Today Is Going To Be a ____ Day

I woke up thinking, “Today will be a long day.” Not long in the dreading sense, just long in the number of hours sense. I have my usual teaching day followed by the usual Monday faculty meeting followed by a dinner meeting that will probably last a few hours. So I expect to leave home about 7:15 am (if I can get this post written, hahaha) and return tonight at about 9 pm. Not your typical teaching day but, hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

It was that thought I woke up with that got me thinking about how I compartmentalize the day ahead of me upon awaking. Some days are just going to be long. But those long days can be long due to difficulties lying ahead or due to just ‘lots of stuff’ in the day. For example on Saturday, April 8, I will wake up at 3:30 am and say, “Today is going to be a long day,” and I will dance a little jig. That’s because on that particular day the longness will be a result of the fact that my husband and I will be driving to Florida that day. So yeah, long day, but woohoo, long day! Last week I woke one day thinking of how long the day was going to be because it was the day of my husband’s surgery and just waiting for the conclusion of that event was going to make it a long day.

Valentine’s Day, Field Day, class trips, holiday party days, first days of school, even last days of school can all be classified as long days for varying reasons. So what about, “Today is going to be a great day,” and “Today is going to be a terrible day,” or even “Today is going to be a day I won’t want to end,” or the dreaded “I wish today was over.” Each sets us up for the day ahead, maybe in a good way or maybe in a not so good way but we face the day prepared. And I guess that is what I am doing upon waking, preparing myself.

And if they were all good days (with no ‘bad’ days to balance the good) would any of them be as much fun? The weather can’t always be sunny, at least here in NJ, so I guess I will just keep on assessing and taking the good with the _____.

Good Night

Ha!!! Such a busy day, tonight is basically over. It was an amazing weekend for many reasons and now I am just ready to turn in and be ready for my work week.

Couple of thoughts:

Hiccups come and go. Work through them and get over them.

Friends and family remain ever important. They support the smiles and laughter we all need.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and every once in a while do a little dance step instead.

Have a good night!

Bittersweet

Today is definitely one of those days. I have had tickets to see Hamilton for nearly 10 months. I bought them last June after the Tony Awards. A new block of seats was going on sale that night. My friend and I stayed up specifically so we could get tickets. My husband had long gone to bed, he thinks I’m a bit batty for doing things like this. He really just doesn’t get it!

Anyway, the ticket window opened and I got to work. There I was frantically typing and waiting and reading and following on-screen directions and typing and waiting. My friend just sat there saying, “What? Anything?” I would shake my head, or flare my eyes, or shrug my shoulders until…

Four tickets appeared! And the little ‘Pay Now’ box was there. OMG, we were beyond excited. I bought the 4 tickets and then it was just a matter of waiting, for nearly 10 months, to go to the show. No problem, a lot of life was ahead of us in those 10 months so the time would fly.

That month, for Father’s Day, I got my husband the audio version of Ron Chernow’s ‘Alexander Hamilton’, the book that Lin-Manuel Miranda based the show on. I thought I could drum up more enthusiasm for the show in him. He listened to it and really enjoyed it, I listened to it next. We got so involved in ‘Hamilton’ that it was followed by audio books on Jefferson, Adams, and finally Washington. My husband was hooked and we were finally both looking forward to seeing the show.

Then the ‘hiccup’ occurred. I wrote about this yesterday but basically my husband had to have a surgical procedure performed on Thursday (2 days ago) and guess what? No ‘Hamilton the Musical’ for him. He cannot go to the show. He is fine with it. We both are actually because the successful outcome of the surgery (and the fact that it is behind us now) supersedes the disappointment. But tonight will be bittersweet for me.

But when you think of it, bittersweet is ok. It means the good (or great) tempered by life,  right? Tempered by the fact that life goes on and continues to happen, whether we like it or not. Our stories are playing out, one day at a time. Sometimes we watch the events unfolding (like waiting for your husband to get through same day surgery) and sometimes we orchestrate them (like purchasing tickets to a show) but what it always comes down to is we have a story, a life, to live, so keep on living, and enjoy the story!

Just don’t throw away your shot!

Life Hiccups

My husband and I are on the other side of one of life’s hiccups. This is my new term for it. Picture this, life goes along, normal, perhaps a little boring. You make plans, go out to eat, look forward to vacations. Then you get a few symptoms, go to the doctor and next thing you know, you’re in the hospital having surgery.

At first I was terrified. Then I spoke to a few people in the doctor’s office and came to realize that, although scary and inconvenient it would all be ok. His procedure was certainly no fun but he did well and is recovering nicely. We will need to wait on final reports before breathing the big ultimate sigh of relief but we both feel better that the surgery is behind us. But still, it was a hiccup. An interruption. And a reality check.

I remember my friend telling me, after battling breast cancer, that she used to believe that her work as a hospice minister would sort of expunge cancer from her life. After she was diagnosed she felt cheated and let down. Then she came to realize that you go through things in life regardless of who you are and what you do. I get what she means now because my husband and I lead pretty healthy lives. My husband, especially, is so ridiculously fit and healthy. But it still didn’t prevent illness. Just like illness needn’t prevent living your life.

So to all of those hiccups in life, wherever you are and whatever you may be, I say,’Begone!’ You can dance through my life like you probably will, but I will withstand your barrage and so will my family and friends. And dear friend, wherever you are right now reading this, stay strong in the face of life’s hiccups.

By the Numbers

Loved this idea on another post so here it goes!

Autobiography By the Numbers

  1. love of my life, my husband, Rich
  2. sons to be proud of, Daniel and Shaun
  3. siblings in our family, Suzanne, Jack and David
  4. homes I have lived in
  5. new cars purchased in my life
  6. dogs have been my pets
  7. books in my beloved Harry Potter series
  8. years it took to visit all 50 states
  9. years I taught 1st grade before moving to 3rd
  10. day road trips visiting National Parks are my favorite vacations

What Day?

Ha! I started the day with the wrong date on the board. Honestly, I even thought about the date before I wrote it. Then one of the children in the class questioned it. I have learned that when they question something like the date, I am more than likely the one who got it wrong. And yup, got it wrong today. Sometimes, getting the date wrong right out of the starting date is a sign. A sign that this is not going to be your day.

And it wasn’t.

But tomorrow is another day. That is the beauty of this life. There is always another day. And tomorrow is going to be my day, I can just feel it!

If I can only get the date straight, that is!

On Book Clubs

I finished my Book Club book today. It was one of those books that I would not have ever read, primarily because I had never heard of it and it has not ever popped up in front of me whilst perusing Amazon. And I peruse Amazon a lot! It was chosen by my Book Club last fall at a meeting I could not attend due to illness, so I wasn’t even in on the conversation about the book. When I looked the book up in preparation for buying it (I always buy my Book Club books, be it hard copy, digital copy, or (now at times) Audible edition) it struck me as a book I would like, but questioned if I would love it.

Well, I savored the last few chapters of that book. I did not want it to end. I had fallen in love. In love with the story, in love with the characters, in love with where the author took me! The book? I have already mentioned the title in an earlier post, the book is A Man Called Ove (pronounced Oova) by Fredrik Backman. I actually listened to it in my car each day on my way back and forth to work. And as the book came to a close I thought about how thankful I have been over these past 22 years for the amazing women (and one gentleman) I have shared books with!

Reading with a Book Club expands your mind. You read books you otherwise would not have chosen. You see things in books you otherwise would have missed. You push yourself to read more books in a time frame than you otherwise would have made time for. A Book Club has you always on the look out for the Club’s next great read. A Book Club gives you the words you could not find to describe what a book felt like while you were reading it. A Book Club encourages you to defend not just a book, but the choices its characters make as well as your opinion of the book’s value.

My Book Club has morphed over the years. Members have come and gone. The number of books we read has varied and the frequency of our meetings has waxed and waned. And all of that is ok! Somehow, we have managed to keep at it and to that I say, Bravo! I encourage everyone to at least consider forming or joining a Book Club. If you can be half as successful I feel I have been you will be glad you did!

Egg Day, 2017

He’s back and that means Spring’s back! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the one and only Rodger! A tradition in Mrs. Scannell’s classroom for more than 30 years, standing an egg up on the first day of Spring.

Now, I know there is very little, to no, science behind the tradition. But that’s ok! The meaning of the word tradition, according to Dictionary.com is:

1. the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice
2. something that is handed down
3. a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting
4. a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices
5. a customary or characteristic method or manner
Truly this sums up the custom handed down year after year to each new iteration of ‘3-Scannell’ as a way of passing on my long-established practice! I learned the practice at my grandmother-in-laws elbow more than 35 years ago and have raised my classes on it ever since. Rodger was named about 5 years ago by a particularly humorous group of students. They named him after an egg on a Sponge Bob episode (everything I taught that year rolled back to a Sponge Bob episode). And so now with each spring comes the return of Rodger.
And now, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, Rodger 2017!
Rodger_2017
Presenting our 2017 First Day of Spring egg: Rodger!

 

Sunday

End of the week or beginning, let me think.

I’m finalizing weekly plans, beginning of the week-check.

Did my grocery shopping for the week, beginning-check.

Who has meetings, who can be home to feed the dogs, beginning-check.

Setting my alarm again, beginning-check.

Finished my laundry, ready for the week, beginning-check.

Filled up the gas tank, beginning-check.

Now wait a minute, laundry and gas? Didn’t I need to take care of them because it was the end of the week? Do they get priority because it’s the end or the beginning? Hmmm.

And that alarm I just set, definitely because of the beginning. Or is it because the weekend is over?

And where did those groceries go? I just bought them a week ago, right? Those lesson plans were needed because last week ended.

Just where does Sunday belong, what should I be feeling? Beginnings or endings.

Sunday, what would you like to be?

It’s My Story

Everything (I know, huge generalization!) we say, do and think is a result of our story. The more I live, observe, read, and think, the more I believe that this is something we can benefit from thinking about. That sullen little girl in the corner, she has a story. That loud, opinionated colleague, she has a story. That nervous boy who asks a million questions before he does anything, he has a story. That waitress with the ‘whatever’ attitude, she has a story. To ponder their stories is to get at, and possibly understand, their behavior.

Our stories are multi-layered. We have the story of our growing up. The story of our childhood challenges. The story of our school experiences. The story of where and how we fit in ‘the family’. The story of our early attempts at boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, and spouses. The story of our secret wishes, devastating disappointments, inner desires, and hidden dreams. Our health stories. Our parenting stories or the story of how we never parented. The story of all those losses, who, when, why, where, how…

And don’t forget our short story! How did our day begin? What are we facing today, tomorrow, next week? What happened to us yesterday, last week? What are we dreading at this very moment or looking forward to? What disappointments are we dealing with? What struggles, goals, challenges, are on the top of our minds? What bad news have we just been delivered? We get up each day never knowing. Was today a day that lived up to our expectations or dashed them by the wayside?

In light of the story that underlies the face we present to the world each day it benefits each of us to do a few things. Make yourself aware of your story each day. Be sure the face you deliver to the world reflects as best as it can a face you want to be remembered by. Question the story behind the faces you meet. How could their story be the cause of the face you see and what can you do about that? What response can you give to a person in turmoil? How can you present yourself as a person who understands? How do you smile at the unsmiling? Allow time for the frazzled? Encourage the defeated?

You may not be able to make a huge difference, but at least your story will include the fact that you tried. And if you are wondering about my story, where did this post come from? What happened to me that made me write this post? It was a story! Yep, a good old book titled, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. It’s a curmudgeon’s story, you know, how he got that way. And it is sure to give you pause, long enough to consider the question; What is your story?