Author Archives: Dianne

You are beautiful.

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This weekend we travelled to Southern California for our good friends’ baby shower, as well as to visit my husband’s family. It was a quick trip; we spent less than 48 hours there. I packed lightly (by nature I am NOT someone who thinks less is more…hence the letting go theme for October) and in the process I forgot a couple essentials: my razor and contacts. We had such a tight schedule that we literally had no time to go by the store and pick anything up, so I had to do without them. Luckily I brought pants to wear (it would not have been a pretty sight otherwise). I spent a good amount of the weekend feeling self-conscious in my dressed down outfit and glasses until I realized how stupid I was and made the decision to let it go and focus on why we were there that weekend – to spend time with people I love.

I’m really loving how this 31 day challenge is helping me be more conscious of what’s really important.



Grace

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We can’t be afraid of change

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
― C. JoyBell C.



Letting go of worry

Because it’s easy to get sucked into the “what ifs”…

Because I am not in control…

Because it could happen at 10 weeks, or 20, or 30… 

Because I don’t want to live in fear…

Because, as far as I know, he/she is alive right now, and that alone is cause for celebration.

 

 



being me

When I went back to school to get my teaching credential, I was overwhelmed by the techniques, theories, and strategies one needed to learn in order to teach effectively. We learned how to help children who had special learning needs, plan a lesson that covered our state standards, make content accessible for English language learners, use technology to enhance learning, and everything else in between. What they didn’t teach us, however, is how to connect with our students. How do we build relationships with these young people who we see almost every single day? And more specifically for those like me who teach in a Catholic school, how do I help students cultivate their relationship with Jesus?

During my first few years of teaching, I kept my distance from my students. I was their teacher, not their friend. They knew nothing about my personal life aside from maybe which basketball team I was rooting for that season or what I watched on TV. I never joked around with them because if I did, I thought the class would erupt in all kinds of crazy. And I never shared stories about my faith with them, because at the time, I felt those stories were only reserved for those closest in my life.

Over time, I began to realize that by keeping my distance from my students, I was harnessing the most powerful tool I had that would help me connect with them and meet them on their level: ME.

My students needed me. They needed me share my thoughts, dreams, fears, and favorites in order to see me as a real person, as someone they could look up to. They needed me to laugh and be silly and let go every once in a while (not too much, but just enough) to see that there is a time to be serious and work hard and a time to be free. They absolutely needed to hear me share stories about my faith journey, because just like them, I am a child of God. By being who I am, I inadvertently allow my students to be who they are.

Now, I obviously make every conscious effort to know where to draw the line. I am still not their friend, nor do I divulge every detail of what I do with my personal time. I joke around with them but never let it get out of hand. They’ve seen me be relaxed, but they also know that I expect nothing but the best from them, and that any form of disrespect will not be tolerated. There is still a divide between adults and children that should never be crossed. But if you share just a little bit of your human side with them, they feel more at ease, more willing to do for you what you ask of them. They feel comfortable asking me questions about concepts and topics they don’t understand, and when I try to help them, they don’t resist. (Most of the time…)

When I look back at my middle school experience, I remember very little about the things I read in textbooks or learned about in lectures. But I do remember finding it funny when my teacher would laugh at one of our jokes. I remember my 8th grade teaching sharing with us the story of how his wife died, and how broken he was for a long time. I remember when one of the seminarians that worked at our church (he was a super tall, skinny guy) showed us how he could reach the top of the door frame with his shoe by kicking his leg up really high. And I remember our principal dancing, just to make us laugh.

That’s what it’s all about. Sharing and laughing and learning and connecting. It’s about letting go and being who we really are, so that our young people can feel comfortable to be who they are meant to be.



Officially a Houzzer

I often like to scour the web for blogs and websites to help me declutter and organize my life. Today I came across one that had good tips and beautiful, inspirational pictures.

Houzz is one of those websites that constantly makes you say, “I wish my house looked like that!” You can browse photos of any room in a house and add the photos to your Ideabook. The photos have tags on certain parts of the room that will tell you what type of material it is and/or where to purchase the product. You can browse discussions on various design dilemmas you might be having and even pose questions and include photos so that others can give you their input.

One of my favorite parts of the website is the Ideabook section which includes decluttering tips and pictures. One particular article about pilers and filers has the potential to change my life.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/7793707/list/Get-Organized–Are-You-a-Piler-or-a-Filer- w=480]

I am most definitely a piler who has thought that the only way to be organized is to be a filer. This article makes it ok for me to be a piler and still gives me ideas for how to make my life more manageable. I’m hoping to put this idea into play before the end of the year. Stay tuned for an update!



10 to zen

zen10_im



Surrender

Surrender



Letting yourself go

People keep telling me I look tired. I have bags under my eyes. After school, the first thing I do is put on stretchy pants. I practically live in black leggings. And, my eyebrows are in desperate need of one-on-one attention.

I hate to say it, but I’m pulling the pregnant card this time.

My aunts all say that I am having a boy…something about the testosterone levels taking over. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that this time around I am not trying to hide my tiredness and discomfort.

I realize that when women become moms, their priorities change. Makeup and blowouts take a backseat to comfort and ponytails. A part of me feels like it comes with the territory and I should just accept it as my new reality. The other part of me wishes I had the drive and energy to pay more attention to the way I look, not for others but for myself. For my self-esteem and my attitude.

Sigh.

For now I guess I’ll continue playing the pregnant card. Maybe when I start to feel like myself again I can put more effort into my appearance. I wonder when that will be…



We are past the halfway point of the 31 day challenge, and what a wonderful experience it has been thus far! I started off thinking that in an effort to organize some of the physical clutter around my house I would … Continue reading