Thursday, July 19, 2018

Back To Calm

It's July, which I refer to as the "month of calm". There is a welcome lull in my work which serves to help recharge my batteries so to speak and make me a better teacher/program director in August when things start speeding up again.

During this month of calm, I have taken the time to see friends and make time for having fun. As I reflect, I realize there is so much on my bucket list that I have yet to cross off. I need to make time for that as well. It's important to live life fully and in the present. Putting things off for the future can be precarious as you never know if the future will be there. Life is fragile and short. I need to remember that every day even during the busiest times of the year.

I hope you all take some time to rest and relax as well. Until next time, here's to the slowness of summer!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I learned a lot from Mister Rogers yesterday. I learned things about him I never knew. When he was a little boy, he was afraid to make mistakes. He felt he didn't quite fit in. My heart ached for him and yet I could relate so well. He eventually found where he did fit in and that was in Television--specifically producing a show for children.
This sparked some thoughts about my work as a music teacher and why I fight for music education. I've said over and over that music is not a frill, it's not an extra curricular activity, but rather a part of complete education. I've talked about how it teaches language, social studies, math, and science. It teaches discipline and the art of teamwork to achieve a single goal. All of those things are true.
What I fail to mention all too often, is that music is the only place where many kids finally feel like they fit in. I was that kid. I was successful and I could be myself. I was always excited when I knew I had music that day.
The students I teach and many others, find solace in their music classes. They find a place to belong--a place where they shine. They don't have to speak the language to be able to communicate. Musical expression can be wordless. For so many students I have taught, music might be the only beautiful thing in their day. Music might be the reason they come to school that day. To take this away from so many students is a crime. Why the arts are constantly on the chopping block, is unfathomable to me. I don't know where I would be today were it not for the wonderful music programs I had growing up. My music teachers were my heroes. Each and every one of them. Because of that, I will fight 'til the end of time for music programs to stay alive. I can only hope that I will be just one child's hero for one day.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Stand up and Fight Back

Random thoughts before this blog entry: I started this out as a blog about routines, cleaning, Type A living, and all things almost OCD. It has morphed into more of a random post blog. I don't know if that's good or bad. I'll have to think about that. Now for today's entry.

Stand up and fight back. We've been hearing for months now, maybe even longer. It's difficult to keep fighting back when the face of adversity stares us down every day. But we must keep our voices loud. We must keep making ourselves heard. There is no other way. If we remain silent, that means were complicit. If we remain silent, we have no recourse when things do not change. 

Lately, I have felt as if the world is crashing down on me and everyone I love. History is repeating itself in no uncertain terms and if you can't see it, open your eyes wider. It's all around us. Discrimination, dehumanization, and just plain disgusting treatment of people all over. I cannot and will not take this sitting down. I'm mostly an introvert, but I conjured up the courage to go to a rally recently. It was so empowering! So many people with signs and cheers and voices breaking the silence the politicians want. I was sad that I didn't make a sign, but as a dear friend said, showing up is what counts. I showed up. 

It's hard to imagine what the world will become. I just hope we save it before it's too late.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Facing the fear and mortality

I don't even know where to begin. A rush of terror shot through my entire being when I read the email. "We have to go home," it said. I stared at those words as they seemed to echo through my very soul for what seemed like an eternity. It was probably 15 seconds, but I digress. I immediately went into panic mode. Is he ok? Get on the next plane home, I thought. What are you waiting for?! GET HOME NOW. Well, they made it home safely and much to my surprise, without anyone ending up in an ER. I think the situation was watered down after my anxiety over it was apparent. I hate when they do that! I'm a grown ass woman, older than I will admit, and I can take it. Just fking tell me. It's worse when I find out it was serious and there I was sitting at home thinking nothing of it. That's happened to me before and I ended up feeling like a total ass. My dad almost freaking died and I wasn't told but the rest of my family was. So... I went merrily and obliviously through my summer program with no knowledge of how severe this really was. But again, I digress. I seem to do that often.

It wasn't only the dire emergency of it all, but the way it stopped me in my tracks and reminded me of mortality. This man is 79 years old. Although nobody would ever guess by looking at him, this was a stark reminder that older people don't always fare well with ailments like these. If surgery is required to alleviate the excruciating pain, that worries me more. What if he doesn't survive the surgery--I mean old people sometimes don't. What if they find something--the big C word? I lost my stuffing for a day or two. Fortunately, I have understanding friends who listened to my shrieks of hysteria and even offered their parents' home for me to stop along the way to get to see my parents. 

I've been surrounded by too many deaths lately and have taken stock of my own life in the process. This was another sober reminder that life is short. I need to spend time with my loved ones and MAKE time for them. 
As I always say, "If you die, I'll kill you".

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Feeling like I'm back at square one

For three years, I've been sailing along on a cloud of elation having finally found a job that fits my dreams, my skills, and my personality. Suddenly, I feel as though that cloud is falling and there's nothing to catch me. It's in no way my fault, but it doesn't make it feel any better. Frustrated and disappointed, I am searching for new adventures. There aren't many out there that fit me the same way this one did. Basically, I am looking for this job somewhere else. I don't know if that's realistic or if this job even exists anywhere else. I just know that going back to my past is not an option. I keep telling myself that everything always works out and I've always found my way through this crazy world. I've always landed on my feet. Yeah, I keep telling myself that. I'm not sure if I believe it. I'm scared of what the future holds and afraid that this was all a dream that wasn't meant to last. 

Even though I want to change it immediately and escape from the crazy uncertainty, I know I have one more year to figure this out. One more year to find my job in the sky. One more year to discover my dream job was right in front of me all the time. Or maybe it was under a rock or a pile of sheet music. But it's there. And I will find it.

Friday, June 8, 2018

No more toxic people

Have you ever found yourself surrounded by toxic people? Some of them may be people you thought were friends. Some may be acquaintances. Some may be coworkers. Whoever they are, they drain you of energy and pull you into their misery. 

I'll tell you a secret. I think I was that friend for a long time. I was depressed, I was miserable, I wanted to talk about how life sucked, and how I couldn't find my way out of the dark. Some friends stood by me while others drifted off. 

Fast forward several years and I suddenly feel better than I ever have. I am elated and happy to be doing what I'm doing. I am finally finding joy in life. I am trying desperately to hold on to these feelings because they are so new and fresh to me. I never knew anyone could be this happy or feel this good. I am ready to have fun, share good times with friends, and suddenly everyone around me is in crisis or having some issue they can't get past. I feel for them because that was me, but at the same time, I am tired of being their therapist. I got professional help and got past my demons. I don't want to tell people what to do, but they really need some help. Sigh.

Moral of the story (or something like that)
1. If you don't like something, change it.
2. If you need help, get it.
3. Realize that trying means actively doing something to improve the situation, not just thinking it will get better soon.
4. If you want advice, take it. If you don't want advice, don't ask for it.
5. Don't bring everyone else down and then be surprised when they aren't there anymore.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Wind out of my sails

Well, that took the wind outta' my sails. I was so excited about going to visit a friend I've not seen in ages. It all seemed too good to be true when our plans worked out. Then the proverbial other shoe dropped. Sigh. I am going to be the third wheel. Instead of a fun weekend hanging out, shopping, drinking, relaxing, chatting, it's going to be a weekend of being "on". In other words, it won't be a short vacation. I know it's selfish, but I didn't want to have to deal with anyone outside our friendship. I don't want to have to be put together and afraid to walk around in pajamas. I don't want to feel like I'm leaving someone behind or that I'm being left behind--i.e. third wheel. 

I wish I could just cancel the trip and either stay home or go somewhere else. I know my friend would be disappointed and I can't let on that I feel this way. I can't let on WHY I feel this way. I guess I'll just have to make the best of it. I was hoping for more as I've spent the last year making the best of it.