Saturday, October 15

did all the things today, even if finding ten was a stretch

Today I have accomplished:

1. A nap on my couch in the middle of the afternoon, in my kitchen.

2. I took the kids to swimming lessons.

3. I hit a bunch of pokestops and got no revives. I know, it's kind of a big deal.

4. I ditched my family for 30 minutes to meet a friend at a specific pokestop so we could lure it and sit there for 30 minutes and see what turned up.

5. Showered.

6. Braided daughters' hair.

7. Transferred a spider plant from an itty bitty container to a nice hanging basket thing that has yet to be put up. CoughCoughStevenCough

8. I told Steven that he was making pizza for supper. Nicely. He's totally doing it.

9. I drank all the coffee.

10. I stayed completely caught up on my blog. Go. Me.

Friday, October 14

because i haven't blogged about work in a while

Yay Friday! Subbing today. It's currently 10am and I'm supervising kids in the computer lab. Nice group of kids. Some classes I find are more open to subs. These are the kids I can relate to, chat up, have a sense of humor with. Then there are the "ooh, a sub - let's get her!" classes. They are less fun. It's a challenge to get them to stop talking, to listen to instructions, to get work out of. Certain grades and ages fall more easily into one or the other category, but still, depends on the day and the kids. Friday afternoons can be an adventure too. Today I end the day with Home. Ec. They're sewing. Last time I was in, there was a kid who sewed a heart into the tip of her finger, with black thread. I have a picture here somewhere...

I said to the kid, as I was taking the picture, "Keep in mind, me taking this picture in no way condones this behavior."

They like when I say things like that.

Today they've got me booked solid for the entire day. I'm covering for other teachers during my prep class, and I have supervision duties over both recesses. I probably shouldn't have had all that coffee this morning.

12:54pm - (I'm writing this over the course of the day) Lunch is just ending. I ate a piece of cake in the staff room and I think I'm changing colours.

I now have Home. Ec. for three periods. I'm starting to think Home. Ec. teachers are secretly scared to start the pajama pants projects, because this is the second time I've come to this school and been instructed to get out fabric and patterns and start the pants. I am so not starting the pants. If they had already started the pants, and were now just continuing the pants, I'd do the pants. I don't know if you know, but I don't sew clothes.  Anyway. There are some little assignments they have to do first, and we may just work at a relaxed pace this afternoon. Usually I propel kids along a little so they get a decent amount of work done. It'll be okay. She does say "if" anyone finishes they can start the pants.

3:05 - I'm now in a computer room with a grade 5 class. I've decided that grade 5 is my favourite age group. They're still a little innocent, they're excited about school, they're friendly with subs, they have yet to develop a junior high attitude, and they're not really little kids anymore. They're funny and they understand sarcasm. They generally think I'm cool, which of course, I am.

I'm a little exhausted this afternoon, so having free time in the computer lab is a little awesome. The school day ends in about twenty minutes, and then my weekend starts!

Being that I'm young and hip, I'm going to go home and par-tay!

Kidding. I'm totally going to nap. Maybe make supper. Or, we'll scrounge. Life's good.

Happy Friday, everyone! Cheers!

Thursday, October 13

piano lessons

Mitchell, Tennyson and Jordan are all in piano lessons again this year. Last winter, Tennyson complained all winter about not wanting to go to piano. He wanted to stay home and play, not practice piano. Practicing seemed an issue for all three of them. This year, I decided I'd give them all the choice abut whether to continue lessons before I signed them up. Surprisingly, they all said yes!

Of course, a month in, the boys are again complaining about lessons, and saying they want to quit. There is no winning.

I actually love that they're learning piano. They're all improving, and their music sounds more like actual songs and less like just the little tunes that are solely intended to help them remember notes and read sheet music. Especially Jordan's. this is her fifth year of lessons and she sounds great! She plays harder songs all the time, and I love listening to her. She'll even admit that her years of piano have given her a definite edge in music class at school.

My intention this year is to make them practice more, and get as far ahead as possible, in case they all opt out next year. In grade 5 they start playing guitar at school, so their music continues. If they drop out of piano after grade 4 I'll have them play guitar each night with Steven instead of practicing piano.

There will be music in this house, dammit!

Wednesday, October 12


Jordan's gymnastics started up again tonight. She started in grade 3 and is now in her 4th year. She's in pre-competitive, which is awesome. She's come a long way since running around, and intentionally falling off equipment when she was a goofy eight year old. She still sometimes intentionally falls of equipment as a goofy eleven year old, but she's definitely becoming a better gymnast. Tonight they were marking down how well the girls completed the different gymnastics moves. They divided them into groups and a coach took each group and had each girl, one at a time, demonstrate each move. Then they marked it down.

I'll admit it, I was bored. This was an hour and a half. My butt was sore from the hard wooden bench. I may have played on my phone while pretending to watch Jordan wait in line for her turn at each station. I vaguely heard some of the other parents as they talked about technique and aptitude. Thankfully, the mom to the right of me was marking homework (she's a teacher), and the mom to the left of me was editing photos on her computer. I suppose my activity was less legitimate as an acceptable distraction, but oh well. I may have dropped the ball a little when one of the other moms asked which kid was mine and I had no idea where in the gym she was, but I looked around thoughtfully and said, "that's weird, she was just there..."

It's called quick thinking.

Seriously though, Jordan loves gymnastics and it's fun watching her work through the different equipment and floor routines, although I may have to break up the time with a short walk or two.

Tuesday, October 11

i have an identity? i have an identity!

I read the other day that the more things that make up our identity, the less stressful it is when any one thing is threatened. It got me thinking. I used to feel, and sometimes still do on an off-day, that I have nothing. No hobbies, no interests, nothing new, nothing to write home about. I thought about running, how I began running years ago as a weight loss tool, then ended up loving the training. Any time I'd extend my distance, or quicken my pace, I'd be over the moon about it. It was something cool that I did because I wanted to, and not because someone I knew did it. I ran my first half marathon. I was on cloud nine. I had been anxious and excited leading up to that time, and had trained like crazy. I'd run between 7 and 8 miles, several times a week and then longer runs on Saturdays. It began to feel like it wasn't even work. I felt great. My half marathon was awesome. I was more than happy with my time and I felt strong from mile one through the finish line. I've run the half each year since then, and my first time was the best, my first race was the best. Since then, my times have slowed, my training has been more forced. At most, I added over 24 minutes to my slowest race. I keep hoping to feel that initial excitement again, to get to a point where running feels effortless again, but it never quite lives up.

This spring, as I was running my sixth half, I was frustrated that it felt so arduous. I did it. I finished in 1:19, I didn't walk. I "slow and steadied" my way through 13.1 miles. During the run, I asked myself why I was there. I was proud of myself for being able to do it, but I wasn't really enjoying it. I admitted to myself that the driving factor was probably simply that I had been doing git for so long, and didn't really have a good reason not to. I also admitted that, knowing me as well as I do, that the year I didn't do the race, I would never pick it back up. So why keep doing it? Just so I could say I did? So people would be proud of me? Because it was one "thing" I had that was noteworthy? Because if I quit, "people"  would know I couldn't do it anymore? That I was weak or wimping out? I told myself I would make it to ten races, then find something else to do. Ten is a good solid number. Then I groaned inwardly at the thought of doing four more. At some point it occurred to me - I didn't have to do anything! Nobody was making me. The only expectations we have to live up to are our own. Nobody cares, nobody judges us the way we judge ourselves. Why make myself do something I was no longer really enjoying because of what I thought people were thinking? I didn't crap out after six races, I actually trained for and ran six races! This all came to me in the weeks that followed the race, as I was dragging myself out of bed to keep up my miles and distances. I've decided I want to get back into running because I like it, and not worry so much about weekly mile minimums, or beating a self-imposed clock. If I want to go for a jog and then walk parts because I'm tired, I will. If I want to run between portals and ingress in the morning, I will, without worrying abut pausing the timer on my phone. It's so silly when I look at it from this different perspective, but I'm happier about it.

Then I read this thing about identity and how we feel threatened if we feel like we are losing something that makes up part of who we are. The more elements that make up our identities, the less anxious we feel when a single element is threatened. THAT'S what my hang up really was. I have to confess, sometimes I really do feel like there isn't really much to me. Sometimes in low moments, I've said to Steven that I feel like a "nothing person." He is someone unimpressed to hear me say this, so I don't anymore, but it's been a bit of a persistent feeling. I see people who have hobbies, passions, skills, musical talent, and I think, "I wish I had something." For me, I think that's what running has become. My one thing. 

I'll admit, I've done some re-evaluating of myself lately, some of the things I believe about myself and my life, and I've been trying to change my self-talk, and address some of my anxieties.

The author of the book I'm currently reading, "The Happiness Project," Gretchen Rubin, made a list of things she felt made up her identity, and it occurred to me that I do have things. There are things I do that make me "Tiffany." I don't have to latch onto something that makes me feel like I have a place. I do have a place. I am kind of awesome. That's not something I'd normally say. But I think we should. Everybody.

Anyway, in the spirit of identity, my list would include runner, occasional blogger, avid reader, book clubber, game night planner, substitute teacher (the goofy one the kids like), camper, mom, friend, wife, etc.

Someone last winter told me that it's our flaws that make us interesting, that we should embrace them. And it's true. When I think of things that endear me to others, it's their quirks, little things that make them interesting. It's not their perfectly immaculate houses (this is a myth anyway), their flawless cupcakes, their having everything together. We don't like people more because they are professional musicians or win awards at their jobs. It's the things that make them human and relateable. If they don't like you for your flaws, then you need new people. We need to be our own friends.

Anyway, this is some of what's been happening in my head lately. If you made it to the end, kudos to you. If not, that's okay. You're still awesome.