Saturday, September 24, 2011

For more details please inquire within

(pardon the inside thoughts)

"We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity." - Margaret D. Nadauld

I love this quote, I agree with it, it inspires me, it does, but when I go to an event like I did last night [a fashion event] where the beautiful women of the world were everywhere and were showing it off, I felt very small and very modest and very unimportant and very uninteresting.

I know I'm not supposed to feel that way. I know I should be thankful I have all of my body parts and I'm healthy, but it made me feel outnumbered. We may have enough of the fortunate and beautiful and need more of the modest and virutous but it can feel scary to stand up against that.

I believe I am beautiful on the inside, and so I ask people to inquire within and forgive my without, but it's kind of an intimidating world out there. Especially when I feel so inadequate without.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Hear Voices...

I hear voices all the time. So says Chris Young in his hit country song. He hears the voices of his father, mother, grandmother and grandfather, various people from his life that have planted little messages in his mind.

I hear voices all the time too. Usually my own voice in the form of self-talk. And well, who doesn't talk to themself?

Therapists tell people to examine their negative self-talk and change the way they talk to themselves. Apparently this is a great way to assert change. Happiness experts say to leave little notes for yourself on your mirror, change your computer passwords to little happy messages, and even to look in the mirror and give yourself 2-thumbs-up every morning.

As someone with a spinning, non-stop brain, I've really learned to listen to myself and the way I talk about myself to myself. Gretchen Rubin says to "Examine Your True Rules," the definitives you tell yourself about life, and challenge them.

I do have a few negative tracks in my mind I work on, but who doesn't. However, in the spirit of positivity here are the True Rules of my life, the positive ones:

My True Rules

*you can complain about it, or you can work on it*

*people generally don't need to be reminded of what they are doing wrong, they already know*

*no one can make you happy, but yourself*

*the greatest wisdom is kindness*

*that's life!*

*act like you do it everyday, and no one will know the diffrence*

*if they don't know what they did right, how will they know to do it again?*

This one is from my dad; it changed my teenage world: *if it's bothering you, it probably isn't bothering them.*

And lastly, when I'm making a decision about an activity or I am having a conversation or interaction or relationship moment that I'm unsure about I always stop and ask myself: how am I feeling, right now? If I feel good: proceed. If I feel funny: stop and re-examine.

Now that you know my personal soundtrack, what do the voices in your head say?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Flea Market Finds

I could lie about it, but I won't. I love a good antique store or flea market. I like to bargain hunt; it flows through my veins, it runs down my maternal line.

In fact one of my earliest memories is being 4 years old and garage-sailing with my mom and sister and grandmother on a hot, Kentucky July day. The kind of day that melts ho-hos in the back of a VW Rabbit, and sweat glues your sleevless jumper to your sticky body.

My memory and desire were triggered last week as a travelling flea market came to town.

On my way to work I saw it, an old pioneer era house, yard full of junk, or treasure, as it were. I saw it and knew exactly where I would be at 3:00 pm when contract time was over.

I didn't have to look very long, there is was, a Florentine oil painting, chipped frame, sitting in the back of a red Radio Flyer wagon with a $2 masking-tape-price-tag.

I bought it. The lady at the cash box gave me a quizzical look, regardless it now hangs proudly above my chest of drawers.

I love it.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Gold Star Please

When we expect praise and don't get it, we are unhappy. So says Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project. But she didn't need to tell me that, it's not a new idea. And the idea wasn't invented by her. But it did get me thinking. Again.

I try to make intrinsic motivation my motivation for working hard and I don't expect to be praised for what I do. But true to human nature, I love it when I do get praise. It feels good to be recognized. It feels good to get a gold star. It makes me want to work harder.

Last week I was recognized in an article published online and in the local paper and it felt really good. I didn't expect it. I had no idea it was coming. And I think it was sweeter because I didn't.

"It has been my privilege to be associated with ------- for the past several years. I have watched her grow into an excellent teacher. She has the students best interestes in mind at all times and works on their behalf every day.... ------- is a dynamic individual that makes everyone around her better because of her positive, always happy personality." (So says my principal).

I guess I'm asking for praise by even posting this right? But that is not what I really wanted to do.

What I really wanted to do was say that I was reminded of why I think giving praise is so important. If I like it, so does everybody else. If there is something good to say - say it. I have found that encouraging through noticing the good helps motivate better than almost any other method I have found.

So if you deal with people, and most of us do, praise away.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Student Teachers: The Mirror Has Two Faces

Having a student teacher is like looking in the mirror all day long. You see everything they do in context to what you do, whould do, should do, don't do, and need to do. You see your own strengths in relation to theirs, theirs in relation to yours, and it's a test of your people skills.

It informs you how well you give constructive criticism, how well you know what to say, and what not to say. It is a test in how well you can say what you need to say. It is a reminder of your own experience and of your own growth.

This being said, my student teacher is wonderful and doing a great job!

It's a lot of work.