Friday, July 30, 2010

Tiny Treasures~

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines tiny as diminutive and a treasure to be any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized.

As I meandered along the beach welcoming the sunbeams and gathering shells on our latest retreat to Emerald Isle it occurred to me that my focus from past walks had been altered. I was no longer probing for the largest, most perfect shells I could find, but the smallest of treasures the sand and sea had to offer. Would this thought transcend into further parts of my life? While it is human nature to want the best and be the best, I’ve tried to avoid the temptation of comparing lives and wishing for what I don’t have especially since I am extremely blessed with a high-quality life.

So my mind went to the simplicities of my life; inventory of tiny treasures we often see as insignificant as we simply take them for granted until further observation only to realize those are the most significant of all. After being unemployed for four months the love of my life now has a job where he already feels validated. I have a healthy wonderful son who is kind, sensitive, loving, and smart; he is more than I ever could have imagined my son to be. I have friends synonymous with family that bless me with gifts of a smile, laughter and kind words. I am sanctified with freedoms to believe, think and act in a manner that corroborate my being. Not only do I recognize the beating of my heart as momentous, I am revered with health and well-being.

I was forced to stand back and take inventory as a result of tragedies and heart-break in the lives of people in my world: a friend who has a second bout with breast cancer, a 22 year old girl who babysat Nicholas was recently was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and today I learned of a friend who’s son died suddenly from complications from seizures. Then there is shoulder surgery, divorce, job loss, foreclosure, a knee replacement that act as reminders to me that life is fragile; life is short. I say a quick prayer of thanks and a reminder that life is filled with tiny treasures.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Bucket List...

Hah, I’ve been thinking of creating a ‘Bucket List’ and for those of you who have never seen the movie it is about Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman who portray two terminally ill men with cancer who escape from the hospital and embark on a road trip with a wish list of ‘to-dos’ before they die. And no, I am not dying but a friend declared on Facebook she is starting her bucket list which reminded me that this was a task I had been wondering about as well.

I characteristically am not a very spontaneous or daring individual and I tend to like structure and predictability in my life; I prefer my feet to be firmly planted on the ground with few surprises, so it was challenging to compile a list of future aspirations. But I’ll give it the old college try and drum roll please? My Bucket list….

1.) Be a Grandma to Nicholas’ child/ren
2.) Swim with the Dolphins
3.) Visit the Hawaiian Islands with Scott and Nicholas
4.) Take a cruise that includes a visit to Alaska
5.) Obtain front row seats to the ‘Final Four’ with Carolina as a participant 
6.) Live in a house on the beach
7.) Have a book published complete with a book signing
8.) Go to England and watch Wimbledon
9.) Meet Denzel Washington
10.) Get letters from all my former students to catch me up on their lives
11.) Achieve a Doctorate from the University of North Carolina in Creative Writing

Ummm, that’s not a lot to ask, is it?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Safely Wrapped in a Cocoon?

"Forgiveness is God's invention for coming to terms with a world in which, despite their best intentions, people are unfair to each other and hurt each other deeply.”-Lewis B. Smedes

Six Fridays ago I had an encounter with a colleague that equivocated to verbal rape complete with a finger in my face for emphasis; it shook me to my very core, every cell of my being. If the disparage wasn’t bad enough, she carried out this act in front of my team and my principal. I can finally outwardly admit my humility and embarrassment, as well as the deep jolt it has had on my ‘person.’ The accusations ignited the formation of a thick cocoon to protect ‘me’ against additional damage as I developed a distrust of myself and a suspicion in the integrity of others regarding their opinion of me…could I trust what they were saying to me or their belief in me? I withdrew from those I trust and life as I knew it: I stopped exercising, caring about my work, interacting with others and I discontinued writing. I became a distant observer in life; even on my sacred beach vacation I was hesitant to allow myself to feel the true joy and peace within the moments.

My natural personality is to believe in the goodness of others, therefore this deprecation resulted in skepticism of people mainly those whom I call friends within my work circle. Like it or not, I care about what people think of me and desire their respect mostly in the realm of my occupation. I’ve always thought of myself as an exceptional teacher but that was wiped away with ‘words’ so it was agonizing to begin a new year on wobbly ground. I felt vulnerable and fragile.

While I can’t declare healing by any means, nor publicly vow forgiveness I know that will be necessary to move forward within my world. I also know forgiveness doesn’t equal forgetting and there will no doubt be cautiousness in my escape once the cocoon has been shed. I’ve instigated the process by writing and sharing both my thoughts and feelings with words so they can be dispensed into the wind. But I’m not omnipotent to affirm ending results, just that I will move forward armed with a protective sheath. I resolve to hover with wounded wings and welcome eventual flight without faltering.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy New Year!

Even though it’s Friday, July 9th and all our Ohio friends are actively creating summer memories, here in North Carolina on a year round school schedule we are in route into the 2010-11 school year.

Despite my trepidations....Yippee!, there’s excitement hovering as my boy who is now a ‘middle schooler’ carefully readies himself; choosing and ironing the ‘right’ clothes, blow drying the hair, and applying a spritz of body spray. An added sign of this new status is he now has to walk to his bus stop instead of our house being the gathering place. Although it is only three houses up the street to the corner, my heart held unidentified reservations. However, after he indulged me with taking ‘First Day’ photos so I could create a scrapbook page, he spotted a friend making her way to the destination and off he went; happy as a lark, bidding farewell, 'see you guys, love you!' guess there's no separation anxiety there, so does that mean we've done our job well? I surely hope so...