Let there be light …
Great respite being up in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu for a week. No other place I would have rather been the past week. And like I always say, there are no accidents. I was meant to be up there. To learn. To meet amazing people. To be wowed by a new place. To share the little I know. AND to rest. To regroup, to recover and to remember who I am. (read: refer to past entries on being exhausted. I am back from the dead.) It was one interesting and tiring journey. But it was exactly what I needed. (entry about India trip coming soon.)
Anyway, thanks, G. I am one lucky schmuck. Thank you for reminding me everyday just how awesome and generous you are. My life is proof of it.
grateful slice: being away from and now being back on the grid.
Planning to use this for my Grade 7 poetry class. Right before they get on with their portfolios!
Watch it. It’s worth your 18 minutes. Thanks, TED.
grateful slice: Inspiring material
It’s midnight and I am still working.
Don’t ask me why because it is a combination of many things.
From the fear of failure to facing the irrational/impossible demands of being a perfectionist, to the inevitable tendency to procrastinate (this to assuage the pain from possibly producing a lemon so you wait until you are ready to be perfect), it can become a complicated mix of adrenaline, sleep deprivation, caffeine tremors, self inflicted pressure, lousy time management and that sense of accomplishment when you eventually get things done. It’s a vicious cycle really and a bunch of fatal flaws.
And the deadlines keep coming. Once one thing ends, another REALLY important thing that began even before that other thing ended needs attention. Perfect, undivided attention because they needed it yesterday. Pulled from all directions, I can’t help but feel like Westley (from “Princess Bride”) on The (life sucking) Machine. Dddddzzzzzzzzzttttzzzz.
In there though, is a different reality.
In the universe in that little silver box, I finish work at 4:30 pm. Get to do yoga often and regularly. My room is spotless and the bag I used for Sagada is unpacked (yes, it’s still sitting there with stuff inside) and neatly stored. I write a chapter everyday for my upcoming novel and have fabulous mid-week dinners with friends in snazzy restaurants in the metro. I have 13 book titles on my 50 Books Challenge Page and not *gulp* just two. I laugh all the time and not make sungit to good friends at work. I sleep early, run thrice a week and spend quality quiet time with G every sunrise. In that reality, I am vegan, I have a beach house just a two hour drive away and heck, I have twenty awesome cameras/lenses and I can paint AND draw. Okay, since we are at it, in that parallel world, I can sing. And I mean, sing like Sarah Mclachlan/Alicia Keys/Jennifer Hudson, dress up like Gwen Stefani and not care about what people think like Pink.
And all deadlines are met with a smile and with a spring in my step. Yup, somewhere, somewhen, there’s a version of me sound asleep, having a peak experience with Morpheus, the prince of dreams, instead of here, well, wide awake and working (or writing during a work break).
Escape is a great thing. Getting away in slivers allow parts of us to recover. Even just a little. Like that tiny antique box.
Okay,work break done. Thanks for listening and going with me … in there.
I love love love my job but sometimes, it’s hard to be me.
grateful slice: fatal flaws, cyberspace, writing, work breaks and acceptance.
Because this week’s photo challenge is on abundance, I am posting a second set of pictures…an oldie but a goodie.
An homage to Smores.
grateful slice: yummy, pretty things
I need a new super word to fully encapsulate just how tired I feel right now. Exhausted just won’t cut it. The fatigue is so immense, I feel it in my retina. My eyelids want to crash land, shut down and seal forever but I know I can’t rest just yet because of the last leg of the report card season race. If I lie down to sleep right now, I may never wake. Instead, I reluctantly look up at the nearest marathon distance marker, which says ‘congratulations! You just passed the 21k mark.’ Of course, this only means there’s 21k more to go. Boo pero kaya ko ‘to.
this new super word also has to include this terrible sensation I have (magnified by the exhaustion and sleep deprivation) at the pit of my stomach. It’s not an unknown feeling. I’ve met it before, mostly during times when I feel regret. Or in this case, when a sudden realization plunks in my consciousness about just how unaware I had been of someone’s feelings. I really hate that. The ‘doh’, palm to your forehead slapping moment when it hits you that you did not think that one through enough even if you thought you did.
I know I’ve been pushing them hard. Challenging them to write and write and yes, write well. Write like they’ve never written before. Sometimes though, in my quest to push them to write fiercely and in the best way they can, I somehow check my compassion at the door. Like a fur coat I’ll come back for later, my comments, albeit encouraging and supportive in my teacher eyes, can leave my kids cold at times. I know what kind of teacher I want to be, a damn good one. But I also know what kind of person I need to be. A compassionate and kind one. They were able to write about some of the most difficult things they have had to go through in their young lives and my external critic and teacher blinders left me looking just at appropriate transitions, syntax and perfect endings, language use and “demonstrating their sophisticated understanding of whatever.” It’s my job, I know. But sometimes, especially when they write from their hearts, it’s more important that I let go of my Muji pen and just read from mine.
I hope they know that despite all the pushing and my so called solar powered, never resting “jackhammer of justice” (term coined by P.M.), that I am their number one fan. That I believe in them completely. That when the time comes, I will buy their books, celebrate their verses and vote for them. That the numbers on a TSC won’t ever change how much I believe in their voices, their stories and their relative waves in this absolute ocean. Really. After all that’s been said, done and written, I hope they know that.
Phew. It’s been a long week. And it ain’t over. I do need that word.
Now back to work.
grateful slice: blogging during my work breaks and my 2011 Grade 8 students who I will miss when they graduate
Boy, I sure could use a handy pause button right about now.
A pause button to stop life for a bit because I need to get off for a moment. I need to breathe or spend a silent minute in my mind. To regroup and recover from the sleep deprivation. Either that or have a get-more-hours-in-the-day coupon. You know, get a 25th hour to sleep a little more or to mark more papers or to eat without thinking of what I could be doing instead of eating or to start planning my in- school workshop in India for April or to start preparing my monitoring samples for the IB or yes, to mark more papers or to plan next term’s lessons or to do yoga or to pray or to blog or to take pictures or to start reading the books from the book pile on my messy work desk( for my 50 books challenge this year) or oh yeah, to pack for my week long trip to SAGADA with the kids (leaving Monday back on Sunday) AND then report card season begins. I definitely need an extra day in the week for that — from the report card comments and grades and yes, marking more papers, there’s just not enough time because ….the list goes on.
24 hours or 7 days a week — it’s just not enough for the things I need to do and the things I love to do. How now, brown cow? Crap, I don’t know where to begin.
Anyway, thanks for listening. Just needed to vent a bit. Writing — my own version of the pause button, I guess. Now, to do what needs to be done today. Sigh. Send me good vibes, will ya. So I whistle while I work. Peace.
grateful slice: knowing I can stop to write when I feel overwhelmed