Grabbing Onto a Me Day

I woke up this morning prepared to face the day. I had a plan. I had a list. I was ready to go.

And then the first thing on my list stalled me-

The printer decided it had a paper jam. (There was none- I checked…….TWICE.) I did all the right things, powered things off and on, opened and closed things, removed and replaced things….and still the ERROR light flashed at me angrily and insistently.

I weighed my options as my husband offered remote tech support. This definitely delayed my well organized list. And it stopped me dead in my tracks because the very first errand on that list needed something printed to be completed.

Then my husband texted me words that were music to my ears…. or make that my eyes. We have been in the middle of a project outside of our house for what feels like forever now. It has been disruptive and intrusive and I have struggled with this, trying to keep my anxiety and aggravation in check. Well, unexpectedly there would be no work today. And that meant QUIET!

And so I scanned my list. Also looking at the rest of my week told me that if I did not grab this day, I might not get one until -July…. (College kids, toddlers, seven year olds out for the summer all lurked on the horizon beginning in three short days….) Did I need to do these things today? Could they wait 24 hours? Could I take advantage of this unexpected day of solitude and silence and freedom?

It appeared I could! And I did!

So, what did I do with this day?

  • I wrote a post.
  • I read other’s posts.
  • I worked on my pseudo sort of bullet journal.
  • I assessed one of my projects for our kitchen update.
  • I charged the battery on my “new” camera and took some outdoor shots.
  • I completed a project that I had promised a friend and arranged delivery.
  • I worked in silence.
  • I stretched out and watched a few episodes of my latest Netflix binge watch- Private Practice.
  • I worked on future blog post ideas.
  • I danced it out (Meredith Grey style- but in my own clumsy Kat-like style). I confess that Ari looked away in embarrassment on my behalf……

  • I counted down the hours until I meet my bestie, Diane, for a much needed girls night out.

There are so many things I could have done if I wasn’t going to complete the day’s original list. Dishes, laundry, preparing Kris’s room for their arrival, cleaning cleaning cleaning….

But I needed this day. I don’t regret a single moment of it because it has charged my batteries, renewed my energy and lifted my spirits. And although the day would have been perfectly fine if I had continued on my list of errands and tasks, it wouldn’t have been the same.

What do you do when you find yourself unexpectedly alone with time?

Have a great one!

-Kat

#AtoZChallenge T is for Teachers

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“There is no recipe to be a great teacher, that’s what is unique about them.” -Robert Sternberg

Rita Pierson dedicated her life to education, following in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents. In this Ted Talk, she speaks about the human connection that every child needs and how teachers can provide it. Education is so important to a person’s success and it all goes back to teachers. They can make or break a student’s experience. Teachers don’t get into this business for the money or the recognition. They do it for the love of children, if they are doing it for the right reasons.

Although I have done everything I can to support my children, they were also blessed to have some amazing teachers in their lives- people who made a connection that went beyond the classroom and curriculum. I have been honored to call some of them my friends.

One person in particular stands out. Her name is Jenny and she was my kids’ enrichment teacher. Being my baby, Andrew spent a lot of time at school with me before he was in school when I was doing volunteer work. Jenny knew that she would be working with him as soon as he began kindergarten and she started creating a bond with him early.

Andrew is a tough nut to crack. He’s a lot like me and keeps things inside. I tend to be a bit prickly when it comes to physical contact and personal space and Andrew is no different. Anyone who knows Andrew understands this, as did Jenny. Except Jenny was warm and caring and affectionate and loving. She was always giving the kids shoulders’ a squeeze or a pat and the kids loved her. Andrew did too but he kept his distance.

Now, just to be clear, Jenny taught the brightest kids in the school, enriching their education, pushing them to stretch their thinking, expanding their experiences. These kids did very cool things! And then after having known Andrew for nearly five years, Jenny came to me, more excited than I had ever seen her.  I couldn’t wait to hear what amazing thing Andrew had done.

She explained that she had been working with Andrew’s group around the table and he was sitting next to her. While she was explaining a concept to them, Andrew leaned his head against her shoulder. As she spoke her eyes filled with tears and she laid her hand gently on her heart. “It was huge!” she whispered. She got it. She knew what a major milestone this was in their relationship. This was something most of Andy’s teacher’s didn’t even notice. This was MY KID, the one who stood stiffly in his grandparent’s embrace and moved away from people who came too close. And Jenny got it. I blinked back tears (unsuccessfully) and Jenny hugged me.

Jenny was an educator of the highest caliber. She taught because she loved children and helping them to be their very best. She was a precious gift to everyone who came into contact with her. Her wish was to teach for the rest of her life. She got her wish, but sadly she was taken from us way too early. If ever someone was an angel, it was Jenny. She touched so many lives while here and her legacy carries on in the very schools she taught in.

She was my friend and I miss her dearly. She once told me “Your children are blessed to have you as their mother.” We are the ones who were blessed.

She was the epitome of what a teacher should be.

More Rita Pierson  quotes:

  • “You know, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”
  • “We come to work when we don’t feel like it, and we’re listening to policy that doesn’t make sense, and we teach anyway. We teach anyway because that’s what we do.”
  • “How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? EVERY child deserves a champion- an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and who insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

Have you or your children had unforgettable teachers in their lives?

Happy Monday! I hope you have an awesome week!

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Small Wonders

“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself.” – L. Wolfe Gilbert

There is such peace in nature. When I need to clear my head, I find that taking a walk surrounded by trees, water or both helps me to sort things out. Since I began taking pictures, it’s become even more therapeutic for me. As I have been slowly learning how to use my camera, I discovered that I enjoy taking closeups. Flowers, leaves, weeds and more are the perfect subjects! And the concentration helps me to chase out unwanted thoughts and to focus on the beauty in front of me. It seems like we are so busy that we forget to take time and be present in the moment.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

Daily Post- Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

#AtoZChallenge R is for Rainbow

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“We live in a rainbow of chaos.” – Paul Cezanne

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I am intrigued by this concept- living in a rainbow of chaos. See, I find rainbows to be quite neat and orderly. The colors line up in the same order and while they might blend into the next, each color has its own definition. I suppose that for some it could seem chaotic that there might not be clear division between each color.

Then I look at my life and I can easily see how it might appear to be a rainbow of chaos to outsiders. But it’s my rainbow and my chaos and as long as I like it, I guess that’s all that matters, right?

What do you think?

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 16: Van McCoy- The Hustle

I think I might have missed a week but I’m back with my song to share for Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

In 1975 Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony released the disco hit- “The Hustle”.  The song was written after McCoy’s music partner watched people doing the dance by the same name in a New York City nightclub.

A few years ago, CJ who was four at the time, caught us off guard by humming this song. When we questioned where he heard it, he told us that his grandma listened to it all the time. Mystery solved. We showed him a video of what the dance that accompanied the song looked like and he was thoroughly entertained, asking us to play it over and over.

I admit to being a bit of a clutz, so I actually have never done “The Hustle” but if you are interested in learning, here is a video (although a little creepy because the guy’s head is chopped off—-watch it, you’ll see what I mean), it gives you the steps.

And if you haven’t gotten enough of the song yet, here’s an interesting video I came across while looking for one that showed the steps. It’s definitely the 70’s!!!

So, tell me- can you do The Hustle?