Hola

Hola de Mexico!

I have now been living in Mexico for  two and a half weeks, three weeks three and a half weeks. Time keeps marching on, and the internet stubbornly refuses to cooperate. After the first week of glorious internet, the supply was cut off, thanks to a number of factors, including the one person able to fix the internet being out of town for a week, then that same person stuck on the other side of a collapsed bridge, and then the discovery that the cable bringing the glorious internet to the Spanish school from the main office was submerged and NOT waterproof.  Thanks rainy season! As of right now, there is no end in sight to the internet drought, save for the occasional trip to the Pasteleria in Rio Grande (a 10 minute taxi ride away from Roca Blanca)  where I can drink a moka and eat french fries and sometimes obtain internet. Like, right now.

So, to catch you up on the first crazy two and a half-ish weeks! I’ve become accustomed to school life again. Frankly, that wasn’t very difficult, because I like school and I only have four hours of language school a day. School, while it is the point of my time here in Mexico, has not been the crazy stuff. The crazy has been day after day of somewhat extraordinary happenings, including but not limited to:

  • a 20 hours-long power outage (Week 2)
  • lack of internet, which was partially caused by said power outage, but was perpetuated by only one person knowing how to fix it and that person being out of town, and now stuck on the other side of a collapsed bridge (Week 2, 3, onwards)
  • a teacher’s strike keeping us from a taco trip (Week 2)
  • three days of torrential rain from the cast-offs of a Pacific tropical storm and an Atlantic hurricane (Week 2)
  • high water preventing us from going to Puerto to take friends to the airport (Week 2)
  • Mexican Independence Day! Viva Mexico! (Week 3)

More things have happened since then, but nothing nearly as crazy as that second week here in Mexico.  A brief overview of the first two weeks is all I’ve prepared so far for the blog, and I want to at least get a little bit of news out to my small but devoted readership.

Oh, also I’m learning Spanish. In the midst of all the chaos, class happens, power or no power. Learning a language is challenging, but entertaining.   I’ve had more than a few days of somewhat mild panic, thinking that there’s no way I’ll ever be able to truly understand or speak Spanish.  Ah, the joys of language and learning.

Someday, regular internet will return! (Or it won’t.)  Until then or until forever, I will attempt to collect my thoughts and experiences to share once a week, or whenever I make it to Rio.  Here’s hoping the internet makes a triumphant return soon!

Playa Carrizalillo
Playa Carrizalillo

What I’m Into: March, April, May 2013 Edition

This post started out as What I’m Into: March 2013. Well, it’s June now, so whatever. 2013 continues to be an exercise in learning to put up with “things I do not want.”  Stress, disappointment, frustration, you name it, 2013 has brought it.  March has been notorious in my life for being weird and disappointing and great all at the same time. April wasn’t any improvement. May and early June could be classified as some of the worst weeks of my adult life thus far.

Enough about bitter disappointment, that’s a story for another day.  There have been things I’ve liked these past months that have brought some happiness into some of the blergh and awful that seems to be 2013’s watchword.

TV

I fell in love with Parks and Recreation. Leslie Knope/Amy Poehler? I am her, people. I am her. Ok, not all of her, I like to think I’m a bit more self-aware and I don’t really care about parks. But the episode where she visits her manfriend in Washington DC? And she has detailed plans of everything she wants to see and do in DC? That is exactly me. I share her unbridled passion museums and history and other random things. And Ron Swanson? He is literally the best.

Books

I haven’t finished a book in quite awhile. In March, I read a few comic books, Plain Janes and Friends with Boys. They’re so short, but I really enjoy a graphic novel now every once in a while. The best book I read in March, though, was Brain on Fire. It’s the horrifying true story of a 24-year-old woman’s descent into madness because of a rare autoimmune disease, a diagnosis that took time and $1 million of tests.  As I was still 24 when I read this book, all I could think was: This could have been me. Some true stories never hit close to home because they could never possibly happen to me–but what happened to her is not that impossible. This woman’s story is powerful and fascinating: read it.

Music

I saw Muse in concert. It was absolutely magical. The concert was truly an amazing multimedia experience. I had never been to the BOK Center in Tulsa before, and I was amazed at all they could pull off  in one concert. A mountain of video screens coming down from the ceiling. Live video of Muse performing on those screens that looked so polished that it took quite awhile for me to figure out it was live. It was so good, it ruined me for listening to their music on just a plain old laptop.

Movies

I saw one movie in March. Admission, with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. And it was AWFUL.  Let’s never speak of this again.

Other

I don’t know how I neglected The Lizzie Bennet Diaries last month, but I did. Let’s be honest, the LBD was one of my favorite media experiences of late 2012 and early 2013. This retelling of Pride and Prejudice in modern-day America was spectacular.  It ended in late March, 100 episodes of hilarity, happiness, tears, and magic. Watch it. Seriously.

Here’s to the rest of June bringing better things.

Full

I have stacks of books unread. Lists of story ideas unwritten. Room messy. Life unorganized. I want to read those books, write those stories, clean my room, organize my life. But lately, the fullness of being involved in the lives of so many, of loving so many people keeps getting in the way of these things I want to do “for me.” Eventually, I believe I will strike a better balance where I get better at setting time aside for those creative (or life organizing) “me things.” But for now, even as I look at some of the things that have fallen by the wayside in my life right now, I am delighted by the life I get to live, even while missing some of those things. Baby showers, making food at 10 pm for a potluck tomorrow, wedding showers, hanging out with friends and getting half-price sonic shakes, graduation parties–and that’s just this week! Life is full of people I love, and it is good.

In other news, this weather is ridiculous. Yesterday, it was too hot. Today it is too cold. Dear weather: please just be sunny with a high of 75.

25

Today, I am 25. 

I got to spend my birthday in my favorite place, the Little Light House.  Some days, I can’t believe how blessed I am to work at such an amazing place, where miracles happen every day, where I am loved, where I am doing a job God made for me.  I mean, kids like Colton bring me birthday signs–how much better does it get? 

Colton brought a Happy Birthday sign for me for the day!
Colton brought a Happy Birthday sign for me for the day!

 

My life is incredibly different than it was a year ago. Last year, I was working in the classroom, doing a job I loved. I was an Associate, the assistant teacher in a classroom with 8 children with special needs and one staff kid. I was exhausted, and I loved it. But God opened the door for me to work in a new department, where I’m in charge of getting the word out about the Little Light House. And now I have even more responsibility: part of my duties now include grantwriting, helping to make sure we have enough money to keep providing services to these amazing students. It’s a little terrifying and overwhelming–but I think this is going to be a great year.

Four months ago, my computer crashed and I lost 2.5 years of my life, in a way. All the pictures of my two years of teaching are gone. I’ve found a few here and there, and I have at least one of every student. I worked on no major creative projects in my life post-college, so I didn’t lose anything creative. But that’s not that great, because that’s just sad. I didn’t write much about my students, my life, because I was exhausted and because I couldn’t figure out how to navigate that line of telling my story and their stories without telling too much. And when I say I couldn’t figure it out, I really mean that the thought just overwhelmed me so I didn’t really try.

So, I don’t know what I’m doing creatively this year, but may God bring back the stories I’ve lost. I always thought I’d have pictures of my students and my time in the classroom to jog my memories, but since they’re gone, I’ll just have to remember. I don’t have any master plan–I’m just going to see what happens and what stories God brings back. Here’s to remembering, and to investing in multiple backups so this never happens to me again. 

Enough about my computer and lost things. This is going to be a good year. I have stories I’m telling, work projects I’m launching, grants I’m writing, and life I’m living. 

And even though I don’t teach any more, I still get to spend time with kids like Calex.  Life is good.

Calex and me on my birthday.
Calex and me on my birthday.

 

Discipline

When I started 2013, I had ideas of what I thought the year would like like. Then things happened and a lot is not what I thought it would be. My laptop crashed and I still haven’t done anything about it because I don’t want to deal with it. I got a nasty stomach bug on my Mexican vacation and spent two days sleeping off the sickness. Other unexpected things are happening and I don’t really know what to do with them except wait and see what happens next.

As I started this year, I really liked the idea of One Word 365, and even picked a word, “whimsy,” inspired by my reading Bob Goff’s Love Does. Then life happened and whimsy was not even close to how 2013 was going to be defined.  Whimsy as my one word went out the door and it has been replaced by “discipline.”  With the loss of things that were important to me, I decided to take that unpleasant opportunity and change parts of my life, one discipline at a time. They’re simple disciplines, but, a la The Happiness Project, it really is sometimes the simplest of changes that can bring about happiness.

First, I pick my outfit for the next day every night. I kind of hate doing this, but I’m much happier in the morning with everything already decided when my early-morning brain is not interested in thinking or deciding. After two years of only having to decide which color uniform polo to wear, this whole choosing “professional attire” is still difficult, even though I’ve been doing it for seven months. The simple discipline of choosing ahead of time means I can think less at 6:30 AM.

Second, I pack my lunch for the next day every night. I eat better and more healthily when I choose at night instead of in a rush in the morning. Again, the simple discipline of choosing ahead of time means I can think less at 6:30 AM.

Third, I joined a gym and I work out with a coworker and I go to Yoga/BodyFlow classes. Part of my motivation for this discipline is the “Healthier You Challenge” that’s happening at my work. I don’t care about losing weight, I just want to be fit, strong, and healthy. In theory, this regular exercise should help me be healthier. I felt good for the first few weeks of this new discipline for me, but the fact that I’m lying in bed with a cold writing this post would seem to lend less credence to the theory of exercise improving health. Thanks preschoolers!

Fourth, I want to read 50 books this year. Right now, according to my Goodreads Challenge widget, I’m right on track, having read 6 books so far this year. I’ve been trying to read one book a week alongside my other activities in my work health challenge. I have been slightly successful.  Lately, being with other people (going to work events or Bible study or hanging out with friends) has taken over reading time. Also, I like to sleep.

This all brings me to today, Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. My hope for this Lenten season is to keep going with the disciplines I’ve started, as well as being open to adding new disciplines along the way. I’m also not going to Starbucks. I generally only go once a week or so, but it’s a luxury I’ve come to expect and I really need to not expect it anymore. I want it to be more holy than that, but that’s just what it is.  I’m also going to attempt to write more during this season for this blog, but that’s going to depend on what happens in my life these next 40 days.

Let’s see what happens.

Losing

My laptop crashed yesterday. Most of what’s on it is replaceable or redownloadable or unimportant. It’s just stuff. That’s what I’ve been telling myself anyway. Except there are the pictures of my students for the last two years, the only two years I might have teaching, gone. And every other picture I’ve taken in the last two years, gone. And other random things that I keep remembering that I won’t get back.
I’m angry that I wasn’t prepared and didn’t have backups of those pictures. I know better, but I didn’t do it because figuring the best way seemed so difficult. Now that I know how it feels for them to be gone, it would have been worth the hassle.
I feel ridiculous being so upset over some pictures, a laptop. So many worse things have happened and are happening to people I care about. It’s just a computer, it’s just pictures. But it hurts. A lot.
Thank goodness for Facebook, and our generations need to share things online. Thanks to that need, I do have a lot of picture. Two years of my life won’t go undocumented after all.
Normally I’m very good at forcing myself to feel a certain way, to get over sadness, to find the silver lining. But I can’t/don’t want to right now. Sometimes it’s ok to be sad over lost things. I’m thankful that it’s just a computer, it’s just pictures–but I’m still sad I don’t have them.
I went to sleep last night hoping I would wake up to it all being a nightmare, because that’s what discovering my computer blinking a ? at me felt like. It wasn’t a nightmare, it’s just life. In the meantime, in the midst of being sad about losing, I am blessed by amazing parents who come home early from work because I’m sobbing into the phone over a computer and who will let me just be sad. I work at an amazing place filled with ladies who prayed over my computer and hoped for the best for me and who will be there for me even through the best didn’t happen. I have an amazing best friend who went with me to the apple store for moral support, so I wouldn’t cry all over the apple genius. Although we did decide that we want name tags that call us geniuses. And I have as God who is there for me, even when I am sad and lost, even when I feel bad for feeling sad, even when I’m angry at myself and everything.
Also, I’m going to Mexico in a week. It will be warm there, and my sister will be there. Win/win. Even when I’m lost, I am blessed.

New Year

My senior year of college, I found a list of questions for end of year/beginning of year contemplation. This list includes questions like, What would you like to be different about your life in a year? What would you like to have accomplished in that time? Where would you like to travel? What purchases would you like to make? What do you want to stop doing? What are your favorite things?

In lieu of resolutions, I answer these questions as a way of plotting major goals and plans for the year. I like being able to see what I hoped for and if I accomplished it. I underestimate my past self sometimes–for some dreams and goals, I don’t always remember how long I really wanted it.

It’s easy for me to remember, though, some of the things that don’t happen. How long I’ve waited on plans that never seem to come around the way I want.  Some of the things I hope to be different seem to never change. I’ve had the same hope on my list every year since December 2009/January 2010, and it still isn’t real. It may not seem that long, but it feels like an eternity, because my life has changed so much since then and because it’s a wish held longer than that. It’s a stupid wish, because I can’t control it and I hate things I can’t control. But I refuse to take it off, because I’m not ready to believe it will never happen.

Not everything is bleak, of course. When I answered my questions last year, I focused on researching and creating a new position for myself at the Little Light House. At the time, I was really just being ridiculous. I wanted to create a job were I could improve the LLH’s social media presence, launch a LLH blog, and other internetly things. But it was a long-term dream. I had quiet hopes that it might happen in 2012, but I thought any possibility of a job would be 8 hours on a Friday, and probably 2-3 years before being in charge of social media, etc, would be a full-time job. Yet God worked a lot of pieces together to make a full-time happen THIS YEAR for me and for the LLH. I had forgotten that I had dreamed about the possibility of a new position a year ago, making me thankful to my past self for answering those questions. While there are still dreams that feel like they’re just getting buried deeper and deeper, this dream fulfilled is a promise that not all lofty dreams are buried forever.

Last year I wrote to myself:

“I would like to remember that my life changes so much in one year, even when it feels like nothing has changed.” High-five past self. You were right.  May my life look different again this time in 2013.

Comebacks

Like Tom Hanks’s character Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail, I often think of the perfect comeback for the ridiculous things that some people say to me. Unlike Joe, though, I rarely say those comebacks. Sometimes that’s due to me clinging to every last vestige of self-control I possess. Sometimes it’s because I’m a coward.

Today I have comebacks and my self-control is hanging on by a thread. My threshold for crazy hit its limit. I really want to use my carefully crafted responses. But I shouldn’t.

So I attempt to take my mind off of it by venting vaguely here and by rewatching old episodes of Bones. Season 2 is really one of its best. Aliens in a Spaceship and Judas on a Pole are two of the best episodes of the whole series.

Self-control. Self-control from the Holy Spirit and serialized television. Sometimes that’s what saves the day.

Feelings

I cried 3 out of 5 work days last week. This is what happens when you go to a funeral on Monday, have your last day of teaching and know that your students will be someone else’s and not yours next year on Thursday, visit a sick student in the hospital on Friday morning, and say goodbye to a beloved coworker who’s retiring to homeschool her children (one of whom you taught all year) on Friday afternoon.

Last week had too many feelings.

I’ve had to do too many “brave things” lately. This is not a reference to the as yet unseen by me Pixar movie. Instead, it is thing made-up by me as a way to define doing things that are hard for me, cause a lot of feelings, and that I don’t want to do because of fear. And ok, sometimes laziness. And while I will allow laziness (rest) to make some decisions for me, fear does not have that signatory approval over my decision making.

But man, doing brave things is exhausting. It’s not for sissies.

Crying isn’t for sissies either. It shows that something was real, that it had meaning. Which is great, but it still all feels terrible.

I started a new job today. So there’s that in my glass case of emotion. Don’t worry, I haven’t left my work–Same place, different responsibilities, new job.

Being brave isn’t for sissies.

Captain

I have been given many mixed messages on being a woman. To be clear from the start, these messages aren’t from my parents. From them I received nothing but affirmation, along with no prescription that I must get married to be important. The mixed messages arrived from some of the people in the Christian subculture where I spent a lot of my time. It’s a strange world I inhabited.

I was often surrounded by people who spoke of feminism like it was a filthy dirty swear word, who believed that women were naturally second best, who gave women important tasks but always with a man in authority. But simultaneously I was always encouraged to be the best that I could be, that I could be anyone I wanted, that I was intelligent and beautiful, that I was a woman of God. I could change the world, follow my dreams, and do great things for the glory of God. Except, when it really came down to it, I really should be married to do those things. I needed a man to guide me. Except, once I was married, I really just needed to have children and then I had to stay at home and homeschool and keep a perfect home. All of those dreams? A career? Any use of a college education beyond teaching my children? I can’t actually have any of those things because I am a woman. And women who love God and follow Jesus has to follow these steps. Or you aren’t living biblically.

Needless to say, these conflicting messages have been confusing. Why do you tell me how much I can achieve, then teach me that I can’t actually do any of it? What do you mean I need a man in order to have a fulfilled life? I’m really just supposed to quit the dreams God has called me to fit into your ideal of who a “Christian woman” is supposed to be? My only dream is supposed to be being a wife and mother? In the words of Liz Lemon: blergh.

I would like to say I’ve wrestled with this dilemma, but let’s be honest. I haven’t wrestled with it. I just realized I was being forced into a false dichotomy, so I chose to throw aside the crazy. Someday, part of my life may include finding a travel buddy [read: a husband] and having children. And I would like to stay home with those children and perhaps homsechool them. BUT I DON’T HAVE TO BASED ON SOMEONE ELSE’S IDEAL FOR MY LIFE JUST BECAUSE I AM A WOMAN.

I can do great things without a man–and with one. I can make great decisions on my own–and with others. I can have dreams–and God can change or keep them. I am the captain of this ship, with God drawing up the maps as I go along.

Even though choosing to throw out some of the crazy imposed upon me wasn’t difficult, the old messages pop up with surprising frequency. When everyone is getting married and having babies, it feels weird to be one of the few that isn’t. Is there something wrong with me? Am I not living the way I should? Why am I not getting asked on dates preparing for marriage (or whatever the conservative Christian kids are calling it these days)?

If I still believed what I was told for so many years, these and other questions would lead me to think that I was out of God’s will. I would think that my life isn’t good enough because I’m not married. Worst of all, I would think that someone else is responsible for my happiness and completeness as a child of God. That sobers me up pretty good, because those are lies.

I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m who I’m supposed to be. I’m working in the job at the ministry where I belong. For this season, since I am not otherwise attached, I can devote myself to my job without reservations. I can take extra responsibilities, learn new tasks, and do things for others that I couldn’t do if I had a man and children at home. I love my life.

I am not lesser in God’s eyes because I am a woman. I am following his dreams for me. I am making a difference. And no amount of other people’s crazy will change that.

I am the captain of this ship, with God drawing up the maps as I go along.

Sometimes

Sometimes everything changes when you least expect it. And when you have no control over it. On at least 3 occasions over the last two weeks, something startling, surprising, shocking, or all of the above has happened.  This has been overwhelming.  To say the least.  These moments of surprise have been BIG DEALS.  Changing the way I view my life.  Putting the rest of the 2012 on a completely different playing field. Throwing some parts of my life off balance. Bringing chaos in places I thought were calm. And this is me not being dramatic.  

Yeah, it’s been that kind of few weeks. Even my dreams are starting to reflect the crazy that keeps appearing around me. 

So many things that happen in my life are inextricably tied to the lives of others, so any sharing beyond my typical vagueness is not an option.  That’s for the best. The details of how life is changing don’t really matter, because my life is always in flux (it feels like). Right now, the changes are just coming at me faster than usual.  They’re hard because I have no control over them. Also, most of these adjustments may not ever be known by others.  Life will change, has changed, whether I like it or not, and no one will notice

No one will notice. 

I really need to improve my titles. They’re not my strong suit. 

If anyone needs me, I will be watching Chuck and pretending I’m a spy. The chaos of other fake worlds makes mine seem less threatening. 

A Simple Google Search Will Do

Whenever anyone writes the following words in a facebook status, blog post, twitter update, or whatever in accompaniment with a controversial article, an angel doesn’t get his wings. Or a fairy dies:

“I haven’t researched this or anything, but this could definitely be true.”

HEADDESK. HEADDESK.
Also, FACEPALM.
Also, please don’t reproduce.

Also, if you don’t know or are at least reasonably certain that an article or information is accurate, don’t share it. It’s irresponsible and stupid.

This is why books like Panic Virus have to be written.

People, this is what Google is for.

Seriously, this is how rumors get started.

Alive!

I’ve made it! November is barely an hour away from completion. I attempted this month to post every day. When overcome by disease and then holiday, I failed. But, failure is a part of life that we must all accept. I still wrote more than I would have if I hadn’t tried.

Fear of failure is an insidious thing, which is why I try desperately to avoid that fear. So many people are held captive by “but what if I can’t?” that they don’t see what they might accomplish if they try. I used to be that way. I have my quirks still, but I am no longer paralyzed by fear of failure. It’s life. Just try to set yourself up for success and accept that there will be bumps.  Some of those bumps may feel like Everest, but hey, isn’t Everest supposed to be thrilling?

The show How I Met Your Mother is now on Netflix. I’ve always wanted to watch it, but I haven’t had access until now. It is hilarious and it is probably what will help get me through December. That and the DVD’s of Chuck I now own. Thanks Amazon Black Friday.

November, you were weird. Weird, emotional, stomach bug-inducing, and more. December, please to be more healthy for me.

It’s just the wind

I was on the second story  and felt the house begin to shake. I called down the stairs to my parents, “earthquake!” My mother responded, “It’s just the wind.” When the earth kept moving and the house kept shaking, she changed her mind.

Let’s review Oklahoma 2011

Winter: Snowpocalypse. I was home for most of TWO weeks. Because of snow.

Spring: Tornadoes

Summer: Hottest temperatures EVER. I was home for most of TWO weeks. Because of heat.

Fall: Earthquakes.  Third major one in 3 days!

As I’ve said on Facebook and Twitter: May there never be an earthquake while I’m at work with the children. They will panic like nobody’s business. And FEMA is no help when trying to prepare for an earthquake with wee ones with special needs: Seismic Safety (click me). It does however, reveal the secret that children are often terrified of earthquakes.

Be prepared.

You know it’s been a crazy day at preschool…

When the clothes you wear home are not the same as what you wore to work.

When the disaster that happened to your clothing is so bad that you have to call your mom to bring you that extra set of clothes.

When you vow to never be without a spare pair of pants again.

When you cleaned the carpet for two hours and will need to do further cleaning tomorrow.

When the classroom next door has to take all your other kids so you can clean the disaster-maker. With the help of the school nurse.

When the only way to describe what happened is with made-up words like “poopsplosion.”

This all sounds super-serious since you can’t write tone, but today, while crazy, was actually highly amusing. That’s really the only way to respond to a bodily function-related disaster: with amusement. It’s not my poor student’s fault that he can’t control his body. And I have a lovely team of people who help me get everything back to crazy normal, instead of the spontaneous CRAY CRAY that happened today.

On the plus side Thanksgiving is in three weeks.

Blurs

Today two of my kids did something ridiculous during Morning Circle. I could’t stop laughing so I had to cover my face and pretend I was crying so the kids wouldn’t notice I was laughing at them. Because whatever it was, they weren’t supposed to be doing it. But I have no memory of what the ridiculousness was.

My days are sometimes such a blur.  My students do hilarious and random things that I can’t always remember, even if I want to remember.  It’s like being a parent, but with fake children.  But still with  bodily functions. And tantrums. And screaming. And crying. And timeouts. And, as I like to call them, costume changes (meaning me having to change into scrubs because some kind of bodily fluid makes its way onto my clothes).  Never a dull moment, my job. Those moments are sometimes disgusting, but never dull.

Passing Time

Much has happened since that terrible week back in May. I was having an allergic reaction and infection from a brown recluse spider bite. Which went undiagnosed for four days and three different doctors. I dislike my primary doctor.

From about my birthday in April until early June, I was kind of in a fog of unhealthiness, from a stomach bug to allergies to being eaten by a spider. Then the summer session at work was CRAZY. Good, but crazy.

This summer was the summer of travel. And I thought I traveled a lot last year! I think I just liked these destinations a lot more than say, Kansas City. I went to Colorado for a wedding, to Lakeside for recharging, then to DC for an adventure with one of my college roommates. I love travel. It’s exhausting, but it never gets old. I don’t have any travel plans in the near future (some significant hopes, but no plane tickets or driving maps at the ready), which is starting to bother me. I feel like I learn so much when I’m in a new place having an adventure.

I have a new class of children. They’re incredibly different than last year’s children. One of my children from last year still loves me, calling my name across the room when she sees me in Large Group time: SAWAH. She also likes to beckon me with her finger saying, “C’mere Sawah,” and patting the spot beside her. It breaks my heart a little that she isn’t with me anymore and that I can’t just sit with her when we want, but she’s a big girl now in a big girl class. She still calls me “My Sawah.” Right now there are few things in my life that warm my heart more than that.

I’m slacking off in my writing skills. I obviously haven’t written here in months and haven’t written much of anything anywhere else either. It’s one of my favorite skills and I don’t want to lose it. I don’t know if I’ll ever go to grad school again or if I’ll need it when I get there. But I’m looking at making grant-writing one of my skills, so regular writing is a definite necessity.

I make no promises.

Well

Things happened in April. And March. Apparently I’ve fallen out of the habit of reviewing my months.  They’re all seeming to run together.

Things are happening and I like my life, but everything is just such a different speed and tone than the last few years of my life that I don’t really know what to do with it yet. How to process it myself, how to write about it for others to understand. My life is now so intertwined with the personal lives of children, co-workers, volunteers….that I can’t and won’t openly share all my stories on the interwebs. The stories are complicated, personal, detailed, crazy, and most of the time: Business, None of Yours.

And I don’t do much else but work, especially this month. I mean, I got older, but I was sick most of the day. Yay preschool stomach bug. And really, who wants to read about that?

Basically, the last two weeks, I have worked, then gone home and watched shows or slept. Or both. I’ve been exhausted, allergied, and trying to stay healthy enough to keep going to work. Ironically, last week during our devotional time at work, we talked about time management and using our time wisely.  Alas, I can’t always be super-productive.

May will be busier. Graduations, changes, crazy.

Also I watch Doctor Who now. Despite the persecution, I love being a nerd. I love time travel, existential questions, and beautiful music. AND Britishness. Can I be Amelia Pond?

Skipping

I skipped a comprehensive review of February and a preview of March for a number of reasons. One, at first I just forgot.

Two, February was really nothing to write home about. Snowpocalypse. I literally didn’t leave the house for most of the first two weeks of February. Seriously. It started snowing on Monday night January 31…and I didn’t go anywhere until Saturday February 5. Even after that the roads were so bad that I still didn’t go many places.  I watched a lot of Netflix. And rearranged my room a thousand times. And pretended to study for the GRE.  Among other things. Really, the first two weeks of February 2011 will not go down as the most productive period of my life.

I didn’t really go back to work until Valentine’s Day. Whereupon we had VALENTINE’S WEEK at work. Yayyy, the single life. But really, it was Valentine’s week, it was like we celebrated every day, parties, candy, etc. This is what happens at preschool.  We celebrate everything. EVERYTHING.  Even Singles Awareness Day.

The latter part of February got more exciting, with Christmas in February, also known as the Book Fair at a local private school.  I can’t even really count how many people were in my house, because my sister’s friends just kept coming and coming.  15 maybe?  And we woke up super early on a Saturday to buy books. And I must say, it was an excellent book shopping year. Highlight? Our Mississippi, a Mississippi state history textbook from the sixties.  Also, lots of pretty travel books.

[background noise for writing this post is one of my favorite episodes of Bones, Two Bodies in the Lab. and my favorite song from the show is about to play. Hurrah for my love of appropriately used electronica. Who knew I liked Depeche Mode? I didn’t.]

The rest of February was tough.  Children can be difficult after long periods of being cooped up.  Hey, I’m difficult after long periods of being copped up thanks to Snowpocalypse.  I just have slightly more self-control.  My job is great, but it’s draining, it’s exhausting, it’s demanding.  Let’s just say my three week spring break/rest was desperately needed, despite the bonus two weeks of Snowpocalypse.

Also, I was just beginning to build a social life before Snowpocalypse snowed all over it, so I felt like I was starting all over socially in late February. Finding friends without having them right next to me is difficult.

Three (I’ve rambled for so long anyone reading may have forgotten I was listing reasons I hadn’t written what I’m writing yet), I was afraid that somehow March of 2011 would turn out like March of 2010. With bitter disappointment.  With expectation turned to nothing. With growth that was really good but really really hard. I just didn’t want to think about that possibility, no matter how remote. Nor did I really want to think about last March. Or this past February for that matter.

Sometimes I need to write in the heat of the moment, so I will remember how I really felt. And sometimes I need to step away and wait so the heat of the moment doesn’t carry me away to extremes that are just exaggerations of my actual feelings. Last year, I needed to remember how I really felt. Now? A little distance is good for me.

This time last year I was in Jackson. Oh how I miss that time. THAT part of March 2010 was fabulous, but I pretended that was April anyway. And that the hateful part of April was just nowhere. Nevertheless, Jackson and the work the Lord did left an impression on my heart, my soul, my mind that will remain forever.  Like a tattoo, but I detest the word tattoo.  Every word I think of to describe it just isn’t right. It’s not a stamp, not a weight, not a burden, not a tattoo, not a calling, but more than just a simple impression.  Inscription. [I really have a thing for precise language]  The Lord left an inscription on my heart for/with/by Jackson. This inscription has so much to say, but that’s for another time.

March 2011, you’re almost over. Sorry I tried to ignore you, you’ve actually been rather super. Keep going strong.