Saturday, October 4, 2014

100 Happy Days...Part 7

Day #61- August 9, 2014
“Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul 
And sings the tune without the words 
And never stops at all” 
-Emily Dickinson
It's not every day that you get to witness a new family created and we could not be happier for our sweet cousin, the now Mrs. Katie Jensen Kinkini. So loved being with family this weekend and could not be happier for all involved. Excited these two cute kiddos now get to call Katie...Mom. Lots of love. Lots of hope. So much happiness. 

Day #62 - August 10, 2014 

Day #63 - August 11, 2014

Day #64 – August 12, 2014
Yesterday, on my way to work, this little ditty was presented by my nerdy NPR friends…and once again…delightful enlightenment bounced through my car radio. I was riveted by this whole idea of “mise-en-place” and its universal application to life not just in a kitchen but How different would life be if we could really “mise-en-place” just a few more things? It's not about crazy over the top organization...however, I do love a good organizing system, post-it notes, binder clips, nesting boxes and my heart will always belong to my Franklin day planner (may it RIP).... it’s about being more purposeful in your planning...looking for efficiencies...being wise with time and resources and emotion. A “mise-en-place” life takes work and energy and vision beyond whatever task or crisis or event is blinking or worse catching on fire right before your eyes. The older I get...the more life I experience…the more confident I’ve become...that my ability to “mise-en-place” is absolutely connected to the amount of sleep, laughter, creative downtime, spirituality, consistent access to children and hydration I experience on a daily basis. I've engaged in a bit of a life balance tango over the last eighteen months...lots of pulling...lots of pushing...a few dramatic and unexpected dips, spins and twirls...and as expected...there have been plenty of shiny sequins and associated flashy bits and now it seems like I’m ramping up to (I hope) a big big finish….I'm done with frantic. I'm done with too much work squeezed into too little time. I'm done with over achievement. I'm done with busy for busy's sake. I've sampled the delusional rush of too too much for too too long and I'm pretty much over it. Without knowing the fancy term...I've been working on improving my personal “mise-en-place” for the last year and can I just say…it feels good to have made a little progress. Small determined consistent choices that are centered and focused in ONE direction…can truly produce not just real world efficiencies…but generate an increased quality of life. If my real life was actually a commercial kitchen (and let’s get real, I’m more like a comfortable greezy spoon diner that you all know you enjoy eating at on weekends) I am still so be so far from a four star rating or anything close to a fancy Michelin award…and that is absolutely okay with me. Progress is progress and I’ll take it… a little “mise” here…a little “place” there…and things are looking up….way up! So, here is another big thank you to those nerdy NPR reporters for once again making my worldview just a tiny bit bigger. If you did not catch it yesterday…click on the link below and give it a listen…it’s a good one…

Day #65 - August 14, 2014

Day #66 - August  

Day #67 – August 15, 2014
Crickets. I love the sound if chirping crickets at night. In Dallas, it was the constant buzz of cicadas but in the's the crickets that provide a steady rhythm reminding me that a summer night, and one with a full moon and cool breeze, is something to be treasured. 

 Day #68 - August 16, 2014 

Day #69 – August 17, 2014
Well, in less than two hours my beloved summer break will come to a close. Summer 2014...has have been a gift...a treasure...a dear friend...and I will forever be grateful for the three beautiful months of free time and flexibility. Even as I have been working in education for well over fifteen years, 2014 has been the first year that I’ve actually been able to cash in the summer time perk of working in education. In the past, summer break has always been my busy season full of exciting programs and camps and projects and I always celebrate when we reach the end of August. Tonight, after three blissful months of unscheduled unencumbered free time, I’m still celebrating but this year it’s just a little bit different.
As three sun filled months come to a close and knowing that starting tomorrow my calendar is full of respectable adult responsibilities and meetings, I can thankfully report my little experiment worked. Instead of planning and executing a summer programs for a city full of youth or teens or kiddos, I decided to craft a little summer program of my own…just for me. Once my contract with Westminster College ended, I engaged in a personal walk about complete with daily access to children, a creative outlet, a rigorous reading list, a few thoughtful field trips, plenty of pool time, lots of journaling and enough freedom and free time to just sit with the natural vulnerability associated to life in the late thirties. As I had hoped, this little experiment has successfully generated an ever so slight yet meaningful change inside of me...I don't think you can put a value on slowing down the clock long enough to catch your breath, catch up on sleep, catch a glimpse of who you have become and have enough time to reflect upon how it all happened, catch up with good friend, catch a few afternoon movies by yourself in the middle of the day, catch up on your reading list, and catch your self actually taking the time to heal and address some of the broken bits that you’ve strategically avoided for years. Thanks to my little summer time walk about, the perennial late bloomer in me is finally beginning to understand what it means to really take care of yourself, what I need and don’t need to feel happy, what engaging in a creative process does for my heart and soul, what an impact daily access to kids does for my sense of perspective and fulfillment and how grateful I am for the good, the bad, and the supper messy part of this human existence.
I knew this day would come...”Back to Reality Eve”…and for the most part, I think I’m ready to jump back into the fray of a full-time adult life…it’s a pretty good gig and I have no real complaints…giving up my afternoon naps may take some time so if you swing by my office around 4:00 p.m. please knock gently and forgive the drool…re-entry on all fronts may take some time and it’s a good thing my colleagues at Westminster are all in the same boat. Deep breaths, right? Bring on meetings. Bring on the mail merges. Bring on the conference calls. Bring on the bouquet of freshly sharped pencils…2014-15 let’s do this! Ready or not, here I come!

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