Monday, December 9, 2013

Stream of Consciousness and Yada Yada Yada


I didn't know what to write about last night (which is when I normally schedule a post to go up on Monday morning), so here I sit, at 5:04 PM, wondering what on earth to write about.

It's not that I didn't have options of what I could do a post on---Matt and I went to a killer family Christmas party over the weekend, I've been working semi-diligently on the last odds and ends of our home for my 50 Weeks to Organized Challenge, we had some new (and old) friends over for games last night, etc., etc.

But what's really been on my mind is something that I can't write on as public a space as my blog. I mean, I try to keep my blog as open and real as possible, but even then, it still only includes about 10% of my life. I'm sure you all must realize that.

No, I'm not pregnant. Just because I know some people will start getting ideas.

I'll just say this:

*I went on a little 2-mile run today (due to the icy, 3-degrees-Fahrenheit weather we're enjoying right now), and it was---despite being cold---exhilarating. I wasn't able to run last week for various reasons, and I was determined to go today after work no matter what. I love how meditative running is for me---it's like the rhythm of my feet hitting the pavement lulls me into a safe haven where even the most distressing thoughts seem solve-able.

*I am grateful---beyond grateful!---for my faith and my religion. It always seems like I hear exactly what I need to hear every Sunday, and I've been doing some extra studying lately on my own too of the latest messages from our church leaders. I'm grateful that I have such a deep and lasting source of comfort in my life.

*My complaint-free challenge is really helping me to stay on the positive side of the holiday season rather than the stressful side. I love coming home after work every day and turning on the lights to our Christmas tree and the lights we have strung up our banister. I love how I've tried to keep my calendar as free as possible from unnecessary things so I can just spend time with my husband relaxing. (Well, I'm relaxing. He's studying for finals.)

*As part of our A Christmas Carol unit, I've been having my students explore the question, "What's the secret to happiness?" I've been having them read articles and research that have been published on the subject, and I also had them start a mini happiness project modeled after the book by Gretchen Rubin (for my review, see this post). Basically, each student set 2-3 specific goals based on the research we'd read about what makes people happy. I asked them to set goals to do things they weren't currently doing that were linked to a higher sense of wellbeing, and I've been having them track their progress daily. Even though this project was totally cooked up by me on the spur of the moment (literally like an hour before I taught it), I have been shocked---SHOCKED!---at how much of a difference it's made. I know I'd complained before that I have a tougher group of students this year, and I have been blown away by their commitment to this project and by their progress. Those moments when I feel like I'm truly making a difference---THOSE are what keep me going as a teacher. Incredible.

*Even though I hadn't planned on doing my own resolutions while the students were doing theirs, I've been so inspired by their progress that I've been unofficially doing my own---the complaint-free thing is one of them, and the other is a greater devotion to my study of inspirational messages from my church leaders (mentioned earlier). What would you do differently if you were going to do a mini happiness project?

*We have 4.5 pounds of cheese in our fridge, and I couldn't be happier about it. See this post that's all about my obsession with the best member of the dairy family. Sometimes it's just the little things in life, you know?

Well, this turned into more of a Tuesday Tell-All than I'd intended, but there you go. Some of the random thoughts floating around my head.

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