I’ve never gone such a long time without putting my fingers to the keyboard and sharing words.
Daily, I have enough words and thoughts swirling around in my head to write at least a chapter in my pretend novel of the future, so the fact that 3 months worth of them are stuck and trapped inside of me feels paralyzing.
I have so much to say that has been built up for so long that I just haven’t said anything.
Where on earth do I even begin?
A lot of things over the past few months have held me back from writing.
Each separate reason could easily be an entire blog post-
-fear, adjustment to change, valleys, hitting both my garage and the trash cans on the street with my car (separate incidents), anxiety, stress, exhaustion, burning a batch of baked apples so badly I had to throw away the pan, being in a wedding, self-doubt, the world falling apart, trips to see college friends, canceling mornings, change of seasons, new workout program..you name it, I’ve experienced it the last few months.
It’s been busy and full and beautiful and tough.
So where do I start?
I guess right now, the answer is anywhere. I miss writing. I struggled with the question of continuing to write- I thought that maybe it was time for me to step away for awhile.
But this morning, at the table writing out some thoughts to the Lord, I prayed and asked Him to bless me with time and creative energy to write.
I often find myself with one of those two things- I have the time to write but my brain is fried octopus and couldn’t come up with anything resembling creativity to save it’s life. Or, I have creative energy but 4 lessons to create and 70 quizzes to grade. Having both is the dream. And I have not been living the dream.
So, the school day came and went, and I found myself in the car on the way home with that bubbly feeling in my gut- the creative one. Where the words start arranging and the thoughts start organizing themselves and before I know it I’m itching for a pen or paper or computer or phone to scribble down the nonsense to make meaning.
It’s been a long time since I had felt that and had time to act on it. I *carefully* zipped into the garage, leaving at least 7 mugs and a bag or six since everyone knows bringing things in from your car is THE WORST, and I ran inside to write…ready to start anywhere.
So I’ll start somewhere by just sharing a few highlights of the week. Maybe at some point they will turn into posts that make sense and have a point, but this is starting somewhere and I’m good with that.
A StoryBook First Snow
Today I looked towards the back of my classroom and I saw a student who moved here from a different country this fall gazing out the window. This is pretty common with high schoolers, because even empty fields are more exciting than learning Spanish with me, but he had a look of complete awe and bewilderment on his face. I went back and asked him if he was okay, and he told me it was the first time he had ever seen snow. I looked outside and saw it falling in big, chunky, beautiful flakes, like it was in slow motion. I looked at him, totally mesmerized and appreciative of the foreign beauty that was the first snowfall and it was one of the coolest moments this year. The other kids quickly changed the magical tone by yelling “JUST GIVE IT A MONTH BUDDY!” #teenagers
The Heroic Wife Rakes Leaves
My husband has had long and crazy days at work. I decided this week I was going to rake. He always rakes so I was going to surprise him.
The last thing I remember about raking was from when I was a LITTLE girl and “raked” “with” my dad. That raking was SO FUN because you’re like 7 so literally anything you do is enough and the rest of the time you jump in the leaves and smell the amazing fall scent.
This experience was different. Raking was horrible. 20 minutes in I had blisters and a backache and was breathing heavy. Literally the same time I was raking, the professional leaf blowers across the street were at work with their heavy duty machinery leaf blower devices and I tried looking as helpless as I could with the rake so they would take pity and come do my yard. Didn’t work.
I made a few piles and called it a day. It was the thought that counts and my husband was very appreciative…and very shocked.
Pull up a Chair
Yesterday I took some time and conferenced with my students. I almost never do this, but I had just given a “Hot Seat” quiz in which students sit and answers a couple questions in front of the class in Spanish. All teenagers would prefer any form of torture to this, so I wanted to connect with them and check for vitals after the trauma of the hour’s events.
Talking to students one on one is incredible.
At my previous job, I had over 500 students, so coming to this position and “only” having 146 felt like Funfetti Cake. I, however, did not take into consideration the 20 assignments per quarter times 146 students times 3790 absences times IEPS times 504’s times grades and parents and planning and creating.
I underestimated that side of it, so I have found myself getting caught up with paperwork and grading and lessoning and before I know it the day passed me by again.
Carving time out of class to sit and conference and give feedback to my students was an energizing, invaluable experience for me, and hopefully for them. We talked about the class, their cars, concerns, why they seemed on edge all week, and high fived. It was awesome.
Hopeful and Thankful
My prayer and quiet time with God has continued to be a challenge for me…especially as I have adjusted to a new routine with work starting an hour earlier. The mornings are no longer working for the quiet time (honestly the mornings aren’t working for much of anything currently…pray for my husband), but then after work I fill my evenings with other things I “have” to do.
So before I leave for the day in the morning, I at least do one thing.
I make 2 lists.
One says “Thankful” and I list blessings or answered prayer or simply things I’m thankful for. The other says “Hopeful” and contains prayers requests and ways I’d like to see God move that day.
This morning in my hopeful column was time and creative energy to write, and here I sit curled up in a blanket on my living room couch with furious fingers that can’t move fast enough to get the words out.
It’s a start.
Starting somewhere, ending wherever God takes me.