Friday, September 26, 2008

Great phrases by kids

Last week Derek was playing soccer. I was the only one there because of the 3 other commitments happening at the same time - divide and conquer is the name of the game. After the game I had my hands and arms full with camp chairs, school bag (I study when he's not actually playing), my bag (no, not a purse!) and the left over treats, because it was my week to provide snacks. To get back to the car I asked Derek to carry my bag, so I could carry everything else. It was hanging around his neck and down his front. He said, "I look like a woman!" He was happy to carry it to the car, but asked as soon as we got there if I could take it off of him. As soon as I removed it he shouted, "I feel like a man again. What a relief!" My little 7 year old man. I wish I had taken a picture!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The clean and the not so..

I cleaned my brother's house, and my dad's condo today. My brother is recently divorced. He is a tidy soul, but he hates to clean bathrooms. He prefers to pay someone to clean for him, and I have the job. It currently helps pay for the gymnastics meets every other week ($75 each meet), so it is worth it! My father loaned me some money to take chemistry last semester, and I pay him back by cleaning his place once a month for 18 months. He, too, would rather pay one of his daughters to clean for him than do it himself.

So, today I left home at 8:00 am, after my children all left for school. I went to my brother's house first. After turning on some music, I cleaned to my hearts content. It is actually sort of nice to clean without the added concern of organizing or rearranging. I just have to clean. When I left, the bathrooms sparkled, the floors were done, the house was dusted, and the door frames wiped clean. Then I went to my fathers place. There, too, the bathrooms were cleaned, the floors vacuumed, the dust wiped away, and the kitchen scrubed. Then, at long last (2:00 pm), I came home. MY bathrooms need attention immediately, my floors need to be done, there is dust every where, and the kitchen is cluttered with the school papers and homework of the week. I can't face cleaning another house today! Perhaps tomorrow. At least I can enlist the help of the children, so we can all get it done more quickly.

I typically write a note for my dad when I leave his place. Usually it is just a "Hello, I came and cleaned, have a great day, I love you" sort of note. Perhaps the fumes from all the bathroom cleaner I had inhaled finally affected my brain. Here is a copy of todays note...

"Esteemed Father -
I did clean, and it seemeth to me good. The bathrooms now sparkle, and do not stinketh - they did not stink when I got here, but the stink can set in rapidly, wherefore I did clean them so they stinketh not. The kitchen floor is delightsome to the senses, and could be eaten upon, though that would be a foolish place to eat. The floors are clean and free of dust, whereby you may relax and not fear the strength of the dust bunny. And many other things did I clean. And finally, dear Father, I thank you for the refreshment you gave, though you knew it not. I was faint with hunger, and did partake of the cashews, but not many did I eat. I also did enjoy one cookie, but not more than one did I eat, lest you run out of the delightsome treat, because you have only a few. I leave you with love - Your obedient servant - Deborah

(It bears knowing that he had four full, unopened packages of oreos on the counter, having just been to the store)
As a final note of interest, I got back my biology midterm score, and, believe it or not, I recieved a perfect score - 100%. Apparently, I am the only one that got that score, though many were in the 90% range. I did a little jig of joy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finding Balance...

I teach yoga. During class we always do at least one, and sometimes several, balancing poses. I remind the students that each pose is a process and a journey. We search for balance throughout the body. Balance is not a competition. Strength and balance are increased by working on them. We strive for balance in our body, and balance in our life. Always adjusting a bit, understanding that it will be better on some days than others, but balance is improved by working on it.

I am really good at finding a balance in my life, and then adding three or four projects, responsibilities, or commitments into the mix. Then I either have to pull out of something I committed to - and I detest being flaky!! - or, usually, I just cause myself lots of stress and grief, and let other things that are important to me fall apart (ie. personal time, time with the kids, house cleaning, etc.) So, I just did it again. I thought I could take 8 credits this fall and make it work. It would be great! I could finish off the nursing school pre-requisites in one final fell swoop, get on the waiting list, and feel great about my accomplishments. Unfortunately, physiology was one of those classes. The first day of class my professor informed us that her class would take a large amount of time, and if anyone was taking any other challenging courses or had big time commitments, they could be in trouble. At the end of class, every day, she reminded us that she would keep moving fast through the information, and that we needed to be spending lots of time with the subject. I sat there, and wondered WHEN I wouldn't have other big time commitments! I dug in and studied. I worked 35-40 hours a week, for 2 1/2 weeks, on that class, squeezing in a bit of biology work along the way. Then I took my first test. I bombed it!!! Miserably!!! When all was said and done, and the curve applied, the test score was probably decent. But I realized that my life was completely out of balance. I didn't want to study full time for a 4 credit class, to the complete exclusion of everything else. I dropped it the very day after my test. I was still in the window of time where I could get a full refund and pull out without getting a "W". Am I a quitter? Did I fail? Should I feel ashamed? In fact, I feel wonderful. More balanced. I think I lost 10 pounds of stress (Now why doesn't that show up missing on the scale??). I can take biology this semester - I just did great on my first test today - and physiology next semester from a different professor. What's the rush?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can I do it?

My current fun, or not fun, is school. I have only been working on this semester for just over three weeks, and it feels as if it will never end. Can I possibly learn enough to do well - or do well enough to not have to take the classes over, which seems like a fine option today? And then I have to wonder why I have done this to myself - payed a lot of money to spend time in class trying to learn a lot of stuff really quickly, and then, to top it off, I get to spend time being tested on the large amount of stuff that has been talked about in class. Who wouldn't want to spend two hours in the testing center with someone walking up and down the aisle between the desks, watching every move you make, trying to catch you making signals to someone across the room as you scratch your nose?

Then I have the "ahaa" moments, when parts of the whole come together, and I realize that I love to learn, I can do this, and it is cool to be in class learning new things in a formal education way. I sit around the kitchen table with my children after school and we all study together. My kids think it is cool that I have homework too. I even cleaned my wood floor and master bathroom today (I had to get up at 6:00 am to get that in), and am feeling like I may be able to stay on top of a few things at once. What an accomplishment!