Thursday, February 19, 2015

It's How You Look At Life

If you're ever having a bad day or down in the dumps, spend some time around a kid. They can always cheer you up.  Case in point:  last Thursday the 3rd graders had a big practice for their evening presentation of "The Drum".  Our wonderful music teacher, Mrs. Oberst, had been leading practice sessions for weeks and the 3rd graders were dizzy with excitement and nerves.   So, I lined my little ones up in our classroom to head down to the dress rehearsal in the proper order by announcing each name.  They pushed their chairs in and bounced over to their position in line.  You could feel the energy.   

We approached the back stage door and waited patiently for the first two classes to enter.  As my students walked up the steps back stage, I smiled at each of them and said, "Smile!" making a big sweep with my hands for emphasis.  They couldn't help but smile back as they hurried on their way.

The rehearsal wasn't the best practice I've ever seen.  The kids were noisy.  They were squiggly and full of nervous energy.  They missed some of their lines and forgot to go to their instruments.  By the end of practice, the music teacher looked a bit exasperated with them.   I reminded her how they always pull through for the performance and I assured her they would be great!

And then, later that night, when I lined them up in the classroom, for the real performance, I told them all how proud I was of them.  I told them to remember to smile and have fun!   And I said to them that if they got nervous they could look at me.  I'd be right up front in the first row.  
As their little voices sang in their cute little kid way, and they all perfectly executed their lines and played their instruments, I got a little teary eyed. I'm proud of them every day when they try their best and learn.  I'm proud of them when I see them invite a friend to play at indoor recess or say, "Excuse me" when they bump into someone.  I'm proud of them when I see them invite a younger brother or sister to eat lunch with them.  I'm proud of them when I see them ask for help or try something on their own. I'm proud of them when I hear them read to me and I see them excitedly looking for books in the Media Center.  

And I'm as proud as their parents when I see them on stage singing.  And smiling.

One of the songs that had been playing on repeat in my head every time I picked them up from music the past few weeks was called, "It's How You Look At Life".  

And as I listened to them sing and I watched the parents smiling, I realized it is, truly, how you look at life.  

We could all learn a lesson from the tiny little singers.  

Below Zero

Today we had our first "cold day" of the winter.  Temperatures today are struggling to get above zero and even though the sun is out, it's very misleading.  Every time I let the dog out I'm instantly reminded about just how cold it is outside.  Words don't even describe it.  Unless you've experienced below zero temperatures you really can't appreciate how cold it actually really can get.   And, then, just as I was writing this blog, I got a text that our school district is closed tomorrow also!  Oh, snap!

I texted my daughter in Chicago to give her the wonderful news.  Which, by the way, she didn't think was quite as wonderful as I did because she has to walk to her job in the cold.   She doesn't have snow or cold days.  She did muster up some happiness when I reminded her of the fun we used to have when she was in school and we could enjoy a snow day together.  I texted my husband who quickly texted me back "Yay".  Which I know he doesn't really mean since he has to drive an hour each way to work every day no matter what the weather.  But I appreciate his effort.  When you get a snow day, you want everyone else to be as happy as you are but that usually isn't possible.  So, I took to FB where all my teacher friends were gloriously commenting on the luck of, not just one, but two unexpected, consecutive days off school.  They posted comments and pictures and stories of what great things they were doing with their free time.   I felt validated.

So, what did I do with my day today?  I spent the entire morning zero tasking.  And, yes, that's a real word.  Look it up.  I'm sure you can guess the definition as it's the opposite of multitasking.  It's actually a bit difficult to do.  Urban Dictionary defines it as:  The act of doing exactly zero tasks simultaneously.  I also googled it and found it means "being, not doing".   There is even a "Zero Tasking Day".  What in the world did we ever do without the internet?

My zero tasking today included reading a book on my Kindle that I downloaded almost a year ago, sitting on the couch petting my dog curled up next to me, and cleaning the oven.   And by cleaning, I mean I pushed the button for the 2 hour self clean and left the room.  I figured that was a win-win on this cold day as it heated up the house rather nicely.   So, I'm not sure if I truly zero tasked, but I most definitely one tasked.

I think I did a pretty good job today of just being.  Unexpected days off school have a way of giving you precious time to just do what you want.

Even if that "doing" is nothing.

Monday, February 2, 2015

As Good As It Gets

This snow day is better than most.                    

*  It is on a Monday
*  It is the day following the Super Bowl
*  It is the first snow day of the year
*  We were notified at 4:30 p.m. yesterday (not the usual 4:30 a.m. day of)

I'm staying in and relaxing and soaking up every minute of this perfect snow day. 

  Read some of my previous blogs below about snow days.  I'm too lazy to write a new one today.

Snow Day 2013

How To Enjoy A Snow Day

Polar Vortex