Outside the Comfort Zone

July 24, 2013

Inspiration is such a funny thing: little by imperceptibly little things come together. Earlier this month it occurred to me that I would not finish the year with my dear four-turning-five year olds. I have loved those crazy, spunky kids and my endlessly patient team teacher since the first class. I would look across the aisle to the other class of kids the same age and see a rag tag assortment of kids but when I looked at our children it really was as though an additional light shone on them and perhaps a little hum from the heavenly hosts above.

Don’t misunderstand. Most Sundays Kelsey and I went home completely exhausted. They are four and five year olds, after all. But they were our four and five year olds and we had a good thing going. I wanted things to stay.

I lied to myself when I first recognized the feeling that things wouldn’t last; I rationalized that it was because Cruise was leaving and other kids were moving in. I told myself that feeling was the acknowledgement that our super six would no longer remain intact.

Two Sundays ago I looked over the piano at my friend Andrea and thought she was transitioning to YW. The thought was fleeting and very subtle. It was sparked by the unusual situation that she was playing and our pianist was conducting. It was so easy to move on to other thoughts and to forget.

When I received the email on Thursday night to meet Sunday before church my first instinct was panic: I knew Joanna had moved. Once I realized that replacing her would come directly from bishop I relaxed, I’m not yet ready to be president of anything again for a while. Besides, teenage girls terrify me, so outside my comfort zone and realm of experience. Not president, i relaxed. A counsellor then.

Despite my subtle preparations I cried when the request was officially made. The father of one of my beloved students was the one asking. Andrea is the mother of another of my students and she had been the one, the new prez, who had made the request.

We’ve been here for ten months and all has been pretty tame. I guess it’s time to get out of my comfort zone.



July 23, 2013

The times and seasons of my life have never been so apparent as they have been during my adulthood. Music has waned and waxed, I’ve been social and craved solitude, I’ve been anxious to do and eager to simplify. These days I read. I read to the children, with the children, and for the children. I read for work and I read as work. I read for instruction, I read for knowledge, and I read for fun. These days I am a sponge and many things take a back seat while I absorb as many thoughts, ideas, experiences, and perspectives as I can. They shall percolate within me for a long time, and hopefully I will be a better person for it. Unless interrupted too much while I’m reading, reading makes me a kinder person.

there is no title for these thoughts

July 22, 2013

The box that was my home for eight years was filled with all the emotions I had, except pride. I had happy memories, and I had felt at peace, but I never felt proud of that place, and often felt frustrated or embarrassed by it.

My neighbour three-doors-down, my friend, told me that even from the outside my home smelled like honey and fresh bread. Too much poetry for chicken wire and plaster, more beauty than it deserved, but I have always appreciated those words, and they have helped to remind me that the things which matter most are not where we so often put our priorities. I found happiness and satisfaction where I couldn’t find pride, and that was better.

This friend with the surprising poetry, who nearly died of a stroke last night, she’s a year younger than I am. Were it not for her quick-acting husband she would never had completed her family holiday and her young children’s fall would have many more changes than just starting school.

She would have made the second friend in two years who died, a year younger than me.

We are not old women.