Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Historic Day

For the record, I did not vote in the 2008 presidential election. Both candidates had positions with which I agreed, and positions to which I am utterly opposed. My DeeDee always said that voting was choosing the lesser of two evils--and this past fall, I simply couldn't see which of the two candidates fit that description. That's not to say I think McCain or Obama are evil...just that I'm still not sure which one would do the least harm. Granted, at this particular point, I don't know how much harm can be done to the present situation lol.

All that said, I am cautiously optimistic about Obama as president. I was impressed with the way he conducted himself at today's inauguration, and impressed with his family's conduct as well. I can only hope that being in the White House fishbowl doesn't change those two seemingly-sweet girls into spoiled holy terrors. I got the impression that Obama and his wife are basically nice, good people who truly want to do good by the nation. Of course, they were in front of hundreds of cameras all day long, so I must take that impression with a grain of salt.

Anyway, on to Obama. I thought his speech was well-worded, if emblematic of my reasons for caution. He has big dreams for our nation, some of which I agree with. He seems very driven, and optimistic, as well as seeming to grasp the challenges ahead. That said, I am highly skeptical of how far his idealism will get him along his path to his dreams. I think if he had a time frame extending for more than 4 (or even 8) years, that he could well accomplish his goals. However, he really only has 2 years until a mid-term congressional election, and then he has to get reelected two years after that. IF he gets elected then, there might be a better chance of progress.

That said, I'm not meaning to imply that I think NO progress will be made. I just feel that, with the economy being what it is and the international scene being what it is, Obama has plenty on his plate at the get-go without following up on medical care reform, education reform, immigration reform, etc. Also, I think so many people have pinned their hopes for economic salvation on him, when Congress actually controls the purse strings. Granted, the President has quite a bit of sway, but still.

So, I hope for the best, and realize thee reality will actually fall somewhere in between the best and worse case scenarios. I just hope its closer to the best case :-).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warning: This is my whine time

I miss my husband.
I made it through his two week work trip in October much better. I think it's because this has been a holiday weekend for me, which means I don't have as much to fill my time. Also, we didn't get to spend much "us" time right before he left, whereas in October we did get time to ourselves. Also, as much as I LOVE our new house, it's bigger than anything I've ever lived in before. And since it's a new environment for me, I'm not accustomed to all the little settling sounds a house makes at night. In an apartment, I could always chuck unfamiliar sounds up to the neighbors. I lived in my parents' house for my life up until I was 18...so I was accustomed to those noises. Here, I have to identify the noises at least in categorical if not specific fashion to be able to be comfortable with them. Not to mention, my husband is my best friend and the love of my life. I'm used to the luxury of having him around, and in our bed at night. I miss his presence.

I don't want to go back to work tomorrow.
The whole "end of the semester" testing AFTER Christmas was an asinine idea. Here's why. The week before Christmas Break was a wash. Then the kids had two weeks off. THEN the week AFTER they come back is a wash because we teachers HAVE to review the test material or face a catastrophic failure rate (which I had on the test, but not on my semester averages). Then the second week they're back (last week) is a wash because of testing. So, effectively my students have had FIVE WEEKS without having to bend their minds to the task of learning new information. That's more than a month. And tomorrow, I wade back into the fray, and have to remind them how we behave when the classroom is primarily a LEARNING environment, versus a holiday/review/testing environment. I predict 2nd, 3rd, and (hopefully) 5th will be mostly fine, whereas 4th and 7th will be distracted verging on chaotic. While it will be nice to have something to focus on in regards to the first issue discussed, I'm not looking forward to reestablishing order in my classes.

My dogs are driving me crazy.
They are being particularly obstinate today. When I wanted to nap, they wanted to either play or be in my lap. When I was up and mobile, they wanted to sleep. I think it's because their daddy's gone. I'm the only human they have left right now, so they are especially affectionate and needy. Now they've calmed down, so that's nice. Also, I have to go outside with them and keep an eye on them. Since they've never had a backyard, they have no backyard etiquette, and we don't trust them not to dig out/dig up the flowerbeds. I can't WAIT until we install the in-ground electrical wire that will cut off the sides of the yard, keep the dogs away from the fences, and keep them out of my flowerbeds! I love them bunches, but they really have been ridiculous this weekend.

My abs hurt.
I started an every-other-day belly dancing routine. Don't laugh! The video I bought is actually pretty good--as long as you've already had some instruction in the style of dance. Luckily, I had that semester class back in college! Thanks to that, I already have been exposed to most of the moves used, and get a good workout. I also played Wii tennis for 30 mins yesterday, and while that has nothing to do with abs, it was still a nice workout. This one isn't really a whine, seeing as I'm pretty happy that I've been working out over the past couple of days!

Whining aside, my life is pretty damn good, and I am fully cognizant of that fact. I'm even content bordering on completely happy (except for the first and second things on my whine list lol). But, hey, everyone needs to vent a bit sometimes, and this is, after all, my storage space. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Battle of the Bulge, cont.'d

I realized I haven't updated this particular topic in a while. Ooops! So much for accountability right? Lol. Well, I did actually get down to 161 lbs before the holidays. Woohoo! Of course, then came Thanksgiving AND Christmas. And all the food.

That said, I'm at 165 and holding! I haven't lost any lately (cuz, yeah, I haven't been working out...again, oops) but I haven't gained any either!!! Sure, I do the whole couple of pounds of fluctuation up and down, depending on what I eat for dinner, when I eat it, water retention, etc. but that's normal.

I'm making a concentrated effort to start being more active and start working out again. This past month I haven't wanted to push it...I haven't been able to take my RA meds, so I've been pretty flared up. BUT I bought a belly dancing workout video (HEY! don't laugh...I took a class in college for a semester and lost a good amount of wait, and really firmed up my stomach...and its SO MUCH FUN!)! And we've got the TV and Wii set up at the new house...so I'm thinking as soon as my meds kick in (took my shots last night) and the flare goes down, I'll get back into a regular exercise routine. My next goal is the same as before: 160. Get down to it, and keep it off. After I make that, I'll go for 155, then 150, then 145! And then we'll see. I'm hoping to make the 155 by Spring Break, and the 145-150 by summer. That way I'll feel better about wearing my swimsuit at the neighborhood pool ;-).

Anyway, today I feel icky...my body is not liking the side effects (i.e. extreme fatigue and nausea) of my shots after a month without. So for today, I'm taking it easy. I'll do a bit of cleaning, but mostly I'm gonna read, and watch TV and movies. If I'm feeling better, I might break out the belly dancing video tonight...but we'll see. So, back to my lazy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just Me and the Dogs

The hubby is actually in DC this week...I'm so excited for him about this trip! That said, I'm gonna really miss him...he won't be back til the 22nd. Til then it's just me and the pups. And he's going to be gone over my holiday weekend too! Grrr. Again, really excited for him...just wish I could go too lol. Except it's going to be in the teens temperature-wise and that's too damn cold for this Texas girl.

Anyway, on to life. We signed on the house on the 30th, and as of this last weekend, we are completely moved in! It's starting to feel more like our home every day. We've still got lots of boxes to go through and unpack. I'll be getting quite a bit of that done over my holiday weekend. I thought about heading up to Waco to see a friend...but I really don't feel up to the drive. Remember that whole RA thing? Yeah, due to one thing and another, I haven't taken my shots in about a month. So I'm achy and flared up, and long drives aren't my favorite thing in this condition.

Anyway, I am going to get my hair cut on Friday...don't know quite what I'll do differently, if anything. This is starting to be a tradition--last time the hubby went on a work trip, I colored my hair, this time I'm cutting it lol. The stylist is also one of my good friends AND I have her last hair appointment, so we'll probably go do something after. Saturday, another friend is supposed to be coming into town...I haven't heard anything since last weekend though, so I'm not really sure what the plan is there. Honestly, I'm looking forward to a chill weekend...the past few have been crazy busy with house stuff and moving. I'd be looking forward to it more if the hubby was going to be here to share it with me, but oh well. I guess one can't always have everything lol.

As for school, the kids are taking their semester exams this week. Yes, I know what you're thinking. "Didn't the semester already end?" Yes, yes it did. But because the state of Texas mandates a late August start date, the "Fall semester" and the "Spring semester" are unequal in regards to number of weeks. So, we had one week after the break for "review" and this one for testing. Which is foolish. My kids are apathetic right now, and the break has not helped their retention. In short, having the exams now is a great way to even up the semesters from a bureaucratic standpoint and a crappy one from a student-oriented standpoint. As I've been told several times since I've started teaching: Welcome to the world of public education.

Anyways, I love our new home. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that (if all goes according to our loosely configured plan) we're going to be here for the next 30+ years. Don't get me wrong, it sounds WONDERFUL! I've just never been anywhere that long. And for the past several years it's been a move a year, if not a move every less-than-one-year. It's wonderful to look far into the future and see my husband and I together in our home. Of course, our home will be anywhere we're together. But I sure do like the one we're setting up at this house!!! And so do the pups...they run up and down the stairs, wrestle in the gameroom and living room, and love the backyard.

So that's a life update.

As far as introspection and contemplation--the original purpose for this blog--I've done a bit lately. School and house stuff has occupied the majority of my mind, but there's still been deeper processes going on. One of the particular trains of thought had to do with the people we are during everyday life versus the people we are in the crucible. A certain conversation with a friend brought up a time I've mentioned previously, when my world was upside down and inside out all at once. I started thinking about the person I was in all that mess, and the person I am now in my day-to-day life.

The person I was then: There were very few constants in my life at that point in terms of routine and (I felt--wrongly or rightly--at the time) relationships. All I had that was constant was my conviction about a certain belief, and my knowledge of the kind of person I did NOT want to be (coming both from personal belief and from observation of the actions of a particular person). During the beginning, I was extremely fragile emotionally and everything in my head was all jumbled, but these things shone through. I started following those beacons, and my actions were guided by them.

The person I am now: There is a lot more consistency in my life: relationship-wise and routine-wise. I am stronger emotionally and mentally, and in terms of self-knowledge and identity. That said, it is easier now to lose my beacons among all the other, lesser lights that are in my life right now.

It's interesting how when everything is falling apart , it's easy to pick out the critical elements in your life to focus on and let the rest all fade into a dark haze. And it's interesting how good things and positive additions to your life accumulate can cast a glow that can cause the critical elements to seem to blend in with the rest of the light. But thanks to that turbulent time, I am fully aware of the risk of the "glow effect" and can make sure that my beacons get the attention and focus they deserve.

That said, the light analogy is fitting: my life has never been brighter or happier!

Anyways, I was just thinking.


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