what i learned this week #7

whatilearnedthisweek1.  Traveling long distances in the car is awesome when a) you don’t have to drive, b) you have a smartphone, Kindle, old-fashioned notebook, tablet, and colored pens, c) you can lie down in the back and sleep.  This may have been the most vacation-like part of my vacation.  And also?  Two of my kids were in another car asking someone other than me why it was taking for-EHHHH-vuwh.  That explains it.

kentucky children's garden2. The Kentucky Children’s Garden is somewhere we’ll visit again…next time with good play-in-the-water shoes.  My parents live in Lexington, but last week’s visit was the first we’d heard of this fabulous play area located next to the arboretum on the University of Kentucky campus.  The shots above really don’t cover half of its awesomeness.

3. My point-and-shoot camera that cost almost $300 a few years ago doesn’t even compare to an iPhone 5 camera.  Sad day.

4.  I can finish a book! (I may have up to 8 books “open” at all times.) I read Start by Jon Acuff and thanks to aforementioned Kindle, even read through the very last Appendix in the car.  The book gave me tons to chew on, including an idea for a new blog and the realization that I think about writing music multiple times a day and probably should actually… start.  (Or, technically, end the 14 year hiatus.)

5.  My grandfather worked intelligence for the Army.  I knew he was in Europe doing “radio” stuff, but I did not know that he was intercepting messages from very powerful people.  So cool.

6. Taking the time to exercise on a roadtrip is totally worth the extra effort.  I got to run in beautiful new places, and I’m pretty sure I had more energy to visit with family because of it.

7. Chocolate Almond Coconut Chocolate Chip ice cream is totally worth the extra effort of saying its ridiculously long name.

that time i said ‘no way’ and was wrong

I’m not sure how many people heard me say, “No way.”  Some heard variants like “no stinkin’ way” or “not even a possibility” or “ha ha!… no.”  Anyway, I told enough people that I wasn’t returning to full-time work that taking a new full-time position this week has merited an explanation several times a day. 

I just knew I didn’t have the stamina to handle a full day of teaching in a public school.  Maybe if they’d let me bring a cot in and get an extra “planning” period… Then I could do it.  And if they didn’t mind me shambling down the hall like a 90-year-old woman every once in while… Then I could do it. 

I turned the puzzle pieces over in my head until the curvy parts were bending and creasing, but I just couldn’t make things fit right for the coming school year.  Given all our families needs and desires, we knew something would have to be compromised, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.  I prayed for wisdom until God was probably like, “Yo, girl. Anything else you’d like to talk about?”

So then I ran a 5K with my family in June.  And more to the point, I finished in 37:27!

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(And yes, my husband pulled both boys in that Radio Flyer the whole way, with the exception of a few sprints by our 4 year old.)

I’ve never run a 5K in any form or era.  I probably couldn’t even have run 2 miles by myself without stopping at that point.  I’m not a natural runner, and I’d only done 5 training workouts with my couch-to-5K app.

And it got me to thinking… How in the world?!  I’m not a runner, and I’m struggling with fatigue every day.  Eventually I realized that when I’m around a lot of people, I can overcome so much that would normally keep me on the couch. 

At first, I felt bad about that.  I thought, it’s such a mental thing!  Why can’t you just do what you need to do?!  But then I realized that God made me to be an extrovert, a people person, a crowd-dweller.  Perhaps one day when my brain is donated to science, they’ll discover I dosed myself outrageous quantities of adrenaline while in the midst of throngs of people.  However it works, it doesn’t make pain go away.  It makes me get past it.

Instead of beating myself up about what’s hard for me, I decided it’s okay to capitalize on what’s natural to me.  And that became a, “Wellllll, maybe I could…”

A few weeks later, I found a doctor who thinks he knows what’s wrong and thinks he can help me.  I go for my second visit Monday, and I have a lot of hope that some things – if not all my symptoms – are going to get better..

In between the 5K and the doctor, even more changes were happening that aren’t really bloggable (read: boring.) 

My final holdout was chlidcare.  We’ve been so blessed to have the younger kids at home or at a wonderful morning preschool, and I really, really didn’t want to put them into daycare.

And God said, “Let there be a good family friend who loves our children, recently retired, considering looking for work” who will help fill the childcare gap.

And that was it.

There was a full-time elementary music position open, and so back I go into the land of small folk!  I’ll have more to say about leaving my alternative school family and joining a new crew in the days to come, but for now, I have to say:

My “no way” has become a “Here am I, Lord.”  It’s clear to me that he has orchestrated this thing in to place, and I’ll serve to the best of my ability. 

Also?  My husband is really pumped that 3 boxes of “school stuff” have a home that is not ours again.  Poor guy.  I thought he’d be happy I only brought home 3 boxes this year!