Wednesday, May 30, 2012

POV


This weekend while celebrating the beauty of my grandfather's 80th birthday I got a lesson in perspectives.

During and after his birthday party various family members relayed their remembrances, treasures, and experiences of being in our family. And surprisingly they all had quite different takes.

Life seen through the eyes of the individual in question. 

I can understand how this happens, but it was still a bit unsettling to learn just how how much our points of view can differ, all while living in the same space and time.

The way I was raised and many of the childhood experiences I had were the direct result of my mother's, grandfather's, and uncle's point of view.

An interesting combination.

The whole revelation made me ponder what stories will  my sons tell to their children and each other 50 years from now when it's my turn to be 80.

What will their perspective be?

How different will the takeaways and life lessons be? The answer is something only time can tell.

Friday, May 25, 2012

This is a test


Yes, you could call it drive
You could say it's defiant protest
I do not believe it's weakness

This is me recognizing my worth
and realizing that you do not

So long and goodbye to you

~~Happy Six Word Friday! The prompt was: DRIVE.~~

My mother used to say "You get the same test again and again until you pass." Seeing as how I keep selling myself short only to later realize my foolishness, this must be the same test.

Alright Universe, I get it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Which box do I check?


Over the years I've heard people state how they are not religious but instead spiritual. At this I used to roll my eyes. I would think what's the point of being spiritual if not religious. Aren't they synonymous?

Actually, they are not one and the same. Religiousness is a reference to traditions, while spirituality connotes personal connections with our Gods/beliefs/universe without a necessary commitment to traditional confines.

Well, I know I am not religious. And perhaps I'm spiritual. But thoughtful seems to be the more accurate description of what I am.

Is there a box I can check for THOUGHTFULNESS? Thoughtful of my impact. Thoughtful of my actions. Thoughtful of the possibilities.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ideally speaking

This is not my back yard. Bummer.

This weekend my Granny-in-law turned 77! We have quite a romp/BBQ/yard party to celebrate.

When all was said and done I felt as though I had run another marathon what with all the serving, cooking, and cleaning. Thankfully there were lots of laughs and hugs to go along with the work.

Now its back to our regularly scheduled programs...

The programs being SCHOOL. SCHOOL. SCHOOL. I am working within a deadline of May 31st for my Diversity and Inclusion class.

Now, ideally my papers would magically write themselves and be written correctly the first time. But since I do not leave in a magical world with an unpaid labor force of adorable woodland fairies I have 2 very real papers that need writing and 2 others that need revision.

Love my life

So my writing will be a bit sparse this week and next. Please bear with me. And check out some old Iced Tea posts linked on the left.

Oh, and wish me swift fingers for typing and benevolent graders to grade my tasks :o)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Leaps and Bounds


Each week, throughout this school year, 
I've tutored 3 kindergarten children in 
reading readiness. Every Tuesday and some 
Thursdays we would work on letter 
recognition, writing, and reading comprehension. 

Oh to have been there, and 
witnessed their growth from knowing 0
letters in September to all 52 
in May. It took my words 
away. I hadn't expected to cry. 

But that growth means so much. 
It means there will be 3
less students coming to 1st grade 
under-prepared. It means that some teacher 
will inherit 3 students who are 
better equipped read. Priceless. Just priceless.

~~Happy Six Word Friday! Our prompt was: GROWTH.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The light


I guess I really have a thing for senior citizens. They are my friends, mentors, confidants, elders.

For someone who can get extremely anxious about seemingly small life choice, seniors are like my Xanax without the prescription.

And although I actively sought out my circle of trusted adults to love and cherish, there are probably some near you too.

Whether it's the coworker that lets you know when it's time to dial it back or surge forward.

The friend who intones that, "The kids are alright." Or a granny that sages, "This too shall pass."

We need our mature citizenry.

Their wisdom and grace and past mistakes.  
 
The fine wrinkles of a life lived has an strikingly meditative affect on my psyche.  Its as if the universe is reminding me that millions of people have been here before.  And truly, I am not alone.

There is always a light at the end of whatever tunnel I may find myself in.  And if I can not see the light it's likely there's a senior nearby, with a book-light handy to guide me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Forever Young

Apparently I am 23 with an exclamation mark!

It's quite possible that my 7 year old son gifted me the best Mother's Day present EVER! 

Whats funny is that he and his brothers actually know my true age....so I'm not sure if this was a cute compliment or a brain fart. Either way, I'll take it!

Loving the funkiness of the school he thinks I'll teach at too. 

Looks very inclusive.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Making Statements


Bring the questions, bring the love
Bring the change, bring the rights
Bring on evolution, bring on equality
Bring us all together, not apart

~Happy Six Words Friday! Our prompt was: BRING~

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All we've got


As of late I've done a lot of thinking about the value of time. What do I feel "time" is truly worth?
Is it possible to find a perfect mix of both? That would be nirvana; to have my time properly valued as I do the things I love.
But that's not always how things work.
 If I gain the personal fulfillment but not the coinciding appreciation, then what? How does one proceed? I think the answer varies as we progress through life and it's many stages and relationships.

How do you value your time? Is it something of which you freely give? Or a priceless commodity you dole out sparingly?

Here are some things I've learned to not let longer eat up my time:
  1. Other people's problems.
  2. Stress concerning my own problems which can not be immediately solved.
  3. People who do not value (their own or) my time.
  4. Voices telling me I'm not good enough.
A rapper named J.Cole has a song called "Mr. Nice Watch" in which he states,

 "They say time is money/but really its not/if we ever go broke/then time is all we got/and you can't make that back/no you can't take that back"

What really resonated with me is his realization that money comes and goes and what we're left with is time. And can we really put a dollar amount on that?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rolling with the Punches


It's so funny how little sayings that pop up in everyday conversation usually link back to profound meanings.

On Saturday/Cinco de Mayo I watched the Cotto/Mayweather fight.

(Floyd Mayweather is an undefeated, uber-talented, trash talking African American boxer. He was set to fight Miguel Cotto, an also undefeated, skilled tactician, and Puerto Rican title holder.)

Everyone was expecting a good fight, but I think few realized how close the fight would turn out to be. Floyd Mayweather is such a formidable opponent that when you order a Pay Per View fight, you are pretty much signing up to see just how bad he beats down the competition.

But on Saturday I  think many realized for the first time just how comparable Cotto was in the ring.

These two boxers had truly met their match. At times Mayweather appeared surprised at the strength of Cotto's punches. In fact, one of the people at the Cinco de Mayo party remarked that Saturday was the first time he had seen Mayweather  bleed.

But it wasn't long before the true beauty of Mayweather's talent shone through even as his opponent began to amp up.

After wondering aloud if there were a chance that Floyd would lose this one, I recall the announcer remarking on how well Mayweather was "Rolling with the punches".

And that's just what I saw unfold. Mayweather's back was against the ring and Cotto was giving it to him. And he rolled with it. Left and right and left. And then BAM! He let loose on Cotto. Repeatedly!

After the fight Mayweather remarked that he hadn't expected the fight to be easy. And as evidenced by his body language, having a true opponent seemed to have pumped him up.

Here's a guy whose body had just taken more of a beating than it had in a long time, and he was rejoicing.

Floyd looked genuinely happy to have fought someone worthy. And that kinda inspired me.

No, life is not always easy. And we get roughed up sometimes. But there is a feeling you can only get after meeting your match and whipping him.

At times we all have to "Roll with the punches".

I suppose the difference between winners and losers is whether or not we have that lightening punch ready at the end.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Maxxing Out


One thing I've learned is that 
you can't CHARGE your way to 
happiness. Joy only takes cash deposits. 
I am probably only half kidding.

~Happy Six Word Friday! Our prompt was: CHARGE. The topic made me think of debt. Both on our national and personal accounts. There is a feeling of peace in knowing that the things you buy are bought with no interest due. I'm not there yet, but working on it.~

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Say a little prayer for me


iTunes just so happens to be one of my best friends.

Much to my husband's chagrin I love listening to the NPR News, Freakonomics, Stuff You Missed in
History, and This American Life shows in the car.

And yesterday's This American Life topic "Mortal vs Venial" was especially good. It was a three part episode that talked about little sins vs big ones. And how we humans tend to blur the lines or turn a blind eye to certain lapses in judgement.

One story featured a St. Louis politician that started his career with the best of intentions. Then he made one minor mistake. He coordinated an attack ad on his opponent with an outside fundraiser, which is in violation of U.S. Campaign finance laws. He ended up having to work tirelessly to cover it up. But that lapse in judgement eventually got him sent to federal prison anyway.

It got me thinking of all the silly little things we do over the course of our lives. And how some mistakes just disappear. Some we are forgiven for. But others manage to grow bigger and bigger. Snowballing right into epic disasters.

And there is no way to tell which little "sin" will bring our downfall. We just don't know.

I suppose to we have a few choices with how to deal with our human nature.

Become perfect. Or learn to admit our failures and move on.
 I think the chance of me reaching perfection are minuscule, so it's probably better to focus my energy on forgiving myself and others quickly. Wouldn't want those little sins adding up now would we?