Friday, September 29, 2006

Three Speeds

I recently had a revelatory moment of insight into myself. When it comes to time, I only have three speeds. There's the past, that's easy, you can't really change it, either you remember it or don't and either way it's forgivable. There's the present...that's where I am at...the here and now. Sometimes the shadow of the past nudges onto me and I get sad or happy. It's when the future interferes that things go wrong...The future is my problem area...and it's easiest to explain by example. On a Tuesday someone calls me to suggest we get together on Saturday, "Great" I say, wonderful idea! On Thursday, someone else calls to ask me if I can help them with something on Saturday, "Of course" I say, be glad to...and on Friday night one of my daughters reminds me that on Saturday I promised them we would....(fill in the blank), "Ah, yes, I remember", and I am looking forward to it! You see, to me Saturday is not "Saturday, October 10th", it's "The Future" also known as "Not Now". So what happens when "Saturday" collides with "The Present"? Not a pretty sight as you can well imagine. There's a lot of hand wringing and phone calls, and me thinking "These people are asking me the impossible, I can't be at 3 places at once."...Then my husband, children and rational concience remind me, "No, you agreed to the impossible."

All that because I only have three speeds, then, now and later...and I prefer to stay in the now (unless I'm in the dentist's chair, but that's another story).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I hurt all over and under

Yesterday I went to yoga for the first time in 2 weeks, and today I'm achy all over. I should feel good! Instead I feel like the toxins that have been congregating in my joints have been released and are poisoning me. Ok, I know that sounds dramatic but that's EXACTLY how I feel.

Today I pushed around a prodigious amount of paper at work. Virtual paper of course. Maybe that made me feel worse? I know I fired off MANY emails and got some reporting and catching up done, but I don't really feel like it was productive in that "wow, I got a lot done..." way.

Tonight we had a meeting of the Oak Cliff Artisans and I agreed to do internet promotion of our November show. That means that I'll get the word out to as many internet sources as possible, get us listed on websites, and send out email notifications. I like that task because I can do a little every day or few days and on my own schedule.

The first three weeks of October are going to be busy with travel, first to Denver, then Wyoming and then Laredo. I'm going to take some intense writing work to Wyoming because I can get a lot of work done without distractions there. I need to finish the case statement and research funding prospects. I love that our cabin has internet! It makes it so easy to get some work done. I can't wait to see the weather there, and enjoy a few walks in the mountains, to the creek, and around "town".

Monday, September 25, 2006

Why Ricardo Likes Mondays

This morning Keith and Milena came down for coffee. Milena and I were nursing our coffees, mumbling about it being Monday, and Ricardo pipes up "I love Mondays". I laughed, but not too energetically because I was half asleep still. Now it's gotten me thinking... That's something I love about my husband, he loves Mondays. He's such a hard worker (that's a love/hate issue) and he's so positive about his job.

I remember how outraged he was when I first suggested he apply to be a teacher, how insulted he was that I suggest he leave Urban Planning and become an educator, saying "I am a professional!" And, how much that has changed! Back then, he was talking from the cultural bias that teaching is not truly a profession. The thing is, he didn't even really believe it, he was just channelling his Dad and all the nay-sayers in his history. And now, he's so proud of his work, his staff, his kids, his school. One of the things he loves to do is to take people on a tour of his school, especially visitors from Venezuela. It helps them see how awesome the field of education is, how wonderful it can be when we invest in children and take the job to heart. That's what made it so heart breaking when we visited a public school in Venezuela, and saw how run down and pitiful it all was. I know Ricardo was itching to get in there and make a difference. But we came back to making a difference here.

I've decided, I don't hate Mondays...I just hate mornings.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bye Keith and Milena

Delectable Desserts at La Duni--Shawna, Ricardo, Hannah, Sofia, Carla, Milena and Keith
Yesterday we took Keith and Milena out for a farewell dinner and dessert. It was bittersweet, so much fun as always to hang out with them, but sad to see them go. I know that the girls will especially miss all of Milena's encouraging and positive words. It's so important for teenage girls to have strong, optimistic and supportive role models and adults in their life, above and beyond their parents. Their time here with us was brief but so meaningful to our family, we will truly miss them. We also look forward to having friends in fabulous SEATTLE! I can't wait to go visit!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Coming out of the daze of summer in Dallas

Just as I was seriously considering moving ANYWHERE else, the Dallas weather has changed and become not only bearable but actually pleasant and enjoyable. This summer was the first time in the 18 years I've lived in Dallas that I spent pretty much the whole summer here and HATED it. The heat is BRUTAL, a hot slap in the face every time you step outside. The fetid, grimy air actually burns when you breathe. One outing a day is all I could handle, that is, if I went to work I'd come home and collapse. If I worked from home and had to go pick up the girls after school, then I'd collapse when I got home. Two outings into the heat would put me in the foulest mood imaginable. Sometimes when I would get up and look outside and see the trees moving in the breeze, a bright clear sky, I'd be fooled for a moment into thinkng that it was a "nice summer day", and then...step out into the inferno and quickly retreat back into the house. Today I looked outside and it looked clear and sunny and bright and I walked outside and it was TRUE! I was so so happy! I pledge to enjoy every cool day somehow, not to take it for granted EVER again. What did I do today to enjoy it? I walked to lunch a few blocks from my office, basking in the simple pleasure of walking outside for a few minutes! Tomorow morning we are doing a service project with the Humane Society, I plan on spending at least some of that time OUTSIDE! I'm glad to be coming out of the daze of summer in Dallas.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Reminding myself of the fragility of THAT age

My daughters are 14 and 15 and I need to continuously remind myself of the fragility of that age. Full of bluff and bluster, they are acting casual, talking big, and sometimes reminding me of how hard I was that age. Their fragility is covered with an assuredness in their opinions.

I have to remind my self again and again that what they are doing is trying out new ways of thinking and being, not necessarily trying to drive me insane. Why is my fuse so short with them sometimes? I know I need to enjoy them because time is fleeting and before you know it they will be gone, etc. etc. Sometimes I guiltily look forward to that time of peace and quiet, when hopefully we can get together for a peaceful lunch, or go out to the movies together, but the daily drama of their lives won't overpower me.

I am grateful though, for every story they tell me of their day, for every moment that we crack up together, for every hug and hold, for their flashes of kindness and their fresh take on the world, for their righteous sense of justice, their energy and verve.

Are you out there going through the same things?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

No good deed goes unpunished?

What is the right thing to do when you see someone suffering on the street? The other day on my drive home through downtown Dallas I saw a man lying spread-eagled on the street. I called 911 and reported the situation. I was pulling up to my driveway and got a call from the Fire Department ambulance that they couldn't find the man and could I return and find him...OK, I decided I had started this and should see it through. I went back and found him, now he was leaning up on a dumpster a few feet from where I said he was. The ambulance was nowhere...and I called them back. 5 minutes later they drove up, took a look at him and then started questioning me. Did I know him? What happened to him? And finally, "Maam, he's just drunk and needs to sleep it off." I started driving off, then was curious to know what exactly they were going to do, if anything. They saw me watching them and began to question me again, this time with some attitude. I get the feeling they just wished I had driven by and not bothered noticing the man who was obviously in bad shape, and now were annoyed that I was "forcing" them to attend to him. My question again is, What is the right thing to do when you see someone suffering on the street?