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School Days…

We are about to begin our third week of the new school year. I’m about to begin the third week of my 26th year in education. It should be 27, but I took a year and worked for a non-profit.

I think back to my elementary school days. I LOVED school! I could not wait to get back in September. We would go for a few days and then have a weekend. I always hated that first weekend because I would rather have been in school instead of at our lake cabin. I know… our lake cabin! Hmmmm… school or a lake cabin? If only I could have that choice now!

This year I began the school year a bit tired and not as excited as usual. Feeling a bit bummed by this, I decided to take my camera to school the second day and photograph what elementary school is all about! It helped me evoke some strong memories of why I love school so much! It helped me get back to what is really important… kids! Oh, and crayons, felt pens, colored pencils, Number 2 pencils, books, glue… the list goes on!

So, here is a little photo journey of a day in an elementary school.



















20130915-151454.jpg20130915-151543.jpg 20130915-151513.jpgDo any of these photographs evoke memories for you?  What do you remember?  What was special about the start of elementary school?

pencil boxes… new crayons… colored notebook paper… pee-chee’s… “school shoes”… lunch box (I never had one – I always ate lunch at home – joy of living kitty corner from the school)… freshly taped name tag… spearmint paste… tempra paint… meeting new friends…reconnecting with the old… new school clothes… sleepless night before the first day… your first day of HW… new teacher… your desk…

I would love to hear about the memories you have from elementary school.  I hope you will share!

Today I’m reliving a few old memories to fuel my desire to create some new ones… even though I’m much older!  Sometimes things get old and mundane because we forget from whence we came!  My goal this week is to try to look at my school and my job through eyes of wonder and excitement that I had 40+ years ago!

My Happiness Project

A Huge Accomplishment!

In keeping with my recent thoughts about accomplishments… here is a huge one!  It was not on my list of things I wanted to do over the summer. It was a very last minute decision, which was probably a good thing!  I walked a 5K!  It took forever to get to mile one!  Mile two loomed very far out, but then it was all down hill (figuratively speaking!) after that!  We also walked to the church where it started and then home again.  All in all, we probably walked closer to 4 miles!  Today I am sore, but feel great!  This little adventure yesterday was just what I needed to move me forward on my Fit By 50 project!  It not only felt good to walk, but it was going for a good cause – Alzheimer’s research.  Next year I will run it!  

I often do things that were not on my planned list – more spontaneous in nature.  For me, it’s those times that I feel the greatest sense of accomplishment.  Not only was it something I did or finished, but it was not expected.  I liken it to the joy of receiving an unexpected gift, or visit from a friend, or last minute get away!  There was not build up and hoped for expectations, just the sheer joy of something unexpected!  I know we can’t live life that way and things do have to be planned, but it’s those unplanned accomplishments that seem to bring me the most satisfaction.  Maybe that stems from years of New Year’s Resolutions that were never met!  Often times I failed before I even started because they were not realistic to begin with!   

My Happiness Project

All in a day…

Yesterday I wrote about accomplishments.  My conclusion was that they do not have to be big, visible things.  It’s the small things that count.  My sweet friend, Gretchen, recently gave me the book, The Happiness Project.  I have just only begun to read it, but visited The Happiness Project websiteThe author, Gretchen Rubin, talked about Ten Things I Can Do Every Day.  I thought that was very fitting based on my recent blog.  I began to think about a typical day.  Some days it seems as if I get lots accomplished and other days… not so much.  I decided to create my list of Ten Things I Can Do Every Day.  I thought long and hard about this, and stole a few small ideas from her list*.  So, here goes…

Ten Things I Can Do Every Day: (regardless of how hectic and crazy life is)

1.  Pray! 
2.  Enjoy a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
3.  Kiss my husband!
4.  “Move” for a minimum of 10-15 minutes.
5.  *Pick up one object that’s in the wrong place and put it away.
6.  Choose something healthy to eat over junk food.
7.  Floss my teeth before bed.
8.  Take 20-30 minutes to do something for ME!
9.  Scoop the cat box!
10. Commit a Random Act of Kindness.

I am excited to begin reading The Happiness Project and will be sharing more of that journey.  For now, what is on your list of things that you can do every day?  Do you see those small things as accomplishments?