Thursday, February 6, 2014

January

    I saw a cute summary of the month on one of the blogs I follow so I decided to do something similar.  Here's what's been going on for the past month...

Reading: I love to read. I can't get enough reading lately. This month I read "The Accident" by Linwood Barclay, "What the Deaf Mute Heard" by G.D. Gearino, "The Lost Hours" by Karen White and "As She Was" by Alison Gaylin. Out of the 4, I liked The Lost Hours best. I didn't think I'd like it at first, but I did. I didn't like What the Deaf Mute Heard. I'm currently reading "A Clear and Present Danger" by Tom Clancy but I'm not feeling really into it. I'll probably pick a new book tonight.

Watching: American Idol. I usually do not watch this show but the recent addition of Harry Connick, Jr. piqued my curiosity. I saw Harry in a concert before and got a chance to talk to him for a few minutes afterwards. He is incredibly talented. I appreciate his sense of humor and the fact that he actually gives suggestions and reasons why he didn't like the performance. There are some talented singers on the show but I usually can't make it through all the diva moments(For those of you who might be wondering- yes, many people who are not talented at all frequently think they're amazing. As a music teacher I have seen many people who have been told they're wonderful for years who do not have basic skills of a musician. Many times these people also lack the ability to follow direction and work cooperatively with others too. As a teacher, I'd love to encourage everybody and make them better musicians but people who know it all don't usually have to learn.)

Eating:  Trying to eat healthy. I've been into munching on mushrooms and Hidden Valley Ranch dip.

Drinking: Lots of water. I'm cutting out Coca-Cola. I love Coke so it's been a transition.

Trying: To work really hard and do my best work even though I have recently run into a few people who don't value what I do. It's really hard to demand excellence for yourself when people are critical and disrespectful. Anyways, good thing I hold myself accountable to God and not to those people. I'm also trying to lose weight.

Purchased: A "new" 2005 Subaru Outback Limited Edition Wagon. It drives nicely in the snow we just had.

Rejuvenate-Spiritually- I have been working with a few friends to try to begin a program for the kids from 1st-12th grade at church. We're looking to mentor the students and we're hoping that the older students will be good leaders for the younger children. I'm really excited about this. It begins this Sunday!

Rejuvenate- Emotional- I have realized over the past few snow days that I really, REALLY have been enjoying my kids. It's not that I haven't enjoyed them before- or noticed. I'm just intentionally spending specific time with each one and appreciating how wonderful each son is. Timmy has a really quirky sense of humor and frequently (much to my chagrin) comes up with puns that I feel are too old for him to come up with. David has a goofy little smile and spent about 30 minutes playing the piano with me yesterday. (We improvised using a pentatonic scale and different sounds on the keyboard, tempo, dynamics, etc.) I am learning how to turn off "work mode" when I get home with my family. (That doesn't mean that I'm always successful or that I don't have work things going through my head for half of the night, but I'm making progress.)

Rejuvenate-Health-  I have lost almost 10 pounds so far this year. I'm monitoring what I'm eating a little more closely. I wouldn't say I'm dieting, but I am trying to watch things. My "Will this be rejuvenating?" question has been really helpful. I've gone back to the gym a few times, I've thrown out or given away a bunch of junk food left over from a school event, and I've been tracking my progress using LoseIt. I'm feeling really good and I'm excited to continue.

Rejuvenate-Career- I have had the blessing to work with some really hard-working, genuine kids over the past month. I was coming in to school early, staying after school and giving up my lunch period to help the kids audition for Jr. Districts and treble chorus which will be conducted by Henry Leck. I had 8 kids make it into the 2 events. Things that I made appreciate what I get to do every day.
     - Hearing students progress over a month's time
     -Having a girl thank me because I'm "giving up [your] lunch period so you can help me become  a better musician. I know you might not mind, but I do want you to know that I really appreciate it." 7th grade girl. REALLY mature.
     -Seeing the excitement of the kids who made it into the festival.
     - Having the students who did not make it in look over their audition sheets and talk to me about good and bad things about their audition rather than blaming a judge, making excuses, or running away crying. They were happy for their classmates and their classmates were also encouraging to them.
     -Getting a few thank you notes from parents for the opportunities their kids have been given.
     -Again, most importantly, getting to be a good influence on these kids and watch them discover that they can improve if they work hard. VERY COOL.

Rejuvenate- Relationships:  Kind of a fail on this one. I did invite a friend that I haven't seen in a long time to come over but then it was super snowy so we are rescheduling. I have been in touch with my mom a lot this month. She slipped on the ice up in Maine and broke her hip. She needed emergency surgery and will be out of work for a while. She's doing a great job with things. 

Looking forward to... February vacation. I don't feel like I really NEED a break but I am looking forward to catching up with some friends and hanging out with my family. We may go to Cape Cod, which is not very exciting in February, to a time share my parents own. This would be special for us since it's out of the ordinary. 

    Hope your January was great! Feel free to comment and let me know what you are up to.


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