Apple Pie and Ice Cream

Somedays are just those kinds of days.  Yesterday’s blog talked about it…so to create a sense of calm to begin today with dinner was a fun meal and dessert was, fresh made apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  It brought that feeling of peace, that moment of sheer clarity when you bit into it. This morning, I am beginning my day with apple pie and coffee.

Things are still a mess, but not quite as bad as I thought.  We put some new furniture in its place last night, which cleared up the common space it had been stored in, I made an attempt at re-cleaning the kitchen and living space, which didn’t take as long since it had recently had a thorough cleaning.  I got a few more essays graded, and will do a few more when I am done here.

On Facebook someone replied tackle it one elephant at a time.  That’s what I did.  Today I will do the same.  Which elephant do I want out of the room first?  Clear it out.  I think there’s a bathroom downstairs calling my name, some glass shelving to put into the barrister’s cabinets we installed last night, and some clutter around the house that will get organized into them.  Yes, apple pie and ice cream fixed it all.

It also brought the rest of the energy down.  The boys all settled, my husband sighed in the peace it brought and the whole of the world that was surrounding us seemed to come into clearer, and not so daunting focus.  All because I took the time to spread the peace and love, with a little apple pie and ice cream.

Dinner was this amazing taco pie (Taco Pie Recipe) that was super kid friendly, which meant even the picky eater ate it.  So much friendly, that he, who hates apple pie, even tried that!  He didn’t like it, which I knew was coming, but he did eat a few of the apples with the ice cream.  I highly recommend the Taco Pie if you are looking for a quick and easy new way to have taco flavor.

Today was just about, being.  Sometimes slowing down, remembering the simple things matter, and can help, is really important.  I am off to grade some papers, clean a bathroom and do some organizing.  If I can sneak a trip in to Costco…well that would be bonus.

What do you do to reset the balance when it is too frenetic?  What life is hectic what foods comfort you and bring you back to what needs to be done?

Helping Others When They Don’t Want Help

From students to friends to adults. How do we help those who don’t want our help? Such a difficult spot to be in, and there is no good answer.

In the Wiccan practice it is unethical to cast a spell of healing or help for someone who has not given permission. In the mundane world we help all the time without permission, even sometimes pushing ourselves into situations just to offer help. Is one better than the other? Is there really a right and wrong?  

As a teacher of high school students I am constantly placed in situations where my job is to help. Often students ask for help, sometimes I ask if they need help and sometimes I just sit down and help. Today I was in a meeting with a student and his mom (along with some other school adults) and we asked the student what more we could do. We had already been doing all the things previously outlined to help him and yet he continues to be unmotivated, unfocused and unengaged. His response “I don’t know.” This is a student I regularly redirect, stop by his desk and check-in, ask him to participate in class and get a blank stare. Yet, when asked if there was more I could do he said, “No. Ms. S already does all she can, I just don’t do it.” How do I help him? There is very little more I can do, and I can’t just let him slide and pass him, which I think is what has happened in the past.

I have a very dear friend who texted me this weekend because she was having a difficult time. She didn’t want to talk, said she was disappearing and that I should “run while I can”. She was easier. She didn’t want help in her kind, yet when I said “okay” and then asked what I thought was an off topic question to check-in, it led straight to the heart of what was wrong. Helping her became more of a conversation, and it wasn’t until some other things happened that she even realized the role I had played.

There is no easy answer. If you’re a fixer, like I am, this can cause undue stress on you. Migraines, lack of appetite, tummy issues…sound familiar? Learning to let go of things when you can’t fix them is an important skill. Knowing you tried your best and can do no more is how you know when to let go. It can hurt, but there comes a time when you need to take care of you.

Write It Down

 

Journaling…what does it mean to you? As I have been using my planners and keeping track of things, one of the things that I love most about both planners I am using is that they have review of the week, and daily “what are you excited about” and “what will you improve on” and “wins for today”.  In addition, I bought the Danielle LePorte Planner and I have washi taped the “schedule” section and use it for daily reflection.  The whole set up is designed in such a way that it is perfect for daily journaling.

It asks for your soul prompt (how are you feeling), it asks for 3 things to do (always with a prompt for what is best for you) and it asks for goals.  In addition, it has what are you going to work on stopping.  I fill each of these out at the beginning of the day and then at the end of the day do a reflection.  For me this has been invaluable.  Even if I journal as a reflection the next day, it has given me the perspective that I need.

In looking back at what I was feeling at the beginning and where I am when I reflect, I can see how I let things affect me through the day and where I am at.  This type of journaling has given me some structure as well as the ability to gauge myself and my emotions.  The difference, for me, is incredible.  I have always been a writer.  I love to journal, I write notes to express myself if I am having trouble doing so verbally.  I will often write my husband long letters, take pictures of what I wrote and send them to him.  For me I have found the written word to be an easier form of communication.  However, journaling has been difficult.  I never know where to start.  The Danielle LePorte allows me the structure and still the freedom.

writeitdown

I know that she offers a journal with prompts, but for me the day planner with the daily prompts has worked fabulous.  I love my Panda Planners for the planner function as well as the daily and weekly review.  I review my actual productivity with those.  I am able to keep track of both what I need to do in my personal life with what I need to do for Sacred Mists and even with my school needs.  At school, in the classroom, I use both a Happy Planner and an Erin Condren LifePlanner, along with the Personal Planner. However, with the changes I made to the Danielle LePorte, I have created, for me, a perfect journal.

Do you journal?  What is your favorite way to write things down?  If you don’t journal I challenge you to try it.  We often tell those who are struggling with their emotions or with where they are in life to begin writing.  It is cathartic and can help take those jumbled thoughts and make some sense of them.  Let me know how it goes for you…

 

Family Time

 

You may have noticed I am not posting as often as I want. First, I haven’t quite gotten the hand of writing and then scheduling a post. Second, I love to write them as I want to.  Now this doesn’t mean I won’t figure out the scheduling thing, but it does mean that sometimes there are two in one day.

I made a promise to blog daily.  I am working on that promise.  Sometimes though family comes first.  The past few weeks that was the case. There were things happening and the snowball effect came into play.

A few weeks ago I couldn’t find the official embossed copy of my step-son 1’s birth certificate (which he was going to need).  I stayed up way past bed-time on a work night looking for it while my husband was at work.  What that meant though was poor hubby had to find it when he got home from work.  So after a 12 hour night shift, he spent 2+ hours looking for the birth certificate.  He found it, in the most ridiculously easy of places of course, but it was way past his sleep time on a day when he had to work the night again.

I then rush out of work and home to see step-son a before his recruiter picks him up only to discover the recruiter is running late.  This is awesome in my opinion because I get to spend some quality time talking with kiddo about the upcoming physical and swear-in process, of which he is nervous because he knows nothing about it. I, very fortunately, have had several former students go through it.  So onto the phone I go and onto speaker said students go and discussions ensue about the physical, the process and the ceremony.

Recruiter comes to get step-son and off they go.  Now, through all of this, said husband is not sleeping.  He tried to sleep after finding birth certificate, but only slept for 30 minutes.  Lots of reasons, main one I think being he didn’t want to miss kiddo getting picked up. So, worked a 12 hour night shift, slept 30 minutes, must work another 12 hour night shift…oh boy.

family

 

Now I spend some time with tired and cranky husband.  We talk, go get the mail, do some very basic tasks as that is all his brain can do.  We cuddle and talk some more, then he gets ready for work.  It is decided I will drive him and pick him up.  I had taken today off so that I can be at the swear in ceremony (NOT going to miss that).

Now son 2 comes home with girlfriend.  We stop and eat pizza for dinner and chat with them.  Husband shows them a gross open heart video from a kiddo he has and they all have a good ooh and ahh over it.  Talk a little school, a little gaming, some about the internship and job prospects of the culinary world (which son 2 is going into) and let him know I will be taking husband to work.

While none of this seems important and seems very mundane, I feel like I have been hit by a school bus.  It was only day 2 of the school term where I had all new students (we are on a block schedule so we teach one set of class from August to December for 90 minutes each class and that equals 1 traditional year of curriculum.  Then January – June we get all new classes and all new kids.  It is like having 2 new school years in one school calendar) and I am teaching new to me classes.

What that means is when I get home from dropping hubby off at work, and feed the dogs, talk with son 2 and girlfriend for 15 minutes, I am ready to pass out…and it is 9:00 p.m. It also means that the blog for yesterday (see previous post) didn’t get done until this morning and today’s blog, which seems to be all about me, is right on its heels.

What today’s blog is really meant to do is to remind us all that life happens.  It is okay if something gets bumped a little.  Sometimes family needs to be in front of everything, because it can’t wait.  In those times, that is what we need to do.  It is just the fun, created family time that is needed.  When family says TIME, it will push its way forward and into whatever else you have planned and you need to listen.

I am off now to figure out how to schedule this to publish in a bit.  Then I’m going to watch Step-Son 1 swear into the Navy.  For me, that is all I need to focus on today.

How do you handle family time that forces its way in?  What do you do when you realize you need to focus a little more on what is calling and a little less on what you had planned?

 

Overload…

AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Have you ever just wanted to scream at the top of your lungs from overload?  It just seems that everything is too much, even getting up in the morning?  I think we all have if we are honest, at least with ourselves, even if we don’t voice it.

Yesterday I talked about working and “working”.  Taking it all on and maybe too much.  Luckily for me right now it isn’t, but I know people who do.  However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still feel overwhelmed with what I have to do.  Sometimes my to do list is a daunting task.  It makes me feel insignificant and worthless, like I will never get it all done.  When that happens I tend to shut down and do none of it.  Anyone else out there like that?

Well I am here to tell you DON’T.  I know easy for me to say right? Nope, I just admitted I’m on of those who shuts down.  I know how hard it is to just push forward no matter what.

The other day I spoke on feeling falsely successful because I had accomplished some things but not all of them.  On days when you are overwhelmed, that isn’t the case.  Accomplishing even one thing is worth celebrating.  Usually, once you have started and finished one, you feel like doing another.  That feeling of success is one you like.

Just getting started is a good thing.  Journal, get up out of bed and shower, make yourself coffee, tea, a protein shake.  Look at all the things you have accomplished on a day when you would have otherwise done nothing.  Now, what’s the next thing? Start the diffuser? Do the dishes or laundry?  Workout? Do an Instagram Challenge? Grade papers? Post on a forum?  Send an email?

It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you do it.  And then you do the next thing and the next one.  After that your intentions for the day are set, you will get things done.  Say it aloud as a mantra.  “I will get things done today.”  Remember words have POWER and you control that.  Say things aloud, set the intention and follow through.  Repeat those words as often as you need them.  They will help you.

So what do you think?  Not easy I know, but can we all give a small nod and promise to at least try this?

Working and “Working”

 

So today I wanted to take a moment to address those who take on much,  not necessarily  too much, but maybe sometimes we take it all on.  I know that I work full-time as a high school teacher, who gives my personal number to the kids and other teachers, as well as email of course. I am also part of an amazing online magickal school, Sacred Mists.

I have been a part of Sacred Mists for 6 years.  I have completed my Level One and Level Two Priestess courses and am currently working on my Level Three.  With that move up and time spent there it brings more and more responsibility.  I have taken on a number of leadership roles in the past year at Sacred Mists and find myself often “working” on these things.

One of the questions I recently had to ask myself, as I stepped up to take on even more responsibility at the online school, was when is it too much?  At what point does it interfere with family, with personal time, with “real” work? Now that I am having weekly meetings, FB groups and real responsibilities, along with my own studies and of course my family and paying job, can I continue in the place that I have found myself?

balance

Fortunately for me I have all these organizers now to help me keep my plans moving forward.  I have discovered, that while I don’t have a “ton” of extra time, I have enough time to do all the things I want to do and still have time to make sure I am moving forward on my own path.  I am excited as my path is becoming clearer to me.  Who I am is beginning to crystalize and it involves all the things that matter to me.

Today I got to spend quality time with my family.  I was able to just be.  Dinner at the table with all the boys, time with the Navy Recruiter to set a date for swear in for my oldest step-son and a Costco trip with my youngest step-son.  With 4 boys it is nice to be able to have time with them.  And of course the family time with all 3 that live at home still is always a blessing.  Busy boys make it hard for us to do every night.

Now I am doing the “work”.  Whether it is for me, or for Sacred Mists, or even a little for school.  There is time for it all (including a little with my husband later).

How are you balancing everything?