My muse has been absent this week. During the week I give everything I've got to teaching and then at home (cooking, cleaning, laundry, boys' homework, lessons, Scouts, etc.), plus I've been working out like a mad women to get ready for swimsuit season. (It starts early here in warm, sunny Vegas.) ;o)
So I've been reading and recharging over the weekends, but there aren't any cool or funny ideas swirling around in my brain this weekend. (Well, maybe for a book, but not for my blog.) :o)
That's not say I haven't seen amazing things or been inspired this week. Here's a list of a few things that made my week:
1. Steve and D did the dishes for me Tuesday night. It was nice to come home from an evening of chauffeuring J around to a clean kitchen! This hubby of mine is a KEEPER!
2. Students achieving and caring. There is one girl in particular who has come a LONG way in my English class. She's an English Language Learner and struggled remembering nouns and verbs at the beginning of the year. Now she's got simple, compound, and complex sentences mastered!!!! I praised and praised her in front of the class. Her proud smile was worth putting up with the rest of them. ;o)
3. My courtyard. I bought a new front door mat and replanted some annuals that were bunched together. Flowers are blooming and plants are growing. J and I also painted the front gate last Saturday and now it's looking sharp out there!
4. Primary. I think the Sunbeams are my favorite kids in Primary. They are so fun---I love that age. Today a friend of mine with no children of her own subbed for them. This sweet lady has never taught in Primary. I could just feel her nervousness. Guess what? She ROCKED!!! One of the little Sunbeams looked at me afterward and said, "I like my teacher!" I smiled and told him that I liked her too. I also shared his comment with my friend. I think it made her day. I know it made mine.
5. Sons getting along. I remember growing up with siblings. It can be like "Lord of the Flies" one minute and "Little Women" the next. ;o) Today the boys have gotten along pretty well. When they get along it makes our whole home more peaceful. It also makes their momma's heart proud when they choose the right.
Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: ideachampions.com
"I may be changed by what has happened to me, but I will not be diminished by it."
How many of us are comfortable with change? I'm not. I just got a new Iphone. I was a Blackberry girl. I loved that Blackberry. My poor phone was 2 years old, had survived multiple drops and even sat in an inch of water at the bottom of my purse once. It was time for a change.
My new phone is fast. It's sleek. It has amazing capabilities. When I think back to my younger years, I would've LOVED a phone like this. It holds a copy of my Itunes, takes clear pictures, allows me to search the internet, email friends, keep up on social networks, holds the LDS Hymn Book, scriptures, and has very cool apps. But it has been painful to learn all of these new things. I've been uncomfortable at times and know that my brain is rerouting information in a new way. Now I know how my students feel when they have to learn about subject-verb agreement or complex sentences. Ouch!
There was major change when I got divorced. There was more change when I got remarried. There is change in every new calling, change every year at work, and change in my body as it ages. There are changes (both positive and negative) in my children as they grow. I used to embrace change as a new, exciting path in life, until some of the changes really hurt. Now I am more careful. I look forward to some changes, but am hesitant to really embrace them.
Change is inevitable though, right?
I like the quote from Maya Angelou above. Changes will affect me, but I can choose to be diminished by them or not. It's up to me.
silently if, out of not knowable
night's utmost nothing, wanders a little guess
(only which is this world more my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile
sings or if (spiralling as luminous
they climb oblivion) voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss
losing through you what seemed myself, i find
selves unimaginably mine; beyond
sorrow's own joys and hoping's very fears
yours is the light by which my spirit's born:
yours is the darkness of my soul's return
-you are my sun, my moon,and all my stars
Sandra hadn't woken up deciding to kill her husband. It happened quite by accident. It had been a typical Saturday spring morning. She was up with the sun, spent time out in her back garden clearing her beds for planting, and had finally gone in for some breakfast. She was happy and at peace with the world.
When she walked in the back door, there he sat, reading the morning paper. Sam always just sat. He was an unmotivated blob. Whatever it was that had prompted Sandra to marry him right out of college, she couldn't remember, it had been so many years ago. Luckily they'd never had any children. She couldn't imagine him as a father.
When he lost his job in the I.T. Department at a large real estate company, for not following company policy, or some other such nonsense, she wasn't surprised. He probably hadn't been doing his job there for years.
He never did anything at home; never lifted a finger to take out the trash, made their bed, cook, or clean. Sandra worked as a librarian at a local elementary school and came home exhausted every day. The least he could do was help out at home once in a while, especially since he was unemployed. There he sat, reading the paper and collecting his unemployment checks. Thanks to the Obama administration he'd been doing that for a year and would milk it for as long as he could.
Sandra sighed inwardly. "Find any jobs today dear?" she asked cheerfully.
"Only the usual garbage," Sam muttered from behind his newspaper wall.
She washed her hands at the sink, then went to the refrigerator. "Well, I'm sure something will come up."
Opening the refrigerator door she pulled open the fruit/vegetable drawer and searched among the salad ingredients for a lemon for her tea. Sandra always enjoyed a cup of herbal, decaffeinated tea in the mornings.
Filling the kettle and fixing her tea, she eyeballed Sam behind the paper, wondering how much it would take to kick him out and divorce him. She made a note to herself to call a good lawyer on Monday. It was time. He hadn't contributed anything to this marriage, either financially or emotionally for years. Better to get rid of him.
Sam turned down the corner of his paper. His ice blue eyes stared at her. "What are you standing there staring at me for woman?"
Sandra jumped and turned back to the counter, pulling a knife from the block and a cutting board from the dish drainer. "Oh nothing."
It crossed her mind several times as she cut the lemon into small wedges that she could just stab Sam and be done with it. She looked at the slender, sharp knife in her hand. She could bury him in her garden. No one would ever know. He had no family left and certainly had no friends. He never went anywhere or did anything but sit and read the paper or watch TV. He wouldn't be missed. The feeling to kill him was so overwhelming that her limbs were flooded with adrenaline. Her heart beat rapidly in her small chest. Sandra decided she'd do it.
With the knife in hand Sandra turned towards Sam. Too late. Sam had walked up silently behind her. The long, sharp ice pick slid neatly into her chest. His cold eyes observed her last moments as she bled and strained to breath. She struggled to release herself, but he held the ice pick firmly in a gloved hand.
"Why . . .?" she gasped.
"I'm tired of being judged by you Sandra. I'm tired of you and this house and this life. I sent a resignation letter with your signature on it, forged by me of course, to the principal of your school yesterday. The house goes on the market Monday. That job I was fired from? Well, I hired a good lawyer and sued them and won. I hit the lottery on that one. Those idiots didn't give me evaluations on my job performance over the years. I did my research. When they hired me I signed a contract they forgot about. It said they couldn't fire me without regular negative evaluations. I sued them for wrongful termination, emotional distress, and punitive damages. Turns out I get millions.
So now I'm free of a crappy job, free of a shrewish wife, free of all of this!" He motioned around the kitchen.
Sandra slid to the floor. Sam watched her then lumbered towards the garden shed where her shovels and rakes were kept. It was time to start digging.
Author's note: This short story is dedicated to O. Henry, the master of twisted endings. I love a good story and love a twisted ending even better! ;o) Thanks also to Tess for her fabulous photos that inspire my best stories! Corrina
"This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."
-George Bernard Shaw
I saw this on a friend's blog and loved it. How many of us (myself included---see a previous blog posting, "My Happy Place," where all I did was gripe) complain that life isn't great or life isn't happy, yet we do nothing to further our joy in life?
I firmly believe we are sent to this earth to fulfill a purpose. Some are blessed with abundance, some are not. Some are blessed with great family and friends, others struggle with their familial lot and friends are scarce.
Still some are blessed with a knowledge of who they are and what their purpose is in life. Many realize this purpose along the road in life (the lucky ones discover it early), and some never realize it. Why don't they? Are they too busy looking inward?
At this time I realize I have had two true purposes in life that have brought me the joy Shaw (see quote above) and I are talking about---being a mother and teaching. (This in no way is a reflection on my hubby or our marriage. I love him. He is my life and brings me much joy. I'm talking about that inner feeling of purpose we get in a church calling, a career, motherhood, aunthood, grandmotherhood, etc.)
I had no idea either teaching or motherhood would fulfill me this way. I am blessed. I am grateful. Are there days I forget my purposes in life and gripe? Yes. Many days. But overall I know I am in the right place at the right time doing what I am supposed to be doing. That feeling amazes and comforts me. I have a mighty purpose in this life. I am a force of nature for good. I have joy.