Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Call Me Bob

As in discombobulated. As in the bobbing in the pool with no sense of direction -- or rather with the waves slapping me in all directions. We waved the kids off to summer today and since they've left, I've been a whirlwind of self-induced activity. A close colleague is retiring so we saw her off with a second-to-last luncheon. Then I screamed into my classroom and dug in. The shelves got my attention, the cabinets... I even made it to the file cabinet before I was interrupted and reminded that the staff party starts at 4:00. I biked home and am going to squeeze in a run before arriving at the party late.

But see, thing is -- my head is still in those files. I'm culling and pulling the best stuff to pore over this summer and revise my units. I'm thinking word studies and demigods and theme. I'm thinking new novel and a whole semester of revised gifted curriculum. And I'm motivated to do it! But alas... the running trail and then a night of wine with colleagues calls. What are the chances my head will be in the game tomorrow??

Do not answer that.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


My shoulders hurt, my knees ache, and my ego is bruised. I'm not as good at things as I want to be, as I thought I was. I'm not who I thought I would be. The failures in my life greet me in the mirror, grinning in my pretending face.

I'm having a tough time in my own skin these days. But/and it is nothing new. I have been like this. Perennially discontent. While the leopard of my discontent doesn't change its spots, they do vary in shade and degree. And they're killin me these days. So me and my spots are gonna march to the beat of a new drum, a pulse, a heartbeat. I am going to meditate. My body has been reacting adversely to my other "remedies": I can't take the excessive exercise anymore, I always knew that happiness did not lie at the bottom of the Ben & Jerry's container, and going out with friends only works when you actually leave the house.

Tonight while I was soaking in this selfness, with various books and other forms of distraction strewn around me, I chanced upon that book that's been neglected since I bought it four years ago -- Mindfulness in Plain English. Already it speaks the truth and hits my nail on its head and I've only started.

I will continue tri training and pursuing excellence in my teaching, but I want freedom from the unhealthy aspects of drive and desire. I want to perceive clearly, to see what is, is. I want to accept it without judging. I would add that I want it all yesterday, but that sorta flies in the face of the sagacity I'm after. Today I start.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Rain Keeps Falling

I know I should be happy for it because we need it. Fire danger and such. But truly it depresses me. I'm already depressed and weepy. I am going to miss these kids like crazy. They drive me nuts and keep me from my work and interrupt me, but I am going to miss them and the purpose they give my days. I am going to miss the autism-spectrum kid who wore his puffy orange coat all winter and ran through the halls throwing elbows to get to lunch. I'm going to miss him barging into my room every morning and sweeping my hands off my keyboard so he can load music for me to play anonymously ("I feel funny when the kids ask me all those questions") at Advisement. I'm going to miss the girl who used copious amounts of glitter on every project this year. I'm going to miss her and her friend coming into my room in the morning and talking each other's ears off about swim practices. I'm going to miss them dropping their voices to whisper the latest 7th grade girl drama. They shield me so well.

I am happy that the school year is ending and I want summer vacation and I felt the initial rush of excitement and have travel plans and exercise plans, but man, I'm gonna miss these kids. And this slow, drenching rain we're getting is no cure for my weepies.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I am just back from the pool and it seems like everything I ever knew was learned there. I learned how to breathe, I learned how to pace myself. I learned how to be long and lean and stay on my side to milk every ounce of distance out of that scull. Ahh...

I swim and feel how it is to be smoothly in control versus flailing like  a madwoman. When the flailing begins, I reel myself in. I reflect. I am pacing myself these days. I'm not climbing like a fiend -- partly from choice, partly because I've been coaching and can't fit climbing in. I have been biking, walking, and swimming once per week.

I have not confined my pondering to the pool. I had an impromptu think session one night when I flatted an hour from home. I had a tube and tire tool, but had removed my pump some months ago to cut weight for a supported ride. It never quite made it back onto my bike. Brilliant, I know. But, the walk was appreciated. It was sunny and I didn't start blistering (note: these bike shoes are not made for walkin') until home was in striking distance. So I walked and soaked up the sun. Sweat trickled down my back and beaded under my helmet and it was good.

It occurred to me that rock climbing may not be my Next Thing. It takes advance planning. It takes a partner whose goals are closely-aligned, and it takes me away from home. Nor does it feel like swimming. So I hatched the notion that I just might become a triathlete again. I've climbed mountains and plugged my holes on them. I'm just not compelled to get back to them. (Funny how the drive left once I'd done  the 14ers and how perfectly the two years it took to complete them also completed my divorce self-remedy.) Mountaineering has a big checkmark alongside it.

Walking on that bike path, I was struck by my tri training options. That very bike path is within spitting distance of my deck. (Well, even if I couldn't exactly hit it, I'd give it reason to pay attention.) There are dirt running paths all along a nearby creek, and the pool is five minutes away.

This all started with the putzy little tri training I'm doing for my family's annual sprint triathlon -- in which I will be participating for the first time in three years. And now... who knows where it will take me. I'm already dreaming of a tri bike and AG awards, not to mention hours on the bike exploring these country roads and trying open water swimming in reservoirs. Running doesn't even frighten my creaky knees. Match?

Side-note re: climbing -- I did meet the goal of getting the lead cave 10 route. Just this week, the night after I'd decided to ease off, I nailed it. (Of course.) I had dreamed of it on Sunday night and the dream came back. I was confident and scooted up to and through the crux. I will continue to climb socially and to peck away at my climbing goals, but triathlon... I'm sniffing around your door again. :-)