Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Reads!

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been totally book obsessed. I started reading very young (Thanks Mom and Dad!), and not only did I love to read, but I'm told I loved to physically play with my books- stacking them into piles, sorting them by color, character, or genre. I love books.

Recently, my favorite book blogger introduced me to Friday Reads on twitter. Basically, Rebecca and some bookish friends have been working to promote literacy and awareness of the written word by having people tweet what they are reading each Friday. Reading not your thing? They have Friday Listens too, for the books on tape crowd. Simply tweet what you are reading: book, magazine, website, newspaper, textbook, children's book with the hashtag #fridayreads for some good reading karma. Show that you care about reading, that it is important, and celebrate how awesome reading is with a big group of people.

I've decided to take this concept and share my thoughts about what I'm reading, or things I love about reading, every Friday. Hopefully, you enjoy checking out what I'm dabbling into, and feel free to comment with thoughts or recommendations. Can't get enough? Follow me on GoodReads for more scoops.

Without further ado, here's what I'm reading this Friday!

Since starting my new job, I've found myself reading a young adult book simultaneously with a regular novel or book. I've been so fortunate to work with students who are constantly recommending titles to me, and interested in what I have to say about them. This week, I'm reading The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer (quirky fiction about a town in which the women are all cursed with having their sex drive eliminated as the town high school puts on a production of a Greek tragicomedy with similar themes) and Positively by Courtney Sheinmel, about a girl who is HIV positive and begins to come to terms with her disease. I'm about 100 pages into Uncoupling, and I'm loving it. It is quirky and original, and the quotes about reading and society's evolution are not to be missed. I haven't started Positively yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so.

What are you reading this Friday? Comment here!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

10 Things This Thursday

1) This week has been crazy at work. I was out all of Tuesday morning for a meeting, we had a half day with the students and meetings all afternoon, and meetings all day again tomorrow. Not to mention, we are a week away from the end of the quarter, so it's just a mad rush to finish things up. My kiddos and school continue to be great- I really love working with the older kids, and my new staff is mellow and kind. Work life is good.

2) I've spent a lot of time in the past week with my gal pals. You know, the ones that you can go two months without seeing (literally) and then you sit and talk for four hours straight as if you saw each other every day. Or the ones that you are pretty sure are yourself, just in another body. I love my girls. Nothing can take away Kev's and my bond, but a girl has GOT to have girlfriends in life.

3) I've been really, really bad about working out this week. Like, I haven't worked out since Friday. Oopsadoodle. I did, however, go buy myself some protein powder today. I'm just not sure if I'm getting enough in my regular diet, and I figure it can't hurt, especially with my crazy immune system.

4) Speaking of, on World Arthritis Day I posted a facebook message:
which led to a co-worker of mine with JRA commenting. We got together yesterday morning to compare treatments/doctors/experiences and it was awesome. I've never met anybody who is struggling with this before, and it was nice to have someone who got it.

5) Although, if I'm being honest, my dad has RA, but he's too stubborn to see a doctor. Doctors make the worst patients, and he is proving it.

6) One of my students asked me today why I have cats, since all they do is hide. To be honest, sometimes I wish my furbabies would hide a little more.

7) Today Felix jumped up on the sink while I was getting ready. I pushed him off and he landed in the toilet. He is still peeved with me 11 hours later. I am the worst cat mother ever.

8) Speaking of mothers, my life is being inundated with babies lately. People I didn't think were having babies soon are. People who want babies can't. My facebook feed is full of uteri (score! that IS the plural! Thanks for making me feel smart, spellcheck)

9) When I hear these things, all I can think of is, "Man, I am freaking old. Aren't we too young to do this?" 30 is creeping up on us, folks. It's scary and good all at the same time.

10) I love blogging, even if I don't get to do it often. It's my pensive, my brain dump, and its awesome. Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day Off

My house is messy. Like, really messy. And yet, I have my feet up.

You know why? Because I have the day off today. I can sit here in my underpants wearing one of Kevin's t-shirts and get things cleaned up at my own pace. Because today is MY day. And Felix?

Well, he doesn't seem to mind.

In all honesty, I'm a pretty terrible wife in terms of housekeeping. My biggest flaw is that I say I'm going to do something around here, and I just don't follow through. It's not an attractive quality, believe me. I AM planning on cleaning today in a bit. But maybe while watching trashy t.v. that Kev doesn't like. I can fold laundry while watching and tidy on the breaks.

Yeah....that should be my plan. Of course!

In all honesty, while I love my husband, I also love the random three day weekends I get as a teacher. I can work out, clean up, get my life back in order, AND sleep in. I can work at my own place. I can putter, lounge, peruse, and organize without having to explain the order I'm doing things in to anybody else.

Don't get me wrong- I adore being married. It is my proudest achievement, and my favorite title. But sometimes, I need time at home alone. I think that when people get married, there is an idea of forced togetherness that is sometimes really hard to live up to. I think the happiest couples that I know are the ones who know how to give each other space, and time to themselves, and to just let each other be. I'm pretty darn stubborn and independent, and sometimes I like the space to just do my thing. Make my own schedule. Remember who I was, and who I want to be.

And if I can put this shithole back together today? More power to me.

Happy Columbus Day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Here's to the Nerds

I did something really brave this week, people. I spent three days and two nights at outdoor education with the sixth graders from my school. I ate with them, shared bunk beds in a room with my (still very new to me) colleagues, and I didn't get to take the edge off with any alcohol either. Luckily, the weather was beautiful, and I realized how much I really do enjoy being out and about in a camping type environment.

Beautiful view looking East.

Same location, looking North and South. A true test of my ability to find zen in the midst of chaos.

Before I left, Kev told me he thought it was super strange that our school expects teachers to give up their lives for three days for an extremely (less than minimum wage) minimal extra duty stipend. He thought it was even stranger when I came home and told him that I had enjoyed myself.

My mom even called to check in and make sure I had survived. I told her that I had, and explained some of the quotes from kids that had made me laugh. Mom skipped a beat and then replied

"Colie, I thought you were insane when you left elementary teaching to willingly work at a junior high, but you know what? I think all your students, especially your super awkward nerdy ones, are so lucky to have you to appreciate your inner nerd. I think you are so good at it because you never really lost yours."

And you know what? She's right. I think this world would be a much better place if we all embraced our inner nerds. If we celebrated the weirdos, acknowledged the anti-grace of the klutz. I'm not really good at a lot of things. I have very little patience with myself and I don't like to work hard at things I'm not good at. I have a bad temper. I gossip.

But I'm really good at being different. I'm a fantastic nerd. And maybe, I can be okay with that if it helps an awkward kid at the most terrible stage of life start to see that they are okay too.

What "aha" moments have you gotten from your families? What geeky things do you love?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hiatus Ended

So, I haven't blogged in over a month because I've been busy, and also because I've been in a creative funk. I think I put too much pressure on myself to design lovely blog posts with pictures and fun designs and such, but really that's not how it needs to be. The blogs I love are ones that have fab content, ideas that inspire me, but mostly people just being themselves.

Quite frankly, I haven't been making enough time lately for the things that make my heart sing. Things like good quality unplanned exercise, reading books instead of skimming the internet. Eating lunch in the teacher's lounge instead of hiding at my desk trying frantically to get things done. Really talking to my husband, and even better listening. Reaching out to old friends. Writing what I feel regardless of perfection.

When the world crowds in on me and the house gets messy, the to-do lists pile up, and I'm confronted with lots of evidence that I'm not perfect, it paralyzes me. I spend way too much money shopping online looking for things to make me better, instead of focusing on how to make myself better. I'm mad at myself, so I'm mean to other people. The stress makes my RA flair, and I hobble about like a surly crone. It's not cool.

I slowed things down a notch the last few weekends, and I've decided to return to blogging. It helps me feel like myself. I'm going to read more, and get myself back to the gym for some unstructured workouts, rather than regimented training. I'm going to get outside, take pictures, and hone my craft. I'm going to start focusing on a few things, instead of running around like a madwoman. I'm going to cook. I'm not going to go to events that I'm not excited about.

I'm back, bitches, and I'm myself again. And I'm going to be better than ever