|Painting "The Box."|
So far it is The Rainbow House.
It has twinkling lights and orange Halloween lights.
It's still a work in progress.
|Pretend Napping Inside the Box|
I'm all about being real today. Today. Last week, I had a week of parent-teacher conferences that were enlightening, inspiring and also, sad and frustrating. Be real. Life isn't easy for some of us right now. We have our home. We have jobs. We have healthy kids. Not everyone does. About 4 or 5 of my Pretzels out of 22 are in homes and families that are in some kind of crisis. These little guys are shutting down at the ages of 4-6. Their families are struggling financially and it trickles down on the eeny-meenies of our
society. These EENY-MEENIES are innocent. One child was afraid to go to the nurse because he thought his mom would have to pay. The fears are deep, they've been planted and fed over the past two or three years. These Pretzels have been raised in crisis. It's their "normal." We need to remember this when we fuss about test scores, PUBLIC schools, and "those" kids. They really are OUR kids. They will always be a part of OUR WORLD, our community, our neighborhoods. Be mindful. Be hopeful. Reach out.
REALITY number TWO: Be grateful.
We have so much. All the way down to the running...what we LOVE to do. What we "get" to do!
I had my cross country race on Sunday, Race NUMBER 4! It was a hilly 8k which was down in San Diego, very close to the border of Tijuana and San Diego. The terrain was all trail and dirt with some dry grass and a golf course for much of the course. All of the courses have been hilly and it has been interesting to see how my body/fitness has changed with the racing every week. I barely run during the week really. I do one big track workout which consists of 4 downhill repeats, then 4 1 min. up hill sprints, and ends with 4 uphill repeats. It is usually about 8 miles of work and a good warm up and small cool down. The rest of the week consists of a rest day and two short run days at a slow pace. Friday I gear up mentally with a two mile run and 6 strides at 5k pace. I am seeing a lot of progress on race day, not just with my times but with how strong I feel.
Here's where I get real with you...
Pace and time have always been HUGE for me. I love the numbers. Not for comparing with anyone else, just to compare how I've been and where I am. It's almost a game for me. It's fun. Suddenly though, I started to realize with racing every week, it can't be about numbers. You have HILLS in cross country. You have rocks. Bumpy, wet grass. Mud. Dogs. Runners. Slippery slopes covered with leaves.
It's all about how you feel. Am I feeling strong?
Now when I'm racing, my mind isn't wondering about the numbers. This is what goes on and I can be pretty exact with this since I've done it for four Saturdays in a row.
My mind talking to me:
"How relaxed do I feel right now? Relax!"
"How relaxed am I right now? How settled am I feeling? What am I noticing around me? How much fun am I having right now?"
"Hills! Use your arms. Relax! Smile, you love hills. Ah, down hills. No, this is what you love, down hills. Keep it controlled. Yes, it feels so good!"
"Flat? Yikes, this feels weird. Where's my 64 year old friend who is usually here at this time? There he is." At this point, he joins me or I join him and we have a friendly, unspoken game of can Meg slow down her breathing to match his. He's won every time. Today he spoke to me at mile 4.something, "See that girl in the red? Go get her." Because I'm in a zone and listen to anything anyone tells me at this point, , I followed his instructions but never really caught up to her. His words were like CRACK though, it shot me out of my comfort zone of RELAXATION and zen...and I made an honest attempt to catch up with her though the sandy final mile.
Each and every one of these races has had me crossing the finish line with a smile. I'd shout and cart wheel if it didn't look SO "NFL" football player-bragger-like. My smiles and shouts are for me. I'm just grateful. My body kept itself healthy and in one piece for another race. Thank you for that, body.
Numbers can be good. Being strong can be even better, it carries you farther, lasts longer.
Have a great week! Be grateful. Reach out to a child who looks like they just need a smile. Work towards being STRONG, inside and out.
Our Class Marble Jar Party...
Donuts on a string, hands behind backs.
Thanks to Clifford's Halloween for this idea!