5-1-5~ A woman in my meditation group mentioned this is what she does when she is having trouble meditating due to the all too famous monkey mind. When I first learned this ~ life was not going especially easy for me. I was doing odd jobs, dog walking, house cleaning, filing paperwork, substitute teaching at a preschool anything I could do to earn a little money. There were times when I would get down on myself for things not progressing as quickly as I would like. So I took Lynn suggestion~
5-1-5 Five things I am grateful for, really think and express appreciation for those things i.e., the weather, family, food, friends, the list goes on. So I was usually dog walking when I felt inclined to do the 5-1-5. And in the beginning the weather was less than perfect (it was the year we got 10 ft of snow). But I almost always expressed gratitude for the weather. This could be things such as the right clothes, the sun shining or how beautiful everything looks with a layer of bright white snow on top of it. I really consider my statement and even if I am not feeling 100% that way, focusing on my gratitude somehow makes it smile. Each item I try to focus on for a minute or two.
5-1-5 One thing I need help with~ at the time I was job hunting, healing from a break up, needing a home, and just feeling lost. You can think of it as a little prayer or asking your angels or your own inner being. One time, I was walking Lucy in a big park, I started doing the 5-1-5, I got to my 1. And I was going to ask for help finding a job. I got a phone call from one of the schools I had applied. I didn’t end up getting the job (actually didn’t want it). But I felt like my prayers were being heard and I think that was a big part of the 1.
5-1-5 Five people or ideas you want to bless. This one is pretty straight forward. Somedays I would focus on people who were easy to love, like my daughters, Lucy, family. Other days I would focus on people not so easy to love. i.e. ex-husband, ex-boyfriends, mean people or just difficult people. I found sending these people my love instead of my disgust made me feel better. Well somedays.
I was doing it on a pretty regular basis ~ but I have come back to it many times. I have tried to teach this technique to my students and I tell them it will change your life. And I honestly believe that. So now sure where Lynn got this idea or if she came up with it herself. But thank you! You are definitely in my first five.
July 30, 2015
This past year I made a lot of changes, moving 1,000 miles away from friends, family and ex-partner as well as my job. I was a social worker~ I facilitated visits between parents and their children. I also helped with parenting skills and relationships and relaps prevention. It was draining work at times~ but mainly the driving that was involved with the job. Prior to that I was a special education teacher. A job I loved until we got a new administration that took the attitude of bullying teachers rather than supporting them in the classroom.
I live in a different state now and one that appears to have a more supportive view of teaching. So I am cranking out job applications. My hope is to find a job that I can love again. I started teaching at the high school level my first year after graduating with my 2nd degree in special ed. It was a small rural high school the students that would be in my class had experienced the loss of a teacher Ruthy they loved. I had to step into this classroom in this community where I was an outsider I was from the big city on the other side of the river. But I was hired because of my social work background (that’s what my first degree was in). I was warned about the department chair but introduced to one of my new co-workers. Kelly~ she later told me she didn’t want to like me because she felt like she would be betraying her friend ~ who I had replaced. But she said a lot of my quirky behaviors were similar to Ruthy and also that I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, ask for help or laugh at myself. It was a rough job~ I had grades 9-12 and I taught all subjects ~ math, English, science, history and then later an employment skills class.
The day I was called to schedule an interview I was coming back from vacation and I was a few miles from home and only had nibbles of jobs. We were less than 20 miles from home and I had just decided I would just go to grad school and continue to substitute teach. Rex called me to schedule an interview. He told me how sensitive the situation was~ Ruthy was in her final hours. I was able to convince them I had the skills to be the perfect replacement. And I was~ and then the time came for me to change jobs and move to the middle school which was another perfect job.
Nov. 19, 2017
I have started job hunting again after working for two years at a place I thought was my dream job. ~ check out unemployment checks. I am not worried I know things will get easier and the perfect job will fall into my lap again when the time is right.
When I first moved out here to the Boston area~ I thought I would live with my former brother in law and niece for a month or so till I got on my feet unaware of how much more expensive … Continue reading
Since my job was restructured last year~ I have been able to recuperate from my last teaching job. A job that started off as a great place to work and I thought it was my dream job but after the first year~ it became a nightmare. The director though a nice man ~ he is also a very weak administrator so there was no follow up on discipline or support given to staff. Even though I was the most experienced on staff and the oldest and the most grounding I still needed support especially since I was put into a nearly impossible position. Full time special education teacher (or in charge of all the paperwork and making sure all the services were being met and teaching 4 history classes. I thought at first no problem~ the director understands this is a big job he will support me. But nope he didn’t in fact when I asked him for help and even gave him suggestions as to what would help me do my job better and/ or make things easier for me. He actually gave me more responsibilities. WTF? dude seriously? But the guy has some serious passive aggressive issues. I started to push back too. I didn’t make any attempt to waste my time doing pointless paperwork such as writing out my lesson plans in a complete format ~ and I told him I felt like I had more important things to do like actually teach rather than fill out some sheet that he would look at once and then forget about checking on it ever again, ok I didn’t say that to him but I had noticed had been his MO.
When he told me he was going to restructure my position, I told him good luck with that. And good luck finding someone to fill my shoes. Well, he then restructured it to what I had originally suggested to him but he waited to tell me that on the last day of school. And told me I could reapply if I wanted. Well, that and I needed to pass this fvkkcing exam that has nothing to do with special ed. As of this writing, I am still waiting to hear if I pass it or not again. I was angry at first ~ feeling like he never appreciated me. Well, seriously he didn’t until it was too late. I did speak to him and told him my issues and I recommended he think about going into another field where he could actually make a difference instead of holding back progress at the school. He rolled his eyes at me~ asshole. So he lost all 5 of his teachers. He had lost 5 teachers the year before too. But he was saving the collab. money by hiring new inexperienced teachers every year. The program be damned.
But I would not have been ready to return to work back in mid-august ~ the woman I lived with was dying. I was still feeling burned out, and I had that exam to retake. eye roll! But lucky me~ I could get an unemployment check. So I go through the motions~ applying for jobs and re-writing cover letters. But this time has given me time to think and appreciate. I will write later about Marion’s death but if I had been teaching I wouldn’t have been an option to assist and then be apart of her transitioning. I am reading books, going to the beach, spending time with Lucy, hiking in the woods, think about my own health and write letters. We don’t know what the future holds for us~ and sometimes we are giving such sweet little gifts thrown in among the sludge.
I was fortunate enough to be born into a family with siblings. I have 2 brothers one older, one younger and I had an older sister. There was 10 years difference between my sister and me. But she was my best friend, my protector, safety net, and voice of reason. Growing up my younger brother Roger and I shared a bedroom. We had bunk beds. One of our first real arguements I remember was over who got the top bunk, then my older brother Randy took Roger out in the hall and whispered something to him. Roger came back into the bedroom and told me I could have the top bunk. (Many years later I found out what Randy said to Roger to change his mind.) Randy told Roger if there was ever a thunder storm and lightening hit the house it would hit me first because I was up higher than everyone else in the house. For the most part Roger and I got along well~ I would do little things like trade all the good Halloween candy from his pumpkin to mine when he wasn’t around. Regular sibling stuff.
My sister Laura was the oldest, she looked very much like my mom the way she was built small framed, dark hair and dark eyes. I on the other hand looked like my daddy broad shoulders, tall, blond and blue eyed. I was the only blond, blue eyed one of the bunch. Well Roger was blond when he was little thanks to Sun In my mom put in his hair. Laura could sing, dance, play piano, act, she was loud, could and would laugh at anything and everything. She was my idol. We lived together briefly my first year in college, she moved back to the midwest from CA. We had a great 2 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms. We would have long conversations about music, boys,laughing and tattoos. She wanted one. I asked her repeatdly not to get one. She knew exactly what she wanted. A spaceship over her left breast with a little alien waving. She got it overspring break when I wasn’t around. *That tattoo later is part of a great story. When Laura was around everything seemed to be more fun.
After Laura graduated from college she decided she wanted to live in the New England area so back to Boston she went. We still talked on a regular basis, but it was different with her being so far away. She would come home for visits and I would go out there to visit her. I knew I wanted to be closer to her. Just the beginning….
I am the mother of 2 beautiful, smart, hard working daughters. Both are in their early 20’s both have graduated from college. Both have their own places~ Emily my oldest who is 24. Has a job she loves and a very modern apartment in a big city. She has always been very disciplined. Erin just got a job in the same state she where she graduated and has an apartment and loves living in the big city too.
Growing up the girl’s father and I always insisted they finish what they start even if they didn’t like it. Erin played softball one season~ but she finished the season. Erin also played soccer and swam, then figured out in middle school that she was a pretty good runner so she did track and then cross country. Emily also played soccer, and swam but did track in middle school. Emily swam in HS and a couple of years in college. I believe that sports helped the girls deal with failure at times. But there were other times when they were forced to use problem solving skills. Emily spent a semester abroad in Greece on her return trip. She got to Athens only to discover the airline which she had her returned flight booked for had declared bankruptcy so she didn’t have a return flight home. I didn’t have my phone with me so she was unable to reach me. She did have my partner’s number but chose not to use it. Her father doesn’t have a phone. It was a pretty rotten thing to have to figure out but with a little ingenuity she was able to get to London and was able to catch her last flight.
Erin also had an opportunity to learn how to problem solve. Erin borrowed my van to a bunch of her girlfriends about 1 hour and 1/2 to a concert. On the way there they got a flat tire. She had triple AAA but it was during rush hour and was told it would be a little while. She was not happy and kept calling me asking what she should do. She wanted to leave the van someplace but told me she was afraid of getting raped. I advised her to breathe and slow down and told her the chances of her getting raped were pretty low especially if the girls all stuck together. Her sister Emily was furious with me for making her figure it out on her own. She had my van there wasn’t a lot I could do for her. Erin did get it figured out and didn’t get raped.
Through both of those experiences ~ my girls were able to gain self confidence and figured out they are much more capable. There is a sense of accomplishment.
When I was 16 I ran away with a bunch of protesters. I flew to NYC to protest with them. I called my mom once I got there she bought me a ticket to come home. But by the time I was ready to come home I had cancelled and rescheduled my ticket many times (this was back in the 1980s) I took a cab to the airport I had just a little bit of cash left but enough to pay for the cab but that only left we with about $2.00.I went to the ticket counter and discovered because my ticket had been cancelled and reschedule so many times it was cancelled for good. I remember I started crying. The people behind the counter were wonderful and a stranger sat next to me while I waited while they tried to figure things out. She gave me a few dollars and told me to buy myself some breakfast. I guess the kindness of strangers played a big part in that adventure. The airline did figure it out~ and this was around Thanksgiving too and I was able to get back home. I think it was my early adventures that helped me decide that starting over 1,000 miles from where I was living was possible.