6.27.14 Beautiful

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Emerson once described beauty as, “God’s handwriting.”  If it were true, then my daughter must be written by divine hands because in my world, there is no greater example of beauty.  Aesthetically, she is stunning, with an easy smile and bright, sky eyes, but that isn’t what makes her beautiful.  Whenever my husband or I tell her how pretty she is we follow with, “But what’s more important than being pretty?” to which she replies:

          “Being smart, nice and kind.” And she is all of these.  At four and a half she has a greater grasp of what matters than most people do in a lifetime.  She is the first to share what she has, the first to offer to pray for someone who needs it, and the first to offer a hug without being asked.  I never really anticipated that I would learn so much about faith from a child, but my daughter has a way of “seeing” people for what they need–for how they feel.  Almost like a sixth sense, she tends to zero in on the emotions of others and read them for what they might try to hide.  She exposes the best in people, the smiles they may not have given, the conversation they might not have shared.  She is a wonder.

 

When my husband and I found out we were having my daughter, we were in Hawaii.  Not able to get pregnant easily with our son, she was somewhat of a miracle to us.  We decided to give her the middle name Kallea, which (in Hawaiian) translates as, “bright and clear.”  Whether it’s what’s in a name or not, she has proven to have a supernatural ability to not only see the bright side, but be it.  Markus Zusak once said, “Sometimes people are beautiful … just in what they are,” and that is her. 

 

I feel like sometimes I have short-changed my kids in the “slow down and be there for them” kind of way.  I am a busy person with a busy personality and I fear that sometimes, this will rub off on my children; so far, by the grace of God, it hasn’t.  Instead, my daughter is patient to the extreme.  She waits, endlessly, for my attention, for my time.  I wish I could say I realized this early on, but I didn’t.  It wasn’t until about six-months ago that I began our “stop and snuggle up” rule.  I told her that whenever she felt the need, whenever she didn’t want to wait, she could say, “stop and snuggle up,” and I’d drop whatever I was doing, no matter how important, for the most important thing … her.

 

My daughter is a gift of sunshine to me, a brightness I didn’t expect or deserve.  And my prayer is that I can grow up to be just like her–just as kind, just as giving, just as patient.  I utterly adore her and her beautiful, bright and clear spirit. Like Jerry Spinelli once said, “She was bendable light: she shone around every corner of my day.”  How blessed am I to have this dose of incandescence daily.

 

Think of the nightlight in your life, and then tell them they are.

 

Elle

6.24.14 Auto-IN-Correct!!!

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So, once upon a year ago, I had a parent come to school to pick up his child.  We were just back from a field trip and he asked me about whether or not I knew of any good apple-picking farms in the area.  Not having been from the area, I told him I didn’t really know of any.  “No problem,” he said in his strong British accent, “I’ve just gotten the new iphone 5 so I’ll just ask Siri.”

“Siri?” I’d asked.

“Surely you know about Siri?” he said with a chuckle. 

“I’ve never actually used it,” I admitted, (at that time still a 4S girl).

“Well, let me show you then,” he said, excited to show off his new tech-toy. “I’ve had a bit of trouble getting it to understand my accent, but I think this version gets me.” Bringing the phone to his mouth, the automated voice of Siri asked how she could help him.  “Text Veronica,” he said. Then, leaning into the speaker he said, “I’m getting the kid.” Without looking, he showed me the screen proudly to display the wonders of technology recording his words, but when I looked at the screen, I stifled a giggle. It read –

I’m getting naked.”

YIKES! Thank you auto correct!  I laughed so hard, and flipped the screen in his hand to show him what was lost in translation.  “I think this version of Siri might also have trouble understanding your accent,” I giggled.

“Oh my God,” he said, over an embarrassed laugh, “I’m so sorry.  Please don’t put that in the parent files you keep.”

“No I think I’ll keep that to myself, but you might want to work on that auto correct.”

Hilarious.  I wish all auto correct mistakes were that funny, quick and easily resolved.  But alas, they are not.  I am writing this mostly to vent that I think “auto-correct” is a pain in the technological tush.  I read on quotesfrenzy.com, “Dear Auto Correct, please stop correcting my swear words you piece of shut.”  Ha!  But really, why would “does” become “dies!”  Do you know how awkward it is to say, “I really hope he does,” and have it change itself to dies?  Auto correct has probably ended some marriages by now.  I can just imagine on the line for cause of divorce, “mis-interpreted  text messages,” as the main cause.

Ironically, with the swear words, I recently had an auto correct problem in reverse.  Our neighbors were giving us some slack for our dog barking here and there to be let into the house.  Well, after a woof-woof here and a woof-woof there, we really trained ourselves to get her the first time she barked and were near paranoid about disturbing anyone.  I remember once jumping out of bed when I heard a bark, just to realize that it wasn’t even my dog; she was still in the house!  I wanted to be sure to check in with the neighbor, so I texted her and said, “Wanted to make sure that the dog barking is getting better. I heard a dog bark and ‘shot’ out of bed, but it wasn’t ours.”

Only, auto correct, in all her misdirected glory, didn’t leave the word “shot.” Any guesses what word was inserted?  Yeah … the s-word!  So now, it looked like I was cussing at my already-edgy neighbor!  I wasn’t … I swear (no pun intended)! 

If you relate to this at all, my brother-in-law informed me there is an actual website dedicated to the mistakes of auto correct and the inopportune times it happens. I’d love for you to share some of yours.  “In the classic words of John Ray, “Misery loves company,” after all.

Literarily yours, auto corrected and all,

Elle

6.21.14 Exceptionally

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So I have found that love, in her fickle nature, affects us all differently. There is the version of love that you look back on and realize was more infatuation, there is love you acknowledge as having changed you. And then there is the greatest kind of love in my opinion, the kind of love that never leaves you. The kind you can’t get over and wouldn’t want to, because you wouldn’t be you without it.

I must admit that I am experiencing this kind of love in more than one avenue of my life, but there’s one relationship in particular that I need to talk about today.

There is a boy who has captured my heart from day one of meeting him, and I just happened to have the divine honor of calling him my son.
I am absolutely, positively, head over heels in love with this boy, and I pray to God he knows it.

I am not a new mom, our son is almost 7, and I keep waiting for myself to get over him just a little bit. But I never do. How could I? This is the kid who, on his first day of kindergarten, when I asked for an extra hug, (clearly telling him it was for me, not for him) came over and held me while whispering in my ear, “It’s okay mama, I’m going to miss you too.”

I feel like sometimes he understands me better than other people do, like we have our own unspoken code that’s just between us. This shows itself often when his sister is being irrational, as four-year-olds often can be. When he sees me getting irritated, he patiently grins at me in the rearview mirror and rolls his eyes at the same time I do. He sees me.

This same boy is the one who, after a hard day, brought a blanket over to me on the couch, and tucked me in before silently smiling and taking his place beside me.

I was recently asked to do a speaking engagement in the fall, where the topic would be raising challenging kids. One of my friends jokingly scoffed at me saying “What on earth do you know about that?” While my kids are amazing, I am not saying they are perfect.

Just focusing on my son today, he has a definite mischievous side which, truth be told, I secretly admire. It takes a little skill and creativity to be tricky, and that seems to be one of his life goals. Catching us in tongue-twisters, holding us accountable for our exact words for time (counting to 120 if we tell him in two minutes).

One time, when his sister had something of his he wanted, he single-handedly threw a pillow at her feet to both trip and block her path. While it was terribly naughty, it was also pretty genius to make the toy go flying and disable her from being able to get it. Fear not, I only addressed his behavior, not the talented craftiness by which he pulled it off.

I guess this whole conversation really stems from one interaction I had this year. I saw a student of mine’s parents during conferences, and when I stopped to talk about their son, and how much I appreciated having him in class, they dully nodded their heads at me, and said “Well this is our third one through the system.” No, “Thanks,” no, “We’re so happy to hear that.” Nothing.

They were so cold, so disenchanted with this boy they brought to life. It absolutely tore at my heart to think that regardless of age, his failures, or achievements, this boy was being written off by his parents. Been there, done that, is not an acceptable attitude.

My son is exceptional, I will admit it. But only because he is exceptionally well-loved. There’s a quote that says “Kids will always live up or down to your expectations.” I believe this is true, and the only underwhelming, unexceptional thing about the boy in my class is the way he is perceived by those should love him best.

So do me a favor, and whether or not your child is choosing to be his best, whether or not he deserves it… love him. Let yourself be amazed at his accomplishments no matter how small. Enchant yourself with the wonder of your child again. And give him the confidence to realize that he has a unique and powerful place in the world YOU brought him into.

Love exceptionally,

Elle

6.18.14 Pain

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Okay so I’m a baby! I admit it. I’m not too proud to say it, I’m not about to deny it, it is what it is … I am a baby. A couple of days ago I woke up with a really shooting pain down the right side of my back … I guess it was more my right shoulder blade, but it doesn’t matter! It hurt! Immediately, I tried to tough it out which lasted a whole … two seconds! Before I decided I needed to see the chiropractor. After seeing the chiropractor, I realized it wasn’t going to feel better on its own so I called the next day to go to a massage therapist.

Now let me make one thing clear, there is a difference between being a baby (which I am) and being a wimp, (which I am not). Whenever I’ve confronted something like a deep tissue massage, a bad bruise, a cut, getting a tattoo on my foot, or a minor procedure, people will say “Didn’t that hurt?”  To which I laugh and reply, “Nothing’s too bad after you’ve had babies, and I’ve had two!”

So, I’m not a wimp, but I also don’t like feeling crummy. Whenever something hurts or I feel sick in the slightest, (you can ask my husband) I will go nuts trying to figure out how to make it better. After the massage therapist I saw one of my friends who is into essential oil, she put a concoction of about six extracts on my back and the smell of lemongrass, birch and peppermint wafted through the hall. I, in my overactive-imaginative state, looked at the bottles lining her table and imagined myself visiting a potion brewer in the Middle Ages. It did feel a little bit better, but I have another chiropractor appointment tomorrow, and another massage Friday.

While this may seem drastic, or even rash, I believe in holism and trying to make myself feel 100% at least 90% of the time. Thomas Edison once said that “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” While I believe in this whole heartedly, I also took three Advil – I’ve got kids to take care of, a novel to finish and a blog to write! (Not to mention the chores!) I don’t have time not to feel awesome, and if it is at all within my power, I am going to use every blessed day the Lord gave me to the fullest! But that means advocating for ourselves and dealing with it.

Too often I am saddened by people who just accept the state of things the way they are. I have an uncle who has had some severe neck and shoulder injuries, but instead of seeking out holistic remedies to his situation, he sort of turned inward and become what I would call a hermit. It makes me so sad because he was once so full of life! So what happened? And how do I never get there?  I love him, I want to bring him back to life … but he has to want to be brought back, you know?

One of my favorite poets, Rilke once reminded us to, “Let everything happened to you, beauty and terror, just keep going, no feeling is final.” I remember asking my sister why she thought we had days like this, pain in the neck days, pain in the back days, pain in the butt days that come too soon and don’t leave quick enough.  She, in her for years my elder state wisely said, “I think we have days like this to remind us to be thankful for the days that aren’t.”

So pain in the back, neck, shoulder blade: thank you for the not-so-gentle reminder of all the times you don’t hurt. And to anyone who is hurting–regardless of where (physically or mentally), my prayers go to you tonight.

Literarily yours,
Elle

6.15.14 Break Up Letter

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This year I taught my students about the figurative language element called “apostrophe.”  No, it is not the little crescent squiggle that shows possession, it is actually a tactic of writing to something non-living that cannot answer back. So when Romeo in Shakespeare’s great work “Romeo and Juliet” agonizingly
shouted, “Do I defy you stars?” That was an act of using apostrophe.

Well, as great of a literary tactic as it is, I have found myself wanting to
use it lately. Only I wish that the recipient of this letter would
actually hear me and do something about it! So, this is a little
different, a little silly even, but I feel that these things truly need
to be said. So here goes, a breakup letter to my allergies.

Dear Allergies,

I guess I didn’t think I needed to write this letter, because I felt that
 I had outgrown you enough for you to realize that you should be gone.
But lately I’ve seen evidence of your return and I have to say I am not
ready to reunite.  You hurt me too deeply allergies with my red, puffy,
tear-stained eyes becoming more regular. I loathe the incessant tissue
purchases, the nasal sprays and the exhaustion of simply being near you …
 it is all too much.

And now I have seen you start to affect my
children, and that is too unforgivable. Constantly using inhalers,
having to buy special “cool to the touch” Kleenex so we don’t rub our
noses raw, and looking like trolls in the morning from our red- eyed,
clogged-nosed, sleepless nights … we just can’t take it.

I know
this is hard to hear, especially after all the time we’ve had together.
 And I realize that lately you have been trying, what with the romantic
gestures of fields of Golden Rod, swirls of Cottonwood coming down like
snow, and the fresh smell of cut grass everywhere. I appreciate the
beauty of it, but again, you’re trying to hard and I’m sorry to say …
but it’s over.

I know what you’ll try to do next; you’ll try to remind me of all the good times we had.

You’ll tell me that when I was a little girl it was you who was able to keep me home from school when no
 other excuse would do the job. Then, you’ll bring up college. You’ll
ask me, “Didn’t we have fun when you were trying to figure out which
allergy medicine was right for you?” No. Pharmaceutical drug
experimentation was not on my personal list of “must-experiences” in
college.  While true, the extreme differences of hyperactive to near
comatose is a funny memory, it is not enough to make me want to stay.

I’ve moved on allergies. You’re not the only one in my life anymore. I have
children to take care of that don’t need your influence and a husband I
love. So stop attacking him too! He was never allergic to bees before
and the little anaphylactic reaction episode last summer wasn’t cool.  I
 know it was an act of jealousy to get me back, but it won’t work. He
has an epi-pen and we are living strong and moving on.

I mean it this time allergies, we’re through! And I would appreciate you not
stopping by again as it just makes it harder for us to move on.  If you
love me … it’s really time to let me go.

No longer yours,

Elle

5.11.14 Getting to Know ME!

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So – honest answer … if you weren’t you, would you be friends with yourself?  I think this is an interesting question to consider and I’d like to say, “For sure! I’m a good time,” but then I realize that sometimes, I’d have to think about it.  Maybe I’d end up being one of those friends who you love, but can only handle in small doses.  Like an overly-frosted cupcake, too much is intense and sickening.  With a big smile, endless conversation and a lot of pep … I don’t always think being around me is what others would call easy.
If we’re going for honesty, then I’ll admit I’m impulsive, I’m insecure, I’m a goody-two-shoes and an overachiever.  In school I was the type of kid who liked the idea of working with people, but when time came right down to it, my real mentality was, “Thank you for helping, now get out of the way so I can do it.”  (It would be lovely to inform you that this part of my character has matured, but truth be known I still love to take the reigns.)  I like to be the first one to respond, the one who puts the finishing touch on or the last word in.  Looking at myself from the outside – I’m rather exhausting come to think of it.  
Sometimes when I’ve got more than a minute to myself I’m beginning to realize how dangerous it can actually be for me.  Usually packed and planned to the wire, I almost don’t know what to do when given an ounce of free time.  Suddenly, when I’m not stretched to the max, I become some wired OCD/ADD combination of crazy.  Like a manic pinball, I dash and crash around my house or job, flitting from one unfinished activity to another.  (Please tell me I’m not alone here!)  My mom and I always laugh and say that we’re lucky the culture-shift of diagnosing labels didn’t come around until after we were in school or we’d be sure to have a litany of letters behind our names.
But you know what?   Whether or not I’d be too much for myself to handle as a friend, I just thank God he found people stronger than me to succeed at the job.  While there are parts of myself I am proud of and happy to discover and grow into, there are definitely less-than-awesome tendencies, habits and quirks that I know would drive me crazy in someone else.  The neat thing is, even confidence-exuding Marilyn Monroe admitted it’s a process, stating, “I am trying to find myself; sometimes that’s not easy.”  I feel like amending the quote to add, “… and sometimes I am trying to lose myself but I find the only thing that slips is my mind!” Ha!  We’ve got to be able to laugh at ourselves right? If you ever have a reaction to what you read, please feel free to leave comments … I’d love to come to a greater state of interaction with my digital friends!  Also, as a 60+ post push for myself, I wanted to ask (if you’ve been enjoying yourself) to please pass https://thisquotablelife.wordpress.com/ on to a friend (or ten)!  I’d love to continue building relationship through readership!
Thank you friends – happy self-discovery of the good, the beautiful and the unexpected. 

 

Literarily yours,
Elle

5.8.14 False Apologies

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So … I am an over-apologizer.  I am.  I know it.  I hate discordance.  I don’t like when people are mad at me, or when I feel that there is any animosity between me and another person.  When I was a teenager this was a very painful characteristic to hold because I’d end up apologizing for things in friendships and relationships that probably weren’t really my responsibility to apologize for.  I still do this … when I ask a question of a co-worker, when I double-check a schedule, when I miss a call – apologizing is second nature to me.  I recently had someone call me out on it and say, “Why are you apologizing?” To which I said … “Um … habit?”

 
Like I said, I don’t like the stomach-ache or guilt that comes with any kind of disagreements, but I have also come to learn that I cannot expect other people to feel the same way.  In the words of Robert Brault, “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”  I think I have had a lot of those anti-apologies, but maybe living by the  philosophy of not expecting them has kept me from becoming embittered.

 
Sadly, I think I’m a minority in this respect.  In fact, most of the people around me, (apart from my family) sort of suck at apologizing all together.  I would guess that this stems from the idea that they are still waiting for the world to apologize to them for something (or everything).  These people tend to be my polar opposite and deal with conflict by either: A) not apologizing at all or B) apologizing badly.

 
Some more generous personalities than mine might question my morals here stating that any apology is better than none, to which I say – you’ve obviously never heard the same paradoxical apologies I am regularly witness to.  I swear most of them are more excuse, or vindication in nature than sincere.  For example, any apology that starts with, “I’m sorry but,” is a fail in my mind.  According to the dictionary, the conjunction “but” literally means, “Used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned,” meaning … “Whatever I’m about to say, is completely void by what I’m about to say after it.” Benjamin Franklin related this when he said, “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”

 
Becoming a mother has been a whole elevated experience in the art of apology.  This is mostly because my children, when left alone, are exceptionally awful at apologizing; I think most children are.  They are filled with a mix of tattles and acquittals, but not an ounce of chagrin for the actual behavior.  Whenever my children do something to one another that they need to apologize for (every other hour) we, instead, have come to a strict format of how to say I’m sorry.  Our scripted conversations go something like this:

Me: “You need to apologize to your sister.”
Son: “I’m sorry.”
Me: “For what?”
Son: “For pushing?”
Me: “Why are you looking at me when you’re apologizing to her?”
Son: “Because you’re talking to me.”
Me: “Well apologize to her.”
Son: “Do you forgive me?”
Me: “Me or her?”
Son: “Um?”

In complete honesty, it has taken years (really … years) for my kids to learn to apologize well.  I’m still not saying that they mean every apology, but they do know how to apologize in theory, which is more than I can say for most people.  Most people either pretend they don’t know they’re supposed to apologize, or they give you a false apology that would better have been left unsaid.  
I heard a great scenario that said:

Grab a plate and throw it on the ground. – Okay done.
Did it break? – Yes.
Now say sorry to it. – Sorry.
Did it go back to the way it was before? – No.
Do you understand?

I think more of us need to think about the way we act in an intentional way.  I need to stop apologizing for too many things and save the “I’m sorry’s” for something real; and some (many) need to realize that they do,  in fact, have broken plates to apologize for. 

 
A true apology is super glue for the soul.  

 
Literarily yours,

 

Elle

5.5.14 Goodbyes

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I have always had trouble with goodbyes – so much so, that I never really say them. I didn’t realize this about myself until my sister once pointed it out to me at the end of one of phone conversations.  See you later or let’s make a plan to get together or here’s my email address – write me, but never goodbye. Goodbye is just too hard, it has a certain finality to it and I have problems with limitations. Author Raymond Chandler said, “To say goodbye is to die a little,” and that is something I am certainly not ready for, in any respect.  Sometimes I hear a song on the radio that I haven’t heard in a really long time and I think to myself, “I wonder if I will ever hear the song again?” Even something as simple and stupid as that can make me feel sad. My Christmas card list is nearly 150 people long. Most of them, I don’t talk to any other time in a given year, but for some reason (my affinity to never end things perhaps) keeps their names on my list.

Grade school friends, acquaintances I used to work with, old boyfriends, past neighbors …  I’ve never been able to stop being in contact completely with any of them.  I love people – and I feel that somehow, everyone’s story is linked together in a beautiful tangled mess that we call life.  I akin it somewhat to needlepoint sewing.  You can no more cut a thread than ruin the whole picture.  Sometimes I feel like it is the ties, the knots and the tangles that really end up holding us together.  Our relationships are the fabric of our lives.  They are the color, the music, the heart.

After sharing all of that with you, I’m sure it comes as no surprise whatsoever that I’m really struggling with these last few days of school.  Saying goodbye to my students has always been difficult for me.  I know it sounds silly, but I sort of feel like Mary Poppins at the end of the movie when she knows that the kids don’t need her anymore. Whether or not I agree with it, the winds of change are coming and there’s not a single thing I can do to keep them from sweeping me away.

Maybe I’m all wrong, and they really don’t need me anymore. But what if I need them?  What if I depend on their insecure questions to make me feel strong.  What if I need their bright eyes and they’re brilliant smiles giving me a hello every morning and see you tomorrow grin before they shut their lockers?  Sometimes I feel like I need our grand conversations because they reawaken me into wonder at possibilities I’d forgotten to dream.  How do you say goodbye to children that you love? How do you look into those beautiful faces and think, I might never see you again. I read a quote recently, and though I’m not certain of the source, it said exactly what I felt. “And I just thought that you should know that I’ve been holding on while you’ve been letting go.”

And you should be … but it is still hard.  Whether it’s moving on, living differently or passing away, goodbyes continue to break my heart.  In the case of my students, I think of a quote from Boris Pasternak in his book Doctor Shivago that says,  “Farewell, my great one, my own, farewell, my pride, farewell.” So now, to you my dear ones – farewell indeed.  Know that I am filled with joy at the memories of who you were … filled with pride at the young people you have become … and, finally, filled with hope, that this is not a goodbye forever, because I love you all, and goodbyes hurt too much.

To all the exceptional farewells you’ve had to live through – you are not alone,

Elle

6.2.14 Procrastination

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There is an old adage by Rita Mae Brown that says, “If it weren’t for the last minute nothing would ever get done.”  While I agree with this statement I would like to give a little more credit to this last minute, because in my world, it is where everything gets done! And I know I’ve already told you about Lucille Ball when she said, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person,” to which I say – Please Don’t. Because if I have one more thing on my to do list my brain will explode, and with everything I have in my little brain right now, that would be quite a mess.

Now to some it would sound as if I am admitting that I am a procrastinator. Well, I am! It isn’t that I put things off, it’s just I have to do everything in the order of when it’s due. And though I don’t typically call myself a “logical” girl by nature, it seems to only make sense to do things in the order in which they need to be done. For example: grading papers – need to do, bathing a stinky, sweaty, soccer-loving-six-year-old – need to do now! Fold laundry and put it away? Need to do. Go grocery shopping so that we actually have something to make for dinner – need to do now!

I think I could vindicate myself into believing that this kind of lifestyle is acceptable if it weren’t for my punctual, perfectly-planned family.  Although I love my mother and sister dearly, I think if I was less secure, I might actually have to hate them just a little bit  because of their always-aware, organized and categorized personalities!  But alas, I love them instead.

The ironic thing is, I too am organized, but again, that last minute thing comes into play and I am left with choiceless choices.  Would you rather: A) make it to your triple-threat day of ballet, soccer, and Bible study, or B) fill in the weekly calendar on the wall? Now the argument could be made that if I did actually fill out said calendar, our life would be running a little more smoothly, however Sunday night (when I would fill out the calendar) typically ends up being the one time of the week I sleep.

I was having a conversation with my dad recently. We were talking about my writing career and how to balance it with teaching. I shared with him that I was having trouble finding time to write while I was completing lesson plans, attending committees, going to meetings, and correcting papers. After my pity party parade, my dad brilliantly replied, “Well baby, you’ve just got to make time.SO not what I wanted to hear.

Let it be known that I love my daddy, he is a smart, giving, wonderful man, but that was one of his lesser helpful bits of advice. I wanted to ask him what the magic formula is for “making more time;” I imagine it would involve one cup of minced minutes, shredded seconds and half an hour stirred in.  If I shared this mental recipe with my dad, I’m afraid he would remind me that I could have used the little thought tangent time more wisely. But sadly, regardless of my creative baking skills, I can’t make time. You can’t me time! So we just need to steal some here and there.

The unfortunate thing about stealing time is, it tends to send the Sandman to steal some right back. Just last night, for example, I was grading papers and feeling sorry for my dog … she saw I was still awake sitting at the kitchen table and not spending time with her. To remedy this injustice, I laid a blanket on my kitchen tile floor, snuggled up with my dog, my computer, and a stack of papers to grade. Complete with pillows, it was about 11:30 at night when I had the brilliant idea that I would just rest my eyes for a few minutes. Somewhere between sleep and sanity, I realized that I was about to compromise my comfort for the kitchen floor! That is when I when I recognized that time had one that match. It’s stole the rest of the night from me in my comfy bed where I could not deny sleep another minute.

Knowing that my students would be taking my Language Arts final exam today, my dreams were properly punctuated, interspersed with plenty of imagery, symbolism, and a metaphor or two.  I think I even saw an ellipses, you know that … at the end of my dream, indicating that there should have been more but time omitted it.

But, things always get done. That same perfect-timing mother and sister of mine who I simultaneously can’t stand for their on-timeliness, are also the two people I call in a desperate panic the hour before something is due just to have them tell me, “don’t worry you’ll get it done … you always do.” And you know what? They’re right. So now I will say it to you, whatever it is that needs doing, it will get done! You may need to rearrange the order of your list a little bit, like me, but eventually everything that needs doing will be accomplished. Sometimes, I admit it is hard to decide how to prioritize my list, but I have found that finishing that last bit of whatever it is, is much less important than a child who says I need to go to the bathroom now!  Please learn from my mistakes and remember the words of Oscar Wilde when he said, “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.”

Literarily yours,
Elle