Sunday, October 30, 2016

October Ruminations

I'm really irritated with the Blogger app.  It used to be completely reliable, but due to some apparently bad blood between Apple and Google, now they don't play fairly together anymore.  Which means… I'm just supposed to be okay with the complete loss of functionality for my blog?!?!  NO, I DON'T THINK SO! You guys suck!

I've been listening to my dog all weekend -- he can't stand to stay inside for long, and he runs to the end of his leash to get as far next door as possible.  I'm sure that the little female dog next door is in heat, and it's driving him (and us) crazy. I even caught him howling pitifully on the kitchen steps earlier.

I understand. He's feeling a loneliness he doesn't understand, and I'm feeling one myself.  It doesn't make sense.  I'm perfectly happy with my husband, and I'm having a much-needed day of solitude while he does his third shift sleeping.  But these thoughts come along unbidden.  I usually know the answers to the questions.  I just have to keep reminding myself that I already know the truth.

The kids that behave poorly in my class as a rule, and act like I'm horrible for trying to teach them typing -- a skill they will TRULY find useful and much easier to learn if they just do as I suggest -- well, I have to remind myself that they will take or leave what I teach them, and I just have to grade them fairly and without guilt when their efforts show that they just don't give a damn about learning the skill.  I've talked till I'm blue in the face about how much easier high school classes will be if they follow my directions, but what would I possibly know about high school?  I just did very well at it myself and taught there for several years.  *sigh* Remember that they need to fail sometimes in order to learn.  Don't take it so hard that they will never remember a thing you did for them, much less thank you, and they will likely give all credit to a teacher who let them run wild and learn nothing.  I still get to teach a class that is fun and sometimes stimulating for me.  I'm likely not seeing the best of them at this age.  I'll probably never see them at their best and most productive.  That's the sad truth of being a middle school teacher. That, and the fact that other teachers think I'm surplus, of lesser importance than them, subordinate to them, (uh nope -- check where my seniority, experience, and higher degrees place me) and supposed to be their secretary, and still expect me to help them in ways that aren't in my job description (I'd get in trouble for overreaching.). I mean, come on -- you demand after spitting in my face??  This is where I politely disregard entire groups of people who come demanding.  I simply don't notice them.

People who are adults and treat me horribly -- well, I have to remember that they will get their comeuppance and a hefty dose of karma rather than learning from youth’s folly.  After all, they are adults and completely responsible for themselves.  They choose to victimize others who have no time harmed them.  They have no one to blame but themselves for their actions, and that becomes a harsh and lonely place for them that can last indefinitely. They'll hurt for their meanness, and it's not on me when I was kind in the face of their cruelty.  I'm not sure exactly which sins those fall under, but as they say, God don't like ugly, and I'm sure that references an ugly heart rather than anything superficial on the outside. Some of the prettiest faces hide the ugliest hearts.  Sometimes you just have to be the adult and accept that you can't fix their flaws for them.

I try to remember them in my prayers, but I have to admit that my prayers are often taken up by those in need of protection or healing, and sometimes for me.  I don't have enough time in the day to pray for everyone who has been awful to me.  Lol. It would be a long list.

I have to remember that I started all this not because I expected thanks or recognition (which I've never gotten), but to help children, even children who try to use me as their scapegoat with no provocation whatsoever.  I get an almost daily spiritual black eye and bloody nose for trying, but I have to remember that they're children, and don't know what they're doing.  Some of them will never mature emotionally beyond the me-me-me! and will always act the same way.  I just have to remember that I gave pieces of myself for them, and there almost wasn't enough left for me.  That’s just the way it is, and it has to stop.  If I am assaulted again (literally and physically), it won't be swept under the rug. I will press charges.

Well, that became dark, and I'm dreading the winter because of the pall that will be cast upon my world.  By February this year, I was not my chipper self who should have been happily planning a wedding And happily making a lot of beautiful decorations.  I was feeling like an animal that had been kept chained in a dark closet all my life and I just felt like howling and biting all the time.  Nothing I tried to do worked.  Maaayyyybe I should have considered antidepressants again, but I was as afraid of them as I was afraid of the dark winter days.

And you know, most of my hair turned white right about then.  That's stress for ya.  I know, I've been mostly silver for a few years, but even my dad’s hair did not turn white until his 60s. And I obviously have his hair. But when it's time to have my hair color touched up, the white roots make me look like my hair is thinning. I'm almost ready to wash my hands of all the hair coloring business and just be a new me.  My hairdresser had noticed a few white strands a while back, but I can see that the loss of melanin has absolutely accelerated.  Eh, she does a great job with my color, making it look natural.  I'm ok with it.  One day I'll have a gorgeous white mane that I can infuse with all sorts of pretty colors.  A blank palette.

I will say it again: I NEED SOME SNOW TO BLANKET EVERYTHING IN A GLOWING WHITE CLOAK. That's how I get my happy mood back in the winter.  Bright white snow days.  I can't handle the grey skies.  I just sit at the window and grin like a fool at every crisp snowflake drifting down.  Yes.  I love them, each and every one.  Around here we go from lackluster fall color that ends after roughly two weeks right into 120 Days of Night, only without the insane foreign vampires to lighten the mood. So yes, I'm going to go overboard on lighting my house for Christmas.  And maybe even for just winter after that.  I've got Snowflake projectors. Yeah.

I do receive a great deal of satisfaction from the successful completion of a creative project.  Every time I look at the kitchen shelves I built and installed, I sigh with the accomplishment.  I've needed them for 16 years, and even now they are holding a ton of appliances that were always in my way.  I created a coffee station.  There's space for my cookbooks and large stoneware pieces.  There's finally a place to keep my huge enamel stockpots for making boiled custard and canning, and even my cake carrier. I even have a place to store my toolboxes, so working on projects will NOT be such a hassle anymore. I just take the big one out and have all my power tools right in one place. (my brother's genius, actually.  He suggested one carryall toolbox instead of trying to find individual cases for my saw, sander, drill, bits, clamps, etc.)

I need to have a few good projects lined up.  Portable projects and home projects.  I've got to finish painting the kitchen white.  That'll be mostly a winter project, I'm sure, though the cabinet doors need to be taken care of before it gets cold outside.  At least one wall is finished.  Knotty pine is a beast to paint.  Clean thoroughly, then dry, then fill the holes, then caulk between EVERY FREAKING PLANK.  And then caulk again.  Lol. Then paint with primer+paint.  Then paint again because there was a little discoloration from the old varnish.  Then paint again because two coats of good quality paint with primer don't make it opaque enough for me to be satisfied.  Ha ha. I guess I just need to schedule myself some painting days and be content to complete a section at a time. I can't afford to have the whole kitchen out of commission for three days straight to make it all happen.

I've also got a plan to install some framed pegboard on one wall for hanging things up.  I'd just nail stuff up there, buuuut that paneling surrounds the oven, and I don't want to take a chance on piercing that.  Besides, all the pots and pans are hanging all over one another, clanking every time they're touched and probably getting scratched.  I have great plans drawn.  1x4s and screws with stacked washers for spacers -- should give plenty of room behind for hooks to grab.  Mm hmm.  Should work fine and the pans should hang more flush afterward.  See?  Now that I've learned a few basics, I definitely have some good ideas. It's too bad I couldn't have taken a wood shop class. I have some great ideas. Now I'm getting the know-how to bring them to life. Only about 30 years late.

My knitting has improved greatly (and I'm a lot faster than when I started, so it feeds my need for instant gratification), and I'm finally understanding what I look at when I see a knitted sock, as well as how to make it happen.  It's like learning another language sometimes.  My hubby has asked me if I will knit him some sweaters.  :).  Yes I will.  It means so much that there's someone who wants to wear something I've made completely with my hands!  Until now, it was only my nephews, and they mostly just wanted hats.  Of course, I won't give him a sweater that isn't just right for him.  I do not want to be represented by poor handiwork. Maybe after I finish his first sweater I might knit a black one for myself as well.  I've never been able to find one that I liked - just a simple black crew neck that wasn't baggy in weird places, but still fits me just right.

Even just thinking and writing about these plans has improved my mood greatly.  :). Positive creativity is my mood booster.  Why would I want to kill my sparkle by dousing it in layers of antidepressants?

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