Thursday, August 10, 2017
Disclaimer #2: Regarding the following article--The years have been changed to protect the innocent...and the youthfully aging author...And yeah, that's as close as I could come to having a sense of humor when dealing with something so serious.
When I was ___ years old, still in grade school, I had a panic attack because I was afraid the Gulf War was going to come to Moses Lake, Washington and kill everyone I knew. It surely sounded absurd to a grownup, and probably even to a less intense elementary schooler, but to me, it seemed perfectly plausible. In one of the most compassionate parenting moments that I can recall, my mother posted a 3' world map in the hallway next to my bedroom and marked it with places we should talk about: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Washington DC, New York, LA, Seattle, and Moses Lake. Her main point was to show me that the military action would probably never reach little ol' Moses Lake.
Granted, it didn't prevent me from crying about all the people who would lose their lives in the Middle East, or from worrying that someone else (apparently like Iraq) would topple the U.S. government in D.C. and change the way we all live as Americans...Again, I realize that probably sounds ridiculous to most Americans now...But her map did in fact comfort me every morning and night as I passed by.
Somehow though, here we are some ___ years later, discussing North Korea's potential nuclear attacks on American soil. Specifically on the contiguous 48. And even more shocking to the elementary version of me, potentially on the pacific northwest where my mom's map taught me how unimportant Seattle, and Moses Lake, would be in a military attack strategy. But it seems that Seattle might in fact be within North Korea's nuclear strike range! And on top of that, I now have friends and family in Seattle, CA, NY, and D.C., and practically every other part of the USA. So I find myself actually trying to understand how things might play out in the coming year. I've started looking through a variety of hopefully reliable sources (as all good researchers, and English teachers would tell you to do!) so I know that even the experts have conflicting conclusions about how likely an attack is here in the great PNW, or on U.S. soil at all.
And even though the adult version of me has learned to steady the nerves that wracked me ___ years ago, the child version of me is still likely to pop up at some point when dealing with a topic this intimidating. So I figured I'd be proactive and start collecting resources that will help me understand what is possible vs probable regarding our current tensions with North Korea, and what steps we should take to be prepared in case anything should happen. If I find any sources with potentially interesting, insightful, or helpful ideas, I'll post them here. And if anyone out there is willing to share your resources with me, you're welcome to pass them on and I'll post them here as well.
Disclaimer #3: Regarding the invitation to share your links--This is not an open invitation to create arguments about what should or shouldn't be happening in a political sense, only an opportunity to educate people about what might or might not be taking place. A place to post logistical considerations. Thanks for helping us stay on topic. (Sincerely, your former neighborhood English teacher)
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Then there's this other thing I do when I don't know what to say--I obsess over a song, poem, essay, etc. in which someone else said what I couldn't. So to that end, I'm directing you to a few two articles by a cause that I admire very much: To Write Love on Her Arms. If you haven't heard about them yet, I hope you'll follow the final link below to learn about their origins. And I hope the first two links encourage you to be a little stronger, or kinder, or more confident, or more understanding, or more of whatever is missing for you. We all have different battles to fight in this life, so whatever yours might be, I hope you find the support you need.
TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski responds to the death of Chester Bennington
World Suicide Prevention Day: Stay. Find what you were made for.
It all started with a story.
I'll leave you with one of my (many) favorite quotes from the TWLOHA page...It revitalizes me and reminds me of how important it is to be compassionate AND strong for others when I feel like I can't give anymore. THIS is how true, life-changing love is shared. Not by thinking, or by acting once. But by continuing to take action.
"We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless. We don’t get to choose all the endings, but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won’t solve all mysteries and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we’re called home."
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Yesterday, I had my 3rd teaching evaluation of the year and the administrator asked my students a variety of questions, one of which was "Does your teacher demonstrate enthusiasm in her job?" One dancer laughed and said, "She has more energy than the rest of us every morning." Since this was a student I've known years, I later confessed that I'm usually faking my 6AM energy, but that by pretending I'm excited in beginning of each day, I usually make the energy become a reality. (With the help of my 9AM dose of caffeine and B vitamins, at least until it wears off.) She was surprised that she didn't know how I'd really felt all this time.
My sleep disorder has not gone away, even though I don't often talk about it. Sometimes, I'm not sure which is more painful--the nightmares or trying to wake up from them. My house is often messy because I'm too tired to clean it and my make up often looks less than picture-worthy. I'm still figuring out what to do with my grownup body image issues. I'm working two wonderful jobs which I love dearly, but which each take a lot of time and emotional investment practically every single day. I know it's possible to do both of these jobs with less time or energy, but I sincerely value my opportunity to invest time in my students and coworkers who need it. That means I sometimes sacrifice the time and care I should be investing in my loved ones or in myself. I struggle to say NO when people ask for help or favors, so I overcommit myself then struggle to succeed. I worry obsessively when I'm not meeting expectations in my work or when I'm disappointing people who know me behind the scenes. Sometimes I make dumb decisions that I later regret. I'm far from perfect.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Contrary to popular belief, maybe we should NOT always follow our heart. The heart is unreliable and can even be manipulated by others. These unreliable emotions are what leave us exhausted, frustrated, doubtful, hopeless, and lacking focus.
God wants us to be more emotionally attached to him than to any other person (or circumstance), and that is how we can find emotional stability and health. We must be honest with what we feel, challenge it, and change it. We don't have to automatically accept our feelings--good or bad. We can take control of them.
Above all else, guard your heart because out of it flow all the issues of your life. (Prov. 4:23)
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)
So who or what am I more emotionally attached to?? Wow...Where do I even begin?