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Showing posts from 2016

Silence...

I've been thinking a lot lately about silence.

As an introvert, silence can be a healing hug when the world is overwhelming me.As a conflict avoider, silence can be a place of safety and comfort.As someone who hopes to offer well informed, thoughtful contributions, silence is often a space holder to allow me to gather more information before joining a conversation.As a teacher of children, silence is often needed to hear the real problem or feeling a student is trying to communicate during a time of distress.As a yogi, silence is the place that allows my body and spirit to speak, hear, and understands its needs and truths.
So much good can come from simply observing silence in life.

Since November 8th, I've been thinking a lot more about the other side of silence. About the unintended messages silence can send in times of distress or conflict. About the darker side of what silence represents.

I've been thinking about all the times that I've used silence as a safe, comfo…

Ashamed...

If you are a parent, or even a pet parent, you can relate to the fact that while you always love your kids, there are times in life when you don't like them very much for the choices and actions they make. You spend incredible amounts of energy worrying about them because your heart wants the very best for them always and you know how poor choices can prevent that from happening. Yet as much as you want to protect them, there comes a point where you can't make every decision for them, and you simply have to give them some space to learn on their own the consequences of their actions and choices, good or bad. But through it all, you love them always.

That's exactly how I feel about our country and this shit show of an election cycle we are currently experiencing. I will always be thankful for the blessing of being born in a prosperous, (mostly) safe, and (mostly) free country. Even as a woman, despite the very real existence of glass ceilings, double standards, and general …

This body...

This body went to the gym today for the first time since early April. Today was once again Day 1.



This body has lost much, if not all, of the strength and endurance I had worked to gain throughout this past winter. As a result this body weighed in heavier today than Day 1 back in October, which shouldn't surprise me since I'm also wearing a size larger than I was at that point.

This body is what a 227 pound size 18 looks like on my 5 foot 7.5 inch 41 year-old skeleton. This body has weighed less as an adult. It has also weighed more as an adult. Since having kids (because that's a game changer people) it has worn every size from 12 to 24, though I'm most comfortable in it when it can comfortably wear a size 14 and the scale consistently hovers in the 175-185 range.

This body had to participate in an annual wellness screening for our insurance this spring and didn't score too well in a few of the areas. It has a great resting heart rate, maintains a healthy level of…

Slowly Summer...

We are almost a full 3 weeks into summer. It is taking me a bit longer than normal to find my summer groove this year. I seem to have misplaced my motivation to tackle my normal summer project list. Our relocated garden boxes remain un-planted. The backyard flowerpots have been filled with simple combinations of inexpensive, easy to care for annuals. Weeds have been pulled, or not, depending on the location. Plans for building new wooden chairs for our deck have been read, and re-read, but no building has been done. While I'm trying to be gentle with myself as I know beating myself up over what I'm NOT accomplishing is going to do any good towards getting SOMETHING accomplished this summer, it seems our more casual weeks of summer are moving at a quicker pace than ever this year. If I don't get off my ass and get some shit done, I'm going to run out of time!

Just before the end of the school year, a dear friend asked if I would be willing to tackle a knitting project f…

Surviving...

I've simply been living life in survival mode as of late.

School activities are drawing to an end, as are the attention spans of the students.
Summer activities are starting to need planning/attention.
The yard is already in full grow mode, both things we want growing and those we don't.I look around our house and all I see is the grime and clutter that has accumulated throughout the school year, knowing I need to give it some of my attention in the first weeks of summer. 
Survival mode is not a healthy mode for me. I'm not eating well. I'm not exercising regularly. I'm staying up too late cherishing the quiet of the hours just after my family head to bed to just BE and to get lost for a bit in the world of a book before having to get up and repeat the craziness for another day.

I know I am not alone in my struggle. Walking down the hallway at school I can see the exhaustion of the end of the year settling on other's faces. WE are ALL in survival mode at this poi…

Commitment Issues...

When our girls started to get involved in activities, we set a pretty strict one-activity-at-a-time rule. That meant that sometimes activities that went year round were put on hold for a couple of months to allow for another seasonal activity to take center stage. We partially put this rule into place to help balance our family schedule. We also feel it's important for kids to have unscheduled, unstructured time to just be, and to figure out how to self entertain should they find themselves "bored." As our girls get older, and the list of activities available to them expands, it has been harder to stick to our self imposed restriction. Ultimately we knew that was bound to happen given how busy our own schedules once looked as middle school/high school/college students. But during their earliest years, we hope we were able to to help our girls maintain healthy schedules that helped them both enjoy a variety of activities and allowed them to just be kids during their short…

Who are you voting for?

We have a running joke in our house that should a certain potential presidential candidate manage to somehow become our next president, the Mavin family is going to become Canadian.

I'm pretty sure some of us are joking less than others of us.

(I for one am voting for a warmer C word choice. Costa Rico starts with C. Just sayin'.)

Last week I had one of my young students ask me who I was voting for for president. I, as I always do, simply said "I'm not sure yet," to which he then replied with who he and his mom are supporting. Internally cringing, but externally smiling, I simply said "Oh," and moved on to help another student. The very next day, in passing in the hallway, I had a second, slightly older student ask me the exact same question, after which he tried to guess who I would support. He got the same none answer I offered up student #1. Obviously even though the Iowa caucuses are several weeks in the past, political discussions are still very ali…

Snowed...

The call came in this morning at 6:00.

Snow day.

Sadly the weather in our part of the state did not live up to the hype, which has left our snow day feeling a little wasted. The chance to sleep in, catch up on Downton Abby episodes, and start the process of filing our taxes was much appreciated. Two cups of coffee were enjoyed. Cinnamon rolls (originally frozen) we baked. Sidewalks were shoveled.

I really don't mind shoveling the snow on snow days. (Well, most snow days.) Today was a warm, windless shoveling experience. The snow was wet and heavy and it didn't take long for the sidewalk and drive to melt down once I removed the layer of wet. What makes shoveling our sidewalks the most sucky is the long stretch, living on the corner, and the uneven state of our many years old walkways. But as a walker of dogs, even in winter, and a mother of kids who walk to and from school every day, shovel I will because I know what a pain in the ass those stretches are to walk that do not r…

Restless...

It's the best word I can come up with to describe how my spirit has been feeling as of late. I've been hitting the gym quite often to help sweat out some of that restlessness. Sweating seems to help in so many ways. But the feeling is still there.

Our family schedule is more full of activities and commitments than it has ever been for the winter months. The restlessness is not from a lack of things to keep me busy. If anything, I'd love a little more downtime than our current schedule allows.

This evening our family made a spur of the moment decision to head into the big city for dinner downtown followed by a stop at a new to us coffee and comics shop. As we walked down the cold city streets, past larger than life graffiti street art from an event held last year, into a space hosting independent art work alive with activity from events being held in the area, for a short bit that internal restlessness was quieted.



I am not a city girl. My heart will always live in the wide…

Darkness...

January is a dark month.

Days are short.The weather is cold. Today was so cold my nose hairs immediately froze on my first breath each time I walked outside to travel to my next destination.
It's safe to say January and I are NOT friends.

This January seems to be proving to be a rougher ride for me emotionally. We've had many cloudy and grey days as of late. Our family schedule is chocked full of activities and commitments. I'm really trying to keep my eyes turned to the light. These past few days the darkness has been winning the battle. It's a reminder that I need to be better about telling those close to me what I need to help keep things light. Asking for help is not one of my strengths.

In October I took advantage of a special deal to rejoin our local gym. I'm thankful that spending 2-3 hours there a week has simply become a habit this winter. Even with the recent set back of shin splints, I know my gym time this winter has been an important part of keeping a m…

Cultivate...

I have lost count of the number of team building, moral boosting, personality testing opportunities I have been asked to participate in by various employers. I've team built in nature. Read about moving cheese. Figured out my personality color. My strengths. My Myers Briggs type. I've been asked to get on the energy bus. To fill people's buckets. How many many others I have forgotten?

Mind you, I'm not totally against all of these various motivational activities as the whole process very much plays into my nerdy side. I will admit, it's hard for me to pass up taking those highly scientific look-at-this-picture-click-the radio-dot-you-most-agree-with personality "tests" found sprinkled around ever corner of the internet like glitter infects your home after 1 tiny sparkly craft project.  I can get as wrapped up in the hype and excitement of it all as much as anyone. Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a self-help, self-discovery junkie.

While my nerdy side kin…

52 in 2016...

My internal dialog is my constant companion. Constant I tell you.

Very little of that dialog ever escapes my thoughts through spoken word. I often think about sharing some of that dialog here on the blog, but looking back at 2015's posts only 2 discussions ever made it to your digital screen. Four other posts were started, but never finished. A posts about giving less fucks. (Ironically written almost exactly a year ago.) A post about celebrating 20 years of marital union. (Written in the sunny days of summer) A post about my struggles with depression. (Written at the start of fall when I struggle the most keeping my emotions on somewhat of an even keel.) A post about my dear great grandma Mary. (Written just after her passing.)

As I've mentioned before, I'm not a resolution maker. But I've been thinking a lot about just what this little spot's purpose is living out on the world wide web. I have often thought of simply taking this blog down, but each time I do that…