and rugs, along with all of the pillows and cushions we have in the classroom.

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When they came back to class, the kids were pretty excited. I got a lot of “Oh wow!” and “Thank you!” It was nice to see them so happy to have a special place to read.

I went in there with them to read a story, then I left them with their pillows and books. They didn’t want to come out for lunch! We went to the library in the afternoon (in the pouring rain), then they went right back in the tent until it was time to leave. I promised we could leave it up for the rest of the week.

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I used to make tents with sheets and blankets all the time when I was little, and this reminded me of how much fun it is!

To Tommy from Zooey to Me!

13 May

If you’re new to this blog, here is something about me: I love Zooey Deschanel’s style. Like, love, love, love it! In April, I wrote about discovering a website that has all the info on her outfits, called What would Zooey Deschanel wear. A fellow blogger told me about a clothing line Zooey was designing with Tommy Hilfiger. I was so excited to check it out!

A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I went to a work conference together. We don’t work at the same school, or even the school board, but we can sometimes swing it so that we attend the same training. It was in Montreal, so we took the train in the day before and went shopping! It was pouring rain, but we were determined to make the most of it!

While walking in a downpour of extreme wetness, we saw this.

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We just had to go in and try on as many dresses as we could! There are 16 dresses in the collection, but this store only about 7 or 8. There was only one I loved, and it’s the one Zooey’s wearing in the picture. It’s called the diamond-print dress. I’m sorry Zooey and Tommy, but these are squares.

I wore this dress on Sunday, and you can see it in my previous post, where my sisters and I tried to take some nice pictures. Since most of the pictures are pretty funny, there is no actual great shot of me in this dress.

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My sister got this one. It would be much too short on me, but it looks fabulous on her!

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This is Zooey, not my sister.

I also got this dress while shopping in Montreal. It’s not a Zooey dress, but I think she would like it. If there was a What would that girl from The Bliss Project wear website, she would definitely read it. Well, I guess that website already kind of exists, because I share my outfits here. Maybe she reads it, who knows?

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Also, I went out to buy materials for a school project tonight, and I bought two more dresses. I am no longer allowed out without supervision.

 

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