Monday, April 27, 2020


I know I'm not the only one stuck in this endless cycle of stay at home order.  I have such a wide variety of thoughts and feelings about all of this.  Everything from "this is stupid" to "we'll hunker down as long as we need to" and so much more in between.

I'll be honest and admit that I'm not doing it perfectly either.  To me there's this big black hole of doing exactly what we're told to do vs. me assessing each day, my life (and my children's), each situation and making decisions based on what I think is best.  Sometimes the two do not match up with each other. That conflict and what I do/don't do can end up with so much stigma, judgement & criticism.  I've had to work long and hard to simply not care about what others thinks, say or do about MY life.  Yet being a highly empathetic person and simply caring All.  The. Time. fights to put me right back in that box.  It's an endless cycle of who I am.

Despite all that is battling within me each day, one thing I've tried to control is my gratitude.  This takes constant effort and some days or even moments are easier than others.  This is an area that I don't think I struggled with before, but feel like this pandemic and all the life changes that are happening with it are really testing me in this area.  I'm also guilty of making my gratitude bubble very small and focusing on only the closest of things that I have any control over.  While there's nothing wrong with that, it makes it pretty easy for me to feel challenged by other bigger situations and happenings.  It makes me realize how much I need to focus on gratitude no matter how big or small the situation.

I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of gratitude.  This was the view as I sat in my bed.  I'm not 100% sure why, but I LOVE this view.  I felt calm.  I felt at peace.  I felt SO thankful to be alive for another day.  For me, this was a moment that God had put in my heart.

Perhaps it was too easy to embrace this feeling since it's such a small controlled environment.  I'll admit that in the time since I took the picture and now, even as I wrote this post I've been tested A LOT.  And being my emotional self  have shed some tears and struggled.   I'm going to go ahead and keep focusing on all that I'm thankful for.  Big and small.  I have so much to live for and for that I am thankful!

What are you thankful for?   Is this something you struggle with?  Talk to me, I want to listen 😊

Monday, April 13, 2020

So Emotional

Everyone experiences emotions differently.  I for one am a very emotional person.  I tend to feel and experience any/all emotions deep in my core and with every fiber of my being.  It's not an exaggeration or me being dramatic.  I am just wired to be this way and it's in no way a bad quality to have.  I've had to learn and work on keeping my reactions to those emotions in check.  It's not an excuse to let myself be out of control, although some times that does happen. 

It can be frustrating when people don't know or understand how deep rooted my emotions can be.  One of the worst things you can tell me is "calm down, don't be so emotional about this!".  While I can work to calm down in many situations, there is no way I can not be emotional about things.  I know I'm not the only person who is wired this way, a lot of people are.  And probably just as many are wired to not be an emotional person. It's one of the many things that all makes us different and I strive to accept every person's differences.

One of the main emotions that most people are experiencing right now is grief.  You usually think of grief as something that someone goes through when they've lost a loved one to death.  However,  I've read many articles that talk about the grieving process that many of us are going through right now.  You may not even realize it or be able to identify it yourself.  But our lives have all changed in the last month and we've all lost something(s) that at the very least was normal to us.  Some of us have lost more than others, but we're all at a loss for what we knew as our life.

When I left school on Wednesday, March 11 I thought I was going to be gone for a scheduled 4 day weekend.  In addition to my primary job in the classroom, we had just started track practice and the season was on the verge of getting in to full swing. 

This was not any regular track season.  Not only for me, but for the school itself.  After 4 years of being an assistant coach, I was promoted to head coach of the boys and girls Lombard track team.  I was scared, but so excited and ready to take on this role!  Not to mention this is Lombard's last year as a Jr. High.  The schools here are restructuring and after this year Lombard will be a 5-6 building with no track team.  That also means there will no longer be this historic Churchill vs. Lombard divide.  All year there has been plenty of focus on this End of an Era between the two Jr. High schools.  One that dates back for over 60 years.  I didn't grow up here, but my kids have all attended Churchill, but I've been equally loyal to the kids I coach at Lombard.  To be honest they are both great schools and a part of the larger Galesburg school district, which I love and support.  So I've never been a fan of the rivalry, but was honored to be the one to lead Lombard through it's end and final days.

In the beginning days of the quarantine and stay at home initiative I was hopeful and optimistic that we could still have a track season.  Even if it was a shortened one.  I encouraged my kids to remain active so that we wouldn't lose too much ground.  As a mom, I have a son who was hopeful in that *perfect* 4x4 team that could honestly make it to state this year.  So we tried to hold onto that hope that things could still happen and if it was not the norm, it would still be something!!  We wanted to be ready to go when all of this was lifted. 

As the days turned into weeks, my hope began to fade.  I had to begin to accept that we probably wouldn't have a track season.  I kept telling myself it was what was best and simply something we had to accept, even if we didn't like it.  Finally the silver bullet came in an email from the IESA which officially cancelled the State Track Meet.  I knew then that my track season was officially cancelled.  I was crushed.  Devastated.  I knew somewhere deep inside this would happen, yet it did nothing to lessen the pain or stop the flood of tears that engulfed me.  Was I being too emotional?  Absolutely not!  My heart and soul was being crushed.  Not only for my personal reasons and goals, but for my students who have been robbed of this track season.  For the 8th graders, my son included, who would never get this track season back.

It's been weeks since I got this news and even as I typed this out I still had to fight back the tears.  I know and understand it is what is best to keep everyone safe and protected.  It's nobody's fault.  It's the reality of what this entire nation is going through.  I know this adds to a long list of other life events that have changed for many people.  Events, moments, dates they have been robbed of.  Some things can be postponed or still held, but in drastically different ways than one imagined.  However, many will have last moments, last chances, last events that they will never get back.  My heart, my head, my body will grieve this for a long time.  I won't forget it too easily.  I never do.  Not because I can't let go of things and move on, but because of the deep emotional attachment I have to them.

Has there been anything that you are grieving for during this time?  It can be anything, big or little, if it's important to you then it's important!  Are you an emotional person?   I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Feast or Famine

One thing I know about myself is that I tend to be a feast or famine person.  I'm either on or off.  Often times there is no in between for me.  However at the same time I feel like I'm a very steady, reliable person.  I'm predictable.

A few weeks ago I came on strong and ready to change the world with my blog and each post that I had in mind (and I have plenty in my mental queue, plus all the ones that I'll write about as they happen).  It was on like donkey kong.  Then just as quickly I was nowhere to be found and no matter how much I thought about posting I just couldn't seem to get it done.

If there's one thing I can't complain about during this shelter at home time is that the time does not go slow.  Days are clicking away faster than I want them to.  I have a mental to-do list each and every day and it never fails that I can't get that list done.  It's not even a long or big list.  Some basics to get done, sprinkled in with some bigger projects that I want to work on.  Some days it's a struggle to get even just the basics done.

It's no surprise that I have horrible time management skills.  HORRIBLE!  How I've managed to survive years of not only managing my own time, but that of my 6 pack, is beyond me!  Granted the important stuff always got done one way or another.  It never failed though that I would often get so many compliments about how I just had it all together and managed things so well.  I always wanted to yell "I AM A MESS! AND DEFINITELY DID NOT HAVE MY SH*T TOGETHER!"

Either way, none of that has ever kept me from pushing forward through life.  At some point I realized that nobody has it all together.  While I can certainly have goals or work to improve in certain areas, I really just have to keep being and doing me and that's all I can focus on.  If I can own and acknowledging my strengths and weaknesses (ie my feast or famine qualities) I can better tackle each day.  It's an unspoken on my list and maybe one of the best things I can focus on during this time!

What are some of your best or worst qualities?