The Battle. It Goes.

So I’ve been having some anxiety.

When the first anxiety-induced panic session of the semester occurred I thought, “already?”
And I blamed it a little bit on January. And I blamed it a little on the adjustment period of the very sudden workload of five courses – which I have never experienced before – as well as a part time job, a family to raise, and an attempt to maintain regular exercise (which I would abandon if I weren’t well aware it is required to maintain sanity). I thought, “I just have keep marching on and to get used to it.”
And then there was another.
And another. (Maybe I need to exercise more – for sanity – but there’s no time!)
And then this weekend, I had the mother of all outbursts. I ran my husband over with a metaphorical truck. He just happened to be standing in the way.

I’m having a really hard time with the fact that I can’t get a handle on it. I will myself to deal. Then I find I can’t deal. I feel weak and silly. And I begin to wonder if I really am lazy, and I just can’t handle the number of commitments that other people can.

And then I remind myself that I am not just busy, I am beyond busy. That most people (whoever they are) don’t have quite the level of busy that I currently (and temporarily, thank God) manage. And it isn’t just the fact that pretty much every hour of every day is spoken for, but it is the additional pressure that comes with school work. Even if you get everything done that technically has to be done on a particular day, you still could be doing more, reading more, researching more, going over the material more, and so on. Those grades hover in the distance. They are not fixed yet. They shimmer. Are they A’s? B’s? A’s? B’s? (I will not even postulate a C) If you complete one assignment, even if early, it best to just go right on to the next one. There is no ‘done.’

So I talk myself down from panic and I get a move on with all my stuff.
And then suddenly, without warning, the anxiety hits again.

I know that everything I have done so far I have done well.

I know that it IS humanly possible to accomplish the rest, on time, and just as well.

I know that a semester is short and it will be over before I know it. (One month of four is already passed!)

Also, when I look at each thing for what it is, it is so much fun.

FUN:

  • Tomorrow I get to participate in a mock debate for my Philosophy of Science class and I get to defend astrology (that’s right, zodiac signs and all) as a legitimate science. Really? Where and when else will I ever have an opportunity like that?
  • I also have read several delightful children’s books: A Wrinkle in Time; Alice in Wonderland; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Princess and the Goblin. Many (many) more to come.
  • I have had the opportunity to sit down in a cafe with my favorite professor for a couple of hours each week – all to myself – I don’t have to share him with the rest of a class – and did I mention he’s my favorite prof, not just any teacher, and we talk about Plato. Plato is so much fun. So interesting! And I get to take a deeper look – much more than is usually coverable in a regular course. How lucky am I?
  • And it’s not just school: Watching my kid play basketball. Wow. Fun. I even enjoy driving her to early morning practices. It’s all just so exciting.
  • And, can I just say that God keeps dropping these brilliant little reminders into my path. Daily. Gifts. Surprises. It’s like He knows I need constant reminders that He loves me and I’m doing okay and it’s all going to work out. He knows. Imagine that. (Dear God, please help me to not run over humans with trucks. Or vomit on them.) (Metaphorical trucks and vomit. Real ones too.)

So I stopped at five bullet points, (because there’s no time for more!) but really, there is so much more. It isn’t drudgery. None of it. I remember this and then chide myself for not enjoying all of these awesome things.

Anyways, time to go!

What I Really Love: Work Edition

With graduation just months away, a question looms ever nearer. A question that I have been adequately ignoring: What next?

I need and want to get a job. I need to earn money just like everybody else. And I need  to not do janitorial work anymore. Janitorial is what I have been doing nights and weekends for the last six and a half years that I’ve been a student. So I have a couple of ideas about jobs, and I’ve got my eyes open all the time for opportunities. But I’m trying really hard to not over-think it since I really can’t change anything right now. I need to actually graduate first. (Eleven weeks, baby.)

On the one hand, I feel like I could do anything. My education, coupled with general life experience have me well prepared for a multitude of possibilities. I have learned so much in the last decade. I have done so much. While my degree hasn’t equipped me with specific skills intended for a specific job (nursing, welding, teaching, marketing, etc) I do feel like I have the mental capacity to learn, and quickly, whatever it is that my future employer needs doing. Also, I am willing to work. Hard and with conviction. I am reliable. And, believe it or not, I’m pretty cheerful in person. I think.

On the other hand, selling myself is going to be HARD. I made a resume recently, (because I applied for a full time job right before the semester started) (that I fully intended to work while doing five courses) (thank God I didn’t get it) and let me tell you, I don’t look that good on paper. Before I was a student and janitor I was a stay at home mother. Being a stay at home mother is a lot of work and a valuable experience, don’t get me wrong. It is just that it leaves such a giant hole on a resume. And before that (which feels like an eternity ago) I worked at the mall.

And then I also have this faith. And I’m always reminding myself of all the instances of perfect timing and so-called-coincidences (I don’t believe in coincidences) and opportunities and the right people in the right places that God has always provided in the past. I know that He must be mildly amused by my silly worries. I know He’s got me in his hands. Past, present and future. So I keep reminding myself of these things and I just relax and enjoy the educational ride. I’m not actually that worried about the future job. This is all just speculative.

I read a lot of stuff about finding your passion and following your heart and doing something you really like to do. And I get that and I believe that. It’s why I switched back from the Bachelor of Business Administration program to the Arts, where I pursued English and then (surprise!) Philosophy, which I love, love, love.

But I can’t just wander down the street and get a job doing philosophy. Especially with a mere undergraduate degree. (More on that in future post.) (Oh yes, I am serious.) So I’ll need to find something a little more practical (that has NOTHING to do with scrubbing toilets, thank-you very much) but that I still enjoy. So I sit here wracking my brain, trying to figure out what I love.

And here is the answer: I love lots of things!

I love instant, visible results. My husband tells me that one of the most satisfying jobs on the planet is said to be demolition person. Ka-boom! And you’re flooded with a sense of accomplishment. And I have to say, that has definitely been one of the great things about cleaning. I walk into a mess. I make it pretty. I survey my work well done, pat myself on the back, and leave.

I love a good cause! The bulk of my janitorial work has been at our church. Now on a pay-scale, I earn beans at the church – about a third of what I earn (on an hourly basis, I mean) when I clean offices. They simply can’t afford to pay me more. And I don’t care! Whenever I have had to drop contracts in the past because of time-crunches, dropping the church as a client has simply not been an option for me. Even though all I do is clean, I feel like I’m contributing to something so much bigger. I also feel like I’m part of a team there. Even though I work mostly alone, and my work might not be an obvious contribution to the ministry, I do feel like a co-worker with the rest of the church workers. I feel involved in everything they do. I love providing a supportive role to the very important work done there. The thought of not working there makes me very sad. (Even though I feel like I’m reaching my limit when it comes to urinal maintenance.) But you know, other good causes would work just as well for me as the church (or almost as well anyway). I’d love to work for an organization that helps people, helps the planet, or that generally makes the world a better place.

I love reading and writing. Obviously.

I love people! I really, really do. I love all people. I love working with people. I love knowing people. I love shooting the breeze with people. I love teamwork. I’m a peacemaker. I would work well with people.

I love to work alone. As an introvert who has a particularly active family and social life, going to work and getting my alone time in at the same time has been a definite bonus.

I love customer service. This is surprising to me. It just sort of happened. My last retail job before having kids had a huge amount of training in this area and I thought it was fascinating. Also, during the time that I was a Pampered Chef consultant when my kids were small, I tried really hard to provide good service (and felt super-bad the few times I dropped the ball). I get all happy when I am on the receiving end of good customer service. I find it irksome when, as a customer, I get bad service. I think this is an interesting area of business and I would be interested in being involved with this somehow.

I love routine. Having as many balls in the air as I do, I have become efficient in many areas of work. And I find that in every place that I work efficiently, it is because I have the perfect routine in place.

I love opportunity to act spontaneously and be creative. Breaking the routine is exhilarating and fun. And it always helps bring freshness back to the routine.

I love being free to work. I am so used to doing my own thing, at my own pace, and doing it well under no supervision, that I think being micro-managed might kill me a little. I’m a self-starter.

I love research, and I love trying new things. I will need to be in a job where I can learn new things. A lot. Or I will wilt.

I love tweaking. Any system can always be made better. Change is good.

I love beauty. Whether it is making something beautiful, appreciating something beautiful, making somebody else feel beautiful, or spreading the beautiful, I love it. I think beauty is an end it itself.

I love organization. And maybe control. A little bit.

I love women. I love men too. But I love men because they are mysterious and intriguing and powerful in ways I do not comprehend. I love men, but to me, men are over there. Women, are right here, in my face, in my heart, in my brain, in my understanding. I like to help them. I like to look at their beauty. I like to hug them and do fun things with them and work with them and talk with them. Especially about books. And men.

I love hurting people. People who are hurting, not making people hurt. Because they’re real and vulnerable and messy and oh, so human. I love them because I know God loves them and holds them in His hands. I know we have been given to one another in this broken world to help one another. And I want to understand their hurt. And I want to help them feel better.

I love food. 

I love art.

I love furniture.

I love houses.

I love colour and design. 

I love beautiful fabric and things made out of beautiful fabric.

I love health.

I love kitschy, useless things. 

I love thinking outside the box.

I love wine.

I love landscape. 

I love things that grow.

I love personalities.

I love new things.

I love old things. 

I love … I could go on for ages.

So, in short, thinking about what I like is not helping me narrow my career prospects. That’s all.

Lost Momentum

I don’t even know where to begin. Everything is a jumble. I keep feeling like everything is getting away on me. But then when I check, everything is actually just fine.

I had a mini-breakdown on Saturday afternoon. I had come home from work and then tried to dig in to the endless pile of homework, knowing we had to be somewhere at a certain time and only having a small window of time to cram as much studying as possible from the endless list. My hubs went off to they gym. The kids. Were here. They were being perfectly good. But they were in my face every 30 seconds. Which a) was preventing me from making any progress at all, and b) making me feel like the worst mother on the planet because even though they were being very good and I hadn’t seen them all day, I just wanted them to go. away. already.

The breakdown came shortly thereafter. My husband offered to go on to our evening plans without me, so I could stay home and study, but I decided it would be better to go. It was Saturday night after all. I’d been busy with some type of work from 6am to 10 pm Monday to Friday. My friend was going to feed me so I didn’t have to cook or clean or anything. I wanted to see my friends, because being with them is always awesome. AND my friend was going to take me to Zumba for the very first time. (Which I got about three advance hours warning on, right in the middle of all the crazy). I didn’t feel like going out and trying something new. I felt like crawling into a cave. But I knew that of I went, it would probably make me feel better.

And it did. And it led into a whole surprise evening of unplanned FUN that I hadn’t anticipated and fully needed. We Zumba’d – at a local bar, jam packed with ladies of all ages and fitness levels (before the arrival of the bar crowd of course). The beauty of this location (especially for a noob like me) was that it was DARK and there were no mirrors. By the time it was over I felt better already. And then we were invited to a girls house for tea and birthday cake (I’m off sugar currently, so I just had tea). And then we got the brilliant idea to go COLOUR THE WATERFALL.

If you’re not local, all you need to know is there is a waterfall from a creek that flows right through the middle of town. It freezes in the winter and mystery people in a mysterious manner always paint it. My friend had noticed during the day that the waterfall was currently just plain white ice – which never happens. So giddy mayhem ensued that involved food colouring, water balloons and water guns. All in the middle of the night of course. Then, late into the night, girl-talk with my pal in front of her fireplace while our men played video games in the basement. It was awesome.

So I spent the next several days thanking God for that wonderful surprise evening. The happiness carried me through the next few days which were insanely busy. And then I landed on my bed this morning after driving the kids to school and had a mini tantrum.  Mommy guilt was part of the reason (again) (we had a disaster of a morniing trying to get out the door). It only lasted about thirty seconds though because my mental to-do list grabbed me by the back of my hoodie, pulled me upwards and screamed ‘YOU DON”T HAVE TIME FOR THIS’. So I got off the bed and whimpered as I wandered around my house. In every direction I looked there was a pile that needed attention – of books and papers – of laundry – a counter full of dirty dishes – dirt and grime and clutter everywhere. Oh and the things left neglected that weren’t even visible. The gym that I have neglected to visit since Monday. My GRANDFATHER who is in the hospital (again) who I have neglected to visit. The ever-growing pile of recycling at the church that I need to haul to the recycle depot (took one car load yesterday and there is at least one more waiting.) The books that need reading. The groceries that need purchasing. Everything.

But there was no time to fret. So I did something new. Instead of attempting to compile a list of things that needed to be done and that cannot conceivably all get done today, I grabbed a Sharpie and a piece of paper and wrote:

And then I calmed down and got to work and added something to my list everytime I completed a task. By noon, I had 11 items on my list, including dinner in the crock-pot (one less thing to worry about later).

And, exhale.

This afternoon, I have been able to kick back with some tea and read (school books, but still). And now, since there is only an hour left until I have to go pick up my kids from school and start the next round of things that have to be done, I am allowing myself a break to do WHATEVER I WANT. Which is this, apparently.

I do feel a little bit sad, like I’ve lost the momentum I found this morning. It is nagging me a little, knowing I could get another couple of things added to my list right now. But hey. Everything that really needed to be done is done. Three weeks down. Eleven to go. I can do this.

The Coldest Night of the Year

On the evening of February 25, I am participating in a 10km winter walk-a-thon called the Coldest Night of the Year in support of a local mission that serves the homeless population in our city.

It is my personal goal to raise $150. If you’d like to donate, please click on the link below, which will take you to my personal fundraising page.

Thanks!

http://my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=3230938&langPref=en-CA

The Last Hurrah!

So, I’m ankle deep into my very last semester. So far, so good, except that I feel like I spend every spare minute reading and I feel like it is still getting away from me. I’m barely keeping afloat here. But I feel optimistic at the same time.

I’ve never taken five courses at once. I usually have taken 3 per semester, and I have, at times, managed four and done just fine. But five – well, lets just say that the knowledge that the end is only four months down the road is what is staving off any feelings of panic.

What I’m taking:

  1. Metaphysics: I am probably the most excited about this course, because it deals with the kind of Philosophy I love – it examines the questions that we know we don’t have the answers to about the basic nature of reality. What is substance? What is being? We examine problems of free will, personal identity, the nature of space and time, of mental versus physical. I am additionally excited about this course in particular because it is being taught by my favorite prof. Last semester he gave a talk on some research he has been doing over the last couple of decades on Benjamin Fondane, who is not well known. After the talk I was interested to learn more, but knew I wouldn’t have the time. Well, my prof has gone and structured the course around this guy’s philosophy. So I’m pretty excited about it, even though I suspect that this will be one of the more difficult classes I take.
  2. Philosophy of Science: This is a fun course where we will be doing that looks at questions like: Science: fact or fiction? Do the facts dictate our theories? Is there any secure basis for our future expectations – or is just a matter of hoping for the best? Is everything relative, or is there always something absolute behind what is relative? Is science the new religion? How do or should scientific revolutions affect our view of science? So, pretty much the opposite of Metaphysics.
  3. Ethics: Also known as ‘the easy A.’ Or rather, all my ethics classes in the past have been. A little boring though. Too black and white. But I love this prof too, and it is nice to enter into at least one course that I pretty much know exactly what is coming and how it will turn out.
  4. My Plato DS: I am doing a directed studies course this semester. That means, I’m doing it all by myself under the supervision of a prof – my favorite prof – and I get to look at some relatively little known Plato texts. This course is a huge challenge because I have to meet with my prof once a week and give him an hour-long presentation on what I learned over the week. There is no wiggle room for dropping the ball or falling behind with readings here. Also, these weekly seminar presentations constitute 60% of my mark. I’m used to relying on my essay-writing skills to earn my grades. I’m much less comfortable expressing my knowledge verbally. But if education doesn’t involve stretching my comfort zone, then why bother? Luckily, I’m pretty excited about the course content. I’ve always enjoying reading Plato’s Socratic dialogs and I have the opportunity to study some that are different from what I’ve been exposed to so far. And understanding Plato is a great basis for understanding the development of western thought. After all, “the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato,” -Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality.
  5. Children’s Literature: This course is a huge sigh of relief – easy reading!!! (not to mention FUN). There is a lot of it – 9 novels and a giant anthology of fairy and folk tales. But it is fun to settle down in the evening with an enjoyable and easy read so it feels like I’m relaxing, but I’m accomplishing something at the same time.

So, that’s what I’m up to these days. I’ll probably be telling you all a lot about Plato in the next while, since I’ll be thinking about his philosophy so much in the next while. Besides, Plato is fun.

Possibilities

A few days ago I woke up and found myself praying impossible prayers.

There was no cognitive process of planning that preceded this event but there has certainly been a lot of reflection after the fact. Reflection, and a decision to keep pursuing this movement towards faith. I don’t know what happened. I just got up one day and started asking God for things that I want, but that I normally wouldn’t ask for because they reside waaaaay outside the box of what I think is actually possible.

Last summer, a long held tendency of mine became apparent to me when I had to lead a group in prayer. I was leading a small group for a six week long book study, and I wanted to incorporate a prayer time because I think we should take all the opportunities that we can to pray together. I don’t think we do it enough, and that it is becoming awkward and unnatural-feeling for a lot of us because we’re not used to it. We’re out of practice, most of us average, run-of-the-mill Christians. Praying in a group setting takes me well outside my comfort zone, but I’m getting better. As the group leader I felt like I needed to lead out, and I did. And I was awkward. But whatever. It was also good. It wasn’t until after our meeting that I realized something was bothering me about that prayer-time.

One lady had asked for prayer for a friend with a medical problem. We prayed, for healing of course, but with definite focus that God would bestow guidance, clarity about the nature of the issue, wisdom and skill for the medical personnel, comfort for the patient, etcetera. Afterwards I wondered why I didn’t just ask God to heal the person. Simple. If I believe God can sharpen and work through people’s talents, and arrange circumstances so that the right patient sees the right doctor under the right circumstances, so that the person receives healing after some kind of a process, why can’t I believe God for a miracle – to touch the patient’s body and heal them?

Praying out loud drew my attention to the problem, but the truth is that I pray that way most of the time. In part, it is because I think God does work through people a lot. We are assembled into community groups for a reason, and helping each other in a multitude of ways is a beautiful expression of love and faith and I believe God comes along side us and blesses these events. I am a helper and servant by nature – acts of service is one of my love languages you could say. But in my narrow focus I forget that there are other ways to love, and I forget that God works through many other avenues.  Ways far beyond my own understanding. I forget to pray for possibilities that exist outside of my own understanding.

Years ago, I witnessed a faith healing. It blew my mind. I know what happened really happened because I was the one who was healed. It was a long standing problem that the doctors just couldn’t do anything about. It was annoying more than debilitating. After the healing, it was just healed. Forever. Incredible! I will tell you the story of that sometime. Not now. I just wanted to point this out because it astounds me that I could have experienced that, and still be filled with, well, not doubt so much as a forgetfulness of what God can and will do. Because there was nothing that I did to bring it about. No magic formula. And I can’t explain in a reasonable manner what happened that day. I don’t have the ability to ‘do it again’ because I didn’t do it. My lack of understanding of how it happened is something of a brick wall to my belief that something like that could happen again.

My lack of understanding. When will I learn that just because my own understanding is so severely restricted, that all of the wonder and possibility of existence is not likewise restricted?

I confess to you that I pass the most important prayer requests on to my kids. I know that there is something magical about their utter lack of arrogance when it comes to the merits of their own understanding. I know that that ‘childlike faith’ is something I must pursue myself, but how?

These things have been lurking in the back of my mind for the last six months or so. And then recently, because of the new semester and personal events, my mind has gone to reason and how we, the human race, has made reason into a sort of a god in the last few hundred years. The scientific age has conditioned us to think logically, to only accept what can be empirically verified, and that to think in any other manner is plain nonsensical. Don’t get me wrong, I love science, and logic, and reason. I love a sure thing. What wonderful gifts these are to the human race. What wonderful benefits have come out of them. But like me and my prayer life, we’ve become so pleased with what can come through the good use of clear understanding, that we have forgotten that there are other ways to think.

But the thing is, although this is a pattern of thinking for me, and for all of us, and I know that many, many people will disagree with what I have to say next, but when I stop to think about it, while I appreciate reason as a wonderful tool that we humans have, I don’t actually believe that reason is the be-all and end-all of human thought, let alone all that exists. I mean, come on. Reason has its limits. Beyond the limits of reason is where our prayers, our real, honest, questions and conversations with the Lord of all should really reside.

So anyways, in retrospect, I can see some of the stirrings of my mind and heart that led up to my seemingly spontaneous prayer paradigm shift. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, or where I’m going with this. But I feel like some sort of huge barrier has been transcended, (since it certainly hasn’t been knocked down). And I hope to keep exploring this new thing. Keep pushing it. After all, I have forgotten before, and it will be easy to forget again. The last few days I’ve been walking around with a profound sense of hope. It is a lot harder to get bogged down in the what-is when you’re preoccupied with that what-could-be.

Name Me.

So since I’m blogging anonymously now, or attempting to do so,* I’m feeling the need for a moniker. My little handle up in the corner says “authenticiit” but that was because when I went to create the blog I had to come up with something, tried a hundred usernames that were already taken, was playing around with the word ‘authentic’ and was inspired by Kierkegaard, with the double a in his last name, who I had happened to be reading that day, and voila. Authenticiit.

But now it just seems lame.

I need a name, people. Something to ground me to this place. Something to identify myself by and make friends with. There are only about a dozen people checking this blog each day (and oddly enough, I already don’t know who most of them are) and I presume that you know me well enough to make some fitting suggestions.

Or at least give me some tips.

So. Whaddya got?

* Just a friendly reminder for those of you who know me to try and not use my name in the comments. I will be deleting those in the future.

The Big One

As a mother, having babies and toddlers was a tough time for me. I loved it, and I think that stage of life (in retrospect anyway) was totally worthwhile. But it was hard. I struggled with everything. I guess I’m not much of a nurterer. I’m also not much of a cuddler. I also don’t have heaps of patience. And I don’t do well with unreasonable, which little ones can be. I don’t do well with noisy either. I’m not a lot of things that help with babies, I think. Anyway, I felt like that stage of life took forever. And when I was living it, I felt like I was going to be living it forever. When older ladies told me to cherish the time because it would be over so quickly I knew they must be right (because older ladies usually are right) but I could only look back at them with bewilderment.

And now my girls are seven and nine and I’m all like “STOP!!!”

Stop growing up. Stop getting older. Stop becoming independent of me. Just cut it out, will ya.

It all goes by so quickly. *Sniff.

(Wait. Does this mean I’m becoming an  ‘older woman’?)

The big one. She’s so BIG! First of all, she is gaining on me in height rapidly. She weighs seventy five pounds! How did this happen?

She is NINE. Her childhood is halfway over.

Waaaaaaaaaaah! I can’t bear this thought. I don’t want her childhood to be over. Ever. It is funny to me how my own childhood seemed like eons, like an ice age and witnessing someone else’s childhood is like watching a fireworks display.

I love her.

She:

  • Speaks french at me. (I don’t speak french).
  • Has a faith of her own.
  • Has her very first basketball practice today after school. She’s a little nervous about that. She told me she’s a little afraid of falling down. And that it will hurt. On the outside I’m all like “No worries.” and “You can do this.” But on the inside, I’m like “I know.”
  • Reads. Probably at a faster rate than I do.
  • Is the most creative person I have ever met. (I’m hoping this is an adequate explanation for her tendency to space-out.) (Frequently.) (Just like I do.)
  • Is a little bit of an organization freak.
  • Is acquiring quite the little collection of lip gloss. Which she is NOT allowed to wear to school. Because I said so.
  • Is beautiful. I’ve spent the last nine years trying to teach her that beauty doesn’t come from the outside, but then she had to go and grow all beautiful on the outside. And you know, I kind of like it. Bonus: Gorgeous on the inside.
  • Is super-excited to start volunteering in the nursery at church next month. We’re doing it together as a team. I’m pretty excited about that. She is too. It was her idea.
  • Dances like a dream. It is her sixth (I think) year in ballet. My other daughter does very well, she is good with her body and excels technically. My big one however, does art when she dances. When her grandmother came to watch a class last month it made her tear up. Then I teared up. Then the dance teacher teared up. It was bad.
  • Is friends with everyone. She is a peacemaker in her school, after having an early encounter with bullying. I’m so proud.
  • Is a little bit obsessed with saving up her money, and is always looking for little jobs to earn more.
  • But also can’t resist when I offer a trip to the mall. Or the bookstore.
  • Loves graphic novels. I was getting a little worried that her reading skills might be dropping off because she’s been reading a landslide of comics and graphic novels, so when she had a sick day before the Christmas break and was bored I suggested she pick up a novel from her shelves that she hadn’t read yet. She chose Oliver Twist from a classics collection she has. Polished it off in two days. Then devoured Pygmalion, Little Women, and is just finishing up Great Expectations. And the meantime she read five more graphic novels. What? Me worry? Sheesh.
  • Tells me her crushes.
  • Can assemble a wicked fort.
  • Is learning the recorder in school. Practices daily. In her room. With the door closed. (What – I already confessed my issues with noise.)
  • Is learning sarcasm. I don’t have any idea where she picked up that bad habit.
  • Is generally wonderful and I can’t imagine ever letting her go.

Goal Reaching

So it is January 6th and I have already made great strides to a particular goal of mine.

 One of the things I wanted to do this year was to work out more often than I did last year.

I have been gradually increasing my activity level over the last two years or so. I have to admit that last January showed a bit of a dip in my progress because I returned to school after a bit of a break and I babysat my three year old niece for ten days so her parents could go to Mexico, and my routine was completely thrown off. So last January I only made it to the gym 6 times. My workout today was number 4 for 2012. By early next week I will have already surpassed last January’s total. That is making me smile today.