Glacier National Park 2010

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Joy is Back!

Two weeks of school under my belt and I am feeling just the tiniest bit more excited about my job...again.  It was touch and go for a while.  Our wonderful little school still has no principal....of course, our school system still has no it is no wonder we all feel a bit unsettled. One of my co-workers likened it to working in a circus with no ringmaster. I found that to be an apt description....lots of clowns running around, wild animals growling and roaring, trapeze artists with no net...yep, that's us!

Even amidst the chaos, our teachers are working so very hard to make sure their students receive what they need in the way of academics and moral support.  And those precious students move blissfully through the day laughing, smiling, making new friends and saying some funny stuff! One never knows what is going to pop out of those mouths.

Because of my summer film adventure, I still had very dark, okay very black hair when school began. Needless to say the hair color caused quite a few comments from returning students of all ages.  Let me share a sampling.

"You look kinda like Ms. Thompson who worked here last year." Maybe because I am Ms. Thompson who worked here last year.

"Did you 'died' your hair?" Ummm....yes, how could you tell?

"Why did you dye your hair?" I was in a film this summer. "So now you're rich?!?" Absolutely! I'm just working here for fun...snort!

"Are you a 'bampire' now? 'Cause you kinda look like one...'cept you don't have no blood leaking out of your mouth." That is exactly the look I was going for!

And my all time favorite, "Didn't you use to have white hair?" Sigh, no, it was blond.

Despite the behind the scenes turmoil that comes from having no 'ringmaster' to keep our 'circus' flowing smoothly.....the uncertainty over what happens next.....I am beginning to find bright moments in my work days once more.  True a lot of the joy comes from interaction with my students but as I've always said, I work with a great group of people.  We are all in this craziness together and most of the time there is someone to step in and say, " Hey I know its tough but you are doing a great job! Hang in there because it is going to get better."

At the end of the day, we are still a family of educators looking out for the best interest of our children.  We still do whatever it takes to help them not just feel successful but be successful in their  journey through life....not just academically, but mentally, emotionally, socially.  It is simply what we do.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Confession Time

Confession time.....for the first time ever, I'm not excited about school beginning....I know right?! Perhaps it is because of where I am emotionally, spiritually....but I definitely feel I need to be doing something else. What I should be doing is any one's guess! This week only teachers and staff are back in the swing of things, getting rooms ready, sorting textbooks, all that "housekeeping" kind of stuff......and I am miserable!

There is a knot of anger and resentment inside me that I am trying to dissolve.  Those feelings are not helping me and only serve to make me unsuitable to be around.  I do know from where those feelings stem however.  At our school system's opening day ceremony all the principals introduce new staff.  As I sat there, already somewhat depressed, I heard the names of THREE new English teachers announced....THREE.  And I had not been called to interview for any of said the system where I have worked for 16 years! It was a real slap in the face.

I have jumped through every hoop.....done extra work.....even worked early morning duty every single day for the school year.....developed a writing program......taught writing.....all for an aide's pay.  And still, I'm passed over for teaching jobs.  What am I doing wrong?

I know! I'm not trusting God to take care of me......not trusting that He knows where I need to be and what I need to be doing....right now.  It is because I'm so impatient....I want things fixed now...I want that teaching job now....I want my book finished and published now....I want to lose 20 pounds now...but as we all know, life does not work that way. My new mantra is going to be, "good things come to those who wait." And I'm definitely going to have to put some concentrated effort in learning to wait. Not just for those "good things" to happen...but for wisdom and understanding to recognize the "good" when it doesn't exactly fit my definition.

As always, God has a perfect plan for me, for my life. I just have to continue to trust in Him.  Its amazing that the knot of anger and resentment I had allowed to build up is slipping away....and I feel that peace only God can give welling up inside within my heart., all much better feelings to have and share, don't you agree?

Thursday, August 8, 2013


My heart is full
My mind racing,
Jumping in and out of memories, dreams, desires,
Not able to find a place to land.
Wanting only peace but finding instead
Chaos, uncertainty, upheaval

"This too shall pass"

Tears flowing
A river of longing
From deep within
Blurring the path before me.
Choosing paralyzes and

"Good things come to those who wait"

And so the choice is made.

I will wait

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Brand New Day

Every year before school starts, I have a routine with which I prepare to ease back in to the daily grind. Because I use the summer months to stay up late watching movies or reading the novels I've saved for this very purpose, I have to make a concentrated effort to get back in the swing of getting up with the sun.  It is not easy and gets less easy as each year goes by. For the past few days I've made  it a point to set my alarm for my normal "get up its time to go to work" signal....all this in an effort to acclimate my mind and body to school day far its worked fairly well...until about one o'clock in the afternoon. Then it is as if all normal, rational, cognitive thought flees and all I can think is, "I want a nap!"  Those who teach know that napping is not allowed...even for five year old children....wasted instructional time.

So for the past few days I've gotten up earlier and earlier....and something amazing has happened!

 Let me back up.  As I sometimes do when things are going focus drifts away from my spiritual center....I mean, after all, I'm doing fine, right? Will I never learn? And gradually, I lost my way a bit.  The past few days have been stressful on an emotional and spiritual and physical level because there were changes I had to make....ideas, thoughts, even dreams I had to let loose, give up, move was so hard because it was all so comfortable, so safe, so familiar......but in the long run, not good for me.

And because I've gotten up earlier and earlier....God came to me in that quiet time before the day really begins, before the sounds and movements of life drag at me into action.....and gently showed me what I needed to do.  I argued with Him....but less this time than last because I really am learning a little bit.....He wrapped me in His peace and I bowed my head and let go.....of all those unhealthy things in my life.  I've had to do it before. The first time just barely a year ago.....and it came after great pain.....but brought such joy, such peace. Each time since has been less painful more freeing and ultimately such a blessing.

I think I will maintain that getting up early routine year round.....because until I've learned all He needs to teach me, and He takes me up in death....I need the love and guidance of my Maker and Creator each and every day.  And for me, I need to meet Him in the early morning of every day in order to stay on the path He has chosen for me.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's a Wrap!

Finally a moment of peace after two very hectic weeks!

When last I wrote, my film just begun. And now, the film has "wrapped" and I can reflect on the experience.  It was exciting, exhausting, invigorating, and certainly kept me on my toes! There is so much more to the experience than just learning your lines and showing up.  The nitty-gritty business of putting together a film is so much more.  We dealt with pouring rain and the noise of semi trucks roaring past the location site on our first day. Not to mention a furiously clucking chicken who was determined to become a part of a dramatic moment.....and who laid an egg at our feet to prove it. Its true! I couldn't make that up! Then there was the scene in the woods with hundreds of tiny black bugs scurrying away each time I took a step....and the mosquitoes, mustn't forget them! Despite all that....there was the magic....

Yes, it was have a group of people, some of whom I'd never met, come together with a common goal and work tirelessly to make it happen. There was whole hearted effort and dedication from everyone involved. And there was kindness....and encouragement....and support....and was amazing.  If asked to work with this group of people any capacity...there would be no hesitation on my part.  They taught me so much....not just about making a film...but about the goodness which resides in the hearts of people.

During those brief down times, we shared our lives with one another. Little by little small bits of our histories were revealed and hopes, dreams were put on display. At one point it occurred to me that despite the differences in our ages....the sound director was born a year after I graduated from high school...we were still very much alike. One evening...very late...after a long day of filming at two separate locations.....everything seemed funny and giggles erupted at inappropriate moments....and it was okay. We took a collective deep breath and continued....because we all wanted the story to be told perfectly. As our director reminded us, the fact that the more and more families are being impacted by Alzheimer's every day needs to be shared.

The entertainment industry has flooded us with the images and ideas of a zombie apocalypse becoming part of our future. During this project, my son and I discussed the reality of that happening. We are already there..... those with the severest form of Alzheimer's live a zombie like existence...and there's not much to be done about it....for now. I encourage everyone to support their local Alzheimer's Association any way possible.....and reach out to those who are the caregivers for family members with Alzheimer's.....they need our help as well.

Yes, I've rambled on...but the story told by this film touched my heart deeply. My only hope is that anyone who sees it will be touched as well....and moved to become an active participant in fighting this disease.