Anniversaries, Birthdays & Other Musings of A Convalescent

An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.

~Author Unknown

I’ve recently been thinking about birthdays, anniversaries and other events that commemorate the existence or longevity of relationships, lives, and important activities. This year, as with every year, is filled with several such markers which will recognize the presence of something or someone my life. I will celebrate the birthdays of my children; once again taking time to reflect on how quickly the time has passed since they each decided to depart my womb and enter the world as individuals in their own right. I will celebrate the birthdays of other loved ones as I give thanks for their existence.

In some cases, these anniversaries recognize the time since something ended instead of marking a beginning. This year marks the eleventh year since my first marriage ended and the fifth year since the end of my second one. It will be two years since I gave up dating. I’ll also celebrate one year in my new home, which is also one year since I decided to give up the battle I was fighting trying to keep up an old ranch-style home that I could not maintain nor adequately afford. Continue reading

Awards, Recognition, Reality & Paying It Forward

sunshineblogaward1

Sometimes life is funny and when you least expect it, it happens.  Whatever “it” is.

I was gifted with my first blog award by my friend Amber over at  Making The Moments Count.  To be honest, she completely blew me away with this!  She awarded me with The Sunshine Award.  She mentions in her post that I pose questions that make her think. I’m pleased that what I write resonates at some level with someone.  On a more personal and direct level, thank-you, Amber for letting me know in such an affirming and public way that my Random Musings means something to you.  Your appreciation means more to me than the award itself.  Thank you!

Reality

I’ve long desired to be recognized as a blogger, but I’ve also been realistic in my thinking.  I don’t have the time available to me each day to really do the kind of consistent search engine optimized writing every day that I need to be doing in order to really be an award winning blogger.  This post is likely a good example of what I’m talking about as I’m writing it at nearly 11 in the evening after a full day at work with kids and then a full evening at home with my own children. I won’t edit effectively, I know.  I get that I can’t devote all my time to blogging and it shows.   I’m also not so certain I am the next  J.K. Rowling or John Grisham of the blogging world.  So be it.  I have to write to please me instead of for other reasons at this time of my life.  I’d given up whatever fleeting hope I had of being recognized in the blogosphere.  And then…Amber.

I’m so honored that I was noticed and recognized by another bloggy friend in spite of the fact that I can only visit and comment sporadically on her posts (or anyone else’s for that matter these days).  I am especially amazed that I received it given that I don’t write daily and blogging is such an  “if you write it they will come” sort of endeavor. 

Recognition

Amber has given me the gift of a positive recognition for something I do that she appreciates.  When she gave out the award, she didn’t just say I was great or that she loved my stuff.  She specifically named what I did that meant something to her. 

Think kids or dogs are the only ones who appreciate some positive recognition and attention?  No way!  I’ve basked privately in this one for the last week (or has it been longer?) since she awarded it.  It means something to me. It means something to me to know that something I thought and took the effort to put in print resonated with someone else.  It especially means something to me that it resonated with Amber, because when I read her blog, I read myself, 19 years ago or maybe 17, with two young girls and I feel all the same things all over again.  Mostly the fatigue!  I’m so grateful I could impact her life positively if only to question, to challenge, to stimulate thinking, because I sure can’t help with babysitting, though, if we lived closer together, I’d certainly be glad to help! 

Paying It Forward

j0430681 Amber received something from my writing and she paid it forward by letting me know.  Now it is my turn to pay ten other bloggers the compliment.  I will be paying it forward in the next few days (I am preparing for a big presentation at a state conference while also preparing for a professional development class for educators next week so, please, be patient). 

Further, I’m going to encourage my readers to consider paying it forward positively as well.  Have you had someone do something or say something that mattered to you in the last week or month.  Has someone done something or demonstrated some quality or skill that you admire?  Has someone made your life better, easier, more joyful in some way?  I encourage you to take a moment and let them know.  It could be that the positive response from you is just the thing they need to hear at just the right moment. 

If it matters to you…if it resonated with you…if it made you think or impacted you …won’t you let the person know?  I’m certain they’d appreciate knowing that their contribution to this thing we call life didn’t go unnoticed.

Lessons from Family Guy

It’s been said that children are always learning and learning all the time.  The real question is, “What exactly is it they are learning?”.  Further, the concerned parent might go so far as to ask where are they learning it and from whom? I’m warning you.  Don’t explore this too deeply.  The knowledge you discover might  alarm you if it doesn’t send you to your grave early.

Today, I was attempting to convey the meaning of the word synagogue to a group of fourth graders.  The word for some of them who are still learning English is a bit of a mouthful and I wanted to help attach some meaning to it for them since, it was in our reading selection for the week.  Don’t get all alarmed that I wasn’t respecting the proper division between church and state.  We were reading an Encyclopedia Brown excerpt.

After explaining the meaning of the word synagogue, one of my students blurted out in frustration, “Awwww!  I should have known that!  I learned that off Family Guy!”

Okay, maybe my definition was off…I’ve got to go back and check Websters.

Sigh.

Children are always learning and learning all the time.

Even in homes where television, radio and computer access are strictly controlled and monitored, children learn things that their parents are less than happy about.  Even though a parent might be diligent in monitoring the influences that children are exposed to, it is difficult to monitor the influences their friends are exposed to.

In spite of the very large influence that school, friends and media have on how children are influenced and what they learn, the home (generally) and parents (in particular) are the most influential factor in a child’s learning and development.

It is also often the case that what we intend to teach is not exactly what was learned.

Children are always learning and learning all the time.

What are you teaching?

Is this what they are learning?

How can one be sure?

I ask the questions simply because, if we are to be honest, our children learn far more from who we are than what we tell them.  Are they learning what we want them to learn? Better yet, are they learning what I want them to learn?