The Joy of Doing Nothing: Hello Spring Break!

Spring Break knitting on a Monday morning.

SpringBreakKnitting

As some of my students relax on different islands in the Caribbean and in Mexico, I have started my quest to do nothing at home this spring break. Many of my first and second graders inquired about my travel plans.

Here is how the conversation went:

“Where are you traveling to Ms. Pollard?” I am traveling to [hometown]. 

“You can’t travel there. That is where you live!” Exactly! I am traveling to my home. 

“What are you going to do?” I plan on doing nothing, zero, absolutely nothing! If I knit, that is doing nothing; if I read, that is doing nothing; and if watch my Roku, that is doing nothing. Oh, and the one thing I will do is talk to adults because I need to use bigger words this week.”

So, here is my first “nothing” activity: a golden slouchy hat. It has been awhile since I started a knitting project. I usually the energy or focus after spending my day teaching. That is why this feels so good. It is a moment for me to sit back, relax, and have unscheduled time. 

How do you slow down and unwind during your vacation?

 

 

Red Velvet Cake and Iyanla: Dealing with My Emotional Wounds

A wound needs air in order to heal. We must talk about and expose those things which have hurt or harmed us in some way. Our wounds need nurturing care in order to heal. If we are to nurture and heal, we must admit that the wounds exist. We must carefully do what is necessary to help ourselves feel better. Iyanla Vanzant

Last weekend was a Red Velvet Cake weekend, two slices to be exact (counted as lunch each day). Those two slices looked so good, I didn’t even hesitate when I put the plastic carton into my basket. I have walked past the bakery section (right next to the produce section) many times. I have passed brownies, cookies, and other types of cake. Last weekend was different. The slices were “calling my name.” 

In reality, I let my emotional pain influence part of my decision last weekend. When I think about it, the issue wasn’t the cake. The issue was about my wounds that have not healed. I had been an emotional eater in the past, especially in high school. This was familiar territory. 

After years of therapy to manage my depression, I now realize when my food and drink choices are based on my emotions. That awareness has made me look deeper. 

I saw Ms. Iyanla Vanzant’s quote in my Facebook feed, and it made sense. I have wounds that I haven’t let heal. Most recently I have had my second failed marriage (I married too young and for the wrong reasons the first time) and two close friendships that ended. All three have left open wounds I need to heal. 

As much as I try to say that I am ok and have moved on, I haven’t. I have tears that won’t fall. I have expectations and goals that have vanished. Her quote reminds me again that I need to explore the pain and my role in the circumstances that led to that pain. I was taught to not cry after the age of 9 (“You’re a big girl, stop crying.”). It took years of therapy to learn how to cry again. 

Slice of Red Velvet CakeSurviving with depression has made me more aware of stressful triggers in my life. I have wanted to cry and grieve for awhile.  Ms. Vanzant’s words helped me to realize it was time. Without that awareness, it would have been all about the red velvet cake.

 

Note: If you are struggling with depression and emotional eating, please seek help. You are not “crazy,” and there are people who can help you to regain your mental health. It was the best decision I have ever made. 

 

Apology…

When the only apology you get is a message thanking you for your friendship…

Apology quote with picture of wine glasses and food.

Are You Mad as Hell Yet?

 

Peter Finch’s words in Network (1976) are so relevant after this election. This movie came to my mind last week, especially this iconic scene, after living with the 2016 U.S. election fallout. I have grieved. I have reasoned. I have explained. I have stepped away from people whose choice for president affects my civil rights and safety. I have watched hate crimes increase. All of this, and we still have the same weak media coverage that existed during the election.

Peter Finch’s words…

I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!

I have reached that point? Have you?



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Photo: Wind Chimes in the Storm

I love the moments right before a thunderstorm. I love the smell of the rain and the feel of the cool wind. Our weather in New Jersey has been interesting and unusual. We have moved from 80 degree days in December to single digit temperatures in April. This thunderstorm seemed so normal…and peaceful.

 

Looking from my porch towards the woods as my wind chimes are blowing

 

Looking at gray sky in the distance and pink tree

Knitting and Wine: Best Part of 4-Day Weekend

Knitting bag is out, wine is ready, my 4-day weekend has begun.

Knitting bag ready for 4-day weekend
Bag out, wine ready, 4-day weekend has started.