Food for Thought

sol#SOL18 Day 27

If you realized how powerful your thoughts were, you’d never think another negative thought again. ~ Natural Life

Today was our last day before Easter break. We ended the day with an assembly with two members of the Harlem Wizards. The Harlem Wizards were created in 1962 as a basketball show team to compete with the Harlem Globetrotters. We were visited by “King Arthur” Lewis and Hang Time.

These two men provided the audience with basketball tricks and positive encouragement. They had some students and faculty members (not me thank goodness) up to dance and learn basketball tricks. Once they had the crowd sufficiently riled up “King” Arthur settled the kids down and had a serious message to share with them.

Work hard – nothing is given to you. If your teacher gives you five pages to read for homework don’t just skim over it. Read it and take notes on it, so you learn what is on those pages.
Respect – those around you are your brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles. Don’t judge others by the color of their skin, their size, or how much money they have. Respect everyone.
Dream Big – don’t listen to naysayers. You can do anything if you do the work. You earn grades, playing time, and circumstances.
Spread love, joy, and happiness – love an appreciate those around you. Speak positively to them and to yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else.

“King” Arthur went on to tell some personal stories of how growing up in Baltimore, no one thought he could be able to play basketball for a variety of reasons, but with the adults in his life – his parents, coaches and his faith he got his education and did play basketball. He even wrote a book about it and self-published. It is called Is the King to Small to Play Ball?

He told the students and faculty about how his life changed in 2016 when his 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. She was out of school for a year and a half while going through treatment. He wanted to impress on the kids that we never know what life will bring us so we have to treat each other with respect and love and appreciate one another.

I know the kids loved the assembly; I hoping they got his message too. I know he gave me food for thought.

Brain Blank

sol#SOL18 Day 26

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. ~YoAlfaaz.com

What to write, I just don’t know
One more day then to break I go.
You’d think I’d be happy, excited and glad.
but actually I’m feeling just a little bad.

My head is hurting, my bones feel pain
I wonder if it’s because of the predicted rain?
I’m tired and moody, a bit of a crank.
I guess that’s why I’m drawing this annoying brain blank!

 

Wants vs. Needs

sol#SOL18 Day 25

You can’t always get what you want (3x’s), but if you try sometimes well you might just find…you get what you need. ~ The Rolling Stones

I’ve been writing lately about our new normal.  My husband lost his job last June. He was lucky enough to find another employer who was absolutely wonderful when Chuck was going through his heart surgery and recovery.  The problem is the salary is significantly lower than what Chuck has been making the past few years, and unemployment benefits have run out. I teach in a parochial school, so my salary is nothing to write home about compared to my public school counterparts.

I am certainly not complaining – on the contrary – this has been a learning experience. While some lessons are harder to learn than other, some lessons are more important than others.  We have been blessed with very generous family and friends who carried us financially when we could not carry ourselves.

Now we are re-evaluating our wants and needs.  There are lots of things we have taken for granted, but without disposable income, we can’t afford right now.

 

Things we need:
Good health
Health insurance
House
Heat
Food
Vehicles and fuel

Things that are nice and we might want but not necessary:
Daily newspaper
Manicures
Premium cable channels
Dinner out
Vacation trip
New car

This is just a quick glimpse of some of our wants and needs. The point is we are paying more attention and thinking twice or three times before we make a purchase. Do we really need it now? Is important to the quality of our lives?

What really gives us happiness in our lives?
Having our bills paid each month
Good results on our blood tests and doctor visits
Spending times with our kids and grandkids
Spending time with each other – laughing quite a bit
Spending times with friends and family

So what have I learned so far?  It is OK to want things, but you shouldn’t obsess over what you want.  You should be grateful for EVERYTHING you have in your life, and the rest will just fall into place. You should continue to try to be as generous as you can to those who have less than you. Take time to notice all the good things in your life that most days we take for granted – the sunrise, the kindness of friends, the smile of a stranger.  I may not have everything I want,but I definitely have everything I need.

Bedtime

sol#SOL18 Day 24

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. ~ Benjamin Franklin

How early is too early to go to bed? Every night this week I have felt very tired. I am not sure if it was my fibromyalgia or the long days of standardized testing, but I have been ready to call it a night right after dinner.

Of course I can’t go to bed right after dinner! So I take my place on the couch and watch a little TV, maybe some Jeopardy or Access Hollywood or whatever my husband finally decides on after channel-surfing. Next thing you know it is 8:00. I can’t go to bed at 8:00! That is the bedtime of a toddler.

So I stay on the couch a little longer and it gets a little chilly, so I drape myself with one of the fleece blankets that makes it home on the ottoman. Big trouble! I get a little too comfortable and the next thing you know my head is bobbing and weaving until I succumb to my weariness.

For the next couple of hours I am either out cold, or I am in and out of sleep, but unable to rouse myself enough to make my way upstairs. The next thing I know it is 11:00, 12:00, or even 1:00 and I am climbing the stairs in a stupor. I make my way to the bathroom and then to bed. I set my alarm for 5:15 AM and wonder how I am evr going to get up at that hour.

If I am lucky I go right to sleep, but some nights I spend 30 minutes scrolling through social media before I close my eyes again. I wake up still feeling tired.

Next week I think I will just listen to my body and go to bed when I am tired. I’ll let you know how I make out.

 

Me

sol#SOL18 Day 23        This post was inspired by Alanna Parker. I borrowed your format of sentence starters.  Thanks for the inspiration.

You were born to be real not to be perfect. ~ Unknown

I am a wife, a mother, a Nona, a teacher, a writer

I keep my circle of friends small

I wish I could have more confidence in myself

I love teaching Middle School, especially 7th graders

I dance like Molly Ringwald, or so my family tells me

I sing to my grandchildren because they are always an appreciative audience

I think people should start being kinder to one another and this world could be a better place

I really need to start taking better care of myself

I need to work on being more mindful

I should stop wasting time on social media and get more writing done

I can make a difference in the lives of my students even if it is only a small one

I make a really great grilled cheese sandwich – that and French toast are my only claim to fame in the kitchen

I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes

 

Happy Half Birthday

sol#SOL18 Day 22

The best is yet to be. ~ Robert Browning

Today is six months since my husband’s life-saving quadruple bypass surgery. It is hard to believe. Somedays it feels like it was yesterday, and on other days it seems like it was a lifetime ago.

Life as we knew it has definitely changed, and we are getting use to a new normal. We’ve had to learn how to accept help from other people, and that isn’t always easy, but it is always welcomed. This last Nor’easter was proof of that. A team of neighbors took turns shoveling our driveway and walkways. (My hip is still not up to shoveling)

We’ve had to cut back on things because money is tight, but those are only “things.” We have what we need, each other. We have gotten through many ups and downs over the years, and we will weather this challenge too.

I told Chuck that he would now have two birthdays each year. His own in May, and the new one he received on September 22nd. So “Happy Half Birthday” Babe.

 

Snowbound

sol  #SOL18 Day 21

Silently like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem. ~William Hamilton Gibson

Sleet and freezing rain pelt the vinyl siding – changing my plans for last evening.
This morning changes to large puffy flakes then back again.
Now just a steady deluge of heavy wet flakes –
covering everything in a new white blanket.

We are in the bull’s-eye – expecting 12-18 inches.
Not going anywhere today – maybe not tomorrow either.
It’s a good day to grade papers or write lesson plans,
but wait, I have a better idea.

I will play my stay-at-home game – a little work – a little play.
While I do a load of laundry, I can have a cup of tea.
Once the dusting is done, I can work on some writing works-in-progress.
Vacuuming during commercials will allow me to watch that movie.

Fold the laundry – read a magazine
Clean off the desk in my office – take a nap
Organize my closet – call a friend
Listen to the weather report – pull the covers over my head!