Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Day of Rest?

Being a member of a church in which we all have callings and have large families, the Sabbath isn't really a day of rest as many would define rest. I usually don't get to sleep in or take a nap but one of the meanings of the word rest is to recharge, and that is exactly what it does for me.

I am still really busy on Sunday but it is a different kind of busy when I worship and reflect on all that has been done for me. It is also a great day to be with all the other people I worship with that I have grown to know and love in such a profound way. I am inspired and energized by their goodness and am grateful for all the inspiration that I receive from them and the opportunity to hopefully turn around and inspire others.

One luxury that does feel more like rest is that I get up early and spend some quality time soaking, relaxing, and reading in the tub where I get some of my best inspiration. I try to exercise all the other six days of the week, but on Sunday I do give my body a rest. A change is a rest, and on Sunday my whole routine changes and I am spending my day in church and then spending time with our family as we gather. I actually cook more on Sunday than any other day, but it is worth it to have my children come.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


For my graduate project, I have been researching the kind of conditions and teaching style that promotes intrinsic motivation and passion for learning. One of the obstacles for that kind of internal passion, is external control through threats, bribes, rewards and punishment.

As I do more reading on control, I have learned that a desire for control is based on fear, and I realize that so many times I have wanted control in order to protect those I love from difficulties. If I am focused on fear,  I don't want people to make mistakes and experience pain and learn from their mistakes. It seems that schools can also act out of fear with too much control and not trust that inside of every student is a passion for learning if given the opportunity to learn how it best suits them and given enough freedom to follow their own passion and interest.

The opposite of fear is faith. What if instead of acting in fear, I teach correct principles, offering that wonderful light of love and example, and give the freedom to either follow those principles in how it works for them or even reject the principles all together having faith that they can still learn important lessons and eventually come to embrace those principles even if it is the hard way. What if schools had more faith in the internal passion for learning and set students free to follow their unique interests?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Time Alone

I agree with this completely. Enough said.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Artistry of Disneyland

I have just spent the last few days at Disneyland with my son Jordan and his twin five-year-olds. Yes, it is crowded and the lines are long, but I love Disneyland. Disneyland and I were born in the same year so we go way back. Not only do I love being with my son and granddaughters and watching them have fun and enjoy all that it has to offer, I also enjoy all the wonderful artistic beauty. It really does exemplify a passion for creativity and charm. Everywhere I look, there is detail that denotes someones artistic passion that goes beyond a desire to just make a profit. My creative heart leaps for joy when I see the gardens and the architecture.  Not only was my heart leaping, but the girls and I did our share of leaping to the music and heal clicking as we hurried from ride to ride.

Not only did I get a abundant helping of artistic inspiration at the parks and hotel we stayed in, but my creative juices were stirred at the John Wayne airport. There was a display of children's books and some of the original artwork from the pages of the books were matted, framed, and hung above the books. I love children's books and thought I adequately appreciated the illustrations, but seeing them in their original form in unique frames took my appreciation to a whole new level. The paintings were exquisite. I feel like my trip was not only a fun adventure with my kids, but I also feel like "I got me some of that there culture stuff." Not to mention the benefits of studying human behavior. That is a post in and of itself.

It was the Best of Times It was the Worst of Times

The last weekend, four of my grandchildren spent the night. One of my granddaughters had a earache, and I was up with her for most of the night. I forgot how hard sometimes it can be to have young children and have to watch them suffer during a long night as you both lose sleep.

Then the morning came and it was St. Patrick's Day. I made them the same green-dyed shamrock pancakes that I made for their Dad when he was growing up, and then I placed a green bucket filled with green treats and prizes on the front porch and when they answered the door, I was waiting behind the pillar and gave them a Leprechaun attack with green silly string. 

And so in a matter of a few hours, I was reminded of both the lows and the highs of being a parent. As difficult as it can be, it is even that much more rewarding and fun. I am so grateful that I had the best career of all.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sick Memories

This is a tray that from the time my children were little, I served them meals when they were sick. It is one of the few remnants from their childhood. (My boys are still in therapy because I gave away their Barbie dolls.) This coveted tray came in handy this week as the flu raged through our family. Kev ate a few meals off of it, Ashton did, and then Court came up to crash,; and I served her breakfast on it.

This tray also carried the delicious Mother's Day breakfasts that my children so lovingly served to me in bed. This tray holds a lot of wonderful memories. I was always sad when my kids were sick, but I did love making them beds on the couch and serving them a meal on this tray. It felt good to care for them, and I was always grateful for my full time job of homemaking. I will keep this tray because some day my kids might have to serve me a meal on it in the nursing home. I just hope that I have earned enough points that they put me in a good one.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Plan Ahead

Everything goes better when I plan ahead. One of the things that was so beneficial when all of my children were young is that I was always forced to plan ahead. Since it was a big production to ever try to go to the grocery store for any last minute items, I had to always have things on hand and have a plan. For example, I always had a stock of at least two of everything so that when the first would run out, I had back up and would automatically put it on my list so that I always had extra. With a family of eight, I also had to have a detailed calendar to keep track of all our plans.

Fast forward to empty nesting, and it isn't as crucial to plan so efficiently. I have more discretionary and spontaneous time but what that means is that life can be a little too unplanned and then I'm not as efficient as I could or want to be. I do realize now more than ever, however, how much wiggle room needs to be available for spontaneous connection with family and friends. So I must find that balance of having a good plan but being flexible enough to adjust the plan. Like today. Kev had another man cold and I had to be on high emergency alert ready to call 911 at any moment. We even talked funeral plans just in case he didn't survive.

 I love the weeks when I sit down and plan ahead to make time with my family and friends. For me, the better I plan, the more I enjoy my life. I was almost going to say the more I accomplish; but I am realizing a joyful life isn't about accomplishments, it's about relationships. I didn't stick to my plan today or  really accomplish anything, but I had a great time being a nurse for a critically ill patient and watching movies with him.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Push Past the Pain

I had some interesting insight this morning at Bikram Yoga. Let me tell the long boring story.

I started going to hot yoga the first of December and did a pose where I have to turn my hands and plant them palm down under my body.  It huts because my wrists don't seem to believe they are suppose to turn that way. After doing this pose for a few visits, I started to have constant pain at the base of my thumb sometimes running down my hand and up my arm and have been struggling with pain ever since. (whaa whaa whaa)  I was starting to just assume it was arthritis due to an old injury, which is probably is.

Today when I went back again to do Yoga and while doing that pose; it really hurt; and I was convinced that I just shouldn't twist my wrist that way believing it was what started the pain in the first place.

After the session, another seasoned yoga practitioner was giving me advice on my pain. He said that I need to push past the pain because there is obviously some damage that was done that didn't heal properly from the injury, and that pose will help break it up and finally clear it out. He said that too often people start feeling pain and then baby themselves so they can ignore it.

Interesting concept that has application to real life. Sometimes damage is done and the pain gets buried and we try and ignore it, but then something happens that triggers and exposes the pain and it is only when we work and push through it that it might finally break loose and heal. I hope that is the case because this physical pain is frustrating and debilitating. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Forgotten Interests

This morning when I was reading and writing, I ran across a statement about how we can sometimes neglect old interests. The very first thought I had was about my sewing machine and how I use to get so much pleasure out of sewing. Maybe it is something that became important to me because my grandmother had a machine just like the one is this picture. Grandma's machine was in the "girl's bedroom" and my cousins and I spent a lot of time peddling and filling a piece of paper with holes from the needle. I don't remember actually ever sewing on it but I did learn to sew at a young age and loved it. I made a few of my clothes in high school (I know, scary thought), and I sometimes made clothes for my kids and plenty of craft projects through the years.

I certainly found it weird to realize that my sewing machine would be the first thing that came to mind. I guess I had better dust it off and recapture some of that joy. I think I will revisit the styles of the 70's and make Kev a leisure suit.