Today, fill your cup of life with sunshine and laughter.

28 May 2010

Quick Update this week

Hi, short workweek and Monday was a holiday so I missed my post.

Just a few things of note (if anybody besides me cares):

Yesterday was my professional evaluation at work. Basically, they examine the personal and professional development that a teacher has implemented over the course of the school year. Results of mine were good ... no, quite excellent. I've done a LOT of developping this year and kept careful records of it for a change. Usually, I just track the highlights and those are enough for a good report. This year, my adjudicators told me that I had done very well.

Bottom line? I'm getting more money to run my music programs, almost twice my usual budget. More importantly, I'm getting a bunch of discretionary days explore music-based resources, to collaborate with other music teachers in the district and to run a band exchange program for my band students. That is the pay-off I was seeking. It's all well and good to get an award for excellence in teaching but you can't buy new instruments and scores with that, or get a substitute teacher so you can take your band on a road trip. This way, I get everything I want.

Life is good.

Oh, and they gave me a new state-of-the-art Macbook and five music software-loaded Apple computers for my classroom this morning. This is my first post on the Macbook. I like it a lot but I'm still learning how to use it.

Last, and more important than anything else. Last week, I inferred that there was something going on in my life. B-man and I have finally let another man into our lives. His name is Steve and I met him on an internet dating site. Since we met, we have been inseparable. He is the man that I dreamed about but never quite believed was out there and he's the sort of dad that my son always wanted and needed. Even the dog loves him. Two weeks from today, Steve will be moving in with us. He has asked us to marry him. That is still on the back burner but if he is as good to live with as he has been to date, marriage is a distinct possibility, if only to end my mother's comments about "living in sin". LOL

Have a great weekend - will post again on Monday, as usual.

14 May 2010

Little Things

First off, my brother just emailed me to let me know that (listen up, Vinny) we have scored tickets to see Gregg Allman at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in September. The show sold out within minutes of going on sale, so we've got a reason to celebrate. Seats are second row centre, too, so we'll be up-close and personal. Thank you, big brother! I love you!

My oldest friend sent this to me today. She has two daughters and a son, all adopted and the joys of her life. I can relate ... as I can relate to something like this little story with my own little boy ... I'm sure most of you can as well.

The Washcloth:

I was due for an appointment with the gynecologist on Friday. However, early on Tuesday, I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45am. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare.

As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in.

Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor said, "My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?

I didn't respond. After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal ... Some shopping, cleaning, cooking.

After school when my 6 year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, "Mommy, where's my washcloth?" I told her to get another one from the cupboard.

She replied, "No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter and sparkles saved inside it."

Never going back to that doctor. Ever.

I just finished reading the novel "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult.

You know how you'll sometimes read something and the ending just makes no sense and you feel as though there should be a sequel or a continuation of some kind that explains what happens next, but there isn't? Well, this isn't one of those books. It's the kind that you pick up and you read through it and then you don't (or can't) tell anyone what it's about but feel like everybody needs to read it. It's hard to explain.

It's harder to explain why it was such a satisfying experience, fulfilling even. I started reading it almost three weeks ago. It doesn't usually take me very long to read a novel and I usually have three or more books on the go at once ... but not this time. I was insanely busy and sometimes I had to put it down and leave it for a day or two but not once in all that time did I forget about it, get distracted onto another novel, or need to refresh my memory about it. It stayed with me. Now that I've finished it, I suspect that it always will.

Note: I honestly didn't know that this novel was made into a movie. I don't think I want to watch it though. There's no way it could give me the same feeling as the novel.

Each week, our district wellness coordinator sends us a cheerful email with advice on how to cope with stress. He finally found something that is worthy of passing on. Here it is:

Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations).
What is this principle?

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean?

We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light., but you can control your reaction. Don't let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let's use an example. You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just what happened. What happens when the next will be determined by how you react.You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over.

She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work.

You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?

The answer is " D".

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, "It's ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time". Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having. Notice the difference? Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different.

Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle. If someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel? A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job. The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse. Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it.

The 90-10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle.

The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache. We all must understand and apply the 90/10 principle. It CAN change your life!!!

On that note, make it a wonderful week. Cheers!

12 May 2010

What's your story?

Quote of the Day:

I always thought he sounded just like Yogi Bear. (on Bob Dylan)

~Mick Ronson~

Folk music tells a story ... and while I was preparing the music list for this week, I got thinking about that. We all have a story to tell. It made me wonder what song I would choose to represent my story.

See, I believe. I'm a believer in a lot of stuff that most people have long ago discarded as myth or even just highly unlikely. I believe in Santa (not the fat guy in the red suit so much as the spirit that moves us to give hope in such a simple way). In the same way, I believe in propogating faith in God, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, Cupid, the Birthday Chicken, and even in the intrinsic good of mankind. Does that make me naive? I don't think so.

Lots of bad things happen in life. Some people tend to let the bad things overshadow the good. When you start doing that, you turn your back on belief in the good things and let the bad things become your driving force. Believing in the unbelievable gives you the strength to move past the bad things without letting them impact you too much. Seeking the positive and turning your back on the negative is a CHOICE we make. That's why I finally (after a lot of thought) chose the song I did. You can hear it in the Youtube clip at the end of the post. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but it feels right and I choose to believe in myself.

So ... what song would you choose?

03 May 2010

... and why not??

Random Quote of the Day:
Led Zeppelin is just a bunch of stupid idiots who wrote cool riffs.
~Chris Cornell~

Why do people say rude things based on their own exalted opinions? Do they always have to be right, no matter how dull or under-informed they may (or may not) be? Does intellect or knowledge make it okay to be rude?

Take that quote that I pulled today as an example. Who is Chris Cornell? What qualifies him to judge a classic band like Led Zeppelin? I'm not saying he's wrong or right in his opinion, but what exactly gave him the right to say anything at all, especially if it's a matter of public record (as it obviously is, since I found the quote on Famous Music Quotes Online)? What was his point anyway? Did he intend to denigrate the members of that particular band, or did he wish mere to state that their music was "cool"? If it was the former, what's so noteworthy about that? If the latter, could he not have found a more positive way to say it?

What kind of world would it be if people judged less and accepted more? If we instinctively saw the best in people rather than expecting the worst? What if it was globally expected that we should be kind and tolerant, and speak the truth in gentler, more thoughtful ways? Why CAN'T we be friends?