Saturday, January 13, 2018

Late Late Late

Lots of things on my mind this evening.  If I went to bed, most likely I would just toss and turn, so we'll try creating a boring blog post and see if that helps. 

January has been a pressure cooker month for me at work.  Lots of things to do, but not only that,
a couple of these tasks are not normal ordinary things, these are work duties which are unusual and not in the realm of what I consider par for the course.  I can't write details of course, although I really want to.  Let's just say that the situations I am facing this month are stressful and there's no way around it except to go through it - once I'm on the other side, it'll be back to whatever "normal" is for the kind of work I do.  But how does one prepare oneself to walk through the fire?  That indeed is the $50.00 question.  I feel a little like tiny David facing big Goliath - if only I had his courage - the courage of a warrior, the heart of a lion, the persona of a - oh wait.  David was a shepherd, and a young shepherd at that.  What gave David the chutzpah to tackle Goliath was his unshakable confidence and faith in the LORD God, the LORD who he served, who he placed his trust in, who he  unabashedly spoke about to Goliath saying, "This day, the LORD will deliver you, Goliath, into my hands..." 

This is my 12th year doing this job.  This year, above all others, has been the most difficult, the most stressful, the most unrelenting, the most pressure, the worst.  Yes, the worst.  There is no relief in sight until the end of May, and maybe not then.  I feel like I have been trudging, one foot in front of the other each 10 hour work day.  Tiredness of brain and body leaves me feeling unequipped, ill-prepared, nervous, and anxious. 

David the boy.  Goliath the giant.  Confidence in the living God slays not only this giant but all the ones after this one, ones I'm sure I can't even imagine.  It's not due to my superior slingshot abilities, oh no.  It's a reminder that there is a strength that's not my own, fortitude that is founded in hope, and perseverance which comes in continuing to stand.  I'll look back someday and read this post, and wonder what all this was about.  In the meantime, I rest in God's ability to provide exactly what I need in these trying circumstances.  Good night all. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Temporal vs. Eternal

This last work week ended on Friday with a parent meeting which was one of the most intense, dramatic, and challenging I have ever been a part of.  I walked out Friday evening feeling exhausted and run over - but the second I drove away from school, I began to try to put things in perspective.  Toxic people can only spread their poison when they are allowed to do so.  Easier said than done, I know, because it can overtake even the most grounded person if not dealt with carefully.   It still hurt last night when I went to bed.

Today - not so much.  We had an extra rehearsal for "Messiah" this morning.  Standing to sing "Worthy is the Lamb", I realized that I not only was joining a multitude of voices who have sung this chorus before, but I also was singing with those who have gone on to glory, who right then were saying these very words before a Heavenly throne... "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." 

The angry parent faded away.  The hurtful words faded away.  I know who I am - I know Who loves me.  I know Whom I have believed.  I know Who I belong to.  I know Who my Father is.  I know.  I'm grateful for this reminder.  This is why I continue to sing Messiah every year and as long as I can, I will.  The music and words transcend all earthly agonies and help me focus on the glories of eternity which I cannot begin to imagine. 

Thursday, October 05, 2017

More Musings

Had another "brain event" on Sunday, October 1.  It's the weirdest thing and so hard to describe to someone who has never had a seizure.  It's truly the brain on overload, and then, there are things that have to happen in recouperation.  Today was the first day I worked a full day and all was well. 

According to the handsome neurologist, there were several things contributing to this seizure, sort of like the perfect storm.  Meds were increased and a sternly worded exhortation was heard regarding signs and symptoms which I overlooked in the busyness of life.  He does not expect me to have another one with this med increase, particularly if I take care of myself and note when I may be having signs indicating future problems.  I'm fortunate, I had warning time before this one, and actually, had I been paying attention, I had about 2 days of warning signs.

In other news, I'm continuing to try to stay off of Facebook at least with the commenting I COULD
be doing, and I've cut way back on posting statuses.  It is not worth it to me to be misunderstood or to unintentionally hurt someone's feelings while I'm passionately defending or promoting a position.   I'm also in the process of just letting several things go - water under the bridge - my job here is to live at peace, especially with those I call family.  Living a quiet, peaceful life just trusting God minute by minute is the challenge and is a lifestyle I long to emulate.  Dying to self and selfish desires, including the desire to be heard on every topic which is posted will be a life-long quest for me. 

In the meantime, things I could have posted but didn't (I feel I can do that here because no one reads this blog):

In 11 years of doing this job, I've never seen so many broken children at my base school.  It is heartbreaking and stressful.

Love this weather - we finally got rain, but it's almost too warm for October!

Really?  Pumpkin spice underwear?

NFL players - you can stand or kneel, I don't care.  Just do your job.  And no matter your opinions, I hope you are volunteering and making a difference in your corner of the world.  You have been given much, much will be required from you.  You are role models.  Live responsibly and faithfully to what you've been called to do.

There's no tired like a good tired, and a good rest.

In the middle of the night, I wake up and hear music in my head.  It's a great comfort to me.

See ya next time.

Monday, September 18, 2017


We are off in a running start for the new school year, which began August 21.  We have 10 or more kids with Tier 3 behavior and now, I get to wear a walkie with an earpiece so that I can help if needed.  Our Tier 3 babies are in crisis - some are in foster care, some are traumatized by violence, abuse, or parental issues, and some are mentally ill.  We absolutely do not have enough staff to handle all our issues and that's where the stress in this job comes in.  I've increased blood pressure meds because I'm feeling pretty anxious, but all in all, I think I'm doing ok.  Just a lot of work, and long days - 10-11 hours are the norm.

We've also had an unfortunate situation in our close family where some misunderstanding occurred and things got out of hand on a Facebook post.  I have decided to boot Facebook from my life for awhile and not post anything nor respond to anything - although I do check it for pictures posted and for info from our local newspaper.  Sometimes I just wonder if it's worth the heartache it can sometimes cause - and I'm including myself in this.  My desire is never ever to hurt another person with words, but it's so easy to do that inadvertently on Facebook.  I have missed it because I like posting status updates - I may have to do that here.  Here are a few I've thought of but didn't post:

A kindergarten student asked me twice today - "Are you my mommy?"  I would have liked to have said yes to that lil punkin, but he already has a mom in his life - he certainly doesn't need two.

The Cowboys sure got smacked by the Broncos.  Blech.

Payton Manning's latest commercial called "The Commish" is pretty good.  I kinda like that guy.  He looks like he's enjoying retirement.

Anybody else enjoy hearing the sound of train whistles?

My sister is posting some old pics of us as kids various photos of family life growing up in the 40's, 50's, and 60's.  Thinking about mom and dad a lot these days - still miss them after all these years.

Started rehearsals for "Messiah" with Wichita Choral Society.  It's like "coming home".

I gave up on my 1000 piece puzzle.  I'm a failure, unlike several others I know who can do this successfully and in only a few days/weeks.

And that's all from me.  Happy trails.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30, 2017

I shouldn't really post when I'm feeling so rotten (seasonal cold/allergies/misery/congestion/cough/headache) because that tends to color perception but here goes anyway.

Lots going on with my family - kids and their spouses are all at challenging places in their lives.  Making the transition from parent to confidant, adviser, and friend is so difficult at times but so necessary in order to make sure your kids are in charge of their own decisions - and letting them make those decisions and stand for the consequences is when maturity is developed.  Like their mom and dad, they will make both good and poor decisions so the challenge is to be the soft place for them to fall without enabling.  My parents both passed away when I was 31 so having an adult relationship with the people who raised you is something I haven't had much experience with.

Doing some work on the house - painting, replacing siding, etc.  We are rethinking our decision to move for several reasons, but we'll see what's on the horizon.  This summer, my days are filled with working some addendum weeks for the school district, gardening, spending time with my grands, getting things together for the hugest garage sale ever, going to a family reunion, reading, studying, etc.  I can't imagine how I will fill retirement days in 3.5 years but it'll be here before I know it and then - a new chapter in life.

Thought for the day:  we are indeed building up treasures in heaven, not here on earth - where my treasure is, that's where my priorities are.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Rain and More Rain and Other Nonsense

It's been dreary, windy, cold, and rainy the last 4000 days.  Well, not that many but it seems like it.  It's amazing how one's spirits can be lifted when the sun is out, or, the opposite - when it's miserable weather for several days - then one can be miserable in attitude to go along with it.

It's nearing the end of the year and as always, the question looms - an entire special education "elephant" must be eaten in just a few weeks and one must be careful to manage one's time so that everything is done by May 17.  I have applied to work an addendum contract this summer because expenses regarding a possible selling of our house are going to be needed - so, unlike other years, when the last day comes, it won't be the last day for me (if the application goes through).  I love love love having summers off, but out of necessity, routines indeed must change.

So in a few days, my oldest will be 37.  I remember the day of her birth as if it were yesterday - and to have a child that's on the downhill slide to 40 is almost inconceivable for me.  Nevertheless, it's 2017 and life marches on.

Thankful today for this life.  Thankful for home and family.  That is all.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

On the job difficulties - How to gain perspective.

How to gain perspective - that's been my lesson not only this past week, but for many months now as I spend time in a work environment which is frustrating and stressful in many ways. To work where there is no mutual respect, understanding, or trust is to invite lots of issues into your life unless you can develop strategies to deal with such dysfunction.  So here's what I have learned, and am continuing to learn about how to manage this without coming apart at the seams.  I hope this may be helpful to you, but really, I think writing it will be extremely helpful for my own sanity and peace of mind, which brings me to the first bullet point:
  • Peace can and must be obtained by not allowing the circumstances to take control of your outlook.  What destroys calm assurance and confidence is allowing other people's actions to dictate what you will feel, what you will think, and how you will act.  When emotions are stirred, people can quickly become heated, hurtful, or helpless.  None of these is an ideal response in the workplace.
  • Stay out of the drama.  Do your job, but as far as you can, do not participate in unhelpful discussion or negativity.  
  • Be the same person wherever you are.  Don't be hypocritical - you will lose any credibility you once had.
  • Understand what you cannot do.  You cannot nor should you strive to:  change someone else, make someone do something they should do, completely trust someone who has shown themselves to be untrustworthy, or participate in passive-aggressive speech or activities.  Also, you cannot take responsibility for the way someone else performs (or doesn't perform) their job duties.  In your sphere of influence and in the circle of your responsibilities, you make sure all is well with what you are doing but in dealing with people who have no interest in doing their jobs well, let it go.  You can't change it.  
  • Draw strength from others who are positive, supportive, and encouraging, but don't bring them down by whining about your situation.  
  • If your supervisor is dysfunctional, document what you need to, know when you need help and then seek advice, but only from an extremely trustworthy person.  Don't vent to everybody. Not everyone who listens sympathetically is your friend, and you will regret it.  Be careful about who you talk to. 
  • If you cannot work with the dysfunctionality, begin looking for open doors somewhere else. 
  • Take care of yourself.  Fill your soul with what you need in order to survive.  Listen to music, pray, seek God's help, enjoy nature, exercise, refresh your spirit, find grace, focus on being kind.   
I hope this will be helpful to you - it was good for me to write about this.  I hope my situation will be resolved in several weeks and will write more about that as it gets closer.  In the meantime, it's just taking one day, one hour, one minute at a time and not allowing dysfunctional situations/people to steal and rob from me and you what is precious - peace, joy, and purpose in doing a job well no matter what.