Did I Inspire Myself?

I just re-read my “About” page.  I’m partaking in the Blogging 101 class through WordPress, and today’s assignment is to tell what inspired me from that page.  That seems ambiguous, almost. But here’s what I got out of it. It discusses the importance of recognizing that everyone has “moments” in their lives, and these moments are important in making us who we are, how we act, what we choose to be like. There’s also the part that we may not enjoy all of the moments, but those moments (parts) combine together to make us unique individuals. I guess that inspires me to appreciate my moments, good AND bad, while I try to be patient as I work through the bad ones. For years I’ve thought, as I’m going through something negative, what is it that I’m supposed to get from this. Reading the About page made me think that I also would be smart to think what I’m supposed to get out of GOOD moments.

Huh. Now that I think about it, there’s a bit of wisdom in that page–stuff that’s hard for me to remember. Like when I’m in the throes of something challenging, even stupidly challenging, that the situation is going to help me become more of me if I open my mind and heart to receive the knowledge. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything and this is probably when I need to open up more, to hear the universe’s message, to learn. Ha! I just gave myself some good advice!!

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Wanderlust runs through me and 5 Place I want to go

I know people who haven’t visited hardly anywhere else in their lives, because being home is enough.  I’m not that way–although I LOVE being home.  In fact, I’m a genuine homebody with a wanderlust side. Is that possible?  Can you relate?  

I was a lucky kid, who got to go on summer vacations with the family until I was around 10, maybe 11.  They didn’t happen as much when my older sister moved out.  Never thought about that before.  Huh.  That’s also about when we moved to northern Wisconsin from central Wisconsin, for my dad’s job.  Until the house sold, there was a lot of commuting back and forth, so I guess that counted as our “trips?”  We went on a gazillion Sunday drives, taking short day trips to different locales, eating different food, seeing different sights, so I’d say that counts. My parents divorced when I was 13, so no more trips until I had enough income to pay for my own travels.  My very first flight and vacation was when I travelled to Oxnard, California at age 21 to visit my older sister and her family.  The travel bug bit me big time!

I’d actually started dreaming of travelling the world when I was 8 years old.  Life magazine had an article, with gorgeous pictures, about the Emerald Isle or something like that–Ireland!.  Oh my goodness–I looked at those pictures and read the story over and over and over.  I was so excited when my mom finally told me I could rip it out of the magazine so I could keep it!  It was up on my bulletin board for a long time.  Last time I remember seeing it was in my mid 20’s, sorting through my “archive box” of memorabilia that I wanted to downsize.  I remember thinking that I’d probably never make it there, and the article was tossed on the discard pile.  For my 50th birthday, my husband “gave me” that trip.  It was everything I’d dreamt of and absolutely more.  Not kidding that I could move there.  Hubby won’t though–he’s an American through and through.   

I have friends who travel the globe, and I was so envious of them until lately.  They literally left for England yesterday!  Funny thing, I’m so glad to be home, taking care of things, writing on this blog (which I COULD do anywhere, I know!) playing with my two dogs, planning the garden, working on little projects…  Right now the wanderlust in me is dormant.  I suppose it’s because I just want to get healthy, and am focused on being whole as well as not being worried financially.  But if I could travel…  hmmmmm….  The five places I’d like to go…

–Thailand–I’d love to take my husband and son on a food journey through Thailand.  We LOVE Thai food.  When we eat out, that’s the most common place to find us.

–Back to Ireland, FOR SURE.  I’d seriously love to have a place there, so I could go home to County Kilkenney whenever I wanted. 

–Back to Italy, again (went before in my early 30’s) on a food journey with my hubby and son–that’s our second favorite food!  I’d really enjoy taking them to the places they’ve heard about and seen in my picture albums.

–The other two locations would be in the U.S.  I’d like to stay somewhere on a horse ranch, and also a place in the mountains.  A couple of weeks would be long enough to get a feel for the life/area. Mountains call me most of the time, but I do enjoy the ocean as well.  Had one of my most relaxing vacations EVER two years ago on the beach in South Carolina.  I loved living in San Francisco, thoroughly enjoyed Colorado when we visited there 10 years ago, loved visiting Boston, couldn’t get enough coastline in Maine, found the Redwoods to be spectacular…

Yeah, I’ve travelled a bit.  And hope to continue because my wanderlust probably won’t dissipate.  Don’t think I’d want it to–it’s definitely part of my adventure called life, part of my journey helping me experience happiness. 

With warm wishes for your journey,

Nance    

      

Recognizing That Your Moments Matter…

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How do YOU make your moments matter?  I’ve been reading articles and self-help guides that say that you need to be aware of your world, your goals, your dreams all the time in order to become successful with your gifts.  I just recently recognized that I can’t MAKE my moments matter, but they end up mattering because they were a moment in my life.  Overdoing, over-planning, almost obsessing on everything being important and useful.  I found it becomes overwhelming, a waste of energy and, ha!, a waste of moments.  They happen and do matter, with or without my assistance.  When I realized this, I became incredibly appreciative and grateful for the comprehension.  I’m still wondering where all of these moments are leading to, but I’m so very glad for the realization that I had.

This ah-ha moment arrived for me yesterday, as I was taking pictures in my yard.  The flowers and the leaves are coming out like I’ve never seen before.  We’ve had an unusually long, harsh winter for central Missouri, and the plants seem as though they’re also ecstatic that warmer weather is finally here.  I was shooting pictures from different angles, close-ups, and even got some wonderful semi-posed shots of my son.  This was amazing to me, as he’s been camera phobic for a few years.  He was such a ham when he was a wee guy–even telling me to take his picture when he finally had the words to use!  When he started school, he became camera shy.  As in wouldn’t ALLOW his picture to be taken easily.  When he was little, I made sure I did not have a camera in his face constantly, as I knew that was too intrusive for all of us.  Has this happened to you, where your child made an actual choice to not be photographic?  I’m not sure what transpired in his brain, but it sucked!  I’d been taking great pictures of him for years, providing a growth and adventure history for us to look at and enjoy. Then, NADA.  It was so challenging for me since I loved catching special moments in parenthood, childhood, life adventures… I started focusing on scenery and nature shots, but missed taking pictures of my “bouy” and my hubby.  Hubby had never really liked having his picture taken, but having a son helped him relax from that aversion since we loved looking at the results so much.  Once my son didn’t want his picture taken, neither did my husband!  It was such an odd lag in my photographs, and one that actually saddened me deeply. Now, my photography bug seems to be back in full force; maybe that’s what has made it ok for my guys to have their pictures taken again.

While I’ve been off work with my fragrance sensitivity, I’ve turned my energy back toward photography.  I recognized how alive I felt yesterday, for the first time in forever!  My yard became my inspiration.  My son is my inspiration.  The results of my photography are my inspiration.  Knowing that my moments happen with or without my assistance and realizing that my true job is to simply acknowledge them not only inspires me, but also removed a large burden of finding my life success.  What’s your inspiration for your creativity, your life-energy, your moments?  I’m so excited to feel this and truly hope you can/do too!

With warm wishes for your journey,

Nance

Penny for my thoughts…

What was I thinking when I wanted to start writing a blog?  I’m not exactly sure, but several people had suggested that I start one because I might be able to emotionally support to someone else going through something similar or even something different, I might provide inspiration, it would be cathartic for me, it’s a story that should be told, it’s a way to try new products and maybe make money (!), I can feed my writing spirit, it’s something to “do,” and it sounded like a fun thing to try.  Can’t succeed if I don’t try, right?  My own, personal, main, real thought was I want to touch more people’s lives in a positive way.  It’s why I became a high school teacher at 43.  It’s why I’m more active at my church.  It’s why I connect with total strangers wherever I go.  It’s in me.  It’s a drive that I don’t understand, but am welcoming and understanding more and more.  I see this as a gift, and recognize the importance of sharing it with others.  This is a logical way of do just that. Not sure what all will happen, where this will take me, but I love seeing my thoughts written down, instead of rambling around in my brain.  Life is an adventure, and I’m striving to find the happiness in the journey.  So far, so good.

With warm wishes for your journey,

Nance    

Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

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4.15.2014

As I looked at this glorious full moon this morning that I renamed The Blossom Moon (true name is the Rose Moon for it’s coloring,) I felt insignificant, yet so very real and whole.  Almost giddy!!  I’m here for a purpose, and am in the process of trying to figure out what it is and where I’m headed.  I’m taking a blogging “class” to learn how to be a better blogger, one whose messages reach those who need them, a person providing comfort, information, some humor, a connection to the greater things…  My purpose for this blog is to provide these things as well as give myself an outlet for myself as I bumble my way through life’s journey. 

I have a unique health issue in that I am super hyper-sensitive to some ingredients in many fragrances.  Guess what–artificial fragrance is everywhere in our world.  Air fresheners, cologne and perfumes, clothes detergents and softeners, shampoo, conditioners, deodorants, lotions, hair styling products, cleaning supplies, …  It’s almost everywhere.  The problem is that the doctors can’t narrow down the culprits and treat me for those allergens because there’re too many of them. 

I know I’m not the only one with this problem–yet when this reaction really hit my fully, I felt like I was alone.  Five doctors later, multiple medicines tried, finding alternate ways of doing things, missing many, many gatherings and events, and still it continues.  Friends and family have encouraged me to provide a resource to others, be the someone experiencing this real life challenge to perhaps give moral support or help others feel less isolated. I hope I do that, plus find ways of bringing me/us back to what is real and important. 

I thought about Blossom Moon, how many times she’s risen over this planet, how many times she’s been photographed and gazed upon with awe and respect and almost disbelief in her beauty.  It’s the first time I’ve noticed our moon with a pinkish tint.  How many other things have I simply looked upon, utilized, ignoring beauty in a different format?  It’s rather exhilarating to be recognizing some of my potential.  My life is based upon the thought  that the journey is to provide the happiness, not the destination being the provider of that.  The further I travel on this journey, the more I recognize how important it is to keep my eyes, heart and soul open to the energies of the Universe, finding the simple happiness that helps make my heart sing.

With warm wishes,

Nance        

Honestly, the moments matter

It’s such a joy to watch others recognize that the moment they’re experiencing, whether it seems good or bad, positive or heavy, exhilarating or exhausting, is an important part of the creation of who they are and will become.  It’s not solely, but I tend to live vicariously through others. I’ve been on medical leave since the middle of January, this year.  I’m working through the frustration, the fears, the loneliness, the worry, as well as the joys, the peace, the love that comes forth when you have a health issue that people really have a hard time relating to.  I’m hyper sensitive to fragrances.  Some, not all.  It’s manmade chemical compounds, we think, which cause me to have severe facial hives that burn, swell and itch horribly. If the exposure is dangerous enough to my body, my eyes burn, redden and swell as well, so I have to carry an Epi-pen everywhere I go, just in case my body goes into anaphylaxis. There are thousands of ingredients in fragrances, so my allergens cannot be narrowed down to be treated.

My health challenges stem from female high school students, mine, who thought it was so funny to watch me go through the stages I just mentioned.  I’ve always had sensitive skin, but have been able to cope with the world quite happily without endangering myself. Also, for these students, it was great that I’d get ill enough to have to get a sub, because everyone knows that you don’t have to do any work when there’s a sub!  Therefore, you don’t have any tests, or even a final!  Those things can’t be expected since the “real” teacher wasn’t present.  WRONG.  A good teacher still creates a learning environment, which I did through my sub plans, but most students didn’t choose to participate in that particular environment.

So, three of my five classes were exposing me with increasing frequency and intensity during the first semester of this school year.  I’m a FACS teacher (Family and Consumer Sciences) aka Home Ec.  You know, it hasn’t been called Home Ec. for over 20 years, yet if you say that’s what you teach, everyone knows basically what you teach.  Funny.  Only it’s so much more now–it’s not about “homey” stuff per say, but about possible career options young people might find interesting.

My classes for the past few years have been Housing and Design, Family Living and Parenthood, and Child Development.  I could NOT have gotten better classes to teach!  I love these three subjects.  Seriously love helping young men and young women find out stuff that may make their lives easier, better, more comfortable.  Confirming stuff they’ve hopefully heard at home, or sharing unknown but VERY important information that could make a difference in their lives, now or in the future.  Opening up lines of communication, providing the ability to see other versions, and maybe teaching empathy.  Making them THINK about the pros and cons of spanking or hitting children, for example, as well as learning other options to use instead.  Helping students understand that their environment, whether a house, condo, apartment, mobile home, basement, room, or wherever they call “Home” is important for emotional and mental health.  That colors really do matter differently to each one of us.  That you don’t have to have the newest and the biggest to seriously be content and happy.

I love what I teach.  I’m supposedly adored by a many of my students (according to them, according to how many former students came by for daily hugs as I did hall duty, and according to my subs sharing with me.)  Yet, I cannot be there, due to a few.  They ruined it for all of us.  And are probably really proud of themselves.  Those poor children.  What on earth would go through your mind, making you feel like it was okay to accost someone who is “nice and really cares” with a substance so dangerous that it could potentially kill.  And how is it that no one, not one single student, would dare come forth to tell on those students.  And how is it that those who supposedly cared wouldn’t step in as they saw the attacks happening to stop the perpetrators with a few words.  It tells me that there’s too much fear.  Don’t get involved.  The payback will be so much worse, you’ll wish you’d never done it.  I cannot imagine living in a world like some of my students.  I step forward, at the store, when a parent is losing control with their child, and maybe provide a way of handling it.  Maybe they just need a moment of support from another adult, or a second to catch their breath. I’ve interacted with children, reinforcing the caregiver’s ideas, because sometimes, even toddlers need to hear that the adult is right.  I step forward to say something’s not ok or acceptable.  Apparently I’m unusual.  I wish I wasn’t.

If I wasn’t, I’d still be teaching the stuff I love to teach.  I’d be living a normal, outgoing life, instead of a semi-hermit lifestyle.  I’d be moving forward, instead of struggling day in and out, worrying as I enter the grocery store or a restaurant, wondering if there will be a dangerous exposure to a scent that smells lovely.  I found out something this past weekend. A hose broke on the washer and we have to wait for the part, so we went to the Laundromat.  No biggie, right?  We’d dry the clothes at home.  Not a favorite hangout, but I did it for years before I got a washer and dryer of my own.  Guess what’s there?  Lovely, clean scented clothes.  Clothes detergent that caused me to get hives; burning, itching, swelling hives.  It didn’t progress to my eyes or respiratory system, but ohmygoodness.  I cannot go to the Laundromat.  huh.  I knew some detergents bother me, because I can’t go down the cleaning aisle at the grocery store.  And a freshly laundered jacket belonging to one of my son’s friends caused hives when he came over to play.  In my own house!  I hadn’t thought about GOING to the Laundromat, and the possible danger.  Now I know.

All of this is due to some 10th, 11th, and 12th grade girls “playing a joke” on a nice teacher.  My life is changing.  I don’t know where it’s headed, but I’m on a journey.  All the moments matter and it’s very important for me to remember that happiness comes from the journey, not the destination.

Warm wishes on your journey,

Nance