Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Train Just Keeps on Rolling

Summer is coming to an end and our worlds are coming back to "normalcy." So it is time to share with you all our monthly reflections on our word for the year. With our busy lives, it could be really easy to neglect our words, but AVTCoach's determination to keep the wheel rolling brings us back to our monthly posts. Therefore, it is only fitting that I share her word first.

In August, I recognized the ABUNDANCE of seeing old friends, listening to great music, feeling the cool mountain air, and having a real time phone conversation with a good mate!

I have found that JOY is all around me.... It just takes opening my eyes and heart to really see it and feel it!

Striving for BALANCE between complexity and simplicity, constantly evaluating and re-evaluating the trade-offs I have to make to get there.

Excellence: A process and a discipline, not a destination.

Which ties neatly into mine:
Discipline is setting your eyes on the prize, recognizing what you need to do to get there and removing all obstacles that will prevent you from finishing the race.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who Does That?

OMG is all I had to say.

I was dumbfounded the other day as I was flipping through Facebook and saw that someone I dance with had gone to see Wicked down in Austin this past Friday. The fact that Wicked was playing was not the surprise. What shocked me was who went along.

Now it's time to flashback to the beginning of summer:
As the end of dance season was drawing near, I saw that Wicked would be here in August. I thought it would be neat if the dance class got together to see this musical that all my online friends had been buzzing about. I went to the dance instructor, Mr. A and asked if he would be interested in all of us going. He seemed stoked about it and even offered to order the tickets online, and we would give him the money.

Summer came and summer went. However, not without seeing Mr. A almost every single week while taking my daughter to camp. Not once was the musical mentioned, so I brought it up the last week of class. Mr. A looked at me sadly and said he was unable to get good seats and the only seats available were those up in the way upper balcony. He said he wasn't interested in seeing it from so far back. I agreed and said, "Too bad," and suggested we all go some other time. He said yes.

Imagine my surprise when I go to click on my Facebook "friend's" Wicked photo album and who should be sitting right next to her? You guessed it, Mr. A!

Why do people do that? Why can't they be honest? I am usually the one to give people the benefit of the doubt. My mother has always called me the "Great Defender," but I feel there is very little that this person could say that could make this defensible, especially when almost everyone else who was in the photo had been in on the initial conversation about going to see Wicked together.

Now that I have gotten this off of my chest, I am probably not going to say anything when I see Mr. A tonight at the studio. I am just going to take this as a lesson to not take everyone at face value...something you would have thought I had figured out a long time ago.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Picking up the Pieces

The one thing I have learned from putting a puzzle together with my son is…I am NOT a patient person. I try to fool myself into thinking I am, but when the rubber meets the road, or in this case, when the puzzle pieces fall out of the box, I immediately feel this need to control.

James is a funny kid. He’s athletic, coordinated, and I think he will even be a decent tap dancer. He always asks Caitlin or me to help him put a puzzle together, but puzzles are definitely not his thing. I am sure there are many styles of puzzle assembling. Some people may just dive right in and randomly try putting pieces together, but most people – I am sure – organize the pieces first, looking for edge pieces, then colors, then finally beginning putting the edge pieces together.
My frustration comes when James doesn’t understand what I trying to show him.
  • James, find the edge pieces. You know the ones that are straight on one side.
  • Okay, mommy. [He then proceeds to pull out pieces randomly and tries to place them together.]
  • James, look. This is an edge piece. Is this an edge piece?
  • Yes, ma’am. [It isn’t.]
  • No, James. THIS is an edge piece. Look here. Find me pieces like this. [This process takes a good 10 minutes or more.]
The process doesn’t get any better, so I shall spare you the gory details. Just know that we never did fully assemble the puzzle.How do you tell your son, no, you don’t want to put a puzzle together because he agitates you so? I ask myself where I went wrong. Did I not spend enough time at home with him? I was home with Caitlin for three years, and then she was home with my mother for two more years. What do they do at daycare? Should I change schools? My mother’s friend has a Montessori school designed to help children think critically. The problem being she is not a daycare and therefore I would need to find a second provider for the extra hours.

It is certainly a frustrating situation. I spend all day at school helping other children become better thinkers. Who is there to make sure my son is a logical problem solver?

I know, not every child’s strength is logical or mathematical. Some are good with their words. Some are more athletic. How do they become that way? Is there something I can do to give him an edge? Am I too uptight about this? Is he moving along at a good pace?

I don’t think I will ever truly know the answers to these questions.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Welcome Inside My Head

Most people make resolutions on January 1st. I believe teachers make them the first day of school. We promise to reach more students, use different methods, be more organized, and many of us choose a healthier way of life.

The first day of school is the day I promise I will pack a lunch everyday instead of looking at the snack machine or turning to the cafeteria as a last resort which maybe low in fat but is fraught with carbs. (Fraught - I love that word. It's a Middle English word for freight.) Some years I do really well, while other years not so well. Back when I cooked everyday (when was that?) I would make enough to take some to work for lunch. When I stopped cooking, I had to start purposely packing healthy lunches. We will see what kind of lunch this year has in store for me.

Another thing I have often done, in an effort for a better me, is pick up some sort of exercise routine. Many times it consisted of a gym membership that I would use for three months but give up because it required me to be there by 5 a.m. if I wanted to work out, get home, shower and AND eat a healthy breakfast in time to get to school by 7 a.m.. Little by little, I would hit that snooze bar until one day I didn't even set the alarm early anymore.

Well, today I got up early without an alarm and got dressed and went for a walk. The night before I had made somewhat of a conscious decision to tell myself, "You will get up and walk. You will get up and walk." I guess it worked. When I got up, I didn't argue with myself or give myself reasons why sleep would be a better option.

Once I hit the road, I had some decisions to make. Do I go downhill first? Nah! That means going uphill last. Do I walk down to the golf course and walk their track? Umm, too many mosquitoes. Where will I turn? How far should I walk? Finally I just started walking and forgot the questions and enjoyed seeing my neighborhood - some parts for the first time.

It is funny how you can live somewhere for seven years and never notice certain houses, certain yards, certain trees. There were several points, in fact, that I wished I had my camera, but decided it was better I didn't because I didn't want to take away from my walking effort.

That is when my brain started wandering aimlessly.
- Look at those bushes. What kind are they? Why do they bend in that direction? Is this a windy spot? Maybe they are just kind bushes bending away from the sidewalk so passersby don't have to go down on the street or walk on the homeowner's grass.
- Look at the shrub. Inconsiderate owners, letting the branches grow to the point that they lay across the sidewalk and block the way.
- Oh look at that house. It has been recently remodeled. I like that color.
- Those are very nice cars for this neighborhood. Two Cadillacs? What is that that they have in their window? Some sort of sign kind of like the ones I have seen in Hearse windows. It gives the owners name and tells that they are loan officers. Who does that? I think I know. Yep, my thoughts are confirmed. The next car has a bumper sticker in their window that says they belong to this megachurch .
- Oh man! This is the reason why I stopped exercising! My legs are getting a rash again, my hands are swelling. Keep walking Annemarie. Better to have fat fingers than a fat bum.
- How much more uphill is it? When will it be downhill? Quit complaining. At least it isn't the hill in Janet's neighborhood.
- I have reached the main road. Left or right? Go left! Where is my street? Is it this one? This one? My lord, woman! Don't you know your own neighborhood?
- Wow! That neighbor sure has a very green yard. Must be that very nice sprinkler system.
- I love the smell of sprinklers in the morning. Should I go run through it?
- Ah! DOWNHILL! How far have I walked? Should I get in the car and measure it? ( I didn't, but I will.) Have exercised enough to enjoy breakfast with my mother? Should I shower now or go like this so my mother knows that I exercised? Eeww!

Well, that was my morning walk. If you had gone with me, all of those words would have actually come out of my mouth. I am a chatty traveler (beware Peggy.) My friend Janet already knows.

I just can't wait for it to be cooler in the morning. At post time it is 79 degrees with expectations for it to reach 100F today.

Funny! Just as I was finishing this - Mary Tyler Moore's theme song is telling me, "You're gonna make it after all." I guess I need to put that on an iPod when I walk, huh?
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