"I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself." -CS Lewis, The Great Divorce


Thing #34: "She's In Love With the Boy"

Today was one of the first beautiful days of 2010, allowing me to glimpse into the hope that spring will soon sweep back into our lives, rendering winter a cold - yet relatively benign - memory. Anyway, on these first warm-ish days, I am tempted to do the environmentally un-friendly thing: turn up the heat and roll down the windows. Today, I did such a thing. Then, as the windows are down, I ultimately realize that I must have the PERFECT song on the radio. I searched all 12 pre-set stations in my car at least three times, and nothing on any of the stations struck me as perfect. Out came the iPod and the "All Time Favorites" playlist. Number one on that playlist is my favorite song of all time - Trisha Yearwood's "She's in love with the Boy." So I rocked it, hard, to one of my most genuinely country songs. It was a good moment in a day on which I have struggled with my inner demons of negativity and self-doubt. And whenever I hear it - through a phone call from mom, on the radio, when shuffle selects it, or like today, when I purposefully select it - I'm happier.

"What's meant to be will always find a way"

I know that's not the lasting message of a love song about two teenagers, but it seems to be the thought that leaves me with a warm feeling of hope in my chest. What's meant to be WILL always find a way... and I will take Trisha along with me each step of that journey.


Thing #33: Lessons that have gone well

Part of my lenten goals (especially after yesterday's reminder that our lenten sacrifice should be something that stands in our way of God) is an effort to come up with at least one "thing to be happy about" a day. I hope this goes well.

So, here goes my first attempt at positivity (despite my lingering hunger and exhaustion):

Today's lesson went really well. I refused to give answers for most of the lesson. Instead, I allowed my students to create their own working knowledge of personal narratives. What they came up with was better than any PowerPoint slide I could have created. Now, they not only know what good writing should have, they also know what it looks like (and what it doesn't). I feel like a good teacher, and I'm not worn out from talking all block and re-explaining the ideas. They did the work. It was fabulous.


Thing #32: The light at the end of the tunnel

As we trudge on through the middle of February (the worst month after January), I find myself in my typical late-winter, pre-spring melancholy. I feel sad for no reason; the ambitious schedule seems impossible; I want to simultaneously drink wine (which I dislike in a way reserved for spicy foods and rainy runs), cry, and watch terribly sappy romantic movies. I hate February.

Yet (and yet), I find myself looking forward to the first 60 degree day with an almost reckless hope. I can smell the sweet scent of the air from open windows. My feet feel the freedom of comfy Rainbow flip-flops. I taste the first sweet bites of watermelon. Every inch of my body aches for the springtime sensations.

So, even though it seems impossibly far away after this abysmal winter (and let's not lie - it's been icky), I have hope for sunshine soon and the brief (even if proves imaginary) break in the hectic schedule. I cling to the coming spring as if it were my only life line. It is the light to which I walk - thankfully it is the light of life.


Thing #31: Successful Art Projects

Deep down, past the obsessive-compulsive neatness tendencies, beyond the procrastination bone, far removed from the frequent-nap-taking gene is creative ability. Often, it seems incredibly distant. In fact, often, it seems as though it and I have little in common. However, on occasion, it really steps it up a notch and shines through the aforementioned personality ticks.

Yesterday, it produced an awesome art project. And there it is, lovely picture posted. The theme was "I believe that happiness is something we create," (thanks, Sugarland), and I used transparencies to overlay extra happiness onto already beautiful places. So now, Geneva has my own personal sailboat, Connecticut has my picnic table ready, and the oceanfront has a chair and peaceful umbrella waiting for me.

I guess the coolest part is not the actual artwork, but the fact that it worked according to plan, as many of my recent endeavors have. While making it, I realized that I love taking pictures, and I should get a nice camera and really learn how to do it.

It's nice to know that under the OCD, procrastination, and laziness waits this creative center that is ready to take control of an otherwise uneventful snow day (don't even get me started on VBCPS and possible make-up days).

So, whose wedding shall I be ready to photograph? I'm seriously learning to photograph. I need an alternate career path should teaching fail.