Saturday, May 31, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Positive

I'll be's hard being positive all the time. Life is a challenge and it's easy to get sucked into a negative vertex. Overall, however, I'm pretty positive. I regroup and move on. I search for ways to make something positive out of a negative situation. Most of all I try to learn from my mistakes.

As I mentioned earlier; this is something I want to strive to do this first year of retirement.  I am so blessed in so many ways and I want to bring small pieces of happiness to others. I'm not sure how it will all unfold....I'll just let it happen.

This is my quote for this first year of retirement. I really need to live it! Excited to see what the universe has in store for me!

Friday, May 30, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Endings

While today isn't "technically" my last is the last day with students in the building, and after all students are the life blood of education.

My "last year" is rapidly coming to an end. This day represents it probably better than my actual final day of work. Endings create new beginnings.
Everybody keeps asking me what I am going to "do."  I'm not sure. I want my first year of retirement to be a year of "becoming". I want to be able to  wander aimlessly, to muse, to explore, to just "be." When you think about it, I've pretty much been going, going, and going for the last 38 years, since high school graduation. While I wouldn't change a thing; it will be nice to catch my breath and devote some time to just "being".
Maybe this will be my new motto. Here's hoping to making it through this last day with a smile and lots of laughter!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Caring

This quotation is probably truer in education than anywhere else. We might get discouraged, have grumpy days and even complain (I know, right!) but the bottom line is teachers do care! I had a visit by some caring individuals...Tuesday when I arrived at school.....I found this.....
And when I opened the door....
Something that made me smile.....
I told everyone that the retirement fairies must have decided to visit me.....and look someone caught a picture of one of the little sprites......
This is going to be a super busy week as there's still tons to do...but it is the last week with students....counting down...NEXT Wednesday June 4th is my last day!  Thanks to the ladies who brighten my day......

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

40 days 40 Words: Fulfillment

Happiness, that illusive concept that everyone keeps trying to find. The more you search for it the less likely you will find it.  A while back  I was making a very conscious effort to do little things (thoughtful things) for others that might make them happy. A sweet note, making a favorite meal, giving little party favors.  I felt like my life was bursting at the seams with happiness. I've fallen away from that some, simply because life gets so busy, the days are filled with obligations, and sometimes finding the time for the little "special touches" is difficult. Yet I crave it. Not so others will say how great I am (sometimes people don't even notice) but because it brings ME happiness. It is my first plan of action post retirement, bringing back those fun little touches, dinners, gifts, fun adventures, etc.
What are you hungry for?  It changes throughout your lifetime.
I am hungry for a life of purpose, for days filled seeking authentic experiences, noticing the little things in life that matter and are so often ignored. I'm hungry for days lost in writing and nights filled with laughter. I'm not finished growing as a person but rather feel as if I have been in the cocoon of my work life and now am about to emerge into a different reality.
Powerful words from Mark Twain.
Education has been a fulfilling career but I have new paths to wander, new things to write about, new adventures to learn from and more happiness to spread. Can't wait to blog the First Year of Retirement!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Dream

Today's word is dream. I agree with C.S. are never too old to dream. Dreams are the food of the soul and they make this wonderful path through life so much sweeter! Sometimes we get discouraged because something we long for doesn't become a reality. Let's face it that does happen and I would be lying to say otherwise. Yet when I look at all the things I've done in life, and with so many more to come.....I've done things I've never even dreamed of.......maybe those are the universes replacement for the ones that didn't happen!

There are things we day dream about and then there are dreams we aspire to. Maybe it's when the two become mingled that the true magic happens. When our day and our dream start to blur the lines then anything is possible. We carry the dream with us.

I've mentioned before it's a little scary, this letting go. Giving up a sense of identity and how you have structured your life, moving beyond the boundaries of the old and into the realm of the new. Exciting and filled with possibilities but also a bit frightening. I find myself questioning this or that aspect of life. I feel like I am reading a book and I need to turn the next page and yet I hesitate.. Where will the story take me?  That is still to be seen.
My dreams will help me find the rhythm of my new life. A life outside the confines of work and schedules and time fillers. I have dreams and plans and schemes, I just need to be patient and let them unfold in their own time. They are there waiting in the wings.

Friday, May 23, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Journey

People who know me realize I like the word journey, after all look at the title of this blog. So my 40 words wouldn't be complete without a post about the word journey.

Our journey through life is a glorious walk that sometimes feels like a run, especially from this stage of the journey. Along the way there are so many twists and turns, detours and dead ends that we often wonder where we are headed.  At some spots along the path we have a clear vision of our destination while other times the path is tangled and overgrown with weeds making it very difficult to put one foot in front of the other. We might pause and rest for a bit but regardless of our self imposed "breaks" in the journey, it never really stops.

There are miles of the journey that are more like a quest. I use the medieval definition here in this context:  an adventurous expedition undertaken by a knight or knights to secure or achieve something: example: the quest of the Holy Grail. Other miles just flow by at a stroll. Don't value one more than the other, they both have meaning and together comprise the journey through life.
This quote has always been one I find meaning in. It reminds me that no matter what I want to accomplish, just beginning is the most essential step. It reminds me that journeys come in many shapes and forms, sometimes we begin one without even realizing it! I've many miles in this journey through education, along the way there have been more than a few stumbles, but each time the journey continued. At one point I considered leaving the education field altogether and pursuing a fulltime career as a professional counselor. I'm so glad I didn't. I just wouldn't be at the point in life I am now if I had taken that detour.

Another favorite quotation (same source: Lao Tzu). I think in retirement I will endeavor to live this one out more fully. As we become too focused on the "getting there". we miss so many things along the way. I will learn to "stroll" more. I will take in all the little signs of beauty along the way. I will let each day unfold and know that it will take me along the path that I need.
Down to the final 8 words!  I hope you are enjoying reading the 40 Days 40 Words series as much as I am enjoying writing it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Memories

So after school was the cake reception for all the retirees in the district this year. There were five of us but only one certified staff person: ME. I'm so thankful for the people that stopped by to wish us all well. The memories will always remain wherever I am.

Sometimes in looking back we really discover how much we care about the people that we work(ed) with. I have received many cards in the mail from co workers from the past and they are a delight to read because they always remind me of some memory.
Rich has taught my kids during their high school years and stopped by to wish me well before he headed to ANOTHER Cardinal game!

Pam taught drama at the middle school when I first started there. I would always have to borrow Excedrin from she bought me a bottle as a retirement gift. Thanks Pam, I'm sure I'll need it the last week.

Missy and Sarah, sixth grade teachers.....I'm going to miss you guys!

Cresia, Barb, and Stacie came by too. I didn't get a picture of them at the cake reception but this is from the retirement dinner. Don't think I could have made it without this trio!

Yes one of my favorite words: memories.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Light

When I started out this last year with over 200 days left it seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel was still far away. However just like life always does, it went by so quickly. Many people tell me they wish they were where I am right now and I always tell them "don't wish your life away."  I understand exactly what they mean but at the same time...LIVE right now...whether you are working or retired, make each day count.

For years I tried cramming every fun thing I wanted to do into summer and I became frustrated that there just weren't enough time in the summer to do everything I wanted to. There is never enough time, whether you have summer off or not. You have to make time for the things you love.
The word light also reminds me of this: "be a light". Bring sunshine and laughter into other people's lives too. Plan fun things, celebrate, rejoice and live life fully. It's the only go around you get here on earth so don't waste it!
I'm now down to 10 words to those 40 days slipped by quickly!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Serendipity

Today's word: serendipity.  Have you ever been searching for something, maybe not in the physical sense (although it could be) but searching and you discover something else that is even better suited for you than that which you were originally searching for. That's serendipity.  Perhaps you are in a book store looking for a particular book but alas they don't have it. So you pick up another one and discover an author that you love with a whole trail of books for you to devour.

Remember that earlier word: messengers? Messengers and serendipity often go hand in hand!

Sometimes you drive down an unexpected road and find an awesome new restaurant. Sometimes you have to move grade levels and find out that the one you moved to you love even more than where you were before. Life is full of unexpected things. The more you are authentic, the more serendipity seems to happen. Isn't it wonderful how everything is really interrelated. Messengers, being authentic, serendipity, dancing, adventure, and if one considers it, almost all the words I have presented here are tied to each other. I didn't set out to write it that way but it's like the great web of life.

May serendipity be present in your life so that the ways you travel are full of unexpected events that lead you down a sublime, exquisite path!

Monday, May 19, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Authentic

I wrote early about the word fake so today I want to go in the opposite direction to authentic.  Let me tell you it's hard being authentic, especially in education. I truly think that we have lost something in education by working toward making classrooms and teachers equal, all on the same page, using the same types of strategies etc. Yes we have gained also. There's nothing wrong with working toward improving instruction but I think that somewhere in the process we have lost the "human" aspect of the teaching experience. When you remove the humanness than people teach because its a job not because its a calling. The expression of self through teaching has always been it's biggest asset.  It's how we teach kids to be themselves, to love learning, and to recognize and correct mistakes without letting those mistakes diminish them.

Doubt is probably the biggest enemy of being "real" or authentic. We doubt that if we are who we really are that people won't like us, we will be accused of not doing our jobs, or we won't be "the best." People in education are by nature "people pleasers". We like to know we are doing the "right" thing. Sometimes people use that against us and we start to feel wishy-washy, adrift in a sea of doubt, unable to make sound decisions.

When we are the person we are truly meant to be we spread magic to those around us, including our students. Now this doesn't mean we can be any ole way we please, being authentic isn't an excuse to slack. Being authentic means you bring a piece of who you are into everything you do. The piece you bring should be the best you have!  Now beware because fakes try to spread magic too but theirs is just an illusion; difficult to see through and seemingly wonderful but it is not real. When people are fake it taints everything they do whether they recognize it or not.

Discover your own path, don't try to fit someone else's idea of what life (or being a teacher) should be like. Light your path with stars, and dreams and yes, lots of hard work. Don't be afraid to pause on your path and catch your breath or get a sense of direction. Most of all, along the path be real, listen to your heart, muse about things and get to know your own thoughts, listen to all viewpoints but in the end choose the one that is right for you. Think, speak, and act in harmony.
Thanks for sharing 40 Days 40 Words with me. Until the next word....BE REAL

Sunday, May 18, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Messengers

Today's word is messengers.  The reason I use the word messenger instead of message is because I want to focus on the bringer not the message. We get messages all the time, whether we believe it or not. Part of intuition is being able to "pick up" or receive the messages sent to us by the world or even the universe. Sometimes we get messages via a beautiful sunset that reminds us of the beauty of life. Other times we get messages from animals as we watch their playful nature and are reminded that life needs to include this aspect. Sometimes messages are sent via dreams. Messages can also be carried to us by people or certain types of people.

Today though I want to focus on the messengers that are sent into our lives to teach us something or to simply deliver a message. Many times we don't understand the message until much later or we don't even "hear" the message. The message can be sent through people we love, people we dislike, a certain type of person, a stranger on the train of life, an old dear friend, animals, dreams, beautiful things in nature or our own inner selves. To me living a life of purpose means that we observe, we listen, we "notice" the world around us.

I've received lots of messages through life. Some I listened to, others I ignored. Many times it is only later that I realized the folly of ignoring these messengers. At other times I have been deaf to the message, failing to even recognize it as such. Messengers have a lot to tell us about life, ourselves and spirit.
In education, I've had the privilege of meeting many messengers. Kids with incredible resilience, kids without boundaries, bullies and victims, all have a message. These messengers can be pint sized but they carry a big punch. It has been my great honor to try to understand the worlds they live in, some quite similar to mine and others very different. It has been to my benefit that I have witnessed their mistakes and their triumphs.
Messengers come in adult size too. People I admire, people that drive me batty and people that I really wonder about. Sometimes I've met the same "type" of person over and over again. "They" say that it is because you have not received the message, you haven't learned the lesson and therefore the encounter will occur over and over again. Let's just say I must be dense in some parts of my life!
I have a very eclectic approach to spirit.  I like to explore and muse about many different spiritual paths. That doesn't mean I'm straying from my path, it simply means I am learning and growing in spiritual wisdom.
"Test all things; hold fast what is good." I Thessalonians 5:21
The great value of messengers is that whether they gently nudge us or slap us in the face they have helped direct our path. They contribute to the richness of our lives. Even the ones we wish we had avoided. Some messengers stay in our lives a long time and some are fleeting visitors. No matter the duration they have served a purpose.
Thank you to the many messengers in my life, even those who do not realize they have delivered one!

Friday, May 16, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Love

Love, it's a strong word isn't it. Some people think we use it too much and not in the right context. I love pizza, I love the Cardinals, I love summer, etc. Perhaps there's some truth in that. Does using it so much and in such mundane circumstances diminish it? Perhaps.
Ten Things I Loved in Education
1. Kids, especially five year olds!
2. Sharing tears and laughter, frustrations and triumphs with some really great people
3. Summers off (ok, admit love that too!)
4. Sharing my love of reading
5. Making a difference, somewhere, somehow, for someone.
6. Learning as much from the kids as they learned from me.
7. That it forced me to never stop learning, adjusting, changing and growing.
8. That it provided a good life for my family.
9. That every day was truly a new beginning
10. That it has an awesome retirement system!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Believe

Believe, it's a good word.
Believe in the kids in your classroom.
Believe that what you do makes a difference.
Believe in the future.
Believe in the possibilities in life.
Believe, perhaps most importantly in yourself.
Not that you will be perfect, but that you will keep striving to be the best YOU, you can be everyday, no matter that!
If you look for something wonderful you will find it. Live a life of expectation....where you expect wonderful things. In doing so you will plant the seed for it to happen!
Believing isn't always easy in this hectic chaotic world. Sometimes we think there's little hope. We start to get discouraged, to believe that the negative of life is about to overcome us. When that happens. Take a moment to breathe. Close your eyes and focus on the core of what you believe in. Find it in small places and nourish it, let if grow and blossom in your life.
Believe that life is here for a purpose. Find it, breath it in and know in your heart that all is well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Erase

Erase...sometimes I think it would be nice to erase some mistakes, or things that have happened that create painful memories. Yet at the same time I wonder how doing so would alter life. We can go round and round wishing we had not said this or had said something. We can find pain in missed opportunities or even great opportunities. People who do great things often regret not connecting or spending time with loved ones. Every thing is like a two sided coin. It's really impossible to know what a different choice might have created. We mull it over and think it might have changed the course of our life when in reality it might have thrown it even further off course.'s what life's all about!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Adventure

Oh the adventures I have planned.....

Off to Alaska we will be the first of many adventures....both big and small.
On the list also are Shanghai, New Orleans, San Antonio, east coast fall trip, and just a multitude of other adventures. Color me happy!!

The truth is life has always been an adventure....if you live it as such.....
Life is good, I smile more, laugh more and worry less! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Laughs

Today's post is a look at education with a humorous twist.....

I sort of feel like this myself some days!
Oh how the times have changed......
You really have to keep up with your vocabulary today! does seem like this some years!
I hope you enjoyed this quick post today!  Take care and remember to laugh!

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