I am le tired.

There’s a sense of relief when I can wash my face after a 16 work day.  Felt like I was living in my car for what feels like 3 of those hours.

I am nervous but excited for this year.

My eyes can barely stay awake. I’ve been going through old resumes and combing through things I need to tailor.  All I have left is one paper left to write and I’ll be done!  I cannot put it off any longer.  It needs to be done by the end of this weekend.  Pushing my boundaries a little has paid off so far, I just hope I make it in.

"We’re gonna throw live on our wits,
Gonna throw away out survival kits,
Trade butterfly knives for adderal
And that’s not all
And there will be snacks, there will
And there will be snacks, there will be
There will be snacks…”

— Andrew Bird (The Mysterious Production of Eggs: “Tables and Chairs”)

I like the promise of snacks and this part of the song always keeps me optimistic.

Pretend Play

Questions that have been nagging me all day: How can we teach children how to expand their imagination if all they know are purely rigid qualities of their daily lives?  And to add onto that thought, how can we teach them to imagine at all if they don’t have the language to express what’s on their mind?

I know it’s not impossible, but right now it seems like a long way off.

I teach kids how to play and interact with other kids. It just hit me that because some are naturally and irrationally rigid, I might not be able to teach them to how to play like their peers completely.  I can only provide tools for them to learn games with rules and perhaps games with some boundaries.  It’s ultimately up to them about how motivating it is to be with other people and to interact the same way they do.  I’m the crutch they have to use until they can go off on their own. 

Today I learned I might not be able to teach my kiddos what imaginative play should look like.  They have a hard enough time trying to follow set rules let alone unspoken social rules…it’s just one of those days where I was in deep thought about my job. 

I don’t age past 16.

I have to comment on the title that my kids truly think there isn’t an age that progresses into adulthood.  They can only comprehend a “kid’s age” until maybe the age of 16 and one day, that person is going to wake up and be an adult, walking and talking without any memory or knowledge of being a kid.  That’s terrifying to me.

At some point I think we’ve reached an age where everything that is immature is a complete eyesore.  It’s so easy to pick out and it becomes annoying.  I now understand why adults are so quick to tell kids to “grow up” and “stop acting like a child”.  I have to remind myself every day that I do work with kids and they’re boundaries testers the minute they open their eyes at birth.  I wonder what will happen if I cry for no apparent reason. Attention. If I whine enough times, will I get what I want? Attention.  What if I smack another kid, what then? Attention.  They want to see how far they can go depending on the amount of attention they get, good or bad.

I would like another mini-vacation.

As much as I wish that our bodies can physiologically function with 5 hours of sleep, the literature says 6.5 is the minimum we should be getting. I’d get more things done.

This week has been such a mess (for my health). All I could do was toss and turn in bed and think about work.  When I fell asleep, all I dreamt about was work.  When I sit down at my desk, my brain is jumping out of my skull thinking about how many things I should be doing other than work. “You haven’t written in a while, oh you’re almost done with that book! Hey, what ever happened to your blog? Blah, blah, blah.” I miss those things.  By the time I do have a spare hour, I’ve realized then that it’s one of the first hours of the day that I’ve been able to sit down and do nothing.

I could use another 3 day weekend to boost my energy.

I did something right today.

Some weeks I feel like I’m not giving it my 100% at work. I try to, but I don’t strive to leave the bar that high.  Something’s always going to happen and I have to be prepared.  If I had to choose, I think I would rather be physically tired, rather than mentally tired.  You can sleep, work out, and eat to release that daily fatigue, but when it’s the latter, it sticks with you for a while.  The rumination of how to defeat it is the worst. 

Working with these cases always surprise me a little.  I expect them to act like little adults because they are so much further ahead than their peers.  They might be reading a few grades ahead, get along with adults better than kids their age, and they definitely teach you a thing or two about being logical, when they’re calm anyway.  It’s a complete 180 when things fall apart.  They’re no longer acting their mental age, let alone their physical age.  At that point, there are no boundaries as to what they can say or do.

This is where I come in.  A huge part of my job is to teach coping skills.  Social and sometimes basic learning skills come into play, but in order to succeed with those skills, these kids need to learn how to be okay with the world not being on their side all the time.  Luckily for me, my cases caught on quickly that they needed to accept this fact.  But there are some days where it does feel like the end of the world to them and their head is going to explode from all that anger and anxiety.

I helped calm a storm yesterday and got to hear how it turned out today. I teared up and was glad I helped. Yesterday I felt like I let a kid down because I couldn’t explain why they shouldn’t be upset that way.  I didn’t know how to teach them to be angry another way.  It just rode out until there wasn’t any energy left to scream or run around in a frenzy.  I made sure to spend as much time today drawing and writing out social stories, act out being upset the “right” way, doing yoga (yes, wide range of techniques), just anything to get the message through that there are better ways to cope when things aren’t going your way.

And out of the blue, in the middle of session, my kiddo told me, “Anne, thanks.” I asked him what for and he said, “For being my friend.”  I know I should feel like I’m on top of my game with positive feedback from the staff at work, but it means so much more when it’s coming from one of my kids.  I must be doing something right.

I am on a health streak.

I’m trying to be on one!  The more I’m at the gym, the more I’ve been able to focus on keeping healthy.  Recently I found that my heart rate should not exceed 160 on any machine and yet it does.  When I’m too slow it hurts my knees, when I’m a little faster, my chest is burning. Oh yeah, and my posture bites.  I’ve been researching articles on how to be more efficient and it seems to help.  I’ll apply my findings tomorrow.  I wish exercising would just fly with jump roping and hula hooping or games of Capture the Flag like when we were kids.  I’m only 22 and I’m worried about bone loss, weak muscles, and a stable immune system.  Compared to the last 4 years, I’m probably in the best shape ever though.

Besides the excessive need to keep fit, I also like the idea of “eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar.”  I do feel a lot better when I have a big breakfast, I kick some serious derriere at work! Meh, I just want more hours in a day. I enjoy the early and late hours of the day and not enough in between.

I start too many projects.

I have the motivation to start a lot of things and stay optimistic when I can see it through for a few months, but once I lose track, the project gets lost too.  This is mainly for me to keep track I suppose…

Books

  1. Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink (strong) pg 137/582
  2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (almost done) pg 101/132
  3. Musicophilia (weak) pg 23/347
  4. The Sun Also Rises (weak, but it’s a re-read) pg 21/247
  5. An Anthropologist On Mars (weak) pg 23/295

Crafts

  1. Simple red scarf (started in Oct ‘10) is about 1/3 done

Cooking/Baking

  1. My 12 days of baking challenge (still have some posts to update from Dec ‘10)
  2. Roasting chicken properly
  3. Bread making
  4. Investing time for cake decorating class

Photography

  1. 365 days of daily photos
  2. Portrait shots of family
  3. More farmer market photos
  4. Updated shots of social gatherings

It’s horrific, no?

I am clutter-free (for now).

I know I’m super stressed when I let me inbox muck up with emails, both read and unread.  It’s a little more liberating when I have the option to archive emails.  I read it, I replied to it, I don’t have to worry about it.  It’s a pet peeve when I have more than 25 emails just sitting there.  I’m down to 2, so I’m okay.

I also have the tendency to do things in bulk when I really I should it one at a time.  Still need to be better about that.