Exploring Outside of My Comfort Zone

A big part of me wanted to back out. Another part wanted to make excuses before I’d even started. We always tell our kids to be brave, to try even if we know we aren’t going to win, and that the experience is valuable. I had to keep telling myself those things a few days ago. I reminded myself that I’d picked the word “explore” as my word for the year, so I should explore, even if it was scary. Continue reading “Exploring Outside of My Comfort Zone”

Back to School

When I left my teaching career earlier this year, I didn’t expect to return to any classrooms. Knowing that feelings can change, I left the door open, agreeing to join the substitute list when I became eligible October 1. When school began in August, I was thinking “no way!” to substitute teaching.  Continue reading “Back to School”

The World Right Here

Two days a week, I sit in a classroom surrounded by adults who weren’t raised speaking English. Their first languages are Ukrainian, Tgrinya, and Arabic. Even the teacher hails from another country, so they are glad to have a native English speaker helping this year, even if I do have a bit of a southern accent. Should I make sure they know “y’all?” Continue reading “The World Right Here”

Summer Resident

I was acting as tour guide, the way people do when others come to visit.  I was showing Mom and Don around Portland Head Light. We took the usual pictures from the most photographed side, then walked closer and around to the north side. The wind ruffled my hair as I paused at the railing.  I listened to the seagulls’ calls and feasted on the visual buffet of craggy rocks, ocean waves, and sailboats. Below me, the waves and the shape of the rocks created an occasional “bloop, bloop” sound. Continue reading “Summer Resident”

Reaching for Normalcy

“Where are the pics of the house?????” my sister-in-law asked me on Messenger a few days ago. I had to admit that the house is still in such bad shape, that I’m too embarrassed to post any. In many ways, it feels like we are camping. We have power, but we are still running extension cords from the four outlets we have by the panel. We don’t have many interior doors. We still have to shower at the cousins’ house. Continue reading “Reaching for Normalcy”

My 2018 – A Review

The timing of milestones and important events are easy to forget. It can be hard to answer questions about which year things happened or what was done at a certain time. I  had to consult my calendar to write this post.

Here are my key moments from 2018, or at least the ones that currently come to mind or were on my calendar.  Continue reading “My 2018 – A Review”

2019 One Word

What is “one word?” It is choosing a goal for the year, using only one word, rather than a long list of New Year’s resolutions. I first saw the idea on a friend’s page. I didn’t realize that it was a whole movement. I started noticing other bloggers choosing their words. There is even a One Word website. The first word that I picked for myself was “feel.”

My 2019 will usher in a new place to live in VA, a summer house in Maine, an ending of a 30-year career, and the beginning of a life without that career. There will be new ways to spend my time. Many of those have yet to be determined and will likely be fluid.

The first word I considered was “adapt.” I’ll certainly need to do plenty of adapting in 2019. I could also acclimate, adjust, become accustomed to, and modify myself. What’s missing from all of those words is the sense of doing them well. I don’t want to simply adapt, I want to… flourish!

I want this year to be a time of flourishing in all the changes that are yet to be. I want to serve, learn, and grow in my new environments. Let us see where this will take me this year!

Addendum: My friend and I don’t tell each other what our word is ahead of time. We both have to wait for the “reveal” in each other’s blog posts. Both blog posts went live just after midnight, to our e-mail subscribers. I was confused when I saw the title of hers. We picked the same word, out of approximately 250,000 words in the English language! Here is the link to her post.

Dear Jess

Dear Jess,

Can it really have been seven weeks since you left this world? I cried every day until one night I realized that I hadn’t. Of course, the tears still strike me randomly, like writing this to you, being at church and looking at the row where you sat, or a quiet moment in the car when my thoughts drift to you. Did you know you are my first friend who died? Most people don’t lose friends who are only 35 years old. I wish I could say that it was totally unexpected, but I always feared this would happen. With your Addison’s disease and living alone, I was afraid that you wouldn’t let anyone know if you got really sick. Remember the times I begged you to call me? When I reminded you that I was only a mile away? I felt a little angry that you didn’t call me, or anyone else, but maybe you couldn’t. I know you didn’t want to leave behind the people you love. Continue reading “Dear Jess”

Friday Night Football and Memories

This Friday night was so like another Friday night a year ago, that the memories flooded my brain. The difference between then and now flooded my heart.

It was another football game, a year ago, when my younger kids’ birth mom joined us. Katelyn was already with the marching band, but Conner and I arrived in the parking lot right after Annie. I parked my motorcycle in front of her company van and we shared a parking space. From there, we went to the field and watched the game together, chatting and laughing.  Continue reading “Friday Night Football and Memories”